News & Current Affairs

June 26, 2009

Web slows after Jackson’s death

Filed under: Entertainment News, Latest — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — expressyoureself @ 11:35 am

Web slows after Jackson’s death

Google error page

The sheer number of queries concerned Google

The internet suffered a number of slowdowns as people the world over rushed to verify accounts of Michael Jackson’s death.

Search giant Google confirmed to the BBC that when the news first broke it feared it was under attack.

Millions of people who Googled the star’s name were greeted with an error page rather than a list of results.

It warned users “your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application”.

“It’s true that between approximately 2.40PM Pacific and 3.15PM Pacific, some Google News users experienced difficulty accessing search results for queries related to Michael Jackson and saw the error page,” said Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker.

It was around this time that the singer was officially pronounced dead.

Google’s trends page showed that searches for Michael Jackson had reached such a volume that in its so called “hotness” gauge the topic was rated “volcanic”.

Fail

Google was not the only company overwhelmed by the public’s clamour for information.

The microblogging service Twitter crashed with the sheer volume of people using the service.

Google user graph

Searches for topics related to Michael Jackson peaked at 3PM Pacific

Queries about the star soon rocketed to the top of its updates and searches. But the amount of traffic meant it suffered one of its well-known outages.

Before the company’s servers crashed, TweetVolume noted that “Michael Jackson” appeared in more than 66,500 Twitter updates.

According to initial data from Trendrr, a Web service that tracks activity on social media sites, the number of Twitter posts Thursday afternoon containing “Michael Jackson” totaled more than 100,000 per hour.

That put news of Jackson’s death at least on par with the Iran protests, as Twitter posts about Iran topped 100,000 per hour on June 16 and eventually climbed to 220,000 per hour.

Early reports of Mr Jackson’s death and the confusion surrounding it caused a rash of changes and corrections to be made on his Wikipedia page as editors tried to keep up with events and the number of people trying to update the page.

TMZ, the popular celebrity gossip site that broke the story following a tip-off that a paramedic had visited the singers home also crashed.

There was a domino effect as users then fled to other sites. Hollywood gossip writer Perez Hilton’s site was among those to flame out.

Keynote Systems reported that its monitoring showed performance problems for the web sites of AOL, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and Yahoo.

Beginning at 2.30PM Pacific “the average speed for downloading news sites doubled from less than four seconds to almost nine seconds,” said Shawn White, Keynote’s director of external operations.

He told Data Center Knowledge that “during the same period, the average availability of sites on the index dropped from almost 100% to 86%”.

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September 24, 2008

Google’s Android mobile unveiled

Google’s Android mobile unveiled

T-Mobile G1

The T-Mobile G1 is the first phone to use Android

The first mobile telephone using Google’s Android software has been unveiled.

The T-Mobile G1 handset will be available in the UK in time for Christmas.

The first device to run the search giant’s operating system will feature a touch screen as well as a Qwerty keyboard.

It will be available for free on T-Mobile tariffs of over £40 a month and includes unlimited net browsing.

Other features include a three megapixel camera, a ‘one click’ contextual search and a browser that users can zoom in on by tapping the screen.

The handset will be wi-fi and 3G enabled and has built-in support for YouTube.

Users will also have access the so-called Android Market, where they will be able to download a variety of applications.

Prototypes

Google announced its plans for the Android phone software in November 2007 with a declared aim of making it easier to get at the web while on the move.

To help develop Android, Google also unveiled the Open Handset Alliance – a partnership of more than 30 firms that would work to make phone software easier to work with.

The group includes operators such as Telefonica, handset makers such as HTC and Motorola as well as chip makers such as Intel and Qualcomm.

Many of the partners demonstrated early prototype Android phones at the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona in mid-February.

The idea behind Android is to do for phone software what the open source Linux software has done for PCs. Developers of phone software can get at most of the core elements of the Android software to help them write better applications.

Smartphones

However, in launching Android, Google faces stiff competition from established players such as Nokia with its Symbian software and Microsoft with its Mobile operating system.

More recently Apple has been gaining customers with its much hyped iPhone.

The Android software is squarely aimed at the smartphone segment of the handset market which adds sophisticated functions to the basic calling and texting capabilities of most phones.

Current estimates suggest that only 12-13% of the all handsets can be considered smartphones.

September 16, 2008

EU scrutinises Yahoo-Google deal

EU scrutinises Yahoo-Google deal

Yahoo search page

The deal will see Google’s adverts alongside Yahoo’s search results

The European Union has announced that it has been investigating the terms of Google’s proposed deal to partner with Yahoo for advertising.

The deal would see Google’s advertising programs built into Yahoo’s search engine in the US and Canada.

However, the EU Competition Commission argues that there are anti-trust implications because the two companies do business in Europe.

The EU’s present inquiry could escalate to a formal investigation.

The announcement follows on the heels of news of a similar anti-trust investigation by the US Department of Justice.

If it goes ahead, the partnership would control more than 80% of the online advertising market.

EU antitrust regulations have traditionally proven more strict than American ones, so the investigation could prove to be a significant stumbling block for the deal.

The World Association of Newspapers, which represents some 18,000 titles worldwide, joined the fray in opposing the deal on Monday.

“The reality is that a large portion of the traffic to most online newspapers’ websites today comes through paid search or natural results on search engines,” the group said in a statement.

“For this reason, competition among search engines is absolutely vital for newspapers – to ensure that no search engine can set monopoly prices for paid search ads, and to prevent any search engine from influencing users’ surfing habits by manipulating unpaid search results.”

Each advert will generate revenue for Google. However, there is considerable speculation that another motivation is to provide Yahoo with an alternative to Microsoft’s bid for a hostile takeover.

Both Yahoo and Google say that they are cooperating with investigators on both sides of the Atlantic, but argue that they will go ahead with the deal in October.

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