Feature

Google: When Gmail went down

Can Google explain why its Gmail service went on the blink?

"There's calamity in Cloudland this morning," said Britain's The Guardian. Google's email service, Gmail, has gone on the blink. Users around the world searched in vain for an explanation—there wasn't "a peep" about the problem on the official Google Gmail blog. And their communications team in London couldn't fire off a statement—because "their email was down."

"If you live in the United States," said MG Siegler in Venture Beat, "chances are you were asleep." But for those of us who are nocturnal, the disaster lasted for hours. Regular users will know that this isn't entirely new—Google crashed a few times last year. "But this is the first time it has gone down" since the Internet search giant added offline support.

Google has some explaining to do, said Robin Wauters in TechCrunch. "This comes a couple of weeks after the chaos when a reportedly human error caused Google's search engine to erroneously flag the entire Internet as malware." Google says today's as-yet unexplained problem only affected a "small subset" of users, but I'm not buying that.

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