[Air-L] 'Human error' halts Google search

Christopher Lueg christopher.lueg at utas.edu.au
Sat Jan 31 21:12:39 PST 2009

On Sun, 1 Feb 2009, Robert Ackland wrote:

> But I think it is somewhat troubling that the increasingly important service 
> of online search can be compromised (even just for an hour) by a research 
> project.

"Online search" was never compromised. As you also mentioned, Google is 
not the only search engine. In fact it's only one among many capable 
search engines.

QUT's Amanda Spink and collaborators compared major search engines and 
found very little overlap which means (my interpretation) that focussing 
too much on Google is not a good idea anyway.


> This might be a bit of a stretch, but what if water or electricity 
> services were inadvertently cut or restricted because of a research project 
> focusing on "consumer complaints".

Does it really matter what caused Google's problem? The lesson to learn is 
that more search engine variety is good for all of us (even de-fusing the 
single-point-of-failure scenario you seem to be concerned about)

Best regards

Dr. Christopher Lueg
Professor of Computing
University of Tasmania
Private Bag 100
Hobart TAS 7001, Australia
christopher.lueg at utas.edu.au
CRICOS Provider Code: 00586B

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