What if Google went down for a week or two

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What if Google went down for a week or two

Post by manacheck » Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:55 am

https://techxplore.com/news/2020-08-goo ... world.html
Popular Google services including Gmail and Drive were down for many users around the world on Thursday, with the US technology giant telling affected people they were "aware of a service disruption."

Frustrated customers in countries including Australia, Japan, France and the United States complained online of the outage and tracking website DownDetector reported Google services were down in every continent.
This prompted me to think about how, sometimes, it's not just internet connectivity that can go down unexpectedly. Google has been actively working to become a monopoly of the internet for some time, from e-mail logins to social media and youtube, to having a hand in online bill paying, to being a relied-upon free language translation service and search engine.

I think about, when I want to order something, maybe groceries, online, if my email was inaccessible and the vendor wanted me to confirm my account-associated email, or my order via email, or for whatever reason via my email before letting me continue (hi amazon), that may mean I can't place an order if my account email is unavailable. Other things I could think of... if I'm trying to pay a bill that's due. Or if I'm trying to check on my family (well, not me, but many rely on social media for family conections), or for news, or to search-engine/youtube how to do a time-critical thing.

It's not the same issue as "the internet is down" where maybe I can take a trip somewhere that has working connections. It's also not the same as all internet sites being down completely. But it's a stumbling block. And it makes me think about what that would impact for me personally, as well as people in general, if Google accounts suddenly experienced a widespread and lengthy service disruption through all or some of its more critical services.

Is this something anyone preps for, or is it more a "take it as it comes and solve it then" thing? It's kind of a far-reaching platform. Tips and tricks for alternatives, when your e-mail, websearch, and connections to your community that rely on things like Google have service interruptions?

I think my own go-to, having not thought about it much, would be a combination of "riding it out" and "acute, heavily aggrevated stress meltdown" when suddenly the things I'm accustomed to being able to rely on to are inaccessible and cause me real-world problems, like unpaid bills equaling phone service disruptions or inaccessible online grocery procurement meaning seeking alternatives under pressure at an increased financial cost.

Maybe the best thing I could do would be to start thinking of what any inaccessible account would hold that couldn't be replicated through another service. Like e-mail address lists of family members could be copied and kept somewhere off network. That, and investigate alternative service providers for e-mail/search engines so if that's happening, at least I wouldn't be wasting four hours eliminating irritating alternative websites while under a time crunch to get a thing done that only e-mail will be accepted for. Gmail isn't hardly a tip of the Google iceberg, and I'm kind of having a hard time figuring out what all would be impacted, if Google in its entirety was impacted, but I know it'd be a lot of stuff.

(Mods, If this isn't the right place to post this, please feel free to move it. Seems like a city/urban forum appropriate subject, but it's 2020. I'm mentally prepared to be wrong.)
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Re: What if Google went down for a week or two

Post by TacAir » Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:32 am

The loss of Google would matter - for a while. Something else would come along to replace it, just like AltaVista or Ask Jeeves.

Having a paper list of email addresses is something that should have been done a long time ago. I don't save anything via the Google.
We also keep a running IP listing of web site we visit. E business like Amazon has enough horsepower to keep going w/o the Google.

Schools would likely take a major hit - locally most schools use Google docs for all school work - homework and submissions. All the local kiddos just got 'free' Chromebooks' for school at home.

Now, if Google and the other tech giants went down due to a massive earthquake in the Left Coast, all bets are off.

There was life before the internet and before Google. and life would go on. I mean, just how many 'cat videos' can you watch?
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Re: What if Google went down for a week or two

Post by woodsghost » Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:40 am

TacAir wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:32 am
The loss of Google would matter - for a while. Something else would come along to replace it, just like AltaVista or Ask Jeeves.
DuckDuckGo. I like it a lot. It has been a main search engine for me for about 2.5 years now.
TacAir wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:32 am
There was life before the internet and before Google. and life would go on. I mean, just how many 'cat videos' can you watch?
A lot. There is always room for 1 more ;)


Good advice and I should commit much more to paper. I rely on electronics a lot.
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Re: What if Google went down for a week or two

Post by raptor2 » Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:33 am

Google's failure as a search engine function would not be a disaster.

However as you noted they supply a lot of back office services.They along with Amazon and Microsoft form a huge part of the IT backbones in the small business world. Which IMO is fucking scary in and of itself. We worry about the .gov reading our correspondence but these organizations have both access and the ability to scan all comms going in and out of their email servers. this provides them with a unprecidented level of access to insider business information.

In my office we use both google email servers and microsoft office online for different businesses.
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Re: What if Google went down for a week or two

Post by boskone » Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:00 am

I've been disconnecting from Google, because they're freakin' creepy. Plus I disapprove of some of their politics.

I use a paid email provider (Fastmail) for email, primarily Duck Duck Go for search, my servers are either VMs or a non-Google VPS, and I'm even looking for a good alternative to the otherwise-excellent Google Voice for phone.

About the only place they still have an almost irreplaceable lead is maps; Bing, Apple Maps, and the like really just aren't as good IMO.

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Re: What if Google went down for a week or two

Post by PistolPete » Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:26 pm

boskone wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:00 am
I've been disconnecting from Google, because they're freakin' creepy. Plus I disapprove of some of their politics.
You and me both!

If their search went down it would take down other search engines that use their DB, like DuckDuckGo. If their cloud services went down it would drop a lot of websites. Same goes for Amazon, who hosts a ton of websites in AWS. Both would also drop business services for clients that have moved from on prem to the cloud. It would be a mess at first, with lasting effects for months.

But then it would be better. Fuck a bunch of Google (Alphabet). They are one of the companies (along with Amazon) most likely to bring about the distopian future we see in so many works of fiction.
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Re: What if Google went down for a week or two

Post by boskone » Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:02 pm

PistolPete wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 2:26 pm
boskone wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:00 am
I've been disconnecting from Google, because they're freakin' creepy. Plus I disapprove of some of their politics.
You and me both!

If their search went down it would take down other search engines that use their DB, like DuckDuckGo.
FWIW, DDG also has their own crawler as well as pulling data from non-Google engines; I know Bing and Wolfram Alpha, at least.

As for the websites that use Google (Amazon, MS, whoever) in mission-critical ways...in a way, I hope that goes pfft. I can see offering a common login, but websites that depend on it are IMO pretty dumb, and I don't see a real benefit to canvas trackers/cross-site scripting/etc. Host your own scripts, lazyasses. :p

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Re: What if Google went down for a week or two

Post by eugene » Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:27 pm

I run my own "cloud" server so I'm not affected.
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Re: What if Google went down for a week or two

Post by Andimia » Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:19 pm

All of my bills are on autopay (thanks ADHD) so I wouldn't be too worried, also most of my 2fa (two-factor authorization) goes through text to my phone. If those networks are down there are some bigger issues to deal with. In 18 years of having various cellphones I've only had one stolen from me, the rest all survived in my possession with only one cracked but still working screen.

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Re: What if Google went down for a week or two

Post by Blast » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:11 pm

raptor2 wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:33 am
We worry about the .gov reading our correspondence but these organizations have both access and the ability to scan all comms going in and out of their email servers. this provides them with a unprecidented level of access to insider business information.
Back when I was in the oil industry we weren't allowed to Google any information that we were using to develop new technology. The belief was Google was watching what search terms scientists were using and would jump in with possible patents on the technology before we could submit patents ourselves.
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Re: What if Google went down for a week or two

Post by woodsghost » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:21 am

Blast wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:11 pm
raptor2 wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:33 am
We worry about the .gov reading our correspondence but these organizations have both access and the ability to scan all comms going in and out of their email servers. this provides them with a unprecidented level of access to insider business information.
Back when I was in the oil industry we weren't allowed to Google any information that we were using to develop new technology. The belief was Google was watching what search terms scientists were using and would jump in with possible patents on the technology before we could submit patents ourselves.
-Blast
I've heard of people getting job offers from Google based on what they were searching for. If they were developing a skill set Google wanted, a little thing like "privacy" wouldn't stand in the way.
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Re: What if Google went down for a week or two

Post by raptor2 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:51 am

When a company, person, .gov has both access to AND the ability to read everyone's e-mail traffic, there is no way they could resist that temptation.

At one time I was less concerned about since the volume of traffic basically defied the ability to screen it. Now however even with a massive jump in volume the introduction of AI will remove that obstacle completely in a very short time.

I was recently surprised by the extent of the capability that exists now. I bought a burner phone for 2 party authentification purposes. I wanted a separate phone simply to receive verification texts. So bought a simple flip phone from Tracphone for $.01 and 90 days of text services via a instore purchase of the time. I paid cash and simply registered it without a name or CC.

I entered the phone number for Amazon, Gmail and a business bank account as the # to text with the digital code for access. I keep it turned off when not in use. I have never made a phone call or sent a text. It is for incoming texts only.

In less than 2 weeks it was receiving spam texts directed to me by name. Clearly the Tracphone Group worked with Amazon and Google to sell my data and this phone #.
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Re: What if Google went down for a week or two

Post by Blast » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:26 am

woodsghost wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:21 am

I've heard of people getting job offers from Google based on what they were searching for. If they were developing a skill set Google wanted, a little thing like "privacy" wouldn't stand in the way.
Interesting! Hmmm, maybe it's time to write an automated Google search script that scans for Google technology news and then auto-searches those terms... :o
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Re: What if Google went down for a week or two

Post by MPMalloy » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:30 am

raptor2 wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:51 am
When a company, person, .gov has both access to AND the ability to read everyone's e-mail traffic, there is no way they could resist that temptation.

At one time I was less concerned about since the volume of traffic basically defied the ability to screen it. Now however even with a massive jump in volume the introduction of AI will remove that obstacle completely in a very short time.

I was recently surprised by the extent of the capability that exists now. I bought a burner phone for 2 party authentification purposes. I wanted a separate phone simply to receive verification texts. So bought a simple flip phone from Tracphone for $.01 and 90 days of text services via a instore purchase of the time. I paid cash and simply registered it without a name or CC.

I entered the phone number for Amazon, Gmail and a business bank account as the # to text with the digital code for access. I keep it turned off when not in use. I have never made a phone call or sent a text. It is for incoming texts only.

In less than 2 weeks it was receiving spam texts directed to me by name. Clearly the Tracphone Group worked with Amazon and Google to sell my data and this phone #.
It is becoming harder & harder to simply be free.

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Re: What if Google went down for a week or two

Post by manacheck » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:53 pm

I appreciate all the food for thought on this topic, guys.

Google does do creepy too much and too overtly, but it's also made itself "needed" increasingly and strategically by positioning itself to being a main reaching source for certain things, with a goal towards being the only viable choice for most things across the web.

Thanks for the suggestions. Duckduckgo is much less sketchy as a search engine. Like was mentioned, even the competition of Google often rely on Google to function, so trying to unravel that mess is gross.
When a company, person, .gov has both access to AND the ability to read everyone's e-mail traffic, there is no way they could resist that temptation.
QFT, raptor. This is a VERY human behavior. The fact that everyone with the ability to read e-mail traffic is an individual human gets kind of overlooked in favor of vaguely viewing employees as a poorly defined conglomorate force that is separate from human flaws or practices.
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