Well, someone had to do it, didn't they?
Someone's gone ahead and typed "Google" into Google - the myth spread by Jen from UK sitcom, "The IT Crowd" which promised to crash the monolithic search engine.
Ok, maybe that wasn't it, but something's definitely gone wrong.
Like many, I've long forsaken printed manuals and references in favour of the "Google it right now" approach to troubleshooting and fact-finding.
Hitting a MySQL problem (namely, how do I get mysqldump to escape special characters in field names) I turned to trusty reliable old Google.
To my surprise, every search result was flagged as "This site may harm your computer" - the tag line reserved for sites believed to contain malware.
Clicking on any search results takes me not to the page in question but to a Google page advising of the risks of malware. I am told I can continue on if I'm brave - but I have to manually copy-and-paste the link; Google will have no part in taking me there - or I can press the browser Back button and try another result.
Clicking on the link to explain why Google feels this way about the site brings up a server error.
So, there's no explanation, and no enter-search-term-and-click browsing going on tonight.
Here's hoping to a timely reboot and perhaps by the time you read this things will be up and running (after all, there's no way you'll find this story by Googleing if Google is down!) - but for a brief period of time in the early AM of February 1st 2009 Google was out of action.
Given Google's massive renown as virtually "the" Internet for many a soul it's as if the Internet died. Woah!