Saturday, January 31, 2009


Googled something last night. Can't even remember what. Everything behaved as normal. Found the info I was looking for, got out and on with my life.

This morning I had a particularly witty mot involving the Schrödinger's Cat paradox. (It was a peachamaroot!) Wonder Woman queried Schrödinger's Cat. I Googled it to send her a link. First return is from Wikipedia, natch. Click the link. I get this:
Warning - visiting this web site may harm your computer!
  • Return to the previous page and pick another result.
  • Try another search to find what you're looking for.
Or you can continue to's_cat at your own risk. For detailed information about the problems we found, visit Google's Safe Browsing diagnostic page for this site.

For more information about how to protect yourself from harmful software online, you can visit
I click back to the Google return page. Every single return is marked "This site may harm your computer." Every stinking one. I clicked through to "Google's Safe Browsing " page for enlightenment. The first three attempts to load the page failed. When I finally got through, what I was presented with was astonishingly uninformative.

It's been a few weeks since I worked in the Internet industry. Have I missed a memo or something? Did the Great Gazoogle decide that scaring the crap out of everybody with intrusive interstitial pages warning of malware at innocuous sites like Wikipedia on every single search return was some kind of ideal business model?

[Wavy lines representing Bloggie-Boy actually trying to do some research...]

Ah. It must have been a temporary bug, because I can't replicate it. But seriously, if Google can make a mistake of this magnitude -- even temporarily marking Amazon, eBay, etc., etc., etc., as containing malware -- there's gonna be some shit to pay.

Here's a discussion that, while also not particularly informative, at least proves I'm not crazy.

And perhaps most amusingly, if not surprisingly, a wingnut blogger leaps to the paranoid conclusion that the whole thing's a plot to prevent us from reading his pearls of wisdom...

Update: Google blames human error. Thanks, commenter Robert Z.

Update II: Commenter Reincheque observes that Google "boogered up them freds." Fuck, yeah!


John said...

I had that same thing happen an hour or so ago but just now when I googled "weird google results" it was back to normal.
"Warning - visiting this web site may harm your computer!"
Move along, nothing to see here. But there are a lot of of results if you do that search.
I guess it's going to be a duck and cover kind of weekend.

giggles said...

Just one reason why I hate flippin' 'puters.... (can't live with 'em...can't live w/o 'em, anymore..... What? It's NOT a conspiracy??!!)

Robert Z. said...

Personally, I see it as the modern descendent of the "Help, I'm being held prisoner in a Chinese Cookie factory" warning -- some Google drone, deep in the bowels of their Mother Ship, tried to alert all of us to the "cancer lurking deep in the sweetest bud," a brief Luddite cri de coeur...

They claim it was, and I quote, "very simply, human error." But what if it was a message: "the Internet itself is malware"?...

reincheque said...

Somebody boogered up the freds, obviously...:-)



Jeremy said...

Thanks Ned, for confirming that my own personal freds weren't boogered.

I had this yesterday, but I also had other fish to fry, so I gave up on it.

Bullowom, I say.

Anonymous said...

From Sunny Jim in New Jersey -

Neddie, this is completely off topic but here's something that when you get time one day, I'd love to hear your take on, as well as that of your many musically knowledgable readers:

Musically speaking, I am not a professional but just a lifelong student of chord changes and great melodies. I love the old songwriters found in the American songbook, the ones the jazz musicians always keep coming back to. I would put a whole passel of Lennon and McCartney songs in that category, too.

I was putzing around the other day, running through snippets of my favorite Beatles songs (on the keyboard). Beatles songs were the soundtrack and background of my growing up years, and some were played to death on the pop radio of the time.

So I ask you, then: which Beatle songs are still interesting and still fresh? Which are still challenging in the sense that they can be improvised upon, and jazzy types of substitutions can be made on them?

You know which ones I keep coming back to more than any other? It's The White Album songs. To me, it's like it was a culmination of their growth and maturity, musically speaking. Some of the progressions were exact lifts from the Revolver/Rubber Soul period:

"Well you should see Polythene Pam" (D major, A major, E major) is identical to "It's only a northern song" (D major, A major, E major) (even though the latter was Harrison's). Progressions like that seem to be classic rock riffs.

But other progressions, like those found in 'Cry Baby Cry', 'Because','Happiness is a Warm Gun', 'Julia', 'I Will', 'Blackbird' and 'Martha My Dear' seem to me to be going places that Lennon and McCartney had hinted at in previous stuff, but never done before to the extent they were doing on The White Album. Or maybe they HAD done them before, in many many of their previous hits - 'Eleanor Rigby', 'Penny Lane', 'She Loves You', 'Help', 'Hello Goodbye', 'There's a Place', 'Fool on the Hill' - there was wonderfully creative stuff being done with melody and chord changes and whatnot, but all of those songs, as mentioned, had been played to death to the point where revisiting them today is for me less interesting.

Just my opinion - do others here feel the same way?

I think The White Album was the first of the Beatles' recordings done with 8 tracks, which may also explain why many of the songs still have a sharpness to them today compared to their previous output. But then again, I haven't really listened to a lot of The White Album stuff for a long long time, and I am referring to just playing the songs while looking at the pages of the Beatles Fake Book.

In all that has been written about the Beatles' evolution, The White Album seems placed at 'the beginning of the end' period i.e. at the point at which the individuals were beginning to go their separate ways, literally and musically.

Yet there was still this undeniable greatness and creative genius - magic if you will - in the collaboration. After the breakup, not too long after The White Album, none of the individuals could come close to replicating what they had done as a group.

Anyway, thanks for letting me take up so much space.


Neddie said...

That's some mighty big questions, Jim. Like, book-length answers.

Give me a day or two with my guitar and the Fakebook, formulate some answers. Then... Let's rock!

Ezra said...

In re the wingnut: That particular website was being labeled malware a couple years ago, unrelated to this recent happening. I had to visit it regularly for my job (don't ask). However, that doesn't make the complaint valid: if you looked at the html, it was clear some Chinese hacker had snuck in and meddled with it.