Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Google Mistakes Michael Jackson’s Death for an “Automated Attack”

One last Michael Jackson Web traffic story: Google says it received so many search queries with the late singer’s name on Thursday that it thought it was being targeted by an “automated attack.” Which meant that some visitors looking for Jackson info on Google News got an error message for about 25 minutes yesterday.

Google also offers up this graph, below (click to enlarge), to give you a sense of the traffic spike it got from Jackson-searchers. It’s impressive, but without metrics it’s sort of hard to gauge what it really means–just like the chart that Google (GOOG) provided about query volume during Barack Obama’s inauguration.

michael-jackson-searches


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work