So today I was surprised to see Google return a “service not available” error when I attempted a search. I was so surprised, in fact, that I wanted to take a screen shot of it. I didn’t have my favorite free screen shot tool installed on my computer at work, and I didn’t remember how to capture a screen shot using the built in facility, so I naturally tried to search for the tool I wanted to download using Google. Of course that failed, so I immediately closed Firefox and opened Internet Explorer to try again. That gives you an idea of the relative reliability of browsers as compared to Google — before IE finished launching I realized that what I wanted was a different search engine, not a different browser, and not long after that I realized I could get the screen capture tool at irfanview.com.
I’ve since read that the problem is a new email virus that finds domain names in the address book on the infected computer and then uses search engines to find other email addresses at those domains. Apparently so many computers have become infected that the virus is actually working as a denial of service attack on Google. I’m still not sure this Internet thing is going to work out.