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Blue Gal and Ellroon at Rants From The Rookery have been tracking the “victims”.

alicublog, The Impolitic, Plush Life, Dawg’s Blawg, skippy the bush kangaroo, Guys from Area 51, Pen-Elayne, Hootsbuddy’s Place, Monkey Muck, Phydeaux Speaks, Blast Off!, Frieda Bee, SteveAudio, Roger Ailes, and WTF is it now? were all reported affected.

Ellroon also discovered the culprit: it was Google in the Server Farm with an Algorithm. “Even though it’s a Friday” they are working to clean up the mess they created. Well, maybe if you tested the software a little more rigorously and didn’t deploy changes on a Thursday night, you wouldn’t have to work late on Friday.


1 Jack K., the Grumpy Forester { 08.01.08 at 11:48 pm }

…an interesting concept, this rogue algorithm. It would be interesting to learn how it decided to pick out the victims that it did. I haven’t had any trouble at all (on the other hand, maybe being nothing more than a ‘simple amino acid’ in the “Truth Laid Bear” ecosystem has something to do with it)…

I may have to abandon the tin foil and move on to the stainless steel colander personal defense strategy…

2 Bryan { 08.02.08 at 1:14 am }

I assume it came out of Google and was designed to look at multiple criteria, like links to and from the blog, traffic, number of comments, number of posts, language, etc. and compared them to a spam “profile”.

It probably worked against a test set, but the best test would have been to run it against a live server after the test set and see who it selected. It may well have identified a number of spam blogs, but it obviously took down a lot of real working blogs and annoyed a lot of people.

3 Elayne Riggs { 08.02.08 at 6:05 am }

Google/Blogger fixed it (at least as far as my blog) in what I consider to be record time. I was back posting by 10 PM.

4 Bryan { 08.02.08 at 1:08 pm }

It was an automated system and the fix should have been easy and automated.

This has been a strange month on the “Tubes” and it’s only the second day.

5 Badtux { 08.02.08 at 3:10 pm }

Google calls me from time to time to ask me if I want to go to work for them. I’ve turned them down probably a dozen times over the past five years. I know some of the folks working there, they were co-workers of mine at a previous startup, and none of us are particularly impressed. The food is good though :-).

– Badtux the Geeky Penguin

6 Bryan { 08.02.08 at 4:23 pm }

After the years of soft drinks and pizza in the basement, good food is a pleasant change, but they have expanded so quickly that they don’t have the good managers and team leaders developed. You need to pinpoint the people who are competent coders, so they know what is really going on, and willing to organize things while keeping management off of everyone’s back.

It takes a while to sort out the people who are good at spotting those who have to be supervised, from those who should be left alone with goals.

They really need a QA department to stop this from happening.