Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hey Google...

In this post, I am literally biting the hand that feeds me, because this is about some funny things Google is doing ... and yet here I am posting on a Google blog. It is what it is.

Many who know me, know I tend to be very anal about the security on my computer system. And I am like that because working with computers for over 30 years I have learnt to be wise. Over the past while, watching my internet traffic and various browsers, I have noticed some changes in the way that Google has been working.

Now, I get that Google is on a gathering mission... in many ways we want that to happen. But what exactly IS Google gathering anyway?  Not so long ago, you could search on Google, click on a link, and it would take you to your selection. The browser "back" button was never enabled, because you had nothing to go back to, presuming that you opened your link into a new window... That has all changed because Google is obviously adding in some more tracking stats or something, because now you go to Google to pass on "stuff" before being directed to the website you wanted... and... the back button takes you back to Google's re-direction scheme.... Meh... certainly annoying...

And for whatever reason, many websites are now using some form of "Google Analytics", and to be honest, I got so pissed at seeing SO many hits to this service, that I blocked it from working on my computer.

Today, I was looking at a website for a few seconds, and noticed the blocked entry appearing in my list. And of course, I snickered under my breath. I closed the browser after a few seconds, since the page I was on wasn't exactly what I was interested in.

But wait!!! I started browsing at 7:55:25, and I closed the browser at 7:55:30 ... 5 seconds later. So WHY was it, that my system was still trying to "respond" to Google at 7:56:53, almost a full 90 seconds AFTER I closed the browser? Like... what the h***...

But then, it gets even better.

Over a minute AFTER the last attempt made by whatever "leftovers" were still running from closing the browser... Google THEN made several "burst attempts" to communicate to MY system, trying to 'talk' to me on multiple ports.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words...

So... Is Google your friend? Really??


  1. Interesting and certainly not something I have thought about. On our site we use google analytics because we think it is a good way of learning who is interested in what we are doing.

  2. It's hard to explain this without getting technical, but a basic function of internet communications is to give some value for a "wait time". As much as we may think the internet is 'instant', it can take many seconds to actually reach a communications destination, and send information back.

    There is also the 'expectation' by a user, that when they close a program, the program *stops*. So when I close my browser (in this case it was IE8) then I damn well expect anything it was processing to stop. So is part of this an IE issue? Or a communications protocol issue? In other words, who or what is actually to blame for the first group of outgoing packets being sent (they are the first group, shown in a blue-type color).

    The big concern for me is more the attempts by Google, SO LONG AFTER THE FACT... in an attempt to get information from me. And just what the heck is so important that they need it that badly?

    Make no mistake, Google does some pretty great things. However we must remember that nothing in life is free. With all of the extra goodies Google is offering (email handling, document sharing, even these blogs), they have to be getting *something* from it. And what they get is access to everything you allow them to. "Access to" doesn't really imply they are snooping on your stuff that you have as private... it just means the potential is there. And of course, Google is USA based, and we know how anal Homeland Security is within the USA...

    I'm just saying, we should question things that seem strange. And this was clearly very strange. Is there a justifiable reason for it? ... That, I am not aware of. But perhaps there is...