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Google Grinds To A Halt For Many

I haven't been able to access Gmail and other Google services for several hours now. I am not alone. Users all over the U.S. are reporting service interruptions. Updated - Google offers an explanation!
I haven't been able to access Gmail and other Google services for several hours now. I am not alone. Users all over the U.S. are reporting service interruptions. Updated - Google offers an explanation!Gmail and Google Reader are my lifeline to the outside world. They nourish me, and give me all that I need to manage my day-to-day tasks when at work. That lifeline has been dead for several hours now.

Gmail crashed on me at about 10:30 AM EST. Google Reader followed several minutes later. Other Google services, such as News, Docs, YouTube, and even Google Search were dead in the water. None of them would load at all. I checked my Google services from two different mobile phones via two different wireless network operators. Gmail and Google Reader were not working there, either.

A quick scan of my Twitter feed told me that I am far from the only one being affected. I live and work in New Jersey. Other users in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and as far flung as California are reporting the same inability to access Google services. Hashtags such as #googlefail and #Gmail have sprung up in the trending topics within Twitter. In other words, lots of people are annoyed right now.

Google hasn't responded to the outage in any capacity that I am aware of. I checked Google's official Twitter account and didn't see anything there.

In the meant time, Google Reader came back online for me about 30 minutes ago (after a 2-hour outage). Search appears to be working, too, but Gmail is still down.

What's the deal, Google? I'm losing productivity here.

UPDATE:

Here's what Google had to say about the entire thing:


Imagine if you were trying to fly from New York to San Francisco, but your plane was routed through an airport in Asia. And a bunch of other planes were sent that way too, so your flight was backed up and your journey took much longer than expected. That's basically what happened to some of our users today for about an hour, starting at 7:48 am Pacific time.

An error in one of our systems caused us to direct some of our web traffic through Asia, which created a traffic jam. As a result, about 14% of our users experienced slow services or even interruptions. We've been working hard to make our services ultrafast and "always on," so it's especially embarrassing when a glitch like this one happens. We're very sorry that it happened, and you can be sure that we'll be working even harder to make sure that a similar problem won't happen again. All planes are back on schedule now.

Indeed, my Gmail's functionality has returned.

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