Google Traffic Dominates the Internet

Like a giant gravity-bending star, Google has grown so massive it is starting to have a measurable effect on Internet traffic flows, an analysis of the company's activities has found.

The blog analysis by Arbor Network's Craig Labovitz follows on from his company's Atlas Observatory Report of last October which offered a fascinating insight into how the Internet is being moulded by a small and decreasing number of super-carriers, with Google at their head.

Arbor has now provided more detail on the astounding explosion of Google's Internet presence, which as of last summer it estimates as accounting for peak rates of 10 percent of all Internet inter-domain Internet traffic it sees travelling through its servers.

Between June 2007 and a year later, the average traffic percentage grew from around 1 percent to around 2.5 percent; by last summer the percentage was a minimum of 5 percent and growing.

The main reason was Google's acquisition of YouTube in 2007, which consumes huge volumes of video traffic, the application that almost on its own is driving capacity growth at the peer network level.

As significant as their sheer number is how all these Google-related packets move across the Internet. In mid-2007, Google used third-party "transit" (i.e other networks) for a large percentage of its Internet traffic. By this February, Arbor reckons that over 60 percent of Google's traffic was being channelled through direct interconnects that link its massive data centres to one another.

To put this in less technical terms, Google and the customers using its services are not so much using the Internet as Google's own private corner of it, a peered network within a wider Internetwork.

Arbor's Labovitz reminds us that Google has apparently spent the last year installing Google Global Cache Servers (GGCs) in as many as half of all third-party consumer networks in the US and Europe, which extends the edge of its network into even more data centres.

"Unlike most global carriers, Google's backbone does not deliver traffic on behalf of millions of subscribers nor thousands of regional networks and large enterprises. Google's infrastructure supports, well, only Google," comments Labovitz.

Famous for its search, e-mail and YouTube video sharing, Google has quietly and relentlessly turned itself into the first super-carrier of the Internet era.

Google TV Is Coming to Your Living Room

Google is working with Intel, Sony and other partners to develop Google TV, a service aimed at putting the Internet search giant's Web offerings in people's living rooms, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Google TV will combine the company's Android mobile operating system and applications with television devices made for the OS, including set-top boxes, the paper says.

The TV technology will run on Intel's Atom chips, the report says, and Google will develop a new version of its Chrome browser for the TV project.

In a similar report, the Wall Street Journal reported some of the same information. Both papers cited unnamed sources for their information.

Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The use of Android for TV could put applications and other software developed for the OS on TVs in addition to smartphones, the devices the OS was designed for. The companies working on the project, which also reportedly include Logitech, "envision technology that will make it easy for TV users to navigate Web applications, like the Twitter social network and the Picasa photo site, as it is to change the channel," the New York Times says.

Google will open the TV platform to Android developers as part of the initiative, with a software developer's kit, the New York Times reports.

Several companies have already started using Android in devices made for TVs, including set-top boxes and 2D/3D graphics accelerators, designed around MIPS Technologies' chip architecture. MIPS and its partners have done the development work on Android to tweak it for use in such devices.

Android was designed to work with Arm processing cores, the most popular cores in smartphones, but some companies have ported Android to other chip processing architectures, including MIPS and Intel's x86 processing architecture.

Facebook Ousts Google As Most Popular Web Site

Facebook has become the most visited site in the US, the first time Google hasn't held the top spot since 2007.

According to internet monitors Hitwise in the week ending March 13 Facebook accounted for 7.07 per cent of web visits, compared to Google's 7.03 per cent.

“The market share of visits to increased 185 per cent last week as compared to the same week in 2009, while visits to increased nine per cent during the same time frame,” said Heather Dougherty, research director at Hitwise, in a blog posting.

“Together and accounted for 14 per cent of all US Internet visits last week. “

Facebook was also the most popular site on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day, as well as the weekend of March 6-7. The last time Google wasn't the most popular site was September 2007, when MySpace displaced it.

Facebook's traffic dipped towards the end of last year but the success of games like Farmville have boosted traffic significantly.

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Microsoft Says, Don't Press the F1 Key In XP

Microsoft has issued a security advisory warning users not to press the F1 key in Windows XP, owing to an unpatched bug in VBScript discovered by Polish researcher Maurycy Prodeus. The security advisory says that the vulnerability relates to the way VBScript interacts with Windows Help files when using Internet Explorer, and could be triggered by a user pressing the F1 key after visiting a malicious Web site using a specially crafted dialog box.

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