If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Thursday 8 December 2011

Is iGoogle borked?

I have iGoogle as my homepage. I rely on it for news headlines, Google Reader, bookmarks, mail headers and a whole lot more. In modern terms, it's an important part of my 'online browsing experience'. Today, I get the page top (themed currently to a Gibson SG Special as played by Slowhand, nice) and the bottom bits with half a dozen contacts, and that's it. No middle, no gadgets, no nuffin. If I reload the page, the gadgets appear briefly and then disappear again.

Is it just me, or is Google temporarily borked?


  1. No, I didn't know either. So via Google:

    Etymology 1

    Possibly derived from borken, which is an intentional misspelling of the word broken (e.g. The computer is borken). The word is often used in ironic or humorous contexts.
    Possibly derived from a word used repeatedly by the Swedish Chef of the Muppets. In various skits, the Chef often repeats the phrase bork, bork, bork. The word may refer to the often-failed experiments in the Chef's cooking adventures.

    bork (third-person singular simple present borks, present participle borking, simple past and past participle borked)
    To misconfigure, especially a computer or other complex device.
    To break or damage.

    Etymology 2
    From the 1987 United States Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork.

    bork (third-person singular simple present borks, present participle borking, simple past and past participle borked)
    (US, politics, often pejorative) To defeat a judicial nomination through a concerted attack on the nominee's character, background and philosophy.  

    Usage notes
    Probably the first use of "Bork" in this way was by the National Lampoon Radio Hour in 1973 to describe the firing of Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox by Solicitor General Robert Bork. The meaning, with Bork as the Borker, was subsequently undermined by conservatives using the term as described in the following paragraphs, depicting Bork as an object of Borking.
    William Safire of The New York Times attributes "possibly" the first use of 'Bork' as a verb to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of August 20th, 1987. Safire defines "to bork" by reference "to the way Democrats savaged Ronald Reagan's nominee, the Appeals Court judge Robert H. Bork, the year before." [3] This definition stems from the history of the fight over Bork's nomination. Bork was widely lauded for his competence, but reviled for his political philosophy. In March 2002, the word was added to the Oxford English Dictionary under "Bork"; its definition extends beyond judicial nominees, stating that people who Bork others "usually [do so] with the aim of preventing [a person's] appointment to public office."
    Perhaps the best known use of the verb to bork occurred in July 1991 at a conference of the National Organization for Women in New York City. Feminist Florynce Kennedy addressed the conference on the importance of defeating the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court. She said, "We're going to bork him. We're going to kill him politically. . . . This little creep, where did he come from?"[4] Thomas was subsequently confirmed after one of the most divisive confirmation fights in Supreme Court history.
    See also burke.

    Etymology 3

    bork (plural borks)
    (rugby, informal) an offence which the player thowing in to a line-out moves his arms as if to throw the ball, but does not release it. This incurs an immediate free-kick against the original line-out takers.

    Norwegian Nynorsk

    bork (exterior covering of a tree)
    From Old Norse bǫrkr.
    bork m (definite singular borken; uncountable )
    bark (exterior covering of a tree)
    Borken til treet hadde falle av.
    The bark of the tree had fallen off.
    cortex (outer layer of an internal organ or body structure)

  2. Yes, yes. But Derf, you are not being helpful.

    (Interesting- I didn't know half of that.)

  3. I use iGoogle in exactly the same way, Richard.
    All gadgets present and correct today. Everything behaving normally.
    Probably just you.
    Don't suppose that's too helpful either.

  4. Thanks, Peter. It's curious: my normal Google page appears, but only for a second. Then all the gadgets disappear, even though the theme header and the sidebar material are there. If it was a normal application, I would just re-install it, but I'm not sure you can do that with Google. I'll try a couple of other accounts next, and see if they are misbehaving too.

  5. As a public service + voluntary guinea pig, I've just set up iGoogle & it seems OK.

    Maybe the high winds are affecting its distribution into the far extremities of SW Wales?

    Have you cleared your Cache? Shut down your browser, logged off, & restarted the PC?

  6. Joe, that's very thoughtful of you :) I did all that to no avail, and it was happening with my other Google/gmail accounts too. But on Anna's Mac everything was fine. In the end I disabled the Google Tab Remover add-on, and everything works fine. I've had the add-on, er, added-on for about a year now, so why it decided to start playing silly buggers today I have no idea.

    Strangely, the annoying tabs to the left of the Google homepage (which GTR gets rid of) are still missing, and I am getting a lot of messages about 'new looks' and so on. My guess is that Google have fixed the annoying additional tabs which there was a lot of bad feedback about, and this has borked the add-on.

    All's well, and thank you all for your input.

  7. Richard

    If it's not too late, I counsel against going for Foogle's New Look in Reader. IMHO It's the pits, & un-reversible.

  8. Bloody keyboard entry mechanism - it's pits in Google's Reader too.

  9. I have resisted the 'new' Firefox, as I wasn't keen when I 'upgraded' and reinstalled the old version while it was still available for download. And I feel the same about any 'improvements' that Google deems fit to introduce. The irreversibility is a problem - they know best, and all that. Thanks for the warning.

    I thought 'Foogle' was a joke, like Micro$oft. Shame it was a typo.

  10. Mine is doing the same thing for the past two days only. Disabled Google Tab Remover and it's fixed! Thanks, Richard. I'd have never thought of that.

  11. Glad to help, Jeanne. It was a bit of luck, really. Rather then reinstall FF, I just started disabling the add-ons one by one, and that was the most obvious place to start. Welcome to the blog.


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