taken from the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN
May 18, 2007
Google's tiny yet powerful webcrawler was, for a short time, captured earlier this week. The bot which has quietly terrorized the internet since 1998 was accidentally captured by a strapping young Software Engineer late Tuesday evening in North Austin.
The young man, who wishes to remain anonymous due to feared retaliation by Google Inc., seemed a bit spooked when we talked to him, but agreed to tell us his story.
"I never thought this would actually work... And I just want to apologize to Google for any damage, be it physical or psychological, that I may have mistakenly caused to the Googlebot."
After this he began to ramble on about how he actually captured the bot, and the events that led up to bot escaping.
Apparently, the young man had been suspicious of hackers attempting to access his website's database using hijacked webcrawlers. He says that he created a small "finger trap" bash script that was supposed to capture and detain these suspicious bots. After linking to the script from his robots.txt file, the young man waited.
He continues the story, "I guess I had fallen asleep, as I was awakened by the ringing of my cell phone the next morning. It was my boss, just letting me know that I was late to work again... So I jumped in the car, un-showered, in the same clothes from the day before, and left for work. Honestly, I had kind of forgotten about the script I had written the night before. That is, until I got home from work that night, only to find that my website had been down all day. Confused, and a bit pissed off, I headed out to the garage to check if my server had lost power or something. Well, it was powered off, and I could smell what I thought was burning metal. So, I slid the server out of its rack and placed it on the floor. There was a faint sound coming from inside, like something was rattling. I thought maybe it was just a broken fan, so I lifted the lid off, and AHHHH-WTF out jumps a tiny robotic bug!?!"
It was at this point the young man explained that he had fainted, or passed out, right there on his garage floor. The sight of the bot must have either scared him that much, or more likely, the bot was equipped with canisters of a chloroform-like gas, that it released when it was exposed.
The young man, obviously very intelligent, with exceptional street-smarts, says that he is 100% positive that this was the Googlebot. "Nowhere on the bot did I see a Google logo, but I could tell just from it's color, where it came from." He also claims to have log files from his server that show the bot accessing his site immediately before it crashed.
Unfortunately, the bot was able to escape while he was passed out, so we do not have actual physical proof of its existence. However, the young man, who apparently also has a photographic memory, was able to describe every tiny detail of the bot to our staff artist. The artist, using Maya and Maxwell Render was able to put together this exceptional 3D rendering of the Googlebot.
Google Inc. has declined to respond to any questions regarding this article, and claims that the young man is obviously delusional and/or mentally unstable.
You decide for yourself...