NewsBlaze.com seemed to be loading slowly this morning. Turns out it was because my other PC was uploading a video. But it made me do a traceroute to see if there was a problem between here and the server in the data center.
I always do at least two traces. One to the domain I really want to test, and one to google. This gives me an indication where the problem lies. If the google trace is as slow as the other trace, then the problem is likely to be closer to me. If it is significantly faster, then my connection is not likely to be at fault.
But what I saw in the google trace this morning was disturbing. The trace should have said the destination was google.com, but instead it said nuq04s01-in-f103.1e100.net
I thought my DNS had been hijacked, sending my google searches to some other site, but further investigation showed google owns 1e100.net. I’d never seen this before, but further investigation turns up more interesting information.
1e100 is actually a symbolic way of saying a “googol,” which is 10100 which is the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes.
According to PCMech, google has been using the 1e100.net domain for youtube and other lookups for at least six months, but this is the first time I’ve seen it.
It is a bit disturbing to see it used for hosting google search, when I was expecting to see google.com returned by the trace. It seems that people have blocked access to 1e100.net from time to time, but if google is now using it to host its search engine, then those people might find they can’t reach Google at all.
So it seems I am a bit behind the times on 1e100.net, but I still don’t like the idea of google.com using ugly PTR records for google search.