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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Google’s Argentina site was briefly owned by a web designer: here’s how

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A 30-year-old web designer briefly legally owned the Google Argentina domain name for a paltry sum of ARS 270 (Argentine pesos, around Rs.215) while the site was down for nearly two hours in the country, and he said he couldn’t believe “what just happened”. Concerned that something might happen to him, he quickly tweeted about it to clarify how the events unfolded, according to a media report. Nicolas Kurona told the UKTN that last week he had received numerous messages indicating that the search engine was down. When checking out he found that it didn’t work.

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He said he was working at his office on the outskirts of Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires, designing a website for a client, when he started receiving messages on WhatsApp indicating that Google’s site was down. When he tried to enter www.google.com.ar it didn’t work.

Thinking that “something strange” was going on, he decided to check with the Network Information Center (NIC), Argentina. On his website, he searched Google and surprisingly found that the company’s Argentina domain was available for purchase. Unsure if it would work, he followed the steps to purchase the domain, and when the process was complete, he received a purchase invoice for ARS 270 on his email. Nicolas shared the bill with the UKTN. Nicholas said he had no bad intentions, he just tried to buy the domain and the NIC cleared it. He also posted a tweet in Spanish, clarifying what had happened. Translated into English, the tweet states: “I want to clarify that I entered http://nic.ar. I saw that the name of http://google.com.ar was available and I bought it legally! “

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The tweet got 80,000 likes, but Nicholas says he has yet to get back the money he spent to buy the domain, according to the BBS report.

Google Argentina confirmed the news, saying its domain was acquired by someone else “for a short time” but control was quickly regained. It’s still unclear why Google’s domain name was available for purchase, but the company said it was investigating the matter.

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We’re diving into everything Apple – iPad Pro, iMac, Apple TV 4K, and AirTag – this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.


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