Technology

The business and culture of our digital lives,
from the L.A. Times

« Previous Post | Technology Home | Next Post »

Google Xistence isn't real, but it's pretty funny and not a phishing scam (despite what Google says)

January 26, 2010 |  6:37 pm

Links to a bogus website called Google Xistence have been making the rounds today. The tagline: "Life is hard. Let Google live it for you."

The site resembles a Google product page, complete with YouTube instructional video, and purports to let users plug in their Facebook, Twitter and blog log-in credentials. The service supposedly lets Google live your social life for you -- so you can "play World of Warcraft or Tower Defense."

A Google spokesman confirmed what we had already suspected. "Google is not affiliated in any way with that site," he wrote in an e-mail.

The prankster behind Xistence, Philipp Drössler, didn't run with the hoax for very long. He immediately tweeted a link on the bogus @googlabs account he set up pointing to The Next Web's blog post titled "Google Xistence: We wish it was real."

But Google gave him a metaphorical slap in the face by listing the site on its practically ubiquitous phishing list. The second- and third-most-popular browsers, Firefox and Chrome, ping Google's list when users navigate to a Web page.

In response, Drössler wrote on the joke Twitter page: "Xistence is not a real product, and not related in any way to Google. Neither am I. Also, this was neither a scam nor a phishing attempt."

The site contains what looks like a box for a Google user name and password. It's an illusion. Visitors couldn't input text even if they tried.

Was Google's branding of the site with a scarlet letter an honest mistake or smack for the prank? The Google spokesman wouldn't say, writing in an e-mail, "I'm not able to comment on sites that are not affiliated with Google."

Either way, Google should hire this guy for its next April Fool's gag.

-- Mark Milian
twitter.com/markmilian

Comments 

Advertisement










Video