An anonymous reader writes: Google’s Gmail service went down for about 20 minutes on Monday. That was annoying, but not exactly unprecidented. These sorts of outages happen all the time. What was strange is that the Gmail outage coincided with widespread reports that Google’s Chrome browser was also crashing. Late Monday, Google engineer Tim Steele confirmed what developers had been suspecting. The crashes were affecting Chrome users who were using another Google web service known as Sync, and that Sync and other Google services — presumably Gmail too — were clobbered Monday when Google misconfigured its load-balancing servers.
... Steele wrote in a developer discussion forum, a problem with Google’s Sync servers kicked off an error on the browser, which made Chrome abruptly shut down on the desktop. 'It’s due to a backend service that sync servers depend on becoming overwhelmed, and sync servers responding to that by telling all clients to throttle all data types,' Steele said. That 'throttling' messed up things in the browser, causing it to crash.