Google's Gmail service went down for about 20 minutes on Monday. That was annoying, but not exactly unprecedented. 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. He said that 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.