Google has reintroduced their Google Desktop with a vengeance. It was evil enough the first time around, but this time it’s downright scary. My original complaint was that Google Desktop ignores basic practices amongst RSS readers for saving bandwidth on the sites it is polling. It was pinging my site every 5 minutes asking for updates without caching the results and thus was using an unreasonable proportion of my bandwidth.

Since a new version was recently released,  I decided to try it out to see if the issue had been fixed since I sent them mail. I installed Fiddler to monitor the traffic of the application and what I found out surprised me a great deal. Google Desktop not only pings sites every 5 minutes in a manner inconsiderate of their bandwidth but it also does so without the users direction. Below is a screenshot of some of the HTTP traffic generated by Google Desktop

The highlighted requests are requests to URLs of Atom & RSS feeds that were in my browser cache by Google Desktop. I did not configure the application to fetch these feeds. So not only does Google Desktop flood websites with feed requests in a manner bordering on the behavior of a malicious application, it also does this automatically without the end user explicitly subscribing to the feed.

That's messed up.