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Google Terminates Six Services

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the hasta-la-vista,-baby dept.

Google 195

Jonah Bomber writes with this excerpt from Information Week: "In addition to Google's announcements about the elimination of 100 recruiting positions and the shutdown of offices in Austin, Texas; Trondheim, Norway; and Lulea, Sweden, the company said it would close Dodgeball, Google Catalog Search, Google Mashup Editor, Google Notebook, and Jaiku. It also said it's discontinuing the ability to upload videos to Google Video. ... Jaiku, however, will live on as an open source project. Gundotra said that Google engineers have been porting the microblogging service to Google App Engine and that when the migration is completed, the company plans to make the code available under the Apache license."

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Hmm (1)

pugdk (697845) | more than 5 years ago | (#26505783)

I've never heard of the other ones, but Google Notebook have come in handy plenty of times.

Sad that Google feel the need to close down these services, I mean... how much man power could it really cost just to keep them running?

Re:Hmm (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26505801)

You can still use it! See http://googlenotebookblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/stopping-development-on-google-notebook.html [blogspot.com] "Starting next week, we plan to stop active development on Google Notebook. This means we'll no longer be adding features or offer Notebook for new users. But don't fret, we'll continue to maintain service for those of you who've already signed up."

Re:Hmm (5, Interesting)

htnmmo (1454573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506937)

I was recently looking over Google's AdSense revenues and noticed that they were quite low.

While their own site's earnings have been growing, the earnings of their AdSense publishers has leveled off.

The cut they take from AdSense revenues has also gotten smaller and smaller. I was wondering if Google might abandon AdSense [howtonotma...online.com] all together because of it.

What's probably keeping AdSense alive is the $500 million they keep in the bank because of their net 60 payment terms and because people don't get paid until they reach $100.

Half a billion dollar hit wouldn't look nice.

Seems like they're working on improving the results in that area, but these other services just couldn't be monetized properly.

It's nice though. If Google were to give every service online away for free, it would leave little room for other developers to grab a piece off the (shrinking?) pie.

Suggestions for alternative to Google Notebook? (2, Funny)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26505799)

I know about Evernote (from previous postings here), are there others which are worthwhile?

A pity, as I had wanted to aggregate the exposure of personal info to Google....

Re:Suggestions for alternative to Google Notebook? (1)

Evanisincontrol (830057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506191)

UberNote [ubernote.com] isn't half bad. It doesn't maintain separate "notebooks" like gNotebook and Evernote do, but it does support tagging. It also does some cool importing from all kinds of services (including gNotebook), and you can send updates to it from AIM, an iPhone, and possibly others.

Re:Suggestions for alternative to Google Notebook? (2, Informative)

darrylo (97569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506251)

Well, I'm a big fan of Evernote, and so I strongly recommend that you check it out, While it's not identical to Google Notebook, the searching and offline capabilities are really nice. The Evernote folks are supposedly working on a Google Notebook to Evernote migration path.

That said, if you don't like Evernote, I think the closest match to Google Notebook is Zoho Notebook, which is part of the Zoho online suite: http://notebook.zoho.com/ [zoho.com] . It even has a Firefox plugin, although I've never used it.

Also, if you're paranoid about your personal information, Microsoft's OneNote is a decent standalone note-taking program. I don't think there's any web access, but you should be able to access the same notebook files on multiple PCs, via online storage providers like DropBox or JungleDisk.

Re:Suggestions for alternative to Google Notebook? (4, Interesting)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26507447)

The similarity between http://notebook.zoho.com/ [zoho.com] and the usual Google login pages is strong enough to qualify as phishing...

Re:Suggestions for alternative to Google Notebook? (1)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506577)

not having used it but just went to look at it i can't say if this is a viable alternative. What about just using Google Docs?

Highlights one of the problems.. (5, Insightful)

onion2k (203094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26505805)

This just highlights one of the negative aspects of using services out there on the net - if it's not running on your physical hardware it can be closed when the company decides it's not profitable to carry on with it. In the case of these services I doubt there's anyone relying on them to do business, but that definitely isn't the case for things that run in the various compute clouds, or small companies migrating to things like Google Docs, GMail or Google Calendar.

I wouldn't run anything business critical on something I couldn't replace very easily.

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26505879)

I wouldn't run anything business critical on something I couldn't replace very easily.

Does that actually apply to any of the services you mentioned? GMail provides POP and IMAP access. Calendar exports to .ics, and syncs with various programs. And with Docs, you can quickly download your files as a ZIP full of HTML files.

Indeed, it would be crazy to use any kind of service (paid or not) for something important and not make your own backups. But Google, at least in recent years, has done a pretty good job of allowing this.

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (1)

nicc777 (614519) | more than 5 years ago | (#26505889)

It would be nice to see actual numbers - like how many people used Notebook on a day to day bases. Somehow they must be able to justify the actions only if they know the true impact. I agree that from a business point of view it would not be wise to rely on these services, but how many individual users found these services useful? And for them to point out that we should rather ise Docs? No - I kinda liked my little FF plugin for taking quick notes. O well - I see at least we can still use notebook for some time to come.

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (5, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26505915)

This just highlights one of the negative aspects of using services out there on the net - if it's not running on your physical hardware it can be closed when the company decides it's not profitable to carry on with it. In the case of these services I doubt there's anyone relying on them to do business, but that definitely isn't the case for things that run in the various compute clouds, or small companies migrating to things like Google Docs, GMail or Google Calendar.

In the case of gmail and those apps, since it's out for domains that actually pay Google for the service - I suppose the risk isn't as severe at all and I would definitely recommend using Google to host school email (not all business for other reasons) as it can save a lot of money and provide much better end user experience.

It's about calculated risk and perspective. The specific google services you mentioned are very low risk of being discontinued. The actual ones being discontinued had good reasons: Google Video was redundant with Google owning youtube. Google notebook seems redundant with Google Docs imo. I don't know enough about the others, but they are not in the same league as gmail, which probably is almost as important to google as is its search in some ways.

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (4, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506163)

"I would definitely recommend using Google to host school email (not all business for other reasons) as it can save a lot of money and provide much better end user experience."

I would recommend against it, and I would be adamant about it. GMail's service is terrible; every few days, I get IMAP errors, usually along the lines of, "Cannot open mailbox," and occasionally a login failure (despite the fact that my username and password are stored and reused by my email client). School email can require the same level of reliability and availability as business email, at least at the college level: financial aid notices, graduate school applications, job applications, etc. Being unable to access your email can be a serious problem, and frankly, Google's service has not shown itself to be reliable enough for anything beyond irrelevant personal emails.

There are free-as-in-beer email servers, even for very high volumes of mail, that any competent IT staff could maintain with minimal effort and better reliability than GMail. How much money do you think GMail would save? Is that amount of money actually worth the hassle of dealing with GMail?

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (3, Informative)

yashachan (1422227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506339)

So far as I can tell, gmail is more reliable than my university's email.

Then again, these are the same guys who destroyed one of my professor's laptops when trying to install Visual Studio Pro.

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (3, Funny)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506461)

To be fair, my university's IT staff is incompetent. They thought that it was a good idea to set up a firewall to block SSL access to POP3, leave open unencrypted POP3 access, and then actually ADVISE people who had problems with the VPN (which is another disaster born from their incompetence) to just use the unencrypted port. I reported this problem, then reported it again with an explanation of why it is a problem, and they have refused to fix it.

In my original post, I should have emphasized that any competent IT staff could keep a mail server up and running.

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (2)

yashachan (1422227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26507475)

Competence in IT staff would be nice. Then they might also realize that a mail system running on the Linux servers they already have is cheaper than running Exchange.

My school's IT staff also has problems with secure email access. When we were on Lotus, we had to use the Lotus Notes client or the web-based deal to get a secure connection (if we used something like Thunderbird, our password was sent in a plain text file). They haven't fixed that with Exchange, either; the only secure email access is through Outlook or Outlook Web Access. At least the web-based Lotus Notes wasn't crippled in Firefox/non-IE browser. :\

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (1)

mrbooze (49713) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506867)

There are free-as-in-beer email servers, even for very high volumes of mail, that any competent IT staff could maintain with minimal effort and better reliability than GMail. How much money do you think GMail would save? Is that amount of money actually worth the hassle of dealing with GMail?

According to a Forester report, they estimate that it costs on average $25.18 per month per user to provide email services in-house, compared to $8.47 for Gmail.

Interestingly, most people couldn't actually guess what the real cost of providing email services in-house was, many guessing $2-11 per user.

The upshot of Forester's analysis was that up to around 15,000 users, it could be substantially cheaper to outsource email as an infrastructure service.

Admittedly, there can be a lot more to the calculations though. Depending on your business needs or industry, you could have regulatory or compliance requirements that might interfere with an outsourced solution if the vendor can't meet those requirements.

The Forester report: http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/Excerpt/0,7211,46302,00.html [forrester.com]

Arstechnica report on the report: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20090108-report-gmail-about-one-third-as-expensive-as-hosted-e-mail.html [arstechnica.com]

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (1)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 5 years ago | (#26507029)

I have 50 accounts for 20 or so users spread across 4 domains that use google apps for domains. Although google apps is not perfect, I have never once heard of the kind of issues you are describing. I would posit that the issue is your client.

However, I agree that google apps is not appropriate for a large organization such as a school. It works for us because we are small enough that simply relying on individual email users to back up their gmail accounts once a week in case google should go bankrupt is more cost effective than anything else. The uptime that we have had from google apps is better than anything we can do in house for a similar price.

Hosted Exchange? (1)

Zerelli (579376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26507177)

Hosted Exchange costs $10 per month per mailbox or so and you get all the features of an Exchange server plus the virus loading.....err features of Outlook. It is pretty cheap and I was wondering why I do not hear about more people using this type of service?

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26507335)

I have used for my small business email server: 1) $8/mo hosting from multiple, well-rated hosting companies; 2) exchange server in our office; and 3) google apps. Google apps does give me some errors.. but less errors than I ever had with paid hosting or exchange.

If your business can't afford a $3k/month + internet connection, IMHO I think Google apps is great.

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26507437)

I seem to get those IMAP errors more frequently than that.

I use the built-in email app in my Nokia N95 to access my email. If I leave it connected all day, I'll usually find that it's had a connection error and stopped checking at some point. I can't remember the last time I didn't have to reconnect manually at least once.

Of course, this is compounded by the stupid decision by Nokia engineers to not attempt to reconnect after a failure.

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (2, Insightful)

stickyc (38756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26507101)

Google notebook seems redundant with Google Docs imo.

I disagree. As a Google Notebook user, I found it very fast and easy to access. The cost (in clicks) of getting into a Google doc and organizing said doc after is much higher than with Notebook, plus there was an integrated FF plugin that made it very useful for clipping pages.

While Google's statement is "no new development", I think odds are that it will be shuttered completely within 24 months as other notebook services' (Evernote, Zoho) feature sets become compelling enough for existing GNotebook users to migrate, thus lessening the outcry when Google does pull the plug.

I'm sad that they're closing it down, but if you've got to end a service, this is a good course of action.

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26505925)

I suppose the more accurate version of this is that there is always a risk in using 'free' services out there on the net. If you can't understand how a company is making money, there is probably a high risk of the company not being around forever. Twitter, Facebook, etc are all high-risk locations to store data.

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26506025)

Agreed. Two rules of thumb. 1. Never have one of anything 2. Never install anything that cannot be reversed within reason.

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506069)

This isn't unique to 'services on the net'. Services -anywhere- are subject to this. Nothing has changed.

What you really mean is 'software running on computers you don't control.'

As as someone already pointed out, this is less of a problem for people who are paying for their service, rather than getting them for free.

So what you really mean is 'software that you don't pay for, running on computers you don't control.'

Why is it such a big surprise that it could go away?

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26506775)

I think that was exactly his point. It shouldn't be a surprise. But some people are idiots [slashdot.org] and do find it surprising.

Even if you pay, you are at risk of catastrophe... (1)

Crazy Taco (1083423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26507387)

As as someone already pointed out, this is less of a problem for people who are paying for their service, rather than getting them for free.

I really don't think this lessens the problem that much though. Just because you are paying doesn't mean the service will last. What you really have to depend on is whether a lot of OTHERS are paying as well. They don't care if they have a paying customer or two if the service overall isn't profitable. They'll still shut it down.

And even if it is a profitable service, is the company as a whole profitable? Because you aren't protected from companies going belly up (which they might, if other services they offer are unprofitable enough). Sure, Google is probably not in danger at the moment, but even long companies with storied histories may go bankrupt and take even the services people pay for down with them. The current downturn ought to be evidence enough of that, as quite a few 100+ year old companies have suddenly died.

And as another example of this, consider the big three automakers. I bought a car from Chrysler in January 2008, and a big part of our choice of car was that they were offering a lifetime powertrain warranty. That's a service they provide that obviously I (and a lot of others) pay for, and it's probably profitable (if they have the reliability they claim) since it sells more of their cars, but might that service get shut down on me? Might it get shut down on me even before a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty would have? It might if they go belly up.

So that's at least one reason I would never put anything business critical in the cloud... no matter what you pay, and no matter how great your company is at business, if the other company isn't managing itself as well as your company is then you are just one economic downturn from losing all your data. And that should be pretty sobering to anyone.

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (1)

spisska (796395) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506095)

This just highlights one of the negative aspects of using services out there on the net - if it's not running on your physical hardware it can be closed when the company decides it's not profitable to carry on with it.

Sort of. It looks like these are all getting canned because they're not really used. This is a good thing. You don't want to be spending a lot of time and resources on products that are unused, half-baked, and for which there's no realistic plan. There is a lesson here for Redmond.

It seems to me that while the specific products may be shutting down, the engineering and code is getting folded back into Google's more core products, like Apps. This is also a good thing.

In the case of these services I doubt there's anyone relying on them to do business, but that definitely isn't the case for things that run in the various compute clouds, or small companies migrating to things like Google Docs, GMail or Google Calendar.

Unless I'm mistaken, you can run Google Apps (Mail, Docs, Calendar, etc) on your own hardware with your own storage if you want. But the point is that at a certain complexity, it's easier and cheaper to have Google manage your mail infrastructure than to do it yourself. You can still keep a local archive, or even a local mirror.

Yes, there are risks and drawbacks to any hosted service. But our Exchange system now is creaking under its own weight, fails to backup shockingly often, and is down more than 99.9% monthly SLA [google.com] that Google Apps offers. Scaling up the Exchange server would require a significant cash outlay, and I'm not convinced it would be any cheaper over the lifetime of the system.

I'm in operations, not IT, so it's not my decision to make. But I have got our IT manager looking into it, mainly by asking her this: When the mail goes down who do you want working on it -- a crew of geniuses in Mountain View or you and your intern?

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (2, Interesting)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506631)

But our Exchange system now is creaking under its own weight, fails to backup shockingly often, and is down more than 99.9% monthly SLA [google.com] that Google Apps offers. Scaling up the Exchange server would require a significant cash outlay, and I'm not convinced it would be any cheaper over the lifetime of the system.

Let me guess, you're still running Exchange 2003?

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (1)

Glendale2x (210533) | more than 5 years ago | (#26507009)

Google's SLA is pretty pointless though. Maximum of 15 days free service at the end of your term that you have to ask for yourself? You might as well not even bother saying they have an SLA. Companies that give money back per X minutes of downtime or allow early term cancellations have a higher incentive to provide better service. (Although this is strictly my personal opinion since I'd rather not give money back.)

But you're right that you could get far cheaper and more reliable service by outsourcing your mail, especially if one is facing existing Exchange problems that require a forklift upgrade that could pay for decades of hosted mail service. Unless you're a really large org (university, fortune 500, etc.) there's little to no financial incentive to running your own mail server these days.

Disclaimer: I run one such mail hosting service that caters to small shops.

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 5 years ago | (#26507339)

Unless I'm mistaken, you can run Google Apps (Mail, Docs, Calendar, etc) on your own hardware with your own storage if you want.

Do you have a reference for this? I was looking for a self-hosted Gmail solution for a long time, and such a thing didn't exist as far as I knew. I've *love* to be able to have the GMail interface, but control the hosting and storage myself. I thought the only "appliance" google made was their search appliance...

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (2, Informative)

twilson94070 (233090) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506109)

I just exported the contents of my google notebook to google docs. That oughta do it! :P

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26506167)

The Cloud, The Cloud, The Cloud. What happens when the sky clears and it always does?

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506173)

No. It doesn't.
At least the risk is about the same, as normal apps even GPL apps.

The same thing happends with legacy apps, in many ways.
You buy an app, you run it the company who produces the app goes out of business, your hardware upgrade make the software incompatible thus you will need to get a new application from someone else with a 50/50 shot of migrating your data. If if it was an open source app that stopped productions for most people who got this app to save money (sorry that is the real reason why people get GPL software not because of freedom as in speech but free as in beer) They are not going to try to make a port of the software for the new platform. They will get a new application, to do the work.

Google has a lot of ways of downloading and backing up its data and you can save them in popular formats too (not necessarily the most geeky) So your risk is really not that much different you will just need to choose will the SaaS service outlast your hardware/software platoform or will your hardware/software platform outlast your SaaS solution.
Also for SaaS solutions don't forget about competition. Remember back in the days when AOL started to loose its popularity, most competing ISP offered services to move all your AOL information to their services. I could see Microsoft offering a service to move all your Google Docs info into Office Live, and vice versa, this in some ways is better then having your app run into legacy status. As you have a quick method of moving your data across platforms. As for other professional SaaS just MAKE SURE YOUR CONTRACT HAS A POLICY THAT ALLOWS YOU GET ALL YOUR DATA IN A UNIVERSALLY READABLE FORMAT yes people can make contracts, and get what they want from them.

I wouldn't run anything business critical on something I couldn't replace very easily.
In theory it is a good idea however lets if you can look at it in a money perspective. You use Google Services for 5 years it saves $100,000 in expenses during those 5 years. It goes down you get your data (as you are smart enough to get your data as it is a feature it has, to give you your data) then you get a new service and you need to write an import method to put it back. Say it takes you 6 month (Usually a lot less) and you are getting 50k a year so it cost the company $40k (by adding in benefit costs) for you to import the data to the new service. So the company still saved $60,000 during those 5 years.
For making smart business decisions you need to balance the value of the short terms savings, vs. worse case expense, try to find ways of minimizing your worse case.
Lets say I read and believe every word of RMS so now SaaS is pure evil. So I went to using an Open Source LDAP, Open Office, and Email Server at my own location. Then we get a fire at our location, or our server crashed hard and our backup tapes we reused them one to many times, or things got so busy we didn't backup. You are in the same boat as the SaaS going out of business all your important data is gone. Chances are especially form a small company you will not have best practices for data management like google will have, thus it is more possible that you will loose all your data, or a good chunk of it much more often then it would for google, or the chance that the service will stop with no way to get your data out.

In theory it is safer to have your data where you can control it. But in practice it is usually not true, because the theory expect you to be just as good as the other guys. But you normally have more to do then the other guys. At your shop you have a lot of responsibilities as a big SaaS shop there are people working just to make sure your data is safe.

Holy karma whoring, Batman (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26506349)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodgeball_(service) [wikipedia.org]
Dodgeball: Social networking site built specifically for use on mobile phones. Users text their location to the service, which then notifies them of crushes, friends, friends' friends and interesting venues nearby.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Catalog_Search [wikipedia.org]
Search engine for over 6,600 print catalogs, which are acquired through Optical character recognition.

http://code.google.com/intl/de-DE/gme/ [google.com]
Google Mashup Editor is an AJAX development framework and a set of tools that enable developers to quickly and easily create simple web applications and mashups with Google services like Google Maps and Google Base. Google Mashup Editor is a great tool for grabbing information from feeds and letting users see and manipulate it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Mashup_Editor [wikipedia.org]
Google Mashup Editor is an online mashup creation service created by Google.
Currently it is a limited test service and access is restricted to a small number of developers.
It is a direct competition for Yahoo! Pipes and Microsoft Popfly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Notebook [wikipedia.org]
Google Notebook is a free online application offered by Google that provides a simple way to save and organize clips of information when conducting research online. This personal browser tool permits a user to write notes, and to clip text, images, and links from pages during browsing. These are saved to an online "notebook" with sharing and collaboration features.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaiku [wikipedia.org]
Jaiku is a social networking, micro-blogging and lifestreaming service comparable to Twitter.[1] Jaiku was founded in February 2006 by Jyri Engeström[2] and Petteri Koponen from Finland[3] and launched in July of that year. It was purchased by Google on October 9, 2007.[4] Getting an account on the site requires an invite from an existing user. All users, including new ones, have an infinite number of invites.

note that you can still signup for google notebook apparently, only developement has stopped

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (1)

ArgumentBoy (669152) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506359)

I had the same thought. Anyone trying to offer these sorts of services has to begin by saying exactly what will happen if the company/service disappears. Users have to be guaranteed not just forewarning but some automatic backup and change in provider/service (just in case you're in Africa or someplace for a month when all your documents are scheduled to disappear). Actually Google would have been the perfect provider-of-last-resort...up until last week. Who guards the guards?

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 5 years ago | (#26507109)

I think if you want that provider-of-last-resort, you need to be willing to pay for it. I'm sure with some scripting you could automate the process of regularly backing up your important data from these services to (hopefully multiple) online "failsafe" storage sites via scp or whatever. Having multiple, redundant back up sites guards against a catastrophe if they are far enough apart.

As for online services that don't charge their users, I would say you use them at your own risk, and entrust the longevity of your data to the provider at your own peril.

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506695)

to me the issue is not he application, but the data. for instance long ago i used an app names eudora was used for mail, then it began to move to a new license model, and I moved away from it. This was not an issue because the data was on my machine, and it was in a known format. The same goes for my move to OO.org from MS.

Certainly the use of such online applications should be used with the knowledge that that data may not be available. For video uploads, and one off notes, that is not a big deal. These services seem to be for data of minimal importance. But it is another warning to keep track of ones own data.

Re:Highlights one of the problems.. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26507143)

It only highlights the problem of using FREE net services.

If you pay for hosting ( or self host ) and host your own custom webapps, its not an issue.

Let me fix that for you... (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26507311)

This just highlights one of the negative aspects of using free services out there on the net...

If you're paying for a service, it's not going to get summarily canceled without adequate notice, a refund, etc. But of course, as with most things, you get what you pay for.

Jaiku? Open source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26505809)

Gee, if they open source Jaiku does that mean they'd actually let people sign up for it? Nobody's been allowed into Jaiku since Google bought it.

Export your data? (1)

nicc777 (614519) | more than 5 years ago | (#26505819)

At least I can see Google Notebook allows you to export your data to Docs. But will everybody be so lucky with all the other little tit-bits of information lying around?

Uploads longer than 10:59? (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26505825)

It also said it's discontinuing the ability to upload videos to Google Video.

And Google's other video upload service has a 10 minute and 59 second limit. Now where are longer videos without a distinct stopping point, such as a play-through of a video game level, supposed to get uploaded? Vimeo doesn't want gaming videos either.

Re:Uploads longer than 10:59? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26505891)

Maybe nobody cares about your gaming videos? And maybe it is because of junk like that they are closing it down?

Well if nobody's watching them (0)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26505949)

then the bandwidth bill is close to 0. It's not like hard drives are expensive those days.

Re:Well if nobody's watching them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26507005)

No, not expensive if you are just buying one or two, but when you've got thousands of twits uploading their "uber cool" playing of some stupid video game, the expense per drive (which is still > 0) adds up.

Really, how pathetic can you be to think someone cares?

Re:Uploads longer than 10:59? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26505945)

Buy cheap webhosting, use Flowplayer (or similar), and assemble a simple website. Done and done, for about $10-15/mo for reasonably high traffic.

I don't know how the web has gotten so centralized. Wikipedia, Google, YouTube...it's dangerous to rely on these and expect them to do everything. Carve out your own corner of the web, and create your own rules.

Re:Uploads longer than 10:59? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26506291)

Thanks but I'd rather just sign up to Google Apps and let them mess with the web details while I get on with my work.

Re:Uploads longer than 10:59? (2, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506293)

I don't know how the web has gotten so centralized.

Its pretty obvious why it got centralized. End users never had the necessary upstream bandwidth, often weren't even allowed to run their own servers, didn't have machines up 24/7, didn't have the knowledge to build their own webpages, didn't want to spend money to rent their own servers, etc. Add to that, that centralized content specific servers provide much better search and user interface then a random collection of pages on the web and it becomes pretty obvious why the web is the way it is today.

Re:Uploads longer than 10:59? (1)

EdZ (755139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506123)

Documentaries too. Where else would you be able to find an easily accessible copy of Hyperland [google.com] , for example, without it being split into several parts or requiring a full download?

Re:Uploads longer than 10:59? (1)

edumacator (910819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506155)

Now where are longer videos without a distinct stopping point, such as a play-through of a video game level, supposed to get uploaded?

I don't know if this is what they had in mind, but...http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/01/14/2126204 [slashdot.org]

Re:Uploads longer than 10:59? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26506839)

Vimeo doesn't want gaming videos either.

Nobody wants gaming videos. Watching someone else play through a game is fucking boring. No-one cares that you completed level 17 of Mario 6: Luigi's Spectacles in under 3 minutes.

Re:Uploads longer than 10:59? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26507319)

How about... youtube?

I guess its the economy.. (1)

Arjun G. Menon (1362141) | more than 5 years ago | (#26505835)

Hopefully things will get better soon...

Obscure services (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26505887)

Much of the reason why Google became popular was because of its clean front page. Other search engines like Altavista made you load a pile of superfluous stuff when you just wanted to search. But this has come back to bite Google because unless you hunt them out, you'll never know most of Google's services even exist.

Re:Obscure services (0, Redundant)

echucker (570962) | more than 5 years ago | (#26505991)

Wish I had mod points for you - you're spot on. Can't use it if you don't know it's there.

Re:Obscure services (1)

Auraiken (862386) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506127)

I disagree for the most part, Google services are obscure but the people who want them can and probably will find them, especially if theyre useful. It works out in googles favour for the most part because they can see the real amount of popularity for the products and discontinue as theyre doing now before they waste too much time on it. If it was visible to more people who didnt actually want it you might lure in the few who didnt really know until they tried it but youd also have the people who will just download it once to check it out and leave it alone after that therefore messing with the real stats on usage.

And it isn't like they don't have a page where it displays all the services...

my 2 cents anyways.

Re:Obscure services (5, Insightful)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506397)

Google services are obscure but the people who want them can and probably will find them, especially if theyre useful.

How do you look for something you don't even know exists?

Re:Obscure services (5, Funny)

AndreR (814444) | more than 5 years ago | (#26507057)

How do you look for something you don't even know exists?

You google it?

Re:Obscure services (2, Funny)

wik (10258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26507139)

Clearly this is a problem that can be fixed with appropriate AdWords

Re:Obscure services (3, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506227)

unless you hunt them out, you'll never know most of Google's services even exist.

Indeed. And that's a big issue with some of their better services.

For example, initially, I was really panicking as I read this headline, as I tend to rely on some google services a lot. Thankfully, re-reading showed that they're only cancelling "six" services, not their sex services.

Re:Obscure services (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506383)

Have you bothered to look on the upper left side of the Google front page, where those services are clearly linked?

Really, it's all there. Has it gotten to the point where we need huge flashing animated banners with sound for people to find out about services on a website?

Simple links are enough for me, and vastly preferred.

Re:Obscure services (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506929)

Have you bothered to look on the upper left side of the Google front page, where those services are clearly linked?

Really, it's all there.

They aren't all there. Grandcentral is not listed there. And that's just the first one I thought to check for.

Google notebook! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26505923)

I use that! What am i going to use now? pastebin?

Its first recession. (0)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26505939)

And Google does the same as all the other companies do, lay off a bunch of people.
I don't think we are going to see the same google after the recession is over.
Employees knowing their jobs could be at risk may be more fearful of taking risks or speaking out. Plus feeling more like a necessary expense vs an asset that may not have reach full potential will hurt too.

In hind site (tough I have always felt it) google should taken a more pragmatic view of hiring, not trying to make it a huge boom, like they did. Or find a simple way of automating who is a good fit or not, with a stupid online form asking all these crazy questions about you your political beliefs, open source projects etc... They should have stuck to the slower process of Cover letter and Resume, have people read them put them into the correct job bucket and have other people read them. Then call up the person and schedule an interview(s) It is a much slower process, But slow is sometimes a good thing. When google got where it is now they could have just did a hiring freeze and will be doing as well as it is now. Jerky boom and bust behavior is not a good business plan.
I know google has been a great success but like most successes there is a large factor of luck, the right idea at the right time, at the right place with the right people.
Chances are if Google started a year to early or to late it just may not have been successful. Many of the best business men are running companies that no one has heard of. They are making profit and they are making good money, when a recession hits they are sill making profit and good money. They may not be pinging radar, the CEO may not be the ultra charismatic leader, but just a pragmatic office manager of sorts. There are companies that have had triple digit growth have huge number of people working for them and never make it to the news.

Re:Its first recession. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26506041)

There are companies that have had triple digit growth have huge number of people working for them and never make it to the news.

Care to give some examples? I'd like to invest!

Re:Its first recession. (1)

ranok (1236468) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506061)

Google *needs* a way to trim down the number of resumes it gets, unless it wants to hire 100s more HR folks. They have for each given semester or summer, a stack of resumes (after the automated sorting) about 10' tall (mind you, this is just for interns). Can you imagine sorting through a 1000 resumes a day just to keep up? I think Google knows data mining, and should use it to it's fullest potential!

Re:Its first recession. (4, Informative)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506161)

some more interesting reading today Why Google Employees Quit [techcrunch.com]

mo3 up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26505957)

be a cock-sucking very sick and its but now they're please moderate they're gone Mac you to join the 'first post' 'doing something' won't be standing Enjoy the loud Work that you area. It is the In time. For all cuntwipes Jordan I read t4e latest Theo de Raadt, one polite to bring appeared...saying Lite is straining And exciting;

Alternatives for Google Notebook? (3, Interesting)

GraphiteCube (1437703) | more than 5 years ago | (#26505979)

I have quite a number of bookmarks and notes stored in Google Notebook, I wonder if there are similar web-based services available on the net? Actually Google Notebook is very handy, especially when you are not using your computer and want to jot down some notes.

Re:Alternatives for Google Notebook? (1)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506037)

delicious?

Re:Alternatives for Google Notebook? (1)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506079)

Actually Google Notebook is very handy, especially when you are not using your computer and want to jot down some notes.

Maybe I'm missing something, but how exactly are you using Google Notebook without using a computer? Unless Google just released a spiral bound version that I'm not aware of?

Re:Alternatives for Google Notebook? (1)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506287)

I have a few of those. Nice little paper notebooks embossed with the Google logo, given away as promotional items. You can use them anywhere, no computer needed!

But I believe that GraphiteCube was talking about when you're not using your own computer. That is, you're using someone else's, or a public terminal or something. But personally, I'd just send email to myself in that case. Or use my paper Google notebook. :-)

Re:Alternatives for Google Notebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26506193)

http://notepad.yahoo.com/ and http://bookmarks.yahoo.com/

Re:Alternatives for Google Notebook? (4, Informative)

darrylo (97569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506337)

Actually Google Notebook is very handy, especially when you are not using your computer and want to jot down some notes.

If you have an iPhone, Evernote has an app that accesses your online Evernote database.

I used to use Google notebook, which is still nice, but I've since switched to Evernote. I like Evernote because:

  • Searching is much faster.
  • Works offline.
  • Can sync offline databases between multiple PCs (and Macs!).
  • I can access the same database from any web browser (the data is mirrored on Evernote's servers, as well as your PCs and Macs).
  • Works on the iPhone (but data is stored on Evernote's servers, and not on the iPhone, unless you individually marks notes on the iPhone).
  • It's free for light to moderate usage (you get roughly 40MB of notes per month, free).
  • Because searching is fast, I'm now using it for bookmarks. I've migrated all of my del.icio.us bookmarks into it (along with descriptive web page fragments).

Re:Alternatives for Google Notebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26507277)

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10144412-2.html?tag=TOCmoreStories.0

This CNET article features Google Notebook replacements. Including in the comments one which will soon feature an importer.

Please remember that you can continue to use it, and the new searchwiki which replaces it in some ways.

Dear asshats @ google: (-1, Flamebait)

parliboy (233658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26505995)

I teach at a school district where YouTube is blocked. If I want to look up something to show on the fly, Google video is an option; YouTube is not. Discontinuing uploads to Google Video means I use your services less, not more.

Enjoy.

Re:Dear asshats @ google: (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26506019)

Shouldn't you be mad at your school district for blocking youtube instead of google for shutting down a redundant video service?

I just don't see the logic in your rant.

Re:Dear asshats @ google: (1)

Ozymandias_KoK (48811) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506043)

Surely you mean "asshats @ school", who've done a piss-poor and inconsistent job of blocking video sites. Blaming Google for someone else's sloppiness is silly.

Dear parliboy @ slashdot (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506273)

Google doesn't care, they've already evaluated the costs, the benefits, done some analysis and then they probably took an afternoon siesta (it is the Google office, after all.) After juggling the proposals and attaching velcro to them and throwing them at walls to see which one sticks the best, they've determined Google Video is of greater cost than it is benefit. Or that envelope had better velcro. Who knows in this crazy messed up world anymore? However, Google still 3 you, and that's why Google Video will still be accessible. They're going to ween you off it by preventing future uploads, but you'll still be able to watch all those timeless classics.

Enjoy.

Re:Dear parliboy @ slashdot (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506283)

Agh, the 3 needs to be <3.

Re:Dear asshats @ google: (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506419)

I teach at a school district where YouTube is blocked. If I want to look up something to show on the fly, Google video is an option; YouTube is not. Discontinuing uploads to Google Video means I use your services less, not more.

The probable reason Google Video isn't blocked when YouTube is that few people use it. And also- as others have mentioned- that your school either forget to block or couldn't care about Google Video.

BTW, you're a typical example of the Slashdotter tendency to say "I need this..." or "I'd buy something if (yadda yadda) therefore (whoever) should offer that service". You do realise that even if you mean what you say, this translates to a potential market of *one* person. Or on a good day a handful of students at Random High School, Buttfuck, Illinois?

A similar but equally blinkered mistake Slashdotters make is assuming that their personal circumstances, obsessions and/or needs should hold more sway than they do in the market because they represent those of the population in general. Either because it hadn't occurred otherwise to them or because they think they *are* average when they're far from it.

Really? (0, Redundant)

ommmmid (1423511) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506015)

That simple? Really?

Lame (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506023)

I enjoy this product and yeah I can still use it but why bother when it'll never improve and may disappear for me in the near future too?

Google's biggest problem is they have something like Notebook that has real potential but they put zero effort into it and then it's no surprise it's not very popular.

They should focus on search but they should start trying to build up more of a foothold in other areas because there's no guarantee they'll be the top dog forever.

Re:Lame (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506077)

If it took no effort, you should write one yourself and capitalize on it.

Re:Lame (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506189)

Maybe I should.

That said my point wasn't that it took no effort to create but creating something and them more or less letting it sit there to rot isn't a smart thing to do.

Google doesn't promote some of its other services as much as it should. For instance what's the point of buying Orkut and then not promoting it? Unless the whole point was to kill it off for Blogger.

Re:Lame (3, Informative)

flooey (695860) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506269)

Google doesn't promote some of its other services as much as it should. For instance what's the point of buying Orkut and then not promoting it? Unless the whole point was to kill it off for Blogger.

Are you thinking of some other product? Orkut has been a Google service since the beginning, and is one of the top social networks in the world (though not in the United States).

The cloud is BS (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26506117)

How can we trust the "cloud" if it won't be there?

Re:The cloud is BS (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506797)

You shouldn't trust the cloud any more than you do your own hard drive.

The Bubble Burst and Then Some! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26506231)

It just happened... Why the stock price is at a all time low. Wow low stock price = less cash. Time to close doors to alot of sh_it! Oh well! Do not close the doors to search!

Google Terminates Six Services ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26506295)

... surprisingly, Google Search isn't one of them...

Use REAL Open Source Cloud Computing... (1)

onitzuka (1303967) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506355)

Use REAL Open Source Cloud Computing...

Run real Linux apps...

Install it at home, too...

Use Ulteo [ulteo.com] . Check it out for yourself.

hopefully a lesson for google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26506583)

that will teach them to not code for Opera.

and more-so... (1)

binaryseraph (955557) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506611)

They also are shutting down the Double click offices in Denver- that puts another 200 people out to pasture.

Google needs to... (1)

hyperz69 (1226464) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506625)

Google needs to get some of their more POTENTIALLY profit making projects out of Beta or Pre-Beta stage. Like Grand Central. Infinitely useful but it has no adds, no pay anything, and has been in closed Beta since they bought it. I love the service, so why is google not turning it PLUS a number of other project that generate 0 revenue... into profit streams.

Please note I am not saying turn it into a RAPE profit center, but like the way Googles Search or Gmail works... it could Generate SOMETHING to support itself rather then sending it to the glue factory ;)

Significant Phase in the Life of a company (1)

MarkKnopfler (472229) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506663)

I think that the honeymoon is finally over. Google too, will now slowly leave behind the free lunch culture to the inevitable areas of concern --> bottom line and market valuation. The question remains as to whether it will be able to continue with the innovative and creative work culture despite financial concerns.

SaaS (4, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 5 years ago | (#26506755)

This is why Software as a Service is never a good idea. You can have a ton of data stored on that service and it can be discontinued at any time. This is why when I do use Google Docs, I have the data backed up on our own site, and this is also why I won't use Microsoft Live! alternatives to Office.

It is designed to create vendor lock-in. I do not trust the likes of Microsoft to provide a data export option should they decide the service is not working. Thankfully Google has at least up to now been honorable in providing the means to retrieve data even when products have ceased, and provided PLENTY of notice (we knew what, two years ago that Google Video was going to die?) when discontinuation of hosted services were planned.

In light of this. F/OSS and "shared source" solutions you host yourself (or at least have FULL access to not only the data but also the code) is the best solution, and even proprietary/closed-source shrinkwrap software where you have both the software and the data in-house are the best solutions. Even closed-source software with craptivation, er, activation and per-use license verification schemes are vastly superior because should the vendor die, cracking the checks to continue your right of first sale to use the product can still be exercised in the very worst cases.

In this case users are fortunate it's Google services because as stated above Google provides plenty of notice and the means to retrieve data - and in the case of some tools have even have open source so you can continue use of the service in your own hosted environment. Don't expect that to be the case with other SaaS solutions when they are terminated.

Host-it-yourself alternative to Google Notebook? (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 5 years ago | (#26507273)

It's too bad that GNotebook is stopping development. I've seen the usual recommendations of Evernote as a replacement, but I don't want that. I want something complete web-based, and I'm on an Ubuntu desktop so as far as I know the Evernote desktop client won't work. I've heard that the web-based Evernote doesn't have as many features or something.

What I think I really want is something that I can host myself. If I'm depending on a 3rd party to continue it's support, but they fall through, I'm stuck. I don't really want to sign up for *another* online service; it was nice having everything underneath the Google umbrella. Is there anything like Google Notebook out there that supports "web clipping" either by bookmarklet or Firefox extension, that I can install and run on my own php/mysql host? I've looked at some of the personal wikis, something like that might work, too. MediaWiki seems like overkill, though, and securing it so that only I can use it seems like a pain, too.

Any ideas?
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