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Ask Slashdot: Which Google Project Didn't Deserve To Die?

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the too-soon dept.

Google 383

Nerval's Lobster writes "When Google announced the shutdown of Google Reader, its popular RSS reader, it sparked significant outrage across the Web. While one could argue that RSS readers have declined in popularity over the past few years (in fact, that was Google's stated reason for killing it), they remain a useful tool for many people who want to collect their Web content—articles, blog postings, and the like—in one convenient place. (Fortunately for them, there exist any number of alternative RSS readers, some of which offer even more features than Google Reader.) This wasn't the first time that Google announced a project's imminent demise, and it certainly won't be the last: Google Buzz, Google Health, Google Wave, Google Labs, and other software platforms all ended up in the dustbin of tech history. So here's the question: of all those projects, which didn't deserve the axe? If you had a choice, which would you bring back?"

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383 comments

Google Weather API (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203221)

How I miss thee...

Nexus Q (4, Informative)

mystikkman (1487801) | about a year ago | (#43203339)

I don't know why they killed the Nexus Q.
http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/05/the-google-nexus-q-is-baffling/ [nytimes.com]

If you’re having friends over, and they, too, have Android phones, and they, too, have bought songs from Google’s music store, then they can add their own songs to your Q’s queue.

Sounds interesting in theory. In practice, there’s a lot of spontaneity-killing setup. You have to go into Settings to turn on the feature. Then you have to invite your friend to participate by — get this — sending an e-mail message. Then your friend has to download the Nexus Q app.

If you or the friend then taps the name of a song in your online Google account, it starts playing immediately, rather than being added to the queue as you’d expect. A Google rep explained to me that you’re not supposed to tap a song to add it to the playlist; you have to use a tiny pop-up menu to add it. More bafflement.

Sounds like a great party addon!

Re:Nexus Q (4, Informative)

sootman (158191) | about a year ago | (#43203753)

> I don't know why they killed the Nexus Q.

Because it cost 3x as much as other devices that did a WHOLE lot more? And, as described in the bit you quoted, it was badly-designed? Seriously -- it was a $250 one-trick pony. ALL it did was let friends play music, and IF and ONLY IF they were using the exact right combination of things: Android phones, music in your account, etc. The only product deserving of a swifter death was the Microsoft Kin.

Google Groups (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203223)

Alas, poor DejaNews, we knew ye well.

Re:Google Groups (4, Informative)

heypete (60671) | about a year ago | (#43203355)

Second. While you can still search usenet using Google Groups, it's a massive pain compared to how it used to be.

Re:Google Groups (5, Funny)

Jhon (241832) | about a year ago | (#43203399)

Agreed. Although, I wish I could "delete" some of my (embarrassing) posts from the early to mid 90's. I was young and I needed the money!

Re:Google Groups (1)

Teckla (630646) | about a year ago | (#43203703)

I miss Google Groups Digest Emails. :-(

They just stopped coming one day . . . with no announcement, I didn't even feel a sense of closure. ;-)

Lots of choices (5, Informative)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about a year ago | (#43203227)

And now Google Drive is down... (5, Informative)

mystikkman (1487801) | about a year ago | (#43203297)

In other news Google Drive is down. Most Chromebooks are rendered useless because of paltry local storage and reliance on the Google Cloud for storing important stuff.

http://www.slashgear.com/google-investigating-google-drive-downtime-18274444/ [slashgear.com]

Re:And now Google Drive is down... (0, Flamebait)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#43203533)

Ah, where would a Google story be without a Microsoft shill? Devil's advocate or not, your comment history shows a pretty obvious bias.

Meanwhile, iOS devices lose their magical ability to sync when iCloud goes down, and Windows Azure loses its ability to do anything when it goes down. Google Drive being down (per Google) or showing "sluggishness" (per your article) isn't any different. If somebody's moronic enough to store their important stuff on any cloud, I have no sympathy for them.

Google Shill? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43203679)

Noting that Google Drive is down and as such it tends to cripple the Chrome Books (and anyone else who makes significant use of Google Drive) makes the parent a Microsoft Shill? That kind of sweeping statement makes YOU sound like a Google Shill.

Re:And now Google Drive is down... (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#43203587)

It's also worth noting that Chromebooks aren't actually useless without Drive... It'd be more accurate to say they're suffering from reduced functionality, or if you really want to go for sensationalism, say they're "crippled". It's also worth noting that the outage is affecting only some users. My account seems to be perfectly accessible from my office and my remote server, so I'm going to assume that "most Chromebooks" are functioning just fine for most purposes.

A chromebook is a terminal to the Web. It's still useful for accessing most of the Web. There's just a popular service that's not available at the moment.

Re:And now Google Drive is down... (1)

jbernardo (1014507) | about a year ago | (#43203695)

And the "devil's advocate" is at it again, and already moded informative! Strangely, if you read the comments, and not only the Chris Burn's story, you'd see that the only thing that isn't working is http/https access. But never let the facts get in the way of an anti-google rant, right?

BTW, your posting story is really very interesting, only pro-ms and/or anti-google posts, mingled with some (moded insightful) rants on how the anti-ms camp is destroying slashdot.

Going back to the issue at hand, for me google reader is the project that should at least be given an opportunity to live as a commercial/paid for service

google notebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203239)

my life is better for having evernote, but notebook was such a great thing to use!

quit whining over loss of free services (-1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43203245)

google users are the *product* for google's advertising revenue. google doesn't owe anyone free service, it does owe its customers (advertisers) market large enough to be viable. google will axe those things that have too few users, as they should. most people doesn't use RSS, it's obscure geeky thing

Re:quit whining over loss of free services (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43203261)

most people doesn't use RSS, it's obscure geeky thing

What do most people use for the use cases for which geeks use RSS?

Re:quit whining over loss of free services (2)

Fallingcow (213461) | about a year ago | (#43203411)

Nothing.

Re:quit whining over loss of free services (4, Informative)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year ago | (#43203561)

Essentially. They just have bookmarks/favorites and visit sites every day/hour using precious time/bandwidth because they don't know what a 'feed' is.

Granted I didn't really use RSS much either until iGoogle (another killed service, hooray) because I wanted an interface that was customizable and dense. I have since moved to netvibes because it's as good or better than iGoogle (and 100x better than Reader) at tons of dense feeds visible at once.

Really I don't know why reader is being lamented so much. It had a stupid, wasteful interface and wasn't very customizable. I've tried a couple times to make something useful of it but it's always been inferior.

Re:quit whining over loss of free services (1)

MadChicken (36468) | about a year ago | (#43203725)

Sync.

They killed every other option for syncing feeds/read status because they were free and very good. Now we need to scramble to create new options and get platform support.

Your interface comments are your perspective only. I loved it, it was extremely efficient.

Re:quit whining over loss of free services (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203507)

Nothing. If they want to see if a web site has updated, they visit it.

Re:quit whining over loss of free services (5, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a year ago | (#43203265)

Nearly everyone I know used Reader.

It's not an "obscure geeky thing". It's a great way to follow multiple websites. You don't need to be a geek to figure it out or benefit from it.

Re:quit whining over loss of free services (0, Flamebait)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43203317)

opining that it's "great way to follow multiple websites" is of no relevance. it is NOT the way the two plus billion internet users do things. it ever was only a niche technology used by the geeky, including you, geek.

Re:quit whining over loss of free services (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203747)

iggymanz is correct, whatever the mods would like to believe.

Re:quit whining over loss of free services (3, Informative)

bimozx (2689433) | about a year ago | (#43203389)

I think there is some validity to what he said. From how I see it, people don't even know they are using RSS when they use Google Reader. All they know is there are feeds that you can subscribe to, so that you can get any new updates from a certain website. Take it with a grain of salt though, since I don't have any prove of the fact, it's just what I got from watching the reaction of people from this whole Google Reader thing.

Re:quit whining over loss of free services (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203647)

Then nearly everyone you know is likely a geek :). Whether us geeks like it or not, reader never reached critical mass (like GMail or other popular services) with the mass market. All the people I know that use reader are geeks and not a single non-geek uses it, not do they even know what RSS is. I'm sad that I won't get to use reader (I'm reading this post and crafting this response in reader) but time to move on to something else.

Re:quit whining over loss of free services (1, Interesting)

SpaceMonkies (2868125) | about a year ago | (#43203301)

I don't understand this whole obsession people have that companies who offer free products have some sort of moral right to abuse us. The fact is that Google makes money hand over fist, and just like all other companies isn't afraid to cancel a product that people depend on, if they think its in their one best interest. Well screw them, it doesn't mean we have to like it or accept it. If being an asshole is a right, then I can be an asshole straight back at them and expect them to stand behind the products they try so hard to get me to use.

Re:quit whining over loss of free services (5, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43203387)

You're like the person in old story who had a rich man come to the front door with $1,000 every month. the person was happy and said "thank you" each time. One day the rich man went to the person's neighbor instead of his house, and gave the neighbor $1,000. The person was angry, and yelled "Hey, where is my money!!??" Do you see the issue now? *You* are the one being an asshole and an ingrate. You were given something good free of charge for years, and now can only bitch.

Re:quit whining over loss of free services (0)

nozzo (851371) | about a year ago | (#43203445)

What I great story - that's going in my repertoire.

thanks!

Re:quit whining over loss of free services (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203737)

You're like the person in old story who had a rich man come to the front door with $1,000 every month. the person was happy and said "thank you" each time. One day the rich man went to the person's neighbor instead of his house, and gave the neighbor $1,000. The person was angry, and yelled "Hey, where is my money!!??" Do you see the issue now? *You* are the one being an asshole and an ingrate. You were given something good free of charge for years, and now can only bitch.

Wrong; it was a covenant: They got my personal data so they could sell me to advertisers as a precisely targeted demographic, and in return I got a useful tool. In addition, they got a certain amount of exclusivity in the marketplace, because anyone else trying to build this type of useful tool would have a hard time beating "free". They broke their end of the bargain; now I'm on the lookout for better tools that beat "free" by a long margin, by selling me a service rather than selling me to advertisers. Gmail, for example, is right out as of the immediate now. I would prefer an email address I can be reasonable sure will stay the same for the next decade at least.

Re:quit whining over loss of free services (1)

hawks5999 (588198) | about a year ago | (#43203351)

"most people doesn't use RSS, it's obscure geeky thing"

Seriously, only "geeks" read blogs.

smh

Re:quit whining over loss of free services (3, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | about a year ago | (#43203517)

Actually a lot of people pay for Google these days. My work account and my ISP account are both by Google and are advertisement free.

Also - plenty of people listen to podcasts, which are mostly compiled via RSS. As a matter of fact that was my primary use of Google Reader - I used it to listen to podcasts and whatever computer I happened to be sitting down to without having to worry about syncing anything. All the ones I listed to were in the list and ready to go.

Re:quit whining over loss of free services (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43203741)

most people doesn't use RSS, it's obscure geeky thing

and i suppose you will also say that most people no longer use or need the shift key either...

Translate (1)

rgriff59 (526951) | about a year ago | (#43203247)

The translate API was axed because it was too popular.

There Seems to Be a Disconnect Here (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#43203429)

The translate API was axed because it was too popular.

I think there's a serious fiscal-minded disconnect between Google and Google fans/consumers. Google appeared to give several services for free to users. The first being search. And when they monetized big time on ads by selling users' eyeballs, only the businessmen and engineers seemed to realize that.

Now, when they find they cannot monetize on an decent implementation of a news reader or an API of translation tools (surprise, surprise) they do a cost benefit analysis and decide that they are losing money and -- like any business -- pull the plug. People bitch and moan (myself at the front of the line) but you have to realize that what's good for the consumer isn't always good for the business. If Starbucks offers free 12 oz coffee day or 7 Eleven does a free 32 oz slurpee day, you can't go back the next day and scream in outrage that they have baited you in and now switched it on you and discontinued your favorite product (that was conveniently free) ... likewise you can say how great something was for the end user all you want. It doesn't mean it's going to survive. There is an old notion that good products survive because they sell and while that still applies to physical products, people are having a hard time transitioning that notion to software. Because it's not true when you think about it like Google's cash cows.

I found the Google Reader petition particularly amusing ... where, in the petition, was the promise to pay a nominal yearly fee to use Reader? Or are we stupid enough to petition for publicly traded businesses to lose money? Where is the petition to have banks hand out $1 each time you visit them?

Of course there's this weird notion on Slashdot that ad based revenue on the internet is a very bad thing [slashdot.org] and that the internet was better before it [slashdot.org] and there's some mythical better revenue model. And here we are on Slashdot, a site that (as far as I can tell) makes its money/breaks even on ads ...

I think this question should be "What acceptable revenue model would have saved these services or turned them into cash cows?" Keep in mind that if tracking your users is part of maximizing your profit to offer these services then you're facing pitchforks and torches -- I mean look at the stupid "scroogled" Microsoft mud slinging ads.

support for odf in Google Docs (0, Troll)

cobbaut (232092) | about a year ago | (#43203251)

Support for the open document standard (.odf etc.) in Google Docs should never have been removed.

Re:support for odf in Google Docs (5, Informative)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#43203315)

Support for the open document standard (.odf etc.) in Google Docs should never have been removed

How so? I can still download documents as ODT. I might be missing something since I don't use google docs all that much.

Re:support for odf in Google Docs (3, Interesting)

heypete (60671) | about a year ago | (#43203401)

Support for the open document standard (.odf etc.) in Google Docs should never have been removed.

Say what? I can import and export OpenDocument files in Google Docs just fine.

Re:support for odf in Google Docs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203439)

Call me silly, but I miss a feature from Google Docs back in '09 or '10: editing the HTML of a document directly. I know it was technically inferior to storing as doc, odf, whatever, but when the silent switch came and I couldn't fix the damn formatting bug that showed up when viewing files in Word 200whatever (manually switching some <br /> for <p> tags, I think it was) I kind of stopped using it.

"Do no evil." (5, Insightful)

concealment (2447304) | about a year ago | (#43203259)

My favorite Google project was the idea that a company built brand loyalty by refusing to do evil, manipulative and underhanded things.

Ten years later, Google is doing those things. They're getting more aggressive with ads and invading personal information; they're cutting out useful projects that don't immediately monetize; they're trying to manipulate us into being better cash cows by signing up with our cell phones and handing over more ad-friendly information through Google+.

I don't begrudge them the right to make a profit. They were doing that, and continue to do so, without any of these manipulative activities. I just want the "do no evil" project to come back because that was a Google, Inc. I could believe in.

Re:"Do no evil." (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203329)

^ This

Re:"Do no evil." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203467)

I agree with you re: personal information but I don't agree at all that Google has a moral obligation to provide services to you for free.

Don't be, not don't do (4, Informative)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#43203483)

Correction: it was "don't *be* evil" [google.com] (emphasis added). There is a subtle semantic distinction between doing some evil and actually being evil. Such hair-splitting is probably what lets Google managers sleep at night.

More from the link:

Our commitment to the highest standards helps us hire great people, build great products, and attract loyal users. Trust and mutual respect among employees and users are the foundation of our success, and they are something we need to earn every day.

Nice words they've got there.

Re:"Do no evil." (3, Funny)

tokencode (1952944) | about a year ago | (#43203525)

The "Do No Evil" project was scrapped as soon as they started the "Publically Traded Company" project...

Re:"Do no evil." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203529)

That was never a product, it was a slogan from one Google employee the company used for PR purposes when Microsoft was their big rival.

I learned my lesson about 12 years ago, when I googled my name and found a bunch of my old Usenet posts that I had thought would have a lifetime of about a month when I originally posted them in the early '90s (and Google the company did not exist). It was a cringeworthy moment, as the quality was similar to off the cuff Slashdot posts, only posted under my real name.

Re:"Do no evil." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203543)

This isn't evil.

RSS is an outdated tech.

Re:"Do no evil." (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43203717)

Their old motto is better understood if you parse it as "Do? No, Evil!" with Evil taken to be a verb form meaning "to do evil". That makes more sense, doesn't it, of how they transformed from their benign P.R. (which is all it was even in the first place, Public Relations, not a real motto to be followed) into more insidious P.R. (Privacy Raping).

Re:"Do no evil." (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#43203727)

As I said before, doing no evil is a far cry from doing good. I think on the whole google actively minimizes the evil it does. For instance it collects data, but it does not collate the data and then uses it to extort favors from people, as far as we know.

The Google projects are there for good, to test the limits of what can be done through a web or mobile based interfaces, but google is not a charity. It is not going to offer free products that do not support the core mission, to collect user data and sell it to advertisers. So google is going to do things that are not so good such as cut of services that is do not collect high quality data. It is going to deliver search results that support shady agents, because those shady agents are racking up the billable views. It is going to keep results non transparent because excessive transparency will allow advertisers to really know which campaign is working, and potentially cut earnings.

When Google first came online it was an easier life. Alta Vista was being overwhelmed with bad results. Everyone was blocking 2o7 because there was not useful reason for the end user to allow the cookies. So Goole came in and combined the two and go users used to letting cookies be set because services were being provided. But life is harder now. Facebook provides what may be a more relevant service, and is getting good at tracking users, and it getting into mobile. MS has a credible search engine and a lot of user data.

So Google is going to have to push the envelope of not-evil to keep profitable. Like any company reaching maturity, it is going to cut services, even if in the long run it going to hurt it. Cutting services to end users, who are not the customers, may seem better that cutting other expenses.

iGoogle (5, Insightful)

swinferno (1212408) | about a year ago | (#43203275)

How I'm dreading November 1st when iGoogle will be retired...
http://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2664197 [google.com]

Re:iGoogle (1)

anjrober (150253) | about a year ago | (#43203381)

me too
anyone have a good suggestion for a replacement
i would love one that also supports iphone, ipad, etc.

Re:iGoogle (2)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year ago | (#43203607)

I've been using netvibes.com since the announcement of the 'retirement' of iGoogle. It does most of what iGoogle did as well or better. It's funny ever since the Reader 'retirement' was announced netvibes has frequently put up a message apologizing for slowness because of having to adjust to a huge influx of new users. I bet they're super happy that Reader is dead.

Re:iGoogle (3, Insightful)

jeffy210 (214759) | about a year ago | (#43203515)

Yup, that's the one I was going to post. It's been my homepage for years. It's a nice simple web based RSS aggregator that I could get to from anywhere.

Re:iGoogle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203527)

There is no decent replacement for iGoogle. It was the Google retired project that most affects me.

Re:iGoogle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203595)

Wish they was keeping Igoogle. But about a week after they announced the end of Igoogle I switched over to http://www.netvibes.com/

Re:iGoogle (5, Funny)

sosume (680416) | about a year ago | (#43203599)

Yup, that is the one, iGoogle. My default page for the last 5 years or so. Why they would retire that is beyond understanding, it attracts a ton of users at a relatively low cost. I am trying to do without the page at the moment, and find that I consume *much* less of Google's services as a consequence. I even started appreciating Bing and Live Maps as viable alternatives, who knows, my next phone may even be a WP8 device! (shrudders).

Re:iGoogle (1)

Tiger_Storms (769548) | about a year ago | (#43203635)

I don't understand why they plan on removing/retiring it. It currently works I know lots of people who still use it. They claim it's because there are so many other options out there but that is such a cop out. Personally I love igoogle, and when they do retire it I'll go somewhere else.

There are substitutes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203693)

And why should Google support these products at their expense when there are folks who are doing it for free?

It's a brilliant strategy.

  1. Create (buy) a platform,
  2. develop apps to get folks to use it,
  3. developers get on board and develop competitor apps,
  4. bail on your own and subsequently lower your overhead,
  5. profit!

Google Code Search (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203295)

RIP

Re:Google Code Search (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203427)

Damn straight. I was going to say that they're a search company and they aspire to "index the world's information" but let's be honest: they're an ad company.

Re:Google Code Search (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203653)

2nd! One of the more useful searches out there for me. Now ... well you can find the code... Its not as well presented. Not sure why they killed this one. Seemed like such a minor thing but very useful thing to have. Even internally for them it should have been a great resource.

Google Health (2)

DarrenBaker (322210) | about a year ago | (#43203319)

This needs to happen again, before it gets owned by some shady proprietor.

Speaking of which, where's Google Vote?

Re:Google Health (1)

tokencode (1952944) | about a year ago | (#43203509)

Ohh yea... I really want ads based on my current health records.... We notice you have high blood pressure, your provider suggests you eat tofu, Tofu is on sale at shoprite today. Even if google SAID they wouldn't use the data for that purpose, do you really believe that at this point?

Re:Google Health (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about a year ago | (#43203677)

We notice you have high blood pressure, your provider suggests you eat tofu, Tofu is on sale at shoprite today. Even if google SAID they wouldn't use the data for that purpose, do you really believe that at this point?

Assuming they do that using the same rules they currently use for GMail ads (e.g. scanning by machine only, not by humans), I don't see a problem with that. If tofu is a product that would help you, why not ads for tofu?

It sounds like you're saying that it's okay for Google to know you have high blood pressure, but only as long as they pretend they don't know.

The working search engine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203371)

Now all I get is search spam and the things they think I want.

The most important rule of any search system: If someone spell a word in a specific way THOSE HITS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ONES!!!!!! Especially if its in a sentence in quotes! Why the heck do I have to wade through pages of crap to get to it?

Oblig. Troll for the slashthink groupdorks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203373)

Aaron Swartz

What, this is an article about the death of RSS and no one is going to mention the elephant in the room???

Google Sets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203375)

Although it was only available in the Google Labs, Sets was really useful. Give it 3-4 related words and voilà, here are 5-10 more like that. I know the feature lives on in spreadsheets (Google Drive now...) http://googlesystem.blogspot.ca/2012/11/google-sets-still-available.html - I'm sad the whole Labs were shut down.

Finally, maybe Buzz got a lot of flak, but it had a semblance of openness, using PuSH and activity streams. Miss that too.

the original google search engine and clean page (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43203393)

Maybe it never really existed, that so-called "Do No Evil" phase of google, and it's all just a post-hoc remythologizing of what google used to be...
....
but why couldn't they bring back the clean page search engine (they could keep the new search algorithms for pagerank, or revert back) that they used to be before they became the ad-sense and ad-word selling advertising behemoth? An actual search engine rather than a categorizer and tracker of all of our searches, and web-site travels, and telephone calls (sent or received), and emails (sent or received, even if you're not a gmail user, someone you send to may be a gmail user and bingo you're being tracked), and purchases, and travels and gps locations (hey all you andoid-phone users, that would pertain to you!), and soon-to-be everything-you-see-through your google glasses.
:>p
No thanks, I don't need an ever-present surveillance-corporation or an ever-present surveillance state.

Re:the original google search engine and clean pag (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43203441)

how else would they make money but by advertising? you voluntarily use google and they make you part of advertisers market. simple as that. don't like it, don't play. but they owe you nothing, cutting off a free service doesn't constitute being evil, just sensible.

Re:the original google search engine and clean pag (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43203547)

dude, this is not sensibility we're talking about here. It's not even that google has asked people what they should bring back. This is a fucking slashdot article about what people would like to see back at google. It's just a wishlist!!! So there's no need to bring sensibility or rationality or complaining about what a free service really needs to provide us!!! No need to be on a high horse; my post is completely on topic as to "what google project didn't deserve to die?". It's your comment that is "off-topic" and not useful.

Re:the original google search engine and clean pag (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43203469)

I reached a point where they didn't support one of the features I came to love in search syntax, and I switched to duckduckgo. I give it a B- on searching, but an A+ on features and privacy.

I liked iGoogle (2)

Notlupus (1893060) | about a year ago | (#43203395)

as my homepage. It's still around but it will be gone in a few months. Better start looking for alternatives.

Re:I liked iGoogle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203625)

http://www.netvibes.com/ is what I made the switch to in preparation for the final axe of igoogle

Difficult choice (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about a year ago | (#43203397)

I'm still in doubt between "Google Flying car" and "Google Holodeck".

Oh wait... it seems we can only choose from a list of boring office applications.

Google Chatback (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203403)

May you RIP.

Seriously though, it was really annoying when I set that up, it was discontinued a week later. Got stuck with Plupper.

Hey We Get It But... (4, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | about a year ago | (#43203449)

Listen, I understand that Google's services are free and they are a business and need to do what they feel is necessary to make money; however, I am not sure why some of these went away.

Let's take for instance the fact that Google has killed off their RSS discovery plugin. I was a die hard Google Reader person and made the move to Feedly when Google Reader was killed. Killing Google Reader may have made sense to them; after all, they were supporting traffic and crawling feeds, and doing all those things that take money, time, engineering resources, and bandwidth. No worries there. But killing off the RSS plugin? I just can't fathom how that matters.

Leave the damn tool out there for people to use. It really doesn't harm anyone if it's something that works and can continue to work client side.

But I digress. Yes, Feedly (or any of the tools that will ultimately replace Reader) could make their own but killing it off in some misguided attempt at pushing users to use G+ (what I assume is their reasoning for it all) is just going to drive people farther away from Google's tools.

No, G+ (or any social network for that matter) does not operate in the same way Reader (or any RSS reader) did. I don't give a fuck what other people find interesting for the most part; I want to be able to pick and choose and provide that content back out to people on those networks, not the other way around.

Make your money in the way you see fit but I hope they're not surprised when there is a backlash against those changes. Oh and open source the damn RSS app and even Reader so people can continue on w/o Google's backing. That would fit the "do no evil" mantra.

The one they didn't kill (5, Insightful)

leptechie (1937384) | about a year ago | (#43203471)

Surprisingly, Google Apps.

It's not dead, but it's no longer free. I work with three volunteer organisations - they're not charities but social groups geared towards helping expats get settled in my city. Membership management, event planning and budgeting, publications and flyers. All were easy to collaborate on with Google Apps, but even the (seemingly) small subscription fees are a burden when we're explicitly non-profit and loosely organised. We could have two active users one month, ten the next, so no single pricing plan option is appropriate without serious overhead and/or possible overspend.
Very unfortunate.

Re:The one they didn't kill (1)

heypete (60671) | about a year ago | (#43203673)

This.

I registered for Google Apps shortly after it came out. I have my own domain, so having Google handle mail for my domain was fantastic. My needs are pretty basic (one user, a few aliases, really good spam filtering, IMAP, good webmail) and I've been with them for years.

I recommended Apps to anyone who had their domain and wanted to use Gmail with it.

Charge for business users? Sure. The price is quite reasonable. Offer a discount for non-profits or universities? Great. Still, it'd be great if they still allowed individuals or small groups (say, less than 10 users) to register for free. They already provide free mail service for Gmail accounts and Google Apps is, in essence, Gmail with an extra database entry saying that it's associated with a particular domain. I doubt they'd be losing money on such users. Even if they didn't offer Apps for free, it'd be great if you could link your domain with a personal Gmail account.

Yes, I know I'm grandfathered into their free plan and intend to stick with it, but it's still a bit annoying.

Better search (1)

adamchou (993073) | about a year ago | (#43203479)

Search worked so much better when they had Google Pigeons doing the search instead of all these servers.

Not being evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203487)

"Google is not evil" is the project that didn't deserve to die.

Google Public Data (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203489)

IMO, google public data is a prime candidate to get the axe. we rely on it for our visualizations here at work. i vehemently argued against using this service because google can axe it at any time. it provides no discernable income for google (no ads appear anywhere), it has virtually no support whatsoever so it seems to function basically as a loss leader for google.

i argued for using a product such as tableau which may cost some upfront cash but is also less likely to dissapear than a free google product, since it has the backing of a large public company whose livelihood relies on producing and maintaining said product.

well, only time will tell if my prediction is right or wrong.,,

None (1)

Cyphax (262239) | about a year ago | (#43203491)

I wouldn't bring any of them back. The only services from Google that I really use are Gmail, Maps and the search engine (includes image search).

The thing is: Google is a bit too large imho. Them killing off a product that lots of people used just creates more room on that market, or perhaps it creates a new one altogether. Now, Google Reader competitors don't have to compete with Google Reader anymore, only among each other. Now, other people may be succesful. This idea sounds good to me.

I don't hope that Google ditches all these projects so much, don't get me wrong. I just think there's a nice upside to all of this. :)

Google Plus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203551)

Never really amounted to anything but I did use it a couple of times...
Oh never mind, Plus did not die yet.

I don't know, and it's Google's fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203589)

One sign that something is wrong with how Google handles these products is that I first heard about most of them on slashdot posts announcing they've been killed. At least two of them sounded very useful, and I would have liked to try them out. You would think Google would understand the power of advertising, but maybe there's a disconnect between selling advertising and making use of advertising. (After all, Google's search popularity seemed to spread mostly by word of mouth.)

Google 411 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203603)

I would have to say that I miss Google 411 the most. It was easy to call and find what you wanted. Most of the time it recognized what you said without any problems. Google finally shut down the project after they got voice data from people all over to use in other voice technologies. You essentially let Google have your voice in return for the 411 service.

Re:Google 411 (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year ago | (#43203675)

Considering how shitty their automated transcripts in GoogleVoice are, they didn't run it long enough.

But yeah, Google 411 was awesome, I used it frequently. There is a Bing 411 (believe it or not) which works similarly, though I haven't used it much and couldn't say whether it still exists.

consolidation into google plus? (1)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#43203611)

I was under the impression that much of this "closed down" functionality was going to migrate to the walled garden of Google Plus. The would mirror facebook's methodology and compete with them.

iGoogle, I was one of the 10 who used it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43203659)

I will miss iGoogle when it's finally turned off.

Is anyone aware of an alternative?

SageTV (2)

queequeg1 (180099) | about a year ago | (#43203661)

I'm still pissed that they bought up SageTV and appear to have done absolutely nothing with the technology. One of the better comprehensive PC-based DVR/media streaming systems destroyed. Even with zero updates and little support for 2 years, I still use it. The HD300 is still an excellent media streaming box.

Google Labs and Google Sets (2)

gr8_phk (621180) | about a year ago | (#43203705)

Withing the old Google labs was a search called Google Sets. It was rarely used, but when you needed that capability it was the only place on the net you could do it. Why it or "labs" had to go away I don't understand.

For the uninitiated, Sets allowed to you enter 2 or 3 things of some type and it would return a list (15) of other things of that type. The example they used was to enter the titles of a few Tom Cruise movies and it would return a bunch more. In real world usage you could use it to identify alternative makers of various products, or alternatives to any number of things (programming languages for example) or even things where you don't know how the terminology that describes how they are related.
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