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Google Betting Its Google+ Systems Know What's Best For You

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the welcome-to-the-machine dept.

Google 109

Nerval's Lobster writes "But at this year's Google I/O conference in San Francisco, Google announced that it has a plan to make Google Plus users more engaged, courtesy of new features backed by a handful of data-analytics tricks. Google Plus postings now feature Google-generated hashtags that, when clicked, direct the user to related content from across their network. From a backend-infrastructure perspective, that sort of thing leans heavily on Google's semantic analysis and the ability to make the right connections between various pieces of data. Google Plus will also automatically highlight certain photos out of dozens or even hundreds of shots. Say you went on vacation to India and took some photos of your significant other in front of the Taj Mahal; Google Plus will leverage its database of information to recognize that as a prominent landmark and pluck those photos out of the pile as 'special.' In the words of that posting on the Google+ Blog: 'Your darkroom is now a Google data center.' Are all these nifty, analytics-intensive features enough to change the larger fortunes of Google Plus? That's the big question. Google has a handsome-looking platform, one that performs certain activities with a high degree of polish and zip—but is that enough to counter Facebook?"

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google+ vs facebook (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43746549)

two has beens might as well include yahoo in there too

Re:google+ vs facebook (1)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about a year and a half ago | (#43746661)

two has beens might as well include yahoo in there too

Oh, and also? They clearly understood that we couldn't handle google reader, the free version of google apps, and we all want restrictions on youtube mobile (no downloading!).

Re:google+ vs facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43747707)

"We"?

You mean we are Microsoft?

Google chat users affected (5, Informative)

LSD-OBS (183415) | about a year and a half ago | (#43746623)

As part of the big roll out of these changes, a lot of google chat users have discovered their most frequently used contacts have been automatically "Blocked on Google+ [google.com] ", despite not themselves not having Google+ accounts. People have been left with no option other than to sign up to Google+ to access their "Blocked" circle to see what contacts have been blocked, and unblock them.

Re:Google chat users affected (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43746713)

If you're going to give some big business entity control over your contacts and who you chat with, don't bitch when they do things you don't like.

If you want control over your own data, manage it yourself. It isn't hard.

Re:Google chat users affected (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43746841)

That's a bit hyperbolic.

A user of a service has a right to give feedback. I could certainly go make my own food, but sometimes I decide to visit a restaurant, and maybe even review them on yelp...

Re:Google chat users affected (5, Insightful)

lastx33 (2097770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747299)

There is a fundamental difference to your example. When you visit a restaurant, you as the diner are the customer, the restaurant is the supplier and the product is the food and service. I think you misundertand the Google service user's relationship to Google. The service user isn't the customer. Google encourages the user to provide personal data in return for access to a service. That data then becomes Google's product which Google then sells on businesses and organisations - it's actual customers. It is the data customers who have the customer - supplier relationship.

Google does not work like that (3, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747575)

That data then becomes Google's product which Google then sells on businesses and organisations

Google will NEVER sell data of its customers...not because of any moral code, but because it is simply not profitable. They sell *targeted* advertising space on services offered for free, Like TV...or newspapers. Its why Google make Billions.

Re:Google does not work like that (2)

lastx33 (2097770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43749875)

Google will NEVER sell data of its customers...not because of any moral code, but because it is simply not profitable. They sell *targeted* advertising space on services offered for free, Like TV...or newspapers. Its why Google make Billions.

Exactly how do you think they "target" that advertising? They use algorithms applied to the data supplied by the users through their interaction with the Google services including search history, chats, contact lists etc. to categorise what the users' and their friends' and contacts' interests are, what socio-economic category they fall into, and where they are geographically. That data is the Google product and that is what they sell.

Re:Google does not work like that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43750615)

Google will NEVER sell data of its customers...not because of any moral code, but because it is simply not profitable. They sell *targeted* advertising space on services offered for free, Like TV...or newspapers. Its why Google make Billions.

Exactly how do you think they "target" that advertising? They use algorithms applied to the data supplied by the users through their interaction with the Google services including search history, chats, contact lists etc. to categorise what the users' and their friends' and contacts' interests are, what socio-economic category they fall into, and where they are geographically. That data is the Google product and that is what they sell.

You are insinuating that the collected data leaves Google's servers and enters the advertiser's servers.

It does not.

Google's business model is: give ad banner to Google, fill out a form specifying the desired demographic targets, done. Google then stores the banner on their server and their server sends out the banner when a user matching the chosen demographics views a page with Google backed ads on it.

False (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43749969)

Google will NEVER sell data of its customers...not because of any moral code, but because it is simply not profitable

LOL.. its funny to see google shills trying to repeat this lie...

The architect of Google's display strategy is former DoubleClick exec and VP Neal Mohan. He told Ad Age that "we are working on a couple of things," but also said "there is no timetable" for what will be released and when.

"If our vision is a comprehensive one, it needs to contemplate data in addition to ad inventory," he said in an interview. "We are working on initiatives to help publishers and advertisers do just that ."

http://adage.com/article/digital/google-readies-ambitious-plan-web-data-exchange/228637/ [adage.com]

Re:Google chat users affected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43748129)

I pay money each month for Google Drive, and I buy digital content from Google Play. You don't have to be a business to give Google money.

Re:Google chat users affected (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747091)

Just uninstall that new Hangouts app and you are back to Google Talk and everything fixes itself.
There is no reason to join Google+. None at all.

Re:Google chat users affected (1)

LSD-OBS (183415) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747153)

The "Hangouts app" was never installed by these people. It simply *happened* to people using Google chat. Me included.

Re:Google chat users affected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43753967)

It was specifically marked as a manual update on both my android devices (one Google, one Samsung), and it clearly said that it would replace Talk.

Re:Google chat users affected (3, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747155)

Sounds like a bug. I'm sure it will get fixed.

Yes, Google has bugs.

Re:Google chat users affected (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#43748699)

Sounds like a bug. I'm sure it will get fixed.

Yes, Google has bugs.

Well, from what I've seen of this latest batch, our world hunger problems are over...

Re:Google chat users affected (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about a year and a half ago | (#43750515)

This would explain why my chat list is missing a few regulars. I knew something was up when my phone was bugging me about updating to Hangouts this morning (never EVER set your phone to autoupdate anything!) Whats funny is none of those people show up as blocked in the GMail Talk client like that forum post says, I'm likely blocked on their side and the distribution of people seems random. Funny that back in the day if AOL (remember them?) tried this crap with AIM, people would be howling. Google does this crap on a regular basis and people go "meh". Some of us just want a simple chat client with a list of contacts that works. I wonder how this will effect people who don't use Google clients or contact Google Talk clients via AIM or other IM services via their "gateway".

HEY? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43746671)

Did screwgle Buy /. or what? There are WAY TOO Many stories here about that spying company today.

i cannot think for myself. google, think for me! (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43746727)

I've been running my own damn photo page for many a year. I never know, up until this moment, that I was incapable of deciding what photos are important for myself. I need google to do this for me! Please, google, do my thinking for me!

Sheesh, have we fallen so far as a species that we need features like "automatic detection of important landmarks in photos"?

Re:i cannot think for myself. google, think for me (1)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747853)

There is a difference between "we need this" and "this is a useful feature". As a species, we don't _need_ to buy furniture that someone else has built, but I'm sure most of us prefer it over growing our own trees, mining our own iron ore, extracting our own iron, making our own tools, and building our own furniture. For one thing, we'll have more time to devote to doing other things. This is progress, man. Why all the hate?

Re:i cannot think for myself. google, think for me (4, Funny)

black6host (469985) | about a year and a half ago | (#43748009)

Minecraft says differently :)

The quick answer: (3, Insightful)

Hartree (191324) | about a year and a half ago | (#43746733)

"Are all these nifty, analytics-intensive features enough to change the larger fortunes of Google Plus?"

No.

Re:The quick answer: (2, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#43746953)

It is enough to make Google look even more creepy.

Re:The quick answer: (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747161)

This!
Google is getting very creepy.
I know it's all done by mindless computer code, but if mindless code can figure out so many aspects of my existence image what could be done when some rogue government agency demands all of there "analytics" under some secret warrant or fishing letter.

Re:The quick answer: (1)

philipmather (864521) | about a year and a half ago | (#43749935)

what has been done when some rogue government agency demands all of there "analytics" under some secret warrant or fishing letter.

TFTFY

Re:The quick answer: (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747511)

Google seems to be heading towards a future where if you don't buy into Google+, you don't get to use Google's applications. It's like during their two most recent rounds of killing things off - they announce all these projects that are going away, then say "but we're introducing lots of new stuff"... all of which is related to Google+.

It's weird to say this about such a huge company, but they seem to be getting desperate.

Re:The quick answer: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43748153)

Says the outsider looking in to the fishbowl. I think you would find the water is quite pleasant if you were willing to get your feet wet.

People think shepherds are parasites on the sheep until a lamb is left to the elements to fend for itself against coyotes and starvation. I'm happy to trade wool for food if it keeps my meat attached to my bones.

Re:The quick answer: (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year and a half ago | (#43748509)

Horse shit! You don't need an app to ask you "Do you want to talk to Joe?". You either want to talk to Joe or don't, and if you are dependent on a reminder to talk to people it's time to get off the computer. You don't need a computer to index your photo's, but yes certain aspects of an auto-indexer could be nice. Except what if you don't want your pictures shared to the world and searchable by everyone? You know, private memories of Grandma's last big trip and such.

The shepherd is the guardian of the sheep. The shepherd should not be picking up the lambs and carrying them around because, well, fuck.. Why would a lamb ever learn to walk? Call a parasite a parasite, and a shepherd a shepherd, and be honest about who is who.

Re:The quick answer: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43753553)

They were already getting desperate when they decided to turn away half the internet by trying to filter out pseudonyms. Many of which, it turned out, were real names and/or noms de plume.

They are like a goofy bunch of geek frat-jocks trying to sort out who'll they associate with by checking out how many digits of pi you've memorized or the OS you use.

Re:The quick answer: (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#43748635)

This!

"Your darkroom is now [Google's] datacenter"? No thank you.

Re:The quick answer: (2)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#43750643)

actually, this article is creepy. being posted via a pseudonym for a known shitty slashdot editor, they only use that nym when they're posting "google is questionable" or heavily favoring microsoft type troll articles.

It's not even a remote surprise. You shouldn't expect reasoned and valid criticism of google, just bashing in said articles. This has been covered before on slashdot previously.

Re:The quick answer: (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#43753535)

actually, this article is creepy. being posted via a pseudonym for a known shitty slashdot editor, they only use that nym when they're posting "google is questionable" or heavily favoring microsoft type troll articles.

No one loves the messenger who brings bad news. -- Sophocles.

Pseudonyms - that's a very interesting thing to criticise. I take it you weren't christened "poetmatt". The Matthew seems quite likely, but hardly narrows your identity down much. For sure my name is not Basil Brush. Slashdot culture is one of pseudonames. Maybe 1 in a hundred use their real name.

But that's not why it's interesting. It's interesting because the great corporate Peeping Tom, Google agrees with you. They originally demanded that you must use your real name online, so that they could spy on you even more. It wasn't until it was clear that Google Plus wasn't a success that they backtracked on that.

The factual Answer (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747803)

No

"Google announced 190 million people are now active in the Google+ stream, while 390 million are active across Google, including +1’ing apps in Google Play, making video calls in Gmail and sharing videos from YouTube. " http://mashable.com/2013/05/15/google-plus-redesign-pinteres/ [mashable.com]

That sounds like a yes to me.

Re:The factual Answer (3, Insightful)

seebs (15766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747869)

It might sound like that, but when you consider the broad spectrum of things they're including as "active", it really isn't.

+1'ing apps in Google Play? Really? So everyone who's ever rated an app in the iTunes App Store is a user of Apple's social network? Everyone who's posted to Youtube, even if they've never created a G+ profile, is a user of G+ now? Everyone who uses gmail gets counted?

I've got no G+ account due to the naming policy crap, but I have gmail and I've posted on youtube. I bet they count me.

Except it is that (0)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#43748073)

It might sound like that, but...

but nothing, you might not like the figures which even with accounting for windows dressings are enormous(390 Million active users).

According to Internet analytics firm GlobalWebIndex it can boast 359Million active users (not far of Goggles announcement) up 33% from 269 at the end of June 2012. (The same report put Facebook at 701Million) http://www.businessinsider.com/google-plus-is-outpacing-twitter-2013-5?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2Falleyinsider%2Fsilicon_alley_insider+(Silicon+Alley+Insider) [businessinsider.com]

The bottom line is however you spin it both scale and growth of Google+ are enormous.

Re:Except it is that (1)

Tridus (79566) | about a year and a half ago | (#43749899)

How many of them are actually *using* it?

Google's been shoving creating a g+ account down people's throats in order to use other Google services, so it's not surprising there's more accounts. But are any of them active?

The highly spun Answer (4, Interesting)

Hartree (191324) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747957)

Is that "fact" like the three copies of Windows 8 that Microsoft counts me as having "bought"?

I bought three 802.11AC routers from Newegg and automagically had three copies of Win8 added to my cart which were included in the price, but also had an automatic rebate that was applied immediately. That was just before MS came out with the surprisingly large sales figures. I was only one of many.

Just because it's said by a company you rather like doesn't mean it's not misleading. For example, how much credence would you give something similar said by Apple?

Window Dressing (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#43748163)

For example, how much credence would you give something similar said by Apple?

Actually Apple are pretty good, they post figures for in there financial statements in a nice table every year for hardware. Ignoring the fact that they claim a sale when it is a shipped product. In reality they don't really produce anything apart from a narrow range of electronics devices.

Microsoft do all kinds of things from raising prices; selling in bulk to OEM's, but since they are a monopoly. The real figures are in hard drive companies failing...Dell this week announced further bad move, but on the whole they trumpet success(normally when it hits a significant figure)...and hide failure.

but googles figures are collaborated now can boast 359 million active users, up 33 percent from 269 million users at the end of June 2012, according to GlobalWebIndex

Re:The quick answer: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43747867)

Are all these nifty, analytics-intensive features enough to change the larger fortunes of Google Plus? That's the big question.

If that is the "big question" here, then I despair for the future of humanity. I'd think a "big question" would be whether people should surrender the task of forming memories and reflecting on their perspective of the world to a megacorporate advertiser's server farm. Are we already so resigned to having our minds decided for us by algorithm that the only big question is "for which company's doodads shall we surrender our right to call ourselves human"?

Re:The quick answer: (1)

smallfries (601545) | about a year and a half ago | (#43749139)

Now that it has actually gone live and we can see what photos are being selected for relevance there is a longer and more complex answer:

Hell no.

Re:The quick answer: (1)

okmarket (2925653) | about a year and a half ago | (#43749741)

i really like google+, it help us increase the business. our company name okmarket.com which use google+ increase more business. so hope google+ better in the coming days.

Hashtag (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43751603)

The hashtags make it more like other sites and eases people looking for common categories. It also makes it easier for Google to track trends. The hashtags placed automatically can be removed by the poster if wrong/inappropriate. That creates a nice feedback loop which can further refine the Google semantic algorithms.

How About A Normal URL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43746751)

Let me know when I can have a Google+ URL that doesn't look like 200 random characters. Until then I couldn't care less what 'features' you've added. When Google starts taking their own social media offerings seriously, maybe I will too.

Meh. (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about a year and a half ago | (#43746769)

When G+ started out, it was clean, fast-loading, reliable, and did exactly what it was supposed to do and no more. You know ... like Google used to be. I had real hopes that G+:FB::Google:Yahoo.

Every change since then has made it uglier, slower, and buggier; with the latest interface changes they've not only caught up to but actually surpassed Facebook in the amount of irritating crap they shove at the user. Google may be able to coast on people's affection for them as a search engine (especially when the competition is Bing) but they're going to find it increasingly difficult to break into new markets if all they do is ape the worst behavior of the existing market leader--which in this case emphatically includes "adding a bunch of new 'features' when the ones we already have are kind of crap."

I still use Google as my primary search engine, Gmail as my e-mail provider, and Google Maps when I want to figure out how to go somewhere I haven't been before. Nothing they've done since then has provided any reason to switch from whatever solution I'm currently using. And I really don't think I'm alone in this.

Re:Meh-and-a-half. (5, Insightful)

ElectraFlarefire (698915) | about a year and a half ago | (#43746913)

The current version is all but unusable on a 1.6ghz Atom netbook and grinds my current also Atom desktop machine.. It's go so many bars that vanish and show up, uses so much CPU that typing pegs the system and uses so much realestate that there's less than a quarter of the whole screen for content.. And so much clicking to access things(When things are not automaticly popping up because my cursor strayed somewere).

Their search engine is great, but G+.. well.. Just because it now mattches the Android/iOS App /dosen't make it a automaticly good thing/.

Go back to your sleek, efficent, neat ways, Google! That's why we loved you!

Re:Meh-and-a-half. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43747081)

There's nothing there anyways. I made a google+ profile..... because I had a gmail account....... because I bought an android phone. Maybe I just don't get it, but it's just an endless stream of peoples photos and news stories...... people you don't even know. I've thought about joining Facebook, but that guy that runs it gives me the creeps....... plus you need to have friends for that.

Re:Meh-and-a-half. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43748155)

I've thought about joining Facebook, but that guy that runs it gives me the creeps....... plus you need to have friends for that.

You don't really need to have friends for it. As long as you went to high school you get a automatic +25 (former classmates perk). Your nuclear family gives you +5-ish, and your extended family & family friends gives you anywhere up to +25.. even grandpa is on facebook these days. Throw in +5 for co-workers, +5 for former co-workers, and +10 for random acquaintances, and you're up to 70. Most players who have the Normal race have a score of >200, and serious players can get >1000 (at that point game money becomes worth something in real life; you're a internet-local celebrity).

But a score of 70-100 sounds good (I have 100 'friends'!), and who's counting, anyway.

Re: Meh-and-a-half. (2)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747725)

You're last paragraph reminds me of how much I liked buzz :-(

Re:Meh. (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43746941)

I still use Google as my primary search engine, Gmail as my e-mail provider, and Google Maps when I want to figure out how to go somewhere I haven't been before. Nothing they've done since then has provided any reason to switch from whatever solution I'm currently using. And I really don't think I'm alone in this.

If there was an alternative to Google that wasn't total crap, I'd be using it. As it is, they still try to connect searches you make to a real identity by buying personal data from the major ISPs to tie your name to an IP address, etc. I've found myself having to only access it from Tor or other proxy networks to keep its privacy-invading "features" out of my web experience. And it seems like every month they roll out a new way of trying to screw with that, from "your computer may be sending automated queries" garbage to providing obviously-bogus search results if embedded javascript detects a SOCKS proxy.

There is no more "do no evil" in Google... it has become the very definition of evil.

Re:Meh. (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#43746981)

There is always Duck Duck Go.

A bit slower but cleaner and presumably a bit more private.

Re:Meh. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43747969)

After switching to DDG for my default browser search field, I've developed a (unfortunate) reflex to prefix every search by '!g' (forward search to Google). DDG uses Bing for its own search back end --- which doesn't actually seem to be that good at figuring out what I'm looking for. Google still seems better at "reading my mind" --- convenient for search results, but disquieting on the "creepy evil what are you manipulating me into" front.

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43748165)

wikipedia suggests that ddg uses a combination of different backends including bing, not bing exclusively as you imply

Tried, but not very good (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#43748183)

I tried to use Duck Duck Go, but for some reason I just hate the result UI.

Also whatever it uses to search for results, just plain is not as good as Google (I read elsewhere your reply that it uses a mix).

I've tried switching to Bing for a while which mostly works, but for coding related searches Google is still head and shoulders above all competition.

Re:Meh. (2)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about a year and a half ago | (#43748565)

I still use Google as my primary search engine, Gmail as my e-mail provider, and Google Maps when I want to figure out how to go somewhere I haven't been before. Nothing they've done since then has provided any reason to switch from whatever solution I'm currently using. And I really don't think I'm alone in this.

Nope not alone; I use Google as my primary search engine, Gmail as my e-mail provider, Google Maps and Google Earth.

Hotmail used to be my web based e-mailer yet I can't access it for some reason. My HotMail account is active and I
still use it, as I had forwarded my Hotmail to Gmail. Hotmail charged for POP'ing my e-mail, Gmail lets me do it for free,
so I never have to open a browser.

Checking to see if anything had changed I tried hotmail again, and got in, first time in years!
This reply has actually been a very beneficial for me, now to weed out the junk that's collected.

Re:Meh. (1)

oji-sama (1151023) | about a year and a half ago | (#43749815)

I do believe that it (well at least outlook.com) does offer pop. What it doesn't support (again, I believe) is imap, which I would prefer.

Re:Meh. (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year and a half ago | (#43749833)

Agree. Small comment, whilst I still love Google maps, Bing maps has really improved. Where I live, for example, (ouside USA), it's now better than Google maps, with more up to date aerial photos. Still no 'street view', of course.

Re:Meh. (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about a year and a half ago | (#43751281)

I prefer Bing's Bird's eye view to Google's Street View.

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43750157)

You are not alone!

Re:Meh. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43750743)

When G+ started out, it was clean, fast-loading, reliable, and did exactly what it was supposed to do and no more. You know ... like Google used to be. I had real hopes that G+:FB::Google:Yahoo.

That might be true, I don't know, I wasn't one of the pre-adoption G+ users. But I can tell you that since G+ has been public, it has always been slower than facebook. The initial page load takes longer, posting a comment takes longer, posting a page takes longer, everything takes longer and as far as I can tell, it always has.

Of course, this latest facelift to G+ is pretty much the worst "upgrade" of a google project ever. They really increased everything bad and ruined everything good. They're wasting even more space now instead of less. People are writing user scripts left and right to take crap out of the interface. Google has clearly forgotten how to listen to the users, and is sure that it knows what we want anyway.

Re: Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43752735)

I don't get why people get crazy over "wasted space". Screen space is not a natural resource one should preserve. Ideally the post I'm currently reading would be the only thing on the screen and since it's hard to read long lines, it would have short lines and thus there would be huge margins around. I just can't see what's wrong with that.

Re:Meh. (1)

theurge14 (820596) | about a year and a half ago | (#43751911)

Keep an eye on the newer Yahoo mobile apps. I tried the new weather one and was happily surprised. I still use GMail and probably will for a long time forward but I'm watching Yahoo now.

Don't hold out much hope (1)

g2devi (898503) | about a year and a half ago | (#43746775)

There's already making automatic decisions that harm their searches. For instance, autocomplete is now useless since it automatically gets you to "Are you feeling lucky?" and there's no way to turn it off. Worse yet, there are times when I automatically keep autocompleting by accident and I keep getting hit by "Are you feeling lucky?".

Announcing Google++ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43746869)

Google++ will now tell you who your friends are, even before you know them yourself.

Re:Announcing Google++ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43748535)

Is that how this mail order bride got to mom's basement for me?

Re:Announcing Google++ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43748623)

No, that was my doing, dear.

-- Mom

p.s. make sure you brush your teeth before bed

How about a sane order of posts instead? (5, Interesting)

Tridus (79566) | about a year and a half ago | (#43746907)

I use g+ regularly (I know, insert joke about being the only person on the net to do that here). I've liked it, for the most part.

But yesterday? Man. That new interface went live and how I have three tiny columns of posts. Which itself might be okay, except they're in no discernible order whatsoever. New stuff I haven't seen yet is buried off the screen, but there's six things from two days ago still hanging around at the top. Sometimes new things appear in a visible spot, sometimes they don't. I don't know why I need three columns when each one is so small that it's barely telling me anything, and looks like it was designed for a mobile screen. (The iPad app has a similar layout but has much saner ordering and uses 1 or 2 columns depending on the size of the item. It works far better.)

There's an option to turn it back to a single column, but the column stays the same size and now 2/3 of the screen is totally empty while I have to click to expand everything to see more than 30 words and scroll down like crazy. At least in that mode it seems to be ordered correctly.

The main reaction in my g+ circles to the update was confusion. It wasn't even the usual "change is bad" reaction. People were just lost in how they were supposed to read this new layout and find the new stuff in a simple way.

It's funny because g+ started off with a simpler, easier to use page than Facebook had. That's gone and reversed itself now. I really don't get what Google's thinking. As of right now, I'd actually rank the usability of Facebook more highly.

Re:How about a sane order of posts instead? (0)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747483)

Have you asked yourself: do you actually know anything about user interface design? Google employs Ph.D.s by the dozen. Maybe you need to stop offering uninformed criticisms? Google doesn't do these things randomly or on a whim. These changes were debated, thought over by smart people, and then implemented. It's like Roger Ebert vs. the opinion of J. Random Moviegoer here.

Re:How about a sane order of posts instead? (3, Interesting)

Tridus (79566) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747585)

So does Microsoft. They gave us Windows 8. How's that working out for them? (Considering they're now backtracking and putting boot to desktop and the start menu back in because the market isn't a big fan of what their UI design experts put out.)

I'm not really sure how it's an "uninformed criticism", when I'm using it. It's entirely informed. They moved the new things that I haven't seen and want to see off the screen, and kept old stuff that I've already seen and don't want to see again at the top. That's useful to me... why?

But yes, I'm sure that since a Ph.D came up with it, surely it's awesome and we should all bow down to it's greatness. So what if I have to scroll through old stuff to find new stuff, or have the alternative view of a metric fuckton of empty whitespace with a tiny list of content in the middle. I'm sure I'm just not seeing why that's actually a good thing because I'm not smart enough.

Re:How about a sane order of posts instead? (1)

readingaccount (2909349) | about a year and a half ago | (#43748695)

and the start menu back in

No, they're not. They're bringing back the start button. Instead of there being an invisible hot corner or hidden clickable area to access the Start screen while in the desktop, there's now a clear button to do so. But the start menu itself is as dead as Microsoft can make it - despite the fact that restoring the menu even if it's "old-fashioned" would alleviate nearly all the major concerns people have with the fucking OS.

Re:How about a sane order of posts instead? (3, Interesting)

Teckla (630646) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747641)

Have you asked yourself: do you actually know anything about user interface design? Google employs Ph.D.s by the dozen. Maybe you need to stop offering uninformed criticisms? Google doesn't do these things randomly or on a whim. These changes were debated, thought over by smart people, and then implemented. It's like Roger Ebert vs. the opinion of J. Random Moviegoer here.

I guess I'm not experienced enough in UI design to be allowed to express an opinion either (at least, according to you), but I'll share my opinion anyway: I don't like the multi-column G+ design either, because I find it tiresome to shift my attention back and forth between columns, and keep track of where I am in each column.

I also find G+ slow (even on my fast CPU) and cluttered. I find the text is too small and if I zoom it two levels (to make it large enough to easily read), the rightmost column partially renders under the Hangouts column.

Page up and page down don't work quite right a large fraction of the time (try it), and I hate it when web sites pin content (if I scroll, I want everything to scroll).

I miss the old Google when UI designs were simple, intuitive, uncluttered, and fast. They seem to be junking up all their UIs (including Gmail).

Re:How about a sane order of posts instead? (4, Interesting)

seebs (15766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747883)

Go read The Design of Everyday Things. Designers have, in multiple fields, consistently used their impressive educations and experience to produce systems which were demonstrably less usable and less well-liked than the things they replaced. It's very easy for people to fall prey to that, and "experts" are not immune...

Re:How about a sane order of posts instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43748083)

Your post is a gigantic pile of elitist dipshit drivel. Roger Ebert's opinion on anything was just that: one fuckwad's opinion. The asshole never created shit. Well, that's all he created. PhD's can fuck up. News flash.

Should be intuitive (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#43748211)

Have you asked yourself: do you actually know anything about user interface design?

If you have to know anything about "user interface design" to actually USE a designed interface, you have failed. The whole point of the field is to make something so obvious to use that it seems like no design was involved.

Google employs Ph.D.s by the dozen.

I've known a lot of grad students, and always thought this was the most insane predilection Google had in hiring. Grad students are the least practical people on earth; hence the desire to stay in school long after most people go off to do something real...

I mean, I don't think you can spell Architecture Astronaut without a trailing * that refers to where the Ph. D came frame.

Re:How about a sane order of posts instead? (1)

quadrox (1174915) | about a year and a half ago | (#43749119)

What a fucking clueless moron you are. You are seriously telling us that some UI Phd knows more about what I and OP like, than we do ourselves? The new interface sucks and I hate it, as do many others. Coming here to tell us that we are wrong about how we feel is disingenious on such a level, it is really quite astonishing.

Re:How about a sane order of posts instead? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#43749765)

Have you asked yourself: do you actually know anything about user interface design? Google employs Ph.D.s by the dozen. Maybe you need to stop offering uninformed criticisms? Google doesn't do these things randomly or on a whim. These changes were debated, thought over by smart people, and then implemented. It's like Roger Ebert vs. the opinion of J. Random Moviegoer here.

they employ two dozen ui specialists and as a consequence have two dozens ui's on the ui.

Re:How about a sane order of posts instead? (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about a year and a half ago | (#43750571)

Google has shown that it doesn't have programmers that know a damn thing about human-computer interaction time and time again (see YouTube). NIH also is alive and well at that place too. I thought Apple was bad! People tend to forget that the original Google+ rollout was a mess that looked like some random manager said "hey, looks good enough, get it live ASAP to make the CEO happy." Remember, just because you have a Ph. D. (or any random assortment of important looking letters after your name) doesn't mean you are qualified.

Re:How about a sane order of posts instead? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747593)

Ya, it's stupid. They've let phone design interfere the browser design I think. I'd dump it but it's the only thing to maintain some links to people I know (well, linkedin too, but I already overuse that to maintain non-professional connections).

Re:How about a sane order of posts instead? (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year and a half ago | (#43749345)

The order wasn't broken yesterday. It's been wrong for months. I have no idea how they've not noticed this or why they haven't fixed it.

Re:How about a sane order of posts instead? (1)

Tridus (79566) | about a year and a half ago | (#43749913)

Oh? Never noticed. I wasn't the only one in my circles to comment on it when the new UI went live either.

Maybe the amount of stuff being shown at once was so much smaller before that it just wasn't as big a deal.

Both fascinating and creepy (0)

joh (27088) | about a year and a half ago | (#43746933)

But it gets less fascinating as soon as you try and find that all these automatisms misfire as often as not. Google feels more and more like a big toy store that lets you play with all the toys for free if you allow them to go through your pockets while you're playing.

Re:Both fascinating and creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43747355)

Too true. Except it's not your pockets they want to finger, it's your ass pussy.

Google is approaching this the wrong way (4, Insightful)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747387)

Yahoo was the mostest winningest search platform for years, until they implemented pop-up advertising. Users immediately jumped ship to Google because it's fast, clean and accurate. Sticking to the 'lean mean searching machine' is what keeps Google on top. Others try to copy it and they fail.

Google shouldn't be trying to out-Facebook Facebook, they should be creating a 'lean mean social machine' .. because that's what they're good at.

Google has a handsome-looking platform, one that performs certain activities with a high degree of polish and zip—but is that enough to counter Facebook?

It's not necessary to counter Facebook, Facebook will do that themselves. Facebook is already getting whipped for privacy violations. All Google needs is a 'lean mean social machine' ie. a simple social platform which respects the user's privacy. Quit adding knuckleheaded features and focus on privacy and security. The short game is shiny widgets, the long game is for the win.

Re:Google is approaching this the wrong way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43749193)

No, others try to copy Google's money making abilities, not the 'lean mean searching machine' bit.

I see diminishing returns (3, Interesting)

todfm (1973074) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747403)

We're really digging the bottom of the barrel as an industry if we're putting energy into doing analytics on vacation photos to identify which ones contain landmarks. The way I see it, we've already accomplished the big things in computing (word processing, spreadsheets, image editing, etc.) and now all that's left is the constant development of minutiae.

This is typical of Google's arrogance (1)

DavidinAla (639952) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747411)

The people at Google believe that if something can be quantified and identified, it MUST mean sometime. In the example given in the article summary, the only reason Google would assume that certain shots are "special" is that it happens to have the capability to identify certain locations, so OBVIOUSLY those would matter. Right? No, not at all. Google doesn't know what I want. Google doesn't know what I think is special. Google doesn't know what I think. The ONLY way it can have any hope of even making intelligent guesses about those things is to become more and more intrusive in the data it gathers about me. I don't want that. I don't want some collecting that much information about me. I don't even want some algorithm trying to figure out what matters to me. I like the idea of certain things being programmable. I like making the UIs to those things easier to understand. But I want to be in control. I don't want Google or any other company doing things because it thinks it understands me and what I want. That's prelude to Big Brother, at best.

Or Great feature (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747843)

Google would assume that certain shots are "special" is that it happens to have the capability to identify certain locations, so OBVIOUSLY those would matter. Right? No, not at all.

What the automanagement of photos by giving them appropriate tags? The arrogance, and remember this is just one of 41 new features, including auto gif creation, or stick together pics to make a panorama.

Re:This is typical of Google's arrogance (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year and a half ago | (#43748573)

Google doesn't know what I think

I could have sworn I just heard 20,000 hard disks spin up.

Not until they have a good public api... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43747523)

Seriously, as a php and python dev, I WANT to use their api on my web apps, but guess what, they are read only still! No write access! They will not be able to compete directly until people can make apps and websites that can extend G+ in this crucial way.

As for just communicating with friends/groups, G+ is already vastly superior in many ways, but the lack of an read/write api will hold it back.

Cliché-O-Matic (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43747739)

Say you went on vacation to India and took some photos of your significant other in front of the Taj Mahal; Google Plus will leverage its database of information to recognize that as a prominent landmark and pluck those photos out of the pile as 'special.'

Great, just what you need: a megacorporation to filter all your memories into cliched copies of a zillion other tourists' Taj Mahal photos. No need for building special memories of your own, with the person you're with --- that one shot, in some bland and unmemorable location, that would bring back with perfect clarity some jewel of laughter shared with your significant other: scores too low on Google Reality Rank Algorithm. But you can replace all your pitiful personal experiences with the postcard-perfect majestic landmarks conforming to the mind of the New Google Man: why live your own life, when a server farm can decide what is true and beautiful for you?

To extend your thought... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#43748267)

Envision future Google - when you take a picture of a famous landmark like the eiffel tower, Google proceeds on a makeover that fixes lighting, removes rain, eliminates any trace of blur by using details from a million other photos to re-texture your image... so your picture looks exactly the same as every other picture of that landmark uploaded to Google.

In the end it is perfect. But it has no soul.

Won't Be Fooled Again (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#43748271)

Having had my share of agony in the past with things that have "+' in the name, I'm not using Google+ until we get to Google++11.

Maybe if I bother using Google+ (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about a year and a half ago | (#43748859)

Google+ might have some hold on me, but I don't and it doesn't, so what exactly seems to be the problem?

Wonderful, thanks Google... (1)

19061969 (939279) | about a year and a half ago | (#43749121)

So when I'm looking at photos of a loved ones' visit to the Taj Mahal, Google says that they're going to push *lots* of other people's photos of the Taj Mahal at me.

Because I really want to look at the Taj Mahal. Endlessly.

No you dipshits! I want to look at my loved ones enjoying their holiday! I don't give a flying f*** through a rolling donut about the holiday snaps of strangers, no matter how good, how artsy, how quirky, or how many there are with vaguely amusing pictures of sodding cats!

Bet all you want Google.

Re:Wonderful, thanks Google... (1)

Captain Hook (923766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43750143)

So when I'm looking at photos of a loved ones' visit to the Taj Mahal, Google says that they're going to push *lots* of other people's photos of the Taj Mahal at me.

Thats not how I read the summary, it more a case of you upload all your photos and Google will use the ones with recognised landmarks as the special photos for you, use them as album covers etc.

They are working on the basis that you are uploading everything you take a picture of and then want to sort through them to find that 1 special photo and that photos with landmarks probably hold more significance for you because it probably means a trip or holiday.

Personally I think they are making some false assumptions there, number 1 being that I think the stuff which gets online has already been selected by the user to some extent.

Missing the whole point (1)

putaro (235078) | about a year and a half ago | (#43749177)

Google is really missing the whole point of Facebook (Facebook tends to miss it too). It's not about whizzy features, it's about interacting with your friends. I don't use Google+ because few of my friends do. I really don't want to have Google+ OR Facebook finding new junk to stuff in front of me. I want to find out what my friends are up to. It's better than emailing stupid jokes around.

I suspect too many Google staffers are never leaving the Googleplex anymore.

"Whats best for you" is not what I want (1)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | about a year and a half ago | (#43749301)

I want diversity, even if I don't agree, I want freedom even if it means I have to go to the 2nd page to find my search result. But most people are just sheep :P

google fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43750863)

Google is just a complete mess. Stick to what you're good at, which is searching for information on the internet. Don't play this insipid game of social networking because it's likely going to change radically as time goes on. Maybe if you made Google Scholar better or actually followed through on your ambitions to scan books and give people the knowledge they need, people would respect you more and forgive your terrible behavior.

MY darkroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43751323)

Google thinks MY darkroom is THEIR data center.

Except I claim copyright over all images, forever and without negotiation or amendment.

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