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Google Revises Usenet Search

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the what's-usenet? dept.

Google 628

michaelmalak writes "Wednesday night, Google Groups announced in a thread the rollout of their revised 20-year Usenet archive search engine. Among the various 'improvements': ability to search by date has been eliminated, as has the ability to deep link to a single post. See the announcement thread for others' reaction." An anonymous reader writes "ZDNet has published some interesting insights into what makes Google tick. In this lengthy article, Google's vice-president of engineering, Urs Hölzle delves into the nuts and bolts behind Google's operations, what back-up mechanisms and hardware setup is in place and even some interesting homegrown technology like the Google File System (GFS)."

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Progress? (5, Funny)

danielrm26 (567852) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974240)

Among the various 'improvements': ability to search by date has been eliminated, as has the ability to deep link to a single post.

Well damn - I hope they don't "improve" it too much more.

Re:Progress? (3, Insightful)

BinBoy (164798) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974287)

This is truly evil. Everyone make noise about this so we can get date range searches back!

Re:Progress? (1)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974290)

But are they adding support for NZB files? That's the real question.

Re:Progress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974379)

support for NZB files

Forget that .nzb files and go straight to .torrent would be even beter.

Re:Progress? (4, Funny)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974491)

Good point, why would I ever want to download "things" at a fairly constant 2.6-2.8Mbps (on my 3 Mb connection) from newsgroups when I can do so at a very inconsitent 50-100Kbps from a torrent?

And from torrents I get the added benefit of not only downloading the file, but uploading to everyone else and broadcasting my IP address all over the place.

In soviet russia (-1, Troll)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974386)

Google improves you

Re:Progress? (3, Funny)

albeit unknown (136964) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974437)

We are altering the deal.

Pray we don't alter it any further.

Re:Progress? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974470)

I hate the new groups. About 2 weeks ago I performed a search on misc.fitness weights and got a few thousand hits. I would just read through the posts on my downtime and bookmark the page I left off on. It was hours of entertainment, and this new crap messed it all up...

WTF? (2, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974248)

ability to search by date has been eliminated, as has the ability to deep link to a single post.

What the hell? That was probably two of the most useful features.

Damn you google!

Re:WTF? (1)

Mwongozi (176765) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974278)

That was the two most useful features, after "Search". Boo. :(

Re:WTF? (0, Offtopic)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974332)

Sorry to have to do this but:

The phrase That was the two is improper. I could have let one time go without correction, but it has now been stated twice.

Correct form: Those were the two

Thank you, drive through.

Re:WTF? (0, Offtopic)

Mwongozi (176765) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974408)

This is the sort of pedantry up with which I will not put.

Re:WTF? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974487)

completely off-topic, but I wish to hell there was a "-1 pedantic" moderation.

Re:WTF? (1)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974443)

That's because initially I was going to say "That was one of the best features", refering to the search by date. But then I changed my post to include the other one. Sorry.

Re:WTF? (1)

dasunt (249686) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974508)

That was the two most useful features, after "Search". Boo. :(

Author search appears to be missing as well.

So, who has a good searchable usenet archive with the above features?

Re:WTF? (4, Interesting)

Eric Giguere (42863) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974328)

Well, I supposed it makes it easier to hide the stupid things some of us may have posted (especially in university) to Usenet back in the 80s and early 90s. Mind you, those "features" allowed me to resurrect some semi-useful postings I had made:

Reading C Declarations: A Guide for the Mystified [ericgiguere.com]

The ANSI Standard: A Summary for the C Programmer [ericgiguere.com]

Eric

Re:WTF? (1)

Richard Dick Head (803293) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974355)

Yeah...no more randomly strolling back to 1992, and laughing at the leet haxors and their pimped out 386DXes and Slackware 1.0. Ah, the good old days...*sob*

two of the most useful features (4, Interesting)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974373)

Absolutely. With so much spam and repetitive information on Usenet, I've always limited my searches by date.

And linking to a single post is the whole point. I know it costs money to keep that stuff online, but surely they could find a way to put ads on deeplinked posts.

Google just used up all its goodwill with me.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974411)

No crap. Usenet is pretty useless without advanced search features. Its so full of crap I barely use it anymore. A shame... Stupid trolls! http://fromthemorning.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:WTF? (3, Informative)

shird (566377) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974464)

It seems its still possible to sort by date. So instead of limiting your search to a date range, just sort by date then clicky-click the "o"s until you find the range you want.

Of course, it makes it difficult to sort by relevance *within* a date range.

Re:WTF? (0)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974489)

This story is bullshit. If you RTFA it says:

here are some of the new features:

- A new directory structure to find all Usenet groups
- Advanced search
- Sort by date in search results
- Email address masking
- New user interface

Re:WTF? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974474)

To me this is a disaster. I have google groups, date limited to the past two years, as my homepage! It's one of my main sources of information.

Information goes obsolete quickly. Without date restrictions, it's almost useless.

Putting the desired year in the query might be a poor man's workaround, but using less pertinent terms like that quickly degrades the search results.

Big brother trips (2, Informative)

harris s newman (714436) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974253)

I have been on it this morning with various results. I am getting alot of server errors. Additionally, the preferences doesn't allow me to change it back to the old format. I don't like the new format personally, and won't be using it.

Re:Big brother trips (1)

calidoscope (312571) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974274)

That's pretty much my experience as well. The new fomat is much less useful than the old format (give me plain text).

Re:Big brother trips (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974294)

The new format is smaller than the old one. Now there is that Member/Sign in thingy taking much of the screen estate. Annoying.

Not all bad, maybe just mostly bad. (1)

plockton (609647) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974390)

Trying it last night, I was unable to post through it. When I got to the "preview" or "post" point it kept sending me back to log in again. Once I did that I was confronted with another blank form to write my post on! Besides lack of date range search, it's not clear to me if author search remains. That would be horrible. There is at least one improvement: posts are added to the archive as they propagate to the Google servers. In the old system, they were collected throughout the day but then only added 4 or 5 times a day. Note they also munge email addresses in an attempt to, I guess, stop harvesting. I haven't been able to check it out fully since it seems to be broken already.

SP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974255)

Second post!

I bet you havn't seen one of these!

Re:SP! (1)

Freexe (717562) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974261)

Neither have you

Not in korea. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974257)

In korea only old people usenet.

hmmmm (5, Funny)

meatspray (59961) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974267)

"Spelling: Google wrote its own spell checker, and maintains that nobody know as many spelling errors as it does. The amount of computing power available at the company means it can afford to begin teaching the system which words are related -- for instance "Imperial", "College" and "London". It's a job that many CPU years, and which would not have been possible without these thousands of machines. "When you have tons of data and tons of computation you can make things work that don't work on smaller systems," said Hölzle. One goal of the company now is to develop a better conceptual understanding of text, to get from the text string to a concept. "

Next up: Grammar and Content

Re:hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974318)

=oO ..
My cat's name is mittens

A little respect (2, Insightful)

SlashdotMirrorer (669639) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974273)

For all the years of good service we've had from google, who are we to question the removal of features? What the bearded terminal hackers at Google giveth, the bearded terminal hackers at Google may taketh away. Certainly, if we can embrace their advertising as the GNU/Linux community has done en-masse, we can understand that they have their reasons for these changes.

Perhaps you'd like to start your own archive of the USENET message boards?

Re:A little respect (5, Insightful)

dave-tx (684169) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974327)

who are we to question the removal of features?

We're the users. That's our right as users. If nobody questions the decision to remove features, then how does Google know what features we liked?

There's absolutely nothing wrong with constructive criticism, even with respect to a "free" service.

Re:A little respect (0, Offtopic)

SlashdotMirrorer (669639) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974394)

We're the users. That's our right as users. If nobody questions the decision to remove features, then how does Google know what features we liked?

Is this really necessary? Think of bearded terminal hacker #1: Linus Trolvads. Did he (or even now) care about the features everybody else wanted? No. He simply wanted a version of BSD UNIX that he could run on the PC that he built. Sometimes the screw-you-guys approach produces good software.

Let everyone else build it into the SVR4 GNU/Linux Distro Whatever they want to. If you want features so bad, bolt them on yourself.

Re:A little respect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974490)

at least with a linux distro you have the source and you can do such things.. with google, they have the code and they have the database.. how do you 'bolt on' to that?

Re:A little respect (1)

SlashdotMirrorer (669639) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974505)

There are these mysterious things that only bearded terminal hackers know of, called "API"s.

Go read "Google Hacks".

Re:A little respect (1)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974336)

For all the years of good service we've had from google, who are we to question the removal of features?

We are their customers, their clients and their users. Without us, they're nothing.

Re:A little respect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974345)

What's a bearded terminal?

Re:A little respect (1)

Freexe (717562) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974356)

Well nows Google is a PLC if you're a share owner you can ask why are they keeping features that dont make money. I fear this could be the beginning of the end of Google as more and more 'features' get cut so they make more money to satisfy their share holders.

Re:A little respect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974360)

Do you mean a Mirror of Google [alltooflat.com] ?

Respect is earned (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974365)

For all the years of good service we've had from google, who are we to question the removal of features?

Excuse me, but their Google Groups feature is based entirely on profiting from others' work (and copyrighted work at that). If you're providing a properly searchable index, you might (might) have a public interest defence to the copyright infringement. If you're providing a useful service, most people might (might) not mind you using their work. But if you're going to take away useful searching facilities and provide a service that doesn't even allow proper citation (i.e., deep-linking to a specific post), you're going to be both unpopular and almost certainly breaking the law. I don't know about you, but personally I don't have much respect for people who are either of those things.

Re:Respect is earned (1)

SlashdotMirrorer (669639) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974434)

Google's bearded terminal hackers provide this service out of the goodness of their open source hearts, and you're going to claim that they're breaking the law? They're not obligated to do anything for you.

Re:Respect is earned (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974492)

Google's bearded terminal hackers provide this service out of the goodness of their open source hearts, and you're going to claim that they're breaking the law?

They are in danger of breaking the law in many places: they are providing copies of copyrighted work without the permission of the copyright holder, pure and simple. The only relevant question is whether they have a defence under something like fair use or public interest or whatever similar allowances are called in your jurisdiction. And I'm not obligated to do anything for them either, including giving them permission to copy my Usenet posts for profit.

Re:Respect is earned (1)

Traicovn (226034) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974475)

While I agree with you that it's nice to have deep-linking, it isn't breaking the law not to allow it. Plenty of scholarly search services (the kinds you have to pay for) do not allow deep linking for example. Since Google hosts the USENET posts themselves, and therefore pays the bill, they also can legally control how you access them. If you use USENET in real life, you of course understand that not every USENET node keeps every single post forever. Eventually most of them disappear. Google is great in that they won't disappear, however they have decided that the level of access they want to give you to their databases needs to be limited to an extent. As the gatekeepers they have that ability and it is their right. Also, since the article is in it's original form, and that Google is not claiming to be the creator of the content, and since it was originally posted publicly on the internet, I think you would find a copyright defense hard to mount. While I don't like the idea of removing some of the useful features, it is a problem that the internet will just have to deal with until somebody comes up with a service that offers those features. Maybe it's time for you and your friends to break out the old C++ manuals.

Re:A little respect (4, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974398)

A little respect? Hah, unless they put these two features back within a week, they will cease to have any respect from me. I think I can safely cross Google off my "cool geeky things" list.

I'm not sure what motivated such changes, but usually you don't remove enhancesments to software unless they are causing major problems or if they somehow affect your financial bottom line. Somehow I think its related to the latter of the two because I don't see how the former would case problems.

You don't do something like collect nearly all the usenet postings ever made, make it searchable by date and then take it away. Basically people have lost the ability to do historical internet research using google groups. Sort by date is not even close to the same.

I do hope you were kidding (2, Insightful)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974494)

For all the years of good service we've had from google, who are we to question the removal of features?

Their bread and butter? Without us (the millions of people who use google rather than a competitor) they don't have a business.

I read your post and thought I could detect a tongue firmly in cheeck. I don't know what is more disturbing .... the +2 insightful moderation or the notion that your comment implying that intelligent people should essentially bend over for their "superiors" and accept whatever they may do passively and happilly could possibly have been intended not as humor, but in earnest.

Or is everyone's stock answer to anyone's criticism of Our Corporate Masters(tm), or anyone's demand for corporate accountability not just to their stockholders, but to their community, their customers, and their resources (us, as it is our clicks and our eyes they are selling to their advertisers) to "go out and start your own company and stop criticisizing Our Greatness(tm)"?

On a more serious note (and I only feel compelled to say this because so many moderators obviously aren't getting what I believe you intended as a bit of wry humor), our president, our congress, and far too many common folks (on slashdot and off) may eagerly fall to their knees in the presence of their corporate masters (and may indeed race one another to do so), but some of us remain free thinkers and expect to criticize any organization, profit-driven or not, when they misbehave.

And crippling a service to increase revinue is certainly misbehaving, whether or not that service is "free." (Our clicks, our eyes, that they are selling and making billions off of, are also free. If this exchange becomes unequitable because of Google's dominant position ... we have nowhere else to effectively go ... then we can and should bitch about it, loudly)

500 error? (4, Funny)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974284)

Oh my god, we Slashdotted Google!

(Gathers canned goods, candles, heads for cave)

Re:500 error? (1)

becauseiamgod (559722) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974325)

Don't get too excited, the 500 error msg was being returned even before the article went public. (I geta

Re:500 error? (0)

Jacek Poplawski (223457) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974335)

Finally! After all these years!

Re:500 error? (1, Funny)

aurb (674003) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974353)

Oh my god, we Slashdotted Google!

We bastards!

Re:500 error? (1)

Claire-plus-plus (786407) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974397)

good to see that nobody is immune to the /. effect

Google got Slashdotted? (1)

G-Licious! (822746) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974285)

The server encountered an error and could not complete your request.

A random search on http://groups-beta.google.com/ gives me the same result.

Oh no, please bring back date search , Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974297)

Please please. I use search by date all the time! Please give it back. Pretty please!

Re:Oh no, please bring back date search , Google! (1)

lpp (115405) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974482)

please bring back date search


Dude. Really. If you have to search your dates, you probably need to raise your standards just a *wee* bit, wouldn't you say?

Dumb (5, Insightful)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974299)

Why would you remove the search by date function? That is insanely useful when you are looking for posts about a particular product, especially tech products where you might only want the most recent posts, or you might be searching for an oudated product.

Re:Dumb (1)

stesch (12896) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974427)

If you only want the most recent posts you can sort by date.

I think we farked the servers (0)

i_c_andrade (795205) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974303)

the first link gives a 500 server error. darn it

Improvements??? (4, Interesting)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974311)

Among the various 'improvements': ability to search by date has been eliminated, as has the ability to deep link to a single post.

Jee, nice "improvements"... I personally have linked to individual posts on a web page summarizing a lawsuit I was involved in that was directly related to posts in a newsgroup. I know others who have linked to posts in similar situations. I just checked my web page and the links to those posts no longer work.

Google just took a HUGE step backwards in my opinion.

OMG.. it's truly awful. (3, Informative)

Dynamoo (527749) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974315)

OMG.. it's truly awful. They've completely ruined it, and whats with the "Create New Groups" feature. Do we really want newbies to create Usenet groups? And talk about taking away the useful features! The old Google Groups was an easy-to-use, simple tool. This looks like it's been hacked together by a bunch of teenagers.

Luckily the rot hasn't spread to the national Googles yet, so you can still use Google UK [google.co.uk] if you need it.. at least until they ruin that too.

Re:OMG.. it's truly awful. (1)

Mwongozi (176765) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974436)

The "Create new group" function creates groups that are limited to Google Groups. They are not usenet newsgroups.

Re:OMG.. it's truly awful. (4, Informative)

Kingpin (40003) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974466)


I'm believe that the "new groups" are not new usenet groups, but merely a yahoo-groups clone on the side, which gets he same interface as the one they provide for usenet groups.

The old groups interface rocked. This is a major step in the wrong direction in my book.

HW summary overview (4, Informative)

grape jelly (193168) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974324)

The article states:

- Over four billion Web pages, each an average of 10KB, all fully indexed.
- Up to 2,000 PCs in a cluster.
- Over 30 clusters.
- One petabyte of data in a cluster -- so much that hard disk error rates of 10-15 begin to be a real issue.
- Sustained transfer rates of 2Gbps in a cluster.
- An expectation that two machines will fail every day in each of the larger clusters.
- No complete system failure since February 2000.

Now, 2,000 machines in a cluster, plus 1PB data, plus 2Gbps in a cluster times 30 clusters comes to:

- "Over" 60,000 PCs (!)
- "Over" 30PB data storage
- "Over" 60Gbps bandwidth

Also interesting:

- An expectation that two machines will fail every day in each of the larger clusters.
- No complete system failure since February 2000.

Re:HW summary overview (1)

grape jelly (193168) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974347)

oops. PC count is going to be off. "Up to" 2,000 PCs in a cluster times "Over" 30 clusters will give an indeterminate answer. I shot in the dark would be the 60,000 PCs I gave, but surely no guarantees there.

What is a petabyte? (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974349)

One petabyte of data in a cluster

Uhh, ok what is a petabyte? Is that like half of a veggie burger or something? I'm guessing 1000 Terrabytes?

Re:What is a petabyte? (1)

Freexe (717562) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974402)

Can we have some real units please? How many Libraries of Congress is that?

Re:What is a petabyte? (1)

frankie (91710) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974457)

Is that like half of a veggie burger or something?

I'm guessing you won't even want to KNOW about Yottabytes and Zeptometers [nist.gov] . It's true, Dr Seuss has come back from the grave and taken over the ISO.

Re:What is a petabyte? (1)

grape jelly (193168) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974481)

The answer you're looking for is "yes". =-P

However, often (and typically on a casual basis) you'll find people saying it's 1024 terabytes. This is because computers inherently like to deal with numbers as powers of two (and 2^10 is 1024, which is close). Rather than leaving ambiguity when using the metric prefixes, a new set of prefixes was devised to circumvent this issue:

kibibyte == 1024 bytes
mebibyte == 1024 kibibytes
gibibyte == 1024 mebibytes
tebibyte == 1024 gibibytes
pebibyte == 1024 tebibytes

For a more thorough explanation, see wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_prefix [wikipedia.org]

Call the Geek Squad... (1)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974486)


Uhh, ok what is a petabyte? Is that like half of a veggie burger or something? I'm guessing 1000 Terrabytes?
1024, actually...

Re:HW summary overview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974374)

Think of a beowulf cluster of those!

Re:HW summary overview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974412)

I dunno. I think converting those existing clusters into beowulf clusters would probably be pretty damned impressive. ;-)

Re:HW summary overview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974407)

30 clusters, each with 2Gbps "in" the cluster does NOT mean a total of 60Gbps bandwidth.

The transfer rate To/From/Between clusters was not mentioned.

Also Transfer Rate != Bandwidth.

Separation of posts (3, Insightful)

FireBug (83228) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974326)

They changed this on me last night right in the middle of using it for some research. My biggest pet peeve is the separation of posts, or lack thereof. When their search term highlighting kicks in and highlights a bunch of words, it's hard to tell where one post ends and the next begins. I'm NOT a fan of this new design. At least they should let us choose the old one!

Hey Google: you're being evil... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974334)

Try to search for a number [google.com] using Beta and you'll see how broken it is.

Also, it creeped me out to no end discovering this morning that my Gmail cookie is really a "Google Accounts" cookie which will now be attached to my Usenet forays via Google as well. I personally don't want the line between public and private conversations to be muddied like that, and I definitely don't want a unified cookie straddling both domains.

Finally, the interface leaves a lot to be desired. The layout is cluttered and junky now whereas it was clean and simple before. I'm not enthralled by the Javascript hooks. Threading seems to be worse than ever (and still not done by message-ID or References - when I asked Google why this was via email, the response was "too difficult"... *boggle*) and the CLI-esque search ability is degenerating into a GUI mess; where one line of text and a CR would before get you to the page you wanted, it now can take that plus several additional mouse gestures and clicks.

This is a sad day, to see a useful tool become so f**ked up for no apparent good reason. I can only hope and pray for a reversion.

Re:Hey Google: you're being evil... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974454)

"I personally don't want the line between public and private conversations to be muddied like that"

Your conversations in standard email are not private (unless you pgp them)

Your conversations in GMail email are even less private!

this sucks ass.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974342)

this sucks, I really liked google groups as it was and i was hoping they dont take their groups2 and throw away groups1 :(

plus now we lost the tree view on the left so it is hard to make out what is in reply to what :(

aah short some google stock..

Google's improvements (2, Interesting)

jaf (121858) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974350)

Well, this is obviously an outrage and all.

I know this is a liiiittle bit offtopic, but here's a story about how the little guy (or little country) can still reach a huge company like Google and get them to change something.

> Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 13:04:02 +0100
> Hi,
>
> I wanted to post a question to Google Answers,
> but my VISA credit card was not accepted,
> because its expiry date is 09/12 and you only
> allow up to 2009, not 2012.
>
> How do I solve this problem? I live in Denmark.
> I use the same card to shop on the internet all
> the time.
>
> Kind regards,

Hello Jakob,

Unfortunately, because the expiration date is not listed on our billing page, we must ask that you use a different credit card.

Sincerely,

The Google Answers Team

> Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 12:00:27 +0100
>
> Dear Google Answers Team,
>
> That is the only credit card I have. This is
> very unfortunate, but since others have solved
> the problem, I'm sure that so could you?
>
> Regards, Jakob

Hello Jakob,

Thank you for your reply. We will extend our expiration date options. The
billing page should update in 24-48 hours.

Sincerely,

The Google Answers Team

So still: HURRAY FOR GOOGLE!!!

Re:Google's improvements (2, Insightful)

acidrain69 (632468) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974507)

"Please fix things so I can give you money" is different than "please give us back our features that we don't pay your for, and you make no money off of".

Perhaps we have our reason right there. Google+ accounts anyone?

Disclaimer: I know nothing about Google groups.

google slashdotted??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974358)

Hey, I can't reach the site, it just gives an error. Have we really slashdotted google??

First real deviation (3, Insightful)

DollyTheSheep (576243) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974361)

from "Don't be evil"?

Re:First real deviation (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974447)

from "Don't be evil"?

They've been very close several times before. But the last time I cited the other cases I was modded into oblivion (though also Insightful) and you've already been modded (-1, Offtopic) despite the fact that you're clearly not. So, you just get the quick version this time: Groups itself, Google Cache and Google's image search are all potentially (or almost certainly) illegal in many jurisdictions, and all on dubious moral ground at times, too.

Re:First real deviation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974506)

No.

For a start, taking something that was better than you really had a reasonable expectation of, then degrading it at a later date is not really "evil".

Its a shame, and dissappointing, but its hardly "evil".

Getting a large proportion of the world to accept that routinely sifting through your email in order to insert adverts as "not evil" or even "good", now that was the first step towards being an "evil corporation" (or "normal corporation" to be more precise).

thought I was going crazy (1, Informative)

CodeHog (666724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974364)

I'm on the side that doesn't like the new format. The first thing I found is that the thread view is missing. Now it just gives you the entire thread without the outlining the different posts. You can't jump to a particular post in the thread anymore.

It blows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974368)

The new Google groups can only please people who care more about how it looks than how it works. The older interface was a step down from the Deja interface, which was higly concentrated, and now this BS. As much as I love Google, I hate them for messing this up with their pastel-everything BS.

Scary.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974370)

Ill wait to complain till I verify it myself. However, if it is true it is another recent step of googles Im not really fond of.

My biggest, and only real complaints is them helping China with their Internet Ban.

Work around for filtering search by date (3, Informative)

chrisspurgeon (514765) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974388)

Although the the Google Groups advanced search page at http://groups-beta.google.com/advanced_search [google.com] no longer lets you filter searches by date range, the advanced search page at
http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search?hl= en [google.com] still does.

Re:Work around for filtering search by date (2, Informative)

Glenn R-P (83561) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974446)

Yes the "advanced" search menu (with dates) is still there, but it doesn't work any more.

Total catastrophe, a complete and utter misstep (4, Insightful)

BurkeTheEldar (161775) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974392)

This is a disaster. I have hundreds of links to usenet articles via the old google groups. Those are all dead now. There is no browsable hierarchy of "groups"; no real message threading; far less info on a screen; what a mess. Google groups became my primary interface to usenet and my favorite aspect of google. It seems that google has completely lost its sense. This is one hell of a killer mistake by google.

No Escape! (3, Insightful)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974405)

Hmmm, I guess this means it may be easier to still find all of that crazy s**t I wrote back in college when people actually used their real names on the internet! Uh oh...

ARRRRRRRRGH (4, Insightful)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974406)

search by date is the most useful feature when searching about many topics, often limiting the search to the last 2 years (or excluding the last 4 for example) yelds the results that one is looking for much more easily.

I have bookmarks to specific articles/threads it took me a long time to find and to which I refer now and then and if they stop working the usefulness of google groups for me will be much reduced...

As much as I understand why they would want to make USENET look more like a message board for people who never really grew up with it (usenet and gopher were mostly all we had back when I first went online) I still think that not having this functionality available for people who know how to make the most of it is very backward thinking.

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974438)

Usenet has been rended so useless by spammers and trolls I barely use it anymore. A shame, really. When google figures out a way to get rid of the trolls, they'll have my attention.

http://fromthemorning.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Oh God no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974453)

I noticed earlier that groups.google.com was redirecting to the "beta" version. I was hoping it was a temporary screwup. If you try using it, you will as well.

I'd like to take a moment to relay my calm and well considered reflections on the new interface :

Hey Google! What the FUCKING FUCK do you think you're doing? Are you trying to outdo Yahoo in the cluttered fucking uselessness stakes? Perhaps you were getting too much traffic and wanted a way to discourage people from using it too much? Well, if that's the case, it's going to be an outstanding fucking success! Why don't you just hire the people that came up with Ask Jeeves and have done with it? Come back Dejanews, all is forgiven.

For the time being you can still access the old interface through www.google.be. If anyone wants me I'll be over there in the corner trying to learn Flemish and sobbing quietly to myself.

We got fooled again (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974455)

well, not me since I never bought into their "do no evil" hype..but the rest of you who did are a big-ass bunch of st00pid suckers.

Google Groups != usenet anymore (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974456)

It seems to me that Google has decided to make Google Groups their own private message board and are relegating usenet newsgroups to the back room. The old interface let you easily drill down through the usent hierarchy (alt., comp., sci., rec., and so on). With this new (less) improved interface they've pushed the usenet groups off to one side. From the main page there's now a " Browse all of Usenet..." option at the bottom, and if you click on that you get taken to a page where you can select from an alphabetical list of newsgroups. They couldn't even be bothered to keep the same easy to use hierarchical method of navigating groups.

I wonder how long it'll be before Google simply drops the usenet portion altogether. Probably just as soon as their own private groups reach a critical mass and they decide usenet isn't worth the effort any more.

System borked (1)

Liquor (189040) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974465)

Not only does the new google groups beta refuse to work (cannot see a post even if the search works), but the old groups.google.com is now redirecting to the new (non-working) engine.

Grumble.

And what's with the tab for 'add a new group' - are they planning to any user to unilaterally create new usenet groups? Or are they planning to make usenet indistinguishable from their own (yet another bulletin board type) forums?

How Could They? (1)

occamboy (583175) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974468)

This is astoundingly bad. Losing the search by date is a catastrophe. They've even outdone Orkut on this one. This is such a huge step backwards that I'm starting to think that Google is a transient lucky accident, not some sort of brain trust. Are they doomed to future failure?

Re:How Could They? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10974502)

I don't get it--I really don't. This is how I find my posts, and thereby filter through all the crap on usenet. Now its completely useless.

http://fromthemorning.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

And after they'd finally got good. (2, Insightful)

TiggsPanther (611974) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974488)

When Google first bought up the old DejaNews archives I was ticked. They took something with which I could get the information I was after and returned something with which I could not.

Over the past few years they finally got it back to being something useful. I had heard about this "Make It Into Yet Another Glorified Web Groups" effort, and was less than impressed. But as long as it didn't interfere with it being a decent Usenet search engine...

No sort-by-date and no direct-article-linking? WTF? So if I want to get only the most recent posts for a certain query or if I want to pass someone a direct link to a specific post then I'm now SOL? How is that an "improvement"?
Is there anywhere else with an exhaustive archive of Usenet? I think I'm about to jump ship. I neither need nor want another web-groups option, and I want more search flexibility rather than less.

Ugh (2, Interesting)

eaolson (153849) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974497)

One thing that's horrible, is trying to find a group in the new system. I was looking for news.admin.net-abuse.email. (Fortunately, I have it bookmarked.) After going to "news." from the top-level Google Groups page, I was taken to a category selection page that included things like "Arts & Entertainment" and even "Adult". There are no such groups under the Usenet news. heirarchy. And under those categories the individual groups are ordered in what's probably their Google PageRank order, not alphabetically, not by size, not by any obvious means.

The big change seems to be they are integrating the Usenet archive with their own Groups stuff, and the two really aren't the same.

Noticed it this morning (1)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974499)


It stinks. I don't like it. Not just because its new.

Google has become corporate. Now they'll start ruining the things that made them great. Whats next, banner ads?

complex behaviour (1)

mu22le (766735) | more than 9 years ago | (#10974500)

It is absolutely clear to me that you cannot have the computing power google has and not expect it to produce complex behaviour.
I fell pretty sure google is the first step toward the cyberpunk world.
(I for one welcome our new artificial intelligence overlord)

Maybe it's just that I rad the article while listening to "Delete Yourself" by the Atari Teenage Riot (worth downloading, I swear)
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