[LINK] Google's quality control and reliability

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Sat Oct 15 09:00:00 AEDT 2011

Google News is a complete train-wreck.

Date-limited searches don't work, and whereas searches across the 
last month (the default) sort more-recent-first, searches across the 
archives search the other way around, resulting in erroneously-dated 
articles apparently from 1969 appearing first.  That applies whether 
you use the Archives tab in the left-margin or the Advanced Search 

Oh yes, and Google Buzzzzz-zzz-zz-z-z-z...

It was announced with great fanfare, and it began with some seriously 
bad features, but it gained some following.

Isn't it lucky that Google only produces products that are 
unimportant and can therefore be withdrawn at the drop of a hat.

Google Killing Buzz to Focus on Google+
Chloe Albanesius
October 14, 2011 02:22pm EST

Google on Friday announced that it will kill off its beleaguered Buzz 
social-networking product in the next few weeks in order to focus its 
attention on Google+.

The search giant will also shut down the Google Labs site and replace 
Boutiques.com and Like.com with Google Product Search later today, as 
promised, in addition to getting rid of several lesser-known products.

Google is ditching Buzz and its API. Existing Buzz content will still 
be viewable on a user's Google Profile and downloadable from Google 

"Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the 
past. We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that 
learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. 
Our users expect great things from us; today's announcements let us 
focus even more on giving them something truly awesome," Bradley 
Horowitz, vice president of product at Google, wrote in a blog post.

Though Google is having some success in the social space with 
Google+, it got off to a rocky start with Buzz, which was introduced 
in February 2010.

It added a "news feed" feature to Gmail and was also incorporated 
into Google's mobile offering on Android phones and the iPhone. 
Amidst concerns over what information was displayed publicly, 
however, Google soon tweaked Buzz to give user more control over 
their settings.

This did not appease all users, however, and a class-action suit was born.

Google eventually agreed to pay $8.5 million, which-after attorneys' 
fees and expenses were deducted-was donated to Internet privacy and 
education organizations.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) also filed a 
complaint with the FTC, resulting a March settlement that required 
Google to develop a comprehensive privacy program and submit to 
regular audits of its privacy policies.

Google+, meanwhile, was unveiled in late June with a limited number 
of users, and a Google+ invite quickly became the hottest ticket in 
town. The hysteria died down a bit after Google started allowing 
users to send out invites, but there was a lot of talk about whether 
Google had finally landed on a social networking product that could 
compete with Facebook. It opened up to the public in September.

During a Thursday earnings call, Google CEO Larry Page said Google+ 
now has 40 million users. "People are flocking into Google+ at an 
incredible rate and we are just getting started," he said.

Also on the chopping block, meanwhile, is Code Search, which will be 
gone as of January 15. Google will also shutter Jakiu and remove the 
social feature on iGoogle the same day and shut down its University 
Research Program for Google Search, which provides API access to its 
search results for academic researchers.

Google purchased Twitter rival Jaiku in October 2007. The 
Helsinki-based service had emerged a year before and allowed members 
to post instant updates about their activities and whereabouts online 
from mobile phones. Google first announced plans to shutter Jaiku in 
January 2009, along with several other products, including Google 
Catalog Search, Dodgeball, Google Mashup Editor, Google Notebook, and 
uploads to Google Video.

This "fall sweep," as Google termed it, comes amidst a variety of 
changes to Google products as part of Page's new product-focused 
management structure.

For more, see PCMag's "10 Great Google Labs Projects That Might Get 
Axed" slideshow below.

Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

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