Grouching about Google

Andrew Leonard has a tick-tock in Salon explaining how and when Google lost its cool. "Google Reader is gone. Google is banning ad-blocking apps. Google Alert doesn't work. The Google backlash is on." [SALON]


  1. It’s like Google and Apple are in a race to become the next Microsoft.

    Well, it was fun while it lasted.

    1. If there’s one thing Google and Apple are definitely NOT trying to do, it’s become Microsoft. I’ll save you the customer journey lecture.

      Look to the right, yep. Ads. Why? Because that’s what funds all the free content you consume. Go figure.

    2. Nah, Apple is definitely trying to be the next Apple. It’s just starting to seem like they’re headed towards mid-90s Apple.

    3. I feel like Google users and Apple users are in a race to become the next Microsoft users.

      I’ve noticed that if you downplay anything Google does, fanboys and (I assume) paid lackeys come a swarming to rabidly “defend” Google in comment threads all over the internet. Similar to how you see Microsoft users swarm over Apple threads to let them know how much they suck.

      And, Mac users have been becoming too complacent over Mac OS quality over the years like Microsoft users have been in the past which led to such wonderful things like “Vista” and being behind (in many ways) Mac OS X for nearly a decade.

      I wish Adobe and other big players would start making things like Creative Suite, etc. run native in Ubuntu Linux, etc., but they’ve been only pandering to that desperate request for many years.  Perhaps because Apple & MS pressures them not to do it.

          1. Weird I guess Disqus glitched out, i didn’t think the 2nd post went through so i edited the other one.

  2. The also keep messing with image search. The most annoying being the changes they made to the mobile image search, which no longer allows you to view the image fullsize in the browser. I really hate that. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, you ass hats.

    1. Google constantly test everything and innovate. They do this to learn and deliver what the user responds to the most. If you’re not alone in your opinion, this function will change.

      1. There’s a difference between testing and innovating, and silly fiddling. And the point of these grumblings is that it seems as if Google has lost the ability to differentiate between testing and innovating and silly fiddling. Among other things.

        1.  As far as I can tell, ‘UI design’ is an abbreviation for ‘Hide all the fucking buttons’.

      2.  You assume that Google has any idea what its users like or don’t like. It’s not like you can call Google up and tell them. They try very hard to be unavailable, and when they are supposedly available, they ignore all feedback.

        Must be nice to develop in a complete vacuum. Users? Features? Stability? Reliability? Capability of rolling out a single fucking physical product? That crap is for companies who want happy users instead of happy developers (who we increasingly try to get to live completely in a plastic utopian bubble).

      3.  No, it’s “If you’re need or opinion isn’t shared by the majority of the population, it’s irrelevant”.

        Unfortunately, if google is any indication, I have few needs or opinions on common with the majority of the population… or at least the ones Google are courting. So maybe, if they don’t want me around, I should go somewhere else?

  3. I think that when your hot new idea is a fragile $10,000 wearable, that you announce during a recession’s long tail, you’ve established just how completely out of touch with reality you are.

    1. They’re pushing an idea, not the product. People will believe in it, and will invest in it > critical mass > then everyone else will copy to “compete”. I’m not offering an opinion of that idea, but just suggesting that this is innovation > something which they have been accused of not being, above…

  4. Firstly… 

    I baulked at the part of the article that mentioned how the word “Google” is a  registered trademark. Being a kind of retroistic purist to some extent, not hard-line, I find any corporate acquisition of what was a naturalistic slang term abhorrent, viewing it as the thug-backed theft of something that should be publicly owned.  Perhaps hypocritically, Billy DeBeck’s Barney Google shall remain exempt from this rule of mine. 

    Then everything elsely…

    The idea that Google has become more and more a corporate – veering – towards – totalitarian machine has been a theme that has popped up in my work over the past couple of years, as it did here, in my Google+ profile : 

    Independently, and in ignorance of James Whittaker’s statement, coincidentally.

    (Note: If the link showed you a blank panel entreating you to join Google+ to “know all the important people” this means you haven’t, and I applaud you. The link, had you become a Google+ uniform, would simply have shown you a science-fictional satire of an online profile in a techno-totalitarian dystopia. Not worth the admission price, believe me. )

    But what I actually found most interesting about Andrew Leonard’s inconsistently styled Salon article was that it reminded me that I had noticed that the word “parse” has become very trendy.

    “Google is so big, so entrenched in so many aspects of our online lives, and so relentlessly active that in any given week the company makes news on multiple fronts, good and bad. It can be difficult to parse signal from noise amid all the deluge of simultaneous hype and complaints.” Mr. Leonard informs us.

    I almost cannot read an online article without something internetty having been parsed. Infinitely preferable to that horrible little word “hashtag”, which relates to parsing a little, it is in danger of overuse. There is a certain everybody knows irony that as the standard of literature has nosedived in direct proportion to the rise of more options for telecommunication, that a word emerging from computer programming language should enter common and inevitably corrupted usage, while the definition which is its psycholinguistic counterpart, which pertains to  the complexities of how we understand written language and its structure, is lost in the fibre-optic dazzle.

    So let us adjourn to the Garden Path by way of a non-sequitur…

    I think it is safe to assume that we all agree that a sentence needs to make the sense required if what was intended to be understood from it by the writer is to cross that bridge to the reader? A Garden Path Sentence leads us to assume a word may have an inflection somewhat other than it turns out to have later in the sentence. Any such sentence serves to give us an example of psycholinguistic parsing in action. It highlights the process of parsing— the reader’s breaking down of the sentence into its components in order to understand it. For instance: “The complex houses married and single soldiers and their families.” in which the houses are not actually necessarily complex, nor, sadly—as if in Fleischer Boopland—marrying each other. Of course, punctuation plays a part, and Garden Path Sentencing, apart from being something a competent judge of floral presentation practices, should always try and avoid punctuation. In fact, by removing an en dash from the previous large paragraph, I was hoping to have created such an effect. The dash would have been between the words “everybody” and “knows”.

    This was what I found so interesting. That, within a sentence, within an article in which he applied the now—as I am purporting—common usage term of parsing, which is a corruption of the computer programming definition, Mr. Leonard actually committed a Garden Path Sentence: “Now we poke mean fun at overzealous lawyers, see bean-counting corporate realignment behind every new product launch, and savage Google Glass wearers as irredeemable dorks.”  I don’t think he did that deliberately, although I am sure there are probably some pretty feral Google Glasses wearers in their sprawling concrete citadels where the great corporate control infraction is being supply-chained, but not adequately fact-checked, and certainly not edited properly.

  5. In their zeal to streamline they’ve missed the most obvious redundancy. Remove the duplicate G and O. Ogle feels more appropriate and carries a vaguely more sinister and creepy aura.

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