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Ask Slashdot: Which Google Project Didn't Deserve To Die? 383

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

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  • Lots of choices (Score:5, Informative)

    by recoiledsnake ( 879048 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @11:13AM (#43203227)
  • by mystikkman ( 1487801 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @11:18AM (#43203297)

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

  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @11:19AM (#43203315) Journal

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

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

  • Nexus Q (Score:4, Informative)

    by mystikkman ( 1487801 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @11:21AM (#43203339)

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

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

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

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

    Sounds like a great party addon!

  • Re:Google Groups (Score:5, Informative)

    by heypete ( 60671 ) <> on Monday March 18, 2013 @11:23AM (#43203355) Homepage

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

  • by bimozx ( 2689433 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @11:27AM (#43203389)
    I think there is some validity to what he said. From how I see it, people don't even know they are using RSS when they use Google Reader. All they know is there are feeds that you can subscribe to, so that you can get any new updates from a certain website. Take it with a grain of salt though, since I don't have any prove of the fact, it's just what I got from watching the reaction of people from this whole Google Reader thing.
  • by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @11:33AM (#43203483)

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

    More from the link:

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

    Nice words they've got there.

  • by ElectricTurtle ( 1171201 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @11:41AM (#43203561)
    Essentially. They just have bookmarks/favorites and visit sites every day/hour using precious time/bandwidth because they don't know what a 'feed' is.

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

    Really I don't know why reader is being lamented so much. It had a stupid, wasteful interface and wasn't very customizable. I've tried a couple times to make something useful of it but it's always been inferior.
  • Re:Nexus Q (Score:5, Informative)

    by sootman ( 158191 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @11:59AM (#43203753) Homepage Journal

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

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

  • Re:Nexus Q (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:04PM (#43204475)

    Actually, it also plays video. But that's not the purpose, either. The intent is to say you don't need yet another computing device with apps, what you really want is the ability to use all of the devices you already own, you know, the ones with a screen that you already interact with, and stream them to your TV. Was it complete? Not by a long shot. But the idea was sound and a much more realistic experiment than Google or Apple TV where a single account needs to support an entire family and App UIs need to change between the 10' couch model and the handheld touch model.

    Why was it killed? My only hope is that Miracast support on both displays and devices is what killed it. Screw the integrated amplifier and stripped down Android OS - just give me a standards-based way to throw content from my phone/tablet to the TV and I'd be much happier. The reality is Google's explanation of how things work is pretty poor and people kept comparing it to Google TV against which it most assuredly did not compete.

  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:28PM (#43204785)

    "I can only think of one time when they had multiple availability zones down at the same time."

    Whether multiple zones are down at the same time hardly matters, if you are in the zone that is affected. But in fact multiple zones were down for a while in 2011 (ALL of them) and also in 2012.

    "I often use it that way, too, it just isn't the magic fix-it-all system if you don't use it like it is intended."

    "As intended?" You mean maintaining multiple zones manually (a pain in the ass), or paying more money for Cloudfront?

    Yes, it has been "pretty good". But my own servers have been better.

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