Live, Learn, and Dream

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Tag Archives: Google

Last Google Reader Visit

Today is the day when Google officially terminates its Google Reader. A few hours ago, I logged on Google, accessed its Reader, finished up all the posts for the last time, and took some screenshots. Not that I wanted to preserve the memory of Google Reader (it is JUST a tool, I told myself :P), but I found on its Trends page there were some interesting statistics glimpsing into my RSS usages.

The first screenshot shows that I’ve read 300,000+ since April 5, 2012. That is, 300,000 posts / (365 + 30 + 31 + 25) days ~ 665 posts per day. This is slightly higher than the monthly average, which is (19,298 posts / 30 days) at 643 posts/day. Therefore, I can say that on average I read about 650 posts a day, which may explain the reason that I feel I don’t have time to play computer games – there is just so much to learn, and new things, information, and knowledge keep increasing daily.

The second screenshot of a histogram displays a weekly pattern of my RSS consumption. That is, I read most during the weekdays and read less on the weekends beginning every Friday. Websites posts most of posts during the weekdays and fewer posts to read on weekends for the obvious reason.

The last screenshot,the most interesting one I think, indicates (I would call) a pattern of a typical work day. Even though websites put out posts throughout the day, most post items are posted between 4am to 4pm (the East Coast of the US is 3hr ahead of my local time). The time I read posts items also follows a typical schedule of a working individual. Posts are read after dinner time, and few to none of posts are consumed from 12 midnight to 12 noon.

In conclusion, it is okay (a bit sad) if Google Reader has to go, and I can only hope there is an alternative that offers similar statistics. So far, there is none. Oh btw, it is now 1:45am Pacific Time, and apparently Google Reader is still working. I have not logoff the Google Reader yet. I wonder when Google will poll the plug.

Explorer Story: Andrew Vanden Heuvel through Google Glass

Google Axes Google Reader on July 1, 2013

There is big news today, which caused me to run around and shout, “the end is nigh”.
No, it was not about the first non-European pope.
No, it was not about a newly appointed China president.
It began as an ordinary day until I logged in my Google Reader and was greeted by a popup notifying me that Google Reader would be retired on July 1, 2013. Of course, I am talking about Google Reader, which has been my time saver. I am subscribing to 60+ websites, and before Google Reader I would spend hours each day to visit every single website.

Among services that Google offers, I only use three regularly – search, gmail, and reader. Google has been trying hard to evolve and expand in the past 4 years, and so far I feel they have not had anything worth noticing, but failure after failure. There are lots changes and movement, but very little progress. On google blog, it posts a list services that will end in its second spring of cleaning:

  • Apps Script: Sept 16, 2013
  • CalDAV API: Sept 16, 2013
  • Google Building Maker: June 1, 2013
  • Google Cloud Connect: April 30, 2013
  • Google Reader: July 1, 2013
  • Google Voice App for Blackberry: Next week
  • Search API for Shopping: Sept 16, 2013
  • Snapseed Desktop for Macintosh and Windows: Mar 13, 2013

So what are the alternatives? I have looked up a few alternatives. Interestingly, many of them are slow, and a few are down. It seems a massive exodus is on the way and people are looking for an alternative. As the result, those websites are flooded with Google Reader refugees. I feel retiring Google Reader could turn out to be a big mistake for Google. Now it may be too late for Google to do any damage control. I won’t go back even if Google Reader avoids the axe.

So far I have three alternatives that seems okay: Feedly, The Old Reader, NewsBlur
The search is still on. Features I look for my next RSS readers:

  1. Browser Add-on (adblocking ads in the RSS feeds)
  2. No Google/Facebook/Twitter login required (More secure and less trouble)
  3. Very user friendly (This one is given)
  4. Offline mode
  5. XML import (Use Google Takeout to export data from my Google Reader and import into the new reader. Quick, simple, painless)
  6. Simple and maybe similar to Google Reader (Clean, little or no clutter; simple, if not simpler.)

I am sure that more RSS feeds/readers will use this opportunity to update and expand, and many websites will also look for alternatives. If you know a great alternative that are not mentioned, feel free to tell me in comment.

My G+ Profile Suspension

Now my G+ profile is suspended.
I just want to share what it is like to be suspended by Google. :)
Every time I go to my G+ profile a pop-up will appear saying my profile is suspended (image below).

What I can NOT do:
I am unable to post new posts, post any comment.
My profile information is still there, but my profile image is removed.
All my posts and comments are still there. When people Google my name and my posts, results are still listed. However, clicking on any of results will lead to a 404 error message – “The requested URL was not found on this server. That’s all we know.” I know the information is there, but it is hidden; thus, in a way it is Google is ‘lying’. :D

What I can still do:
As mentioned before, I can still see my posts, people’s comments, my comments. People other than I won’t see my posts and comments as if those never exist.
I can still read others’ posts.

Btw, it really feels like being a ghost. No one will know/notice your present. You cannot communicate with them, and they cannot communicate with you. Everything I do is hidden. It almost feels like having a ‘super power’. … I know I can still change my profile and submit an appeal. However, thanks, but no thanks, Google. “Give me liberty, or give me ‘death’!” :D

KKai / 004

Google’s Real Name Policy

Here is one reason that I resumed blogging here:  I have been posts random things on Google+. (Hey, blogging can be hard and time/energy-consuming.)  In July, I had a chance to join Google+, but I didn’t.  At that time, my Facebook account was disabled suddenly without receiving any message from the Facebook. I simply didn’t want to use another service that has the same real name policy. Then, Vic Gundotra in one of his interviews said that Google was doing away the real name only policy. I thus started posting things on Google+.

Last night (Jan 01, 2012), I received a message from Google+ Team saying that I had to change my name or die. Now every time I log in or look at a G+ page, I see this pop-up message [image below in its entirety]. It is either Google changed its policy again or it has never changed. (To give some credits to Google, Google gives me four days to amend.)

I know I can easily change my name to a random American name, but it is not the point.  The goal is to keep the freedom and my choice, and Google can keep its real name policy and let Google+ become the next MySpace.  Google+ is no longer the service that I want to use and that is worth to use.  I have backed up all my posts and may re-shared some posts here in the future.  Now I will just do nothing and wait until Google suspends my profile on Jan 5. … :)

KKai / 002

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