I am as many of you will know a Google supporter because I think that they’re always developing new and interesting things, and that they write good papers too. I like their search engine, and I’ve followed them since the beginning. I use other search engines too like Yahoo for example because it offers me different things to Google like the BOSS platform, and all that cool and much appreciated semantic web stuff. The Google app engine powers Yahoo pipes I’ll add to be fair. The image search is better than Google, and I also prefer Groups there. The email facility is in a completely different format to Google’s and is useful to me in different ways, although Gmail is my primary email. Two different beasts indeed. Today though, I’m going to have a bit of a sulk about some Google related things!
I expect quite a lot of “It does have this feature actually” and “This is being fixed” and “You wombat, you missed the buttom on the left/right/whatever” and that’s fine if I can have a better experience and fair enough too!
I supported Chrome right from the start, and defended it here against all those “It’s spammy and it collects all the information on your entire life and sells it on to the devil” claims. I also do like it still and use it as my primary browser but…
- It crashes! And when it does it closes on me. It doesn’t remember the tabs I had open so I lose all of that which is a nuisance.
- Where are the add-ons?
- Where is my Google bookmarks button?
- Not easy to organise, I hate the interface – what’s going on with that?
- Where is the integration with my Chrome bookmarks? Because there’s no button to add then to Google Bookmarks, I have a pile in Chrome and a pile in Bookmarks. In fact to be honest I have a complete mess going on there and have a del.icio.us account as well which I seem to be slowly migrating towards. This is also not completely ideal, but more integrated into my work and more intuitive, plus the search facility is good.
- I have all the pains in the world in Google Bookmarks finding everything, and why can’t I have subfolders?
- The interface is not nice. Colour coding things would work for me and things like that to categorise and improve retrieval.
- This does not seem designed for people with tons and tons of bookmarks but rather for the casual user.
- I will say that this is my preferred reader after much trial and error with others before I begin! I love the “Share” button and the recommendations.
- hum…actually it’s pretty cool isn’t it? No beef there!
- I can’t find the Picasa integration. Why do I have to upload albums which are already in Picasa?
- I like the “Where in the world” game…Another time waster for me to indulge in but it’s cool and simple.
- It’s not very flexible because of the imposed parameters like photos having to be in an album for example.
- Editing and manipulation tools aren’t great!
- Can I get more categorisation features?
- Tag searching isn’t good.
- Not really relevant to me, but I hear it has issues with the iphone? You should be opting for the Android platform anyway!
- Actually I’m a big fan but it has a few little niggles
- The form feature isn’t brilliant. I don’t like the interface and the colour.
- Hum. That’s it actually.
- Can we have an IDE bit? For coding people with code samples and all the bells and whistles? Well a code integration then?
- Really, is it not possible to have an automatic date range detector or something? When I search for “Statistics on women in science” why on earth would I want statistics from 1998? This is not a history report. It’s pretty obvious to me that I would want recent figures. There are a load of other searches like that too, because I know I use the date range feature a lot when most of time it’s pretty obvious that I don’t want old data.
- Honestly. I know the list model has worked for all this time but aren’t we ready for a more “intelligent” result presentation? Some other search engines provide irrelevant results but a far more intuitive way of showing results in categories and with more personalised features, I know this is in the making, but it would really help me.
- The whole results page is looking a bit dated and I know it’s all minimalist and everything but there a lot of blank space there and all the descriptions aren’t aligned some are longer than others. Ok, I’m being a bit picky here but there’s no harm in asking for something.
- As a computer scientist I know you need to collect a lot of data for things like machine learning to build systems and also to imporve them. May the paranoia stop please. Be more concerned with facebook and such applications.
- I’m not concerned because my data alone is of no interest to them. Some ISP’s collect far more personal data so look closer to home.
Do No Evil:
- I don’t think Google as a company can do much evil to be honest, they’re a good bunch. One thing I would have to say is that one reason they can’t is that their product makes mistakes and it’s the technology’s fault not the company’s fault, it’s a legitimate machine error. A machine cannot be evil. If it can Turing can rest easy.
I’m not a big ranter, it’s unusual for me, but Google are a major force in the way we live our lives online and so I feel like they have some kind of responsibility there. Their services are FREE! That’s all good, and they make money mostly through ads which is fair enough I think. Who am I indeed to crtiticise top computer scientists work? My philosophy is that anyone can raise issues, layman or expert, the only bad, useless crtiticism is malicious accusation and finger pointing.
So I’ll finish with a show of admiration for big G, and a request for any input into my own work!