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back to article Want Google to erase your data? Just wait for it to kill off one of its apps

Google will this month kill off its file-transfer app Bump and photo-sharing utility Flock – and erase your data with it. After January 31, "neither app will work, and all user data will be deleted," said David Lieb, CEO and co-founder of the software's maker Bump – which was gobbled by Google in September. Support for Bump and …

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Why

Buying a company for its userbase or technology I understand. Rolling it into your own product and killing off the separate offering or starting to charge for it - makes sense.

But buying a company merely to shut down its service and then offer no alternative of your own seems like its designed only to piss off the users ?

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Put your trust in us

Put your trust in us, we promise to look after your data till the end of time...

It's 6.23 and 10 seconds, times up.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why

"Over the years, we’ve been inspired and humbled by the millions of people who have used Bump and Flock. Your feedback, enthusiasm, and support has brought much meaning to our work, and we want to thank you all for that," Lieb said.

And to be honest we really don't give a flying fu@k about you.

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Holmes

Re: Why

They wanted the engineering talent and access to some of the innovation, but they didn't want to foot the bill for the loss-generating service.

What's so hard to understand? It's Business 101.

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Re: Why

So you offer N top employees a $50,000 signing bonus, or just the Google food+pinball+massage package.

Why pay $N million for the company and still have to persuade all the staff to continue working for you ?

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Re: Why

Who says they're shutting it down and never offering any alternatives?

I hear the same griping when Apple buys companies, but isn't Siri better integrated into iOS than when it was a standalone app? Isn't Where 2 better since Google bought it and called it Google Maps?

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Re: Why

From what I understand, this Bump thing is now included in standard Android... Only they call it beam or something.

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Holmes

Re: Why

@Yet - "Why pay $N million for the company and still have to persuade all the staff to continue working for you?"

The Bump guys are able to negotiate just like anyone else. They held out until they got a deal that was good for them. Like I say - Business 101.

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Windows

Re: Why

"Isn't Where 2 better since Google bought it and called it Google Maps?"

Since you are talking about iOS and standalone apps, I'll assume you are also talking about the Maps app. In which case: the latest versions of Google Maps suck hairy donkey balls! They suck to such a degree I don't believe a standalone app would ever dare design it that way. And there are many many examples like it. Siri is the exception that proves the rule.

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Black Helicopters

Google Maps

Latest version of Google Maps on my Nexus 7 insists upon having access to my address book and other private data. Not needed it before, so now use Nokia Maps on my WP instead.

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Re: Why

"But buying a company merely to shut down its service and then offer no alternative of your own seems like its designed only to piss off the users?"

What? Like Microsoft had been doing over the years? Google isn't alone...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why

No you really have to be HP to do that properly and with a decent budget + no comeback on execs

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New motto: All your attention is belong to the google

Recently revealed to me by a googler, but perhaps he was intoxicated and exaggerating? However, it certainly looks to me that the google has been captured by the corrupt rules of American business, where the laws are written by the most cheaply bribed professional politicians working for the greediest and least ethical businessmen. I used to think the google was relatively innocent, but then I found out that the google has become the top lobbyist among high-tech companies. Innocent no more.

In the example of this article, the bean counters obviously determined that the amount of attention grabbed was insufficient, possibly in comparison to other google so-called products. What the peasants want? ROFLMAO.

This mostly troubles me because I used to believe that the google was trying to make the world better. Now I think the famous old motto was just a distraction, like the Stalin-era news reports in Pravda. For example, astute readers knew that reports of foreign plane crashes really meant there had been a plane crash in the USSR, and the Russian founder of the google must have been aware that his enterprise would eventually become evil, assuming it wasn't totally evil from the git go.

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Re: New motto: All your attention is belong to the google

The Google Archipelago? :)

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Re: New motto: All your attention is belong to the google

the google has been captured by the corrupt rules of American business

Google was founded on "the ... rules of American business", and it's naive to believe otherwise.

(As for "corrupt" - that implies a prelapsarian state when some mythical "rules of business" were noble and pure. There's no corruption, because such a state never existed. What was never polished cannot be tarnished.)

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What is Google Cloud Print?

Is a free service destined to get tossed under the bus of profitability or is it a data collection device designed to sell you to the highest bidder?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What is Google Chrome?

Is a free service destined to get tossed under the bus of profitability or is it a data collection device designed to sell you to the highest bidder?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What is Google Android?

Is a free service destined to get tossed under the bus of profitability or is it a data collection device designed to sell you to the highest bidder?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What is Google Search?

Is a free service destined to get tossed under the bus of profitability or is it a data collection device designed to sell you to the highest bidder?

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What is AC ad nauseum?

It's pretty clear that your examples are all profitable as I'd wager Chromecast is. It's equally clear that the ones killed off along with Google Reader were not. My question is, in which bucket will Cloud Print fall? That isn't at all clear to me.

From the data collection section of their support page it would appear they aren't scraping your documents for information to sell to others at this time but it is fairly obvious they are going to sell information such as how much toner/ink and paper you go through to their advertisers and likely the cooperating printer manufacturers as well. I'm sure the printer manufacturers would really like to know how better to push high margin consumables and prevent you from using aftermarket supplies. Not that Google would make your print job a low quality streaky mess if you were using aftermarket inks or consume those supplies by dumping reminders in your printer tray. Well, not for free anyway.

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What Google wants.. Google gets.

Obviously they want....

It's obvious it's one of several choices:

1) They want the product or profits from the product.

2) They want the IP.

3) They want the people. However, unless there's an ironclad contract or chains to a desk involved, people do wander off elsewhere.

4) They want to eliminate the competition.

I'll leave it as an exercise for the commentardary to sort out. It's probably not #1 or #3.

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Holmes

Re: What Google wants.. Google gets.

Actually, from the bean counters' perspective, it's the only smart way to capture technology. There are almost always a number of ways to solve the problem, but if you explore it with your own researchers, most of the ways you try are going to be duds. Actually, you can be sure that all but one of them will be inferior to the best solution. Therefore, most of your investment in real research will be wasted.

Much better to let the little guys try out the various solutions. Yeah, your big company needs some so-called researchers to evaluate the solutions. The most important thing nowadays is to recognize the good candidates and get a foothold in those doors, but that's mostly to make sure your big company can buy out the winning technology once you're sure they've gotten enough of the bugs out of it.

Google used to be different and used to be much more creative with their own technologies. Once they reached the critical mass, they stopped having to worry about it so much. The critical mass is actually when your company is big enough to say: "Either you sell out to us now, or we will crush you. We have the resources to dominate the new market even if we have to use second- or third-best solutions, and you have already proven it is possible because your technology works, so you might as well surrender now [Dorothy]." The rest is just haggling over the price, but the google can afford to be generous.

In the name of freedom, this should be illegal, but guess who wrote the rules of the game? It wasn't the butler in the kitchen with the carving knife. It was the most cheaply bribed professional politicians working for the greediest and least ethical big businessmen.

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Re: What Google wants.. @Shannon Jacobs

"Actually, from the bean counters' perspective, it's the only smart way to capture technology. "

Yes, but not for the reasons that you state. The best technology doesn't win out routinely, even when buying the innovators, so sub-optimal in house technology doesn't matter. The problem of innovation in large companies is that innovating is very difficult in that environment, and probably isn't what secondary market investors or customers want.

Large corporations are bureaucracies - that's what they do, how they work, indeed quite often why they work. When I turn on a tap or light switch, I want the companies running the system to have very low risk processes that work, I want them to be risk averse, to use proven, reliable technology, and to let startups or dedicated risk takers to focus on innovation. Bureaucracy can certainly kill a company (GM, Motorola), but in both of these examples there were huge R&D and M&A budgets, and the problem was that those budgets were wasted.

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Here comes

the dark ages

Where almost nothing is written down, and any pictures can (and will) be deleted at will.

Still will give history teachers in 3475 something to say

"Ah yes the period 2000-2145, we know very very little about this time due to the almost complete absense of any artifact or any books or pictures created. All we have is fragments of things belived to have been called iGoogles or googlepads, sadly we have no idea how these things worked, we think they ran on a lithium based chemicals and used silca in the contruction."

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Already happened

I have a friend who is a military historian and there are already honking great gaps in the documents due to changing technology. He reckons he knows far more about the actual workings of say the US civil war armies, as there are large amounts of records that are still readable (orders, inventories etc) as they are on paper. However US records from the late 60's and 70's are stored in electronic forms, on magnetic tape, and either have been corrupted, the reading tech doesn't work, or the documentation for the formatting is no more.

Plus paper is magic in legal areas :)

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Lets get real

The last 30 years of the PC revolution is littered with the need to upgrade or lose you Data.

The "standard" for desktop publishing was Xerox Ventura - I cant read or translate any of those files now.

How about DAT backup - loads of those tapes - little chance of reading them.

ARC compression - spend a day translating them to ZIP

I've lost count of obsolete programs and file formats I've either had to move from or that are unreadable.

Remember: in computing, if you can buy it - it's obsolete! (and plan accordingly).

In cloud: cloud is outsourcing - and any good business school will tell you the first rule of outsourcing is "understand your exit strategy".

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Big Brother

"all user data will be deleted"

After it's been backed up, scanned, analyzed and linked into our records of everything else you've done...

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FAIL

...we’ve decided to discontinue Bump and Flock...

...because Google paid us to.

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Obviously the NSA wasn't getting anything useful from Bump or Flock so told Google it was OK to shutter them.

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Paris Hilton

The Google's business plan?

Just in case googles business plan fails it has lots of data on individuals and maybe it can say something like:

Dear person

We are google.

We hold lots of data about you.

We are not making as much profit as once we did.

Therefore we will return to you all data we hold on you for a payment of X.

For a payment of X plus Y we will return your data to you AND destroy our copies of that data (subject to USA law and NSA subversions)

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Jed

What fun!

If this sticks, then Microsoft may consider crippling the Word and Excel programs and delete all the .doc and .xls files in the world. And for the same reason - sulking that they are not Apple.

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