“90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds.” I.e., how did I get this page? That said, a lot of gamers and a not insignificant number of others are going to be pissed.
Google has surprised Google+ users – all two of them – by vowing to shutter the service over the next ten months in the wake of a potential data leak. In what has become an all-too-familiar scenario, the decision is subject to claim and counter-claim: The Wall Street Journal today alleged that Google covered up a programming …
"they have to get over a woman being the new Dr.Who."
But will they ever get over her being from Yorkshire?
Lots of planets have a north. (After Christopher Eccleston I suppose it was in the interests of balance.)
Read Google's blog, it's hilarious.
It's classic spin. Announce something that is in reality only negative, but using positive terms. They're "protecting", "improving", "support[ing]" and "strengthen[ing]", allegedly.
Right, I'm off to "sunset" my Google account. Might as well get ahead of the curve, to save any further surprises when Google inevitably pulls the plug on whatever else of theirs I stupidly depend on.
Oh well, goodbye dear misspelt googol.
There late was One within whose subtle being,
As light and wind within some delicate cloud
That fades amid the blue noon's burning sky,
Genius and death contended. None may know
The sweetness of the joy which made his breath
Fail, like the trances of the summer air
Since Motorolla have not seen fit to update my phone I will not be bating any breath waiting for the ability to uninstall the Google+ app, along with all the rest I have only been able to disable. I can't even disable Google Now even though I never use it. The bloatware is incredible.
That is a problem with Google as a company. They are just consistently awful at customer service. I don't think they even get the concept of customer relations. It's why I don't think they succeed at hardware, and have so far been restricted to sales to techies.
They first sold the Nexus phones with no facilities for dealing with returns or repairs. Or having dealt with tarrifs and VAT on international shipping. That's just fucking amateur-hour. There's just no excuse for a company that was turning over tens of billions a year at the time.
So building unremovable apps into their software, and not even providing for their deletion when they kill the service is just par for the course.
Google do some good stuff, but they're not what I'd call reliable.
They regularly kill services with little to no notice and they're always making changes with massive business effects to search and mapping (again with little to no notice).
They sometimes make Apple look outward-looking and communicative... Can you call a whole company autistic?
I remember getting so many downvotes from Google+ fans when I said Google would do this a few years ago. It was obvious that when it failed to get anywhere near Facebook they'd find an excuse to kill it off. I'm surprised it's taken so long.
They launched it with lots of hype, and I actually think it was way better than Facebook too. The circles system was a far better way of controlling your privacy. That's privacy from other users of course, you have none from Google and Facebook. The difference is though that Google have hoovered up the world's personal data and not spaffed it all over the interwebs via a shitty API, unlike FB.
They tried to force everyone with a Gmail account, Android sign-in or Google login to have a G+ account many years ago. And the writing was on the wall from the day they de-linked them again, because users resisted - and I think quite a lot were actively turning it off. When you can't even force a product one users (even one that's better) it's time to give up on it.
They tried to force everyone with a Gmail account, Android sign-in or Google login to have a G+ account many years ago.
Google + was a effectively a side-effect of the single sign-on that Google developed and has since, successfully rolled out. While it did have some loyal groups, it was never going to be able to replace Facebook, because for people already using Facebook it didn't offer anything really new, and it was unlikely to appeal to those who didn't want to use a "social network".
In other news: messengers have been replacing networks for the last couple of years. But no one in the West has really figured how to make money from them. Google has, again, developed usable but lacklustre apps (Allo and Duo), but more importantly worked on the infrastructure (WebRTC and Messages) so that Hangouts for G-Suite makes sense for corporates.
They tried to force everyone with a Gmail account, Android sign-in or Google login to have a G+ account many years ago. And the writing was on the wall from the day they de-linked them again, because users resisted
I think most the problem was trying to force users to use their Google+ idents on Youtube.
Considering the Grade A+++ unsecured facility nuthouse, nobody, including the nuts wanted other headcases and left-ear people taking it into their heads to stalk them, even on an account they hardly never used like Google+.
I'll miss Google+ for those occasional sign in demands where otherwise I'd have to acquire a new account or get a Facebook one.
Come to think of it, this decision actually helps Facebook, they should rethink immediately.
Unlike Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, who all do the same, but hide behind complicated privacy policies (Apple, Microsoft), or just ignore it and do what the hell they want (Facebook).
A few years ago a read/saw an item that defined all the social media outlets in terms of donuts along the lines of
Facebook: I'm eating a donut
Instagram: Here's a picture of the donut I'm eating
Pinterest: My donut recipe
Foursquare: I bought donuts here
Google+: I'm a Google employee who likes donuts
which I felt summed it up perfectly!
The problem with that Donut joke is that the Google employees weren't using it either. One of their chief marketing dudes once made an announcement on his Facebook page, and when El Reg checked he didn't even have a G+ page. That was back when they were still trying to sell G+, before the last 5 years when they'd given up.
A service for people who thought that Google didn't have enough data about you, your friends, and casual acquaintances
Like what? .... “name, email address, occupation, gender and age” stuff that is readily available on Facebook and Linkedin to advertisers and anyone with a little brain. Everyone out there already has this information from pawned accounts worldwide. You really think that shutting Google+ down will fix anything?
...is not evidence of absence. According to the WSJ article:
During a two-week period in late March, Google ran tests to determine the impact of the bug, one of the [unnamed WSJ sources] said. It found 496,951 users who had shared private profile data with a friend could have had that data accessed by an outside developer, the person said. [...] Because the company kept a limited set of activity logs, it was unable to determine which users were affected and what types of data may potentially have been improperly collected, the two people briefed on the matter said.
So it might in fact be true that the vulnerability was fixed before it was exploited. But the claim "Google know for sure no harm was done, therefore they had no obligation to tell their customers" simply isn't justified on the face of what we know. The hypocrisy is indeed strong here.
"Because the company kept a limited set of activity logs, it was unable to determine which users were affected and what types of data may potentially have been improperly collected"
Are we to believe that the All Seeing Eye of Google somehow turned a blind eye to these "activity logs'?
Google (and Facebook) that gather up every last bit of data that they can slurp but miraculously keep no data points that could help determine amount of users affected or what data may have been "improperly collected"?
I for one actually believe those bold statements because by Google (and Facebook) not keeping track of those data points gives them Plausible Deniability.
Just like the plethora of scam websites that trick users into installing malicious apps that use Google analytics and are protected by Googles CAPTCHA software to thwart detection by web scrapers.
"are protected by Googles CAPTCHA software to thwart detection by web scrapers."
Surprised that Google haven't been taking to court over their own web crawler being able to bypass CAPTCHA to allow it to index pages, but CAPTCHA blocking rival search engine's crawlers.
But the claim "Google know for sure no harm was done, therefore they had no obligation to tell their customers" simply isn't justified on the face of what we know.
It's Google we're talking about. So rather than "absence of evidence", it's more a case of "abstinence of evidence.
If they didn't think 500K users "met their internal thresholds" for notifying users of a breach, what is that threshold? 5 million? 500 million?
This shows we can't even trust Google to reveal a breach of our data when it happens - and of all the platforms to have your data stolen from, Google is by far the worst due to the amount of data they have and the difficulty in avoiding them due to their advertising tentacles that extend to every corner of the web.
So what is the GDPR penalty for this breach, and how many EU users have to be compromised for Google to be fined into bankruptcy?
Was Google's absolute insistence that you had to have it, if you had an Android phone, Gmail, or YouTube. Look at when Apple put U2 on everyone's phone. Nobody likes being forced.
Heck, IIRC Gmail became popular BECAUSE you couldn't just waltz up and get one, you had to be invited.
Was Google's absolute insistence that you had to have it, if you had an Android phone, Gmail, or YouTube. Look at when Apple put U2 on everyone's phone. Nobody likes being forced.
My ability to comment on youtube videos ("oh no!" I hear you cry...) is broken by my refusal to relinquish a pre-google username that nevertheless got linked to a google plus account.
Did find one use for google+, which was keeping in touch with people from an online course for continuing learning. (Which G+ seemed a more appropriate place for than the alternatives.)
" Look at when Apple put U2 on everyone's phone. Nobody likes being forced."
Was it an iPhone or are you thinking of the U2 iPod. If it's the latter, you paid more for that special edition iPod and could have bought another one if you liked.
Personally, I don't care for U2. Like many other vintage bands, they were novel when they came out, were overplayed and stagnated. Bono is too full of himself.
I was one of the lucky ones who got an invite for Google+ when it was still brand-new in 2011. Over the following years I would build up contacts via the network, spend hours in Hangouts with often the same groups of people, sometimes with strangers and generally found Google+ to be a very social social network. Looking back, I basically only have positive feelings for Google+, because of the people who helped shape it.
Google+ isn't a Facebook-killer. It never was. It was shaping up to be something much more, something better and more social. Not this eternal 'look at me' setup with posts in a timeline, but with people actually hanging out and chatting in video chat rooms, holding various sessions and even tying Google+ into local TV broadcasts (like me appearing live on a Missouri TV station a few years back to talk about the topic of intersex).
To me it feels like Google didn't understand what they had there when they took away this Hangout functionality and made it into its own thing, disconnected from Google+. That was the moment when things started drifting apart and I didn't spend nearly as much time on the service as I used to.
I will miss Google+, but fortunately we will always have IRC :)
I agree, very good for groups with shared interests and, by using groups, thankfully free of inane drivel
I am not surprised site visit times are low, most of my G+ content is consumed via email as any "must read" content is configured to be emailed to me. Main use of site is settings tweaks or registering / unregistering group memberships, occasiinal browse of content I do not get emailed and only look at occasionally to catch up. I liked the way it was not in your face and it was easy to prevent message overload - as ever not happy with Googles rep for data snitching (though all groups I was on were hobby or IT related so nothing juicy for Google to snaffle)
As with any social media site any DOB etc used to register was junk, and email addy specific to that site
The problem was Google wanted G+ to be a Facebook killer. Which it was good enough to be - having a far better UI. But they aren't interested in products that only do OK, they only want big successes or things they still hope will be big. So once it became a useful niche item, it was doomed.
Yet again we learn that you simply cannot rely on any service provided by Google. How many times do we get to play "Here today, gone tomorrow" before we all learn to stay away?
Regardless of what the Google+ actual user numbers were, there are people who've built an environment around its functionality who will now be scrambling to replace it. How many times has this happened before? A dozen? Two, three dozen?
The death of social media won't be because of data leaks or general pissy attitudes, it will be because Google, Facebook, and Microsoft continue to break or destroy the very tools that bring users to their door.
"Yet again we learn that you simply cannot rely on any service provided by Google. How many times do we get to play "Here today, gone tomorrow" before we all learn to stay away?"
In fairness it's not just Google playing that game. MS is much much worse for it.
Google+ was by far the best social media site for sharing information, because Google have a plethora of other services there was no need to have Google+ be designed trap users inside like Facebook tries to do, so it was easy to get where you wanted with Google+.
Google intended it to be a competitor to Facebook, but people used it as a competitor to wordpress and tumblr, and it could have taken off if Google had recognized that and turned it into a blog platform. People could just make a public post and add tags to it and people would be able to find it. Think of Benson Leung's detailed posts about USB-C when USB-C phone started to come out.
'Yet again we learn that you simply cannot rely on any service provided by Google. How many times do we get to play "Here today, gone tomorrow" before we all learn to stay away?'
Just need to wait for the wheel to turn full circle again. When I fist had an Android phone I used to use a pdcast app that was in "google-beta|-land" amd seemed ideal for what I needed. Then Google decided to drop it explaining that many other people had "followed their lead" and introduced alterrnative podcast apps and after a bit of research I chose one and moved everythign over to it - and to be honest, overall it probably ended up being a bit better than the google app. But earlier this year I was surprised to see Google making a big deal over a new "google podcast app" ... so maybe in a few years time google will announce that they are "introducing the google social media platform" all over again!
I normally get voted down for this but ... the internet is ephemeral and you are unwise to buy into any web based service as it could be gone tomorrow. For individual users that isn't to much of a probelm exceptfor the time wasted on the service, bitter experience says that user forums and the data put on them get trashed every day.
Systems that you build a workflow around are particularly sucky. Mozilla changed the way that addins have to be built and relied upon addins were trashed (no updates of firefox despite the daily nagging). Website content management systems change and render a bunch of modules useless, I've still not got my drupal 6 site fully working with drupal 7 as modules weren't updated. God knows how much will break with D8. Is it any wonder that people don't update web sites? As an aside they broke the Date module so that it no longer works with dates < 1000CE.
These companies were formed by college kids, it was fun when it started but now 10-15 years later Facebook, Twitter, et al are still being run by silly kids who never really grew up. They saw money in selling us, the users, as just commodities and while their founders live in mansions and drive Ferraris, we have to live with the mess they've made of our privacy.
Stop using them now and get a life.
As hamlet would say:-
Alas, poor google+! I knew it el reg, an app of infinite jest, of most excellent slurp. It hath borne my data to every company a thousand times, and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those andoid phones that I have touched I know not how oft. —Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the tablet on a roar? Not one now to mock your own grinning? Quite chapfallen? Now get you to facebooks chamber and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favor she must come. Make her laugh at that.
It's sad when we have to dig through all the BS to find out there's only a lie under all the BS. It's permeating everything in our lives now. Politics (well it's always been there), business, religion, entertainment.
Yes my coat, with maps to all the deserted places I might choose to live in the future...
One group of users (with more than 2 members) appears to be Linux kernel developers, some of whom are quite active on Google+. Now that it is going down, they are discussing alternatives, and one strong possibility appears to be Pleroma (a federated social network - no, I had not heard of it either before today).
As far as I can trace this back, Pleroma appears to be a frontend for GNU Social - start there.
The problem with fully open systems is that the world is too full of assholes who like nothing better than a free resource to abuse for their own purposes, so you need some control. Which costs effort/resource/possibly money..
I think the idea here is that there are lots and lots of separately owned servers (everyone could run one, Pleroma claims to be lightweight enough to run on a Raspberry Pi), and the servers agree to exchange messages, or not. So there is no central service to abuse, and each server can have its own policies (about blocking obnoxious users and servers, for example). Reminds me of how USENET used to work. It just might fly, at least among technically knowledgeable users. Like the kernel devs...
The 2 large federated networks are merging into 1 as they both adopt the new ActivityPub protocol which replaces the Diaspora and OStatus protocols.
So it doesn't matter which site you pick, your posts will be visible to anyone of any of the other sites, as far as the user is concerned people on the other sites might as well be users of the site you use as there will be no observable difference between them.
It's terrible that Google didn't find this bug but if their review found it was never exploited, then why not just fix the issue and move on?
As for why G+ didn't take off, I'd suggest because it did nothing better than Facebook or Twitter and in some regards was very annoying. I used it a few times, but it kept bugging me to fill in more information about myself, link to people, say where I went to University etc. Unskippable, permanent nag boxes in the feeds. That's the kind of annoying crap you pull when your service is indispensible, not when you're desperate to get users to your platform.
So now my girlfriend will have to use something else to send me photos of her latest drawings of goldfish, and videos of her daughters violin performances. We'll live. Though it will be good to not have to wade through random friends anti Trump posts on the way to view those photos and videos.
Bring back Google Wave, at least I got some use out of that.
In theory, the same functionality still exists except it uses the "" (quotes) operator, as evidenced by Google itself whenever you click on a small "must contain <search term>" link under a result that lacks it, resulting in your term changing to in-quotes in the search box. I say "in theory" though because it still seems to me "must contain" is treated more like a weak hint by Google rather than "not a single result that does not have this, capisce?!?"...
Started using it for my family in the days before Facebook had private groups.
The 'Circles' concept is a bit of a brain burner because everybody is used to admin managed permission based groups, but is actually brilliant and if it had come first, then I am pretty sure it would be the de facto method of group sharing.
I guess Facebook is now going to be home of family holiday snaps, but OMG how I hate that platform. Am open to suggestions for alternatives!
"This amateur blog is a joke."
If I were a betting man, I would be willing to wager that you were one of the ACs who used exactly this "joke" every time Windows Phone was mentioned and just can't stand it when it gets turned round and used on google...
He tells others to get their facts straight, and yet, himself:
Not an internet security researcher here: those cards are fake, they are promotional items for a K-pop group.
The Visa logo is misleading, but lack of a CVV, some other logos, card date on month/day instead of month/year (and it happens to be the birthday of the person below), a return address of "world wide pretty ARMY", and well, the name of a famous Korean pop singer right on the front, that should have helped him do his homework.
You can buy and exchange them around if you're interested.
Eh, I skimmed his feed, and not everything he says is bullshit.
The tweet that Richard quoted in the article is kind of stupid - IT security researchers should think long and hard, and then phrase their arguments carefully, any time they come down against disclosure. That's as sacred a cow as you'll find in this business. (And as the subhead notes, Google themselves are happy to wave the disclosure flag as it pleases them.)
And yes, I didn't bother looking at those card-image posts, but I had a feeling they were probably rubbish too.
Some of his other comments are reasonable, though. I'm willing to give him a pass on this one, and hope he grows out of the habit of tweeting without thinking.
Facebook had already soared by the time Google+ came along. Back when Google+ first came along I wanted it to beat Facebook, because back then I still believed Google was a force for good. Now I'm VERY glad that Google+ failed, because they already have so much personal data they don't need all the data that Facebook has as well.
Plus at least with Facebook it is your decision whether you give them anything. With Google you can minimize what they get on you but can't eliminate it entirely, due to their advertising network that means they know when you visit pages all over the web.
It was always shit. There are so many other bugs going ignored although technically not security issues. The one where you store your passwords in Chrome (people at work do) and then wonder why they can't login to a website. I told them for years Chrome has had a bug where, despite you telling it your password was updated it still insists on filling the form in with the old password so the login fails.
The fact Google Drive for desktop doesn't audit. So if your company encourages its users to "save everything to your Google Drives", you can then use your personal PC to steal loads of documents with no audit. Because certain companies haven't bothered to pay for proper audits, it then allows said users to install Google Driver for Desktop (or whatever its called now), sync your work Google drive with it, which downloads all the docs to your person PC (that probably isn't encrypted) and the place of work won't be able to prove you've done this due to no active audits of Google Drive for desktops.
Warned a company about that before, was ignored. I'm 99% sure a Director then did as above to steal company docs before leaving and setting up a private business in the very area they used to work in said company.
I'm a G+ user and have been since the start... and it's always been a much better social media platform.
But it suffered from several issues
Journalistic bullshit like this that repeatedly called it a ghost town and did their best to discourage people from using it. Those same people were unable to grasp how it worked and that it was built around engaging with others and not just shit posting links for likes.
Through G+ I've made friends all over the world... on average people who are smarter than me... I've made friends with TV people, musicians, artists, writers and seen careers take of because of the platform.
I actively tried to discourage too many people from following me... and at it's peak still managed to collate more than 5000 and to this day only a little under 4800. I have friends with hundreds of thousands of followers and the sheer size of the interaction going on could have easily competed with FB.
But in 2014, Vic Gundotra left as head of the project and Yonatan Zunger also move on to other things. Then new people brought in didn't understand it's usefulness and started to change it for the worse... they removed elements, split of it's biggest attraction 'hangouts' into a separate site entirely... that alone made it very hard for people to see when friends were online and in a video chat.
In one swift move... it went from having full video hangouts several nights a week.. where people struggled to even get in and others were hopping from one to another to catch up with friends... to finding it hard to even find people online... That was the start of the death spiral... and shitty decision after shitty decision followed... G+ didn't die because of a lack of use... there are still hundreds of thousands of people using it daily and there would be millions more if not for googles mismanagement of the project.
Some of us saw the writing on the wall.. it wasn't a question of 'if' the hammer fell but 'when'
So about a month ago, a couple of people started a dispora pod for the people of G+, not as a replacement.. but as a backup.
Timing was fortuitous... Because in those first few weeks perhaps 400-500 people we all new joined up to test it out... and aside from a few minor issues with functionality that G+ had and diaspora doesn't... Feedback was positive.
Then google announced on Monday afternoon that they would be closing G+... We'd mentioned it a few times to others on G+... So we put the word out again, giving more information... promoting the ad free, censorship free, data mining free, privacy centric features...
Our diaspora pod... has seen another 4000 people join in 48hrs... server capacity has been quadrupled to handle the load... and interaction is through the roof.
I've rediscovered friends who had gotten fed up with the way G+ was mismanaged and drifted away... who are now back and loving the community spirit again.
diaspora isn't perfect... but it's still being worked on, and because you pay for server space it's not going to go away and it runs on open source code... and is constantly being worked on and developed... if only google had done the same, instead of mismanaging and abandoning a well used and loved platform.
And shame on the 'technology' focused hacks who never bothered to figure out how it worked and instead regurgitated the same old bullshit over and over again
Totally agreed on the hopping between Hangouts. It was the one thing which made Google+ so incredibly social to me, much more than the posts did. Removing Hangouts from G+ was definitely what killed the network, as it removed like 90% of the social interaction overnight.
I haven't looked at Diaspora or such alternatives. Mostly just went back to using IRC, forums and Twitter. Would be nice if one day something like G+ with Hangouts could exist again.
These geeks think they are so much smarter than we ordinary people. After all, we are the idiots trusting the most evil company with our most private things. They keep a secret profile of each of us. They claim that this information is not shared. They lie.
Avoid Google in everything possible.
I find it better to got out to meet people. With Meetup and platforms like it, I can find groups with similar interests and hang out for an evening. Back in BBS days, it was fun to actually get to meet the people I would chat with online. Sadly, many of them have passed away or we've lost touch.
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