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Google Finance Unusable Design

by @ 2:37 pm
Filed under: financial,google — Tags: ,

Sometimes one wonders if giant companies like Google ever think about their end users when they redesign their properties. One such case is Google's recent redesign of their financial site, Google Finance.

There are plenty of sites around for people to track their stock portfolios, real or imaginary. But if you are a Google user and interested in stocks, chances are you have been using Google Finance to keep tabs on the market.

Google Finance had never been a particularly rich site in terms of data and information. They have been dismal at covering earnings data, options prices, analysts ratings, and much more. But one area they were decent at was the homepage where one could get a quick glimpse of his/her custom stock portfolio, local and international market indices, currencies, interest rates, and some commodities such as gold and oil.

That is no longer. A few months ago Google started to push users to their new and updated finance site. The old site was still available via an unpublished link but then a few weeks ago the link went offline and now everyone is forced to use the new site.

So what's wrong with the new site? Design-wise it is more polished and modern than the old one and at the same time it is virtually useless, it simply sucks. What Google failed to understand is that most people interested in the markets want to see as much data crammed into as little space as possible and as timely as possible.

Instead it appears that Google threw a bunch of design-snob interns together with the latest web development tools (AngularJS, no doubt) to create a modern and responsive finance site. There are tons of white spaces, no charts, no indices, no commodities, and only a couple of stocks shown from the portfolio on the homepage.

Well, this strategy has backfired and I am far from the only one complaining. Google's own search box suggestions bear witness to that, not to mention #Googlefinance.

Google Search Box

As for me I opted to escape from the hideous new design to Yahoo Finance. Yahoo pages are sometimes burdened with ads and other nonsense, but at least their portfolio page is leaps and bounds ahead of the Google Finance's so-called modern/responsive design. Now that I have my custom portfolio on Yahoo there's little chance of going back to Google Finance, even if they did bring back the classic site.

Classic Google Finance

 

New Google Finance

Facebook Like, The Big Fake

by @ 6:25 pm
Filed under: google,web — Tags: ,

facebook fake likeEarlier this year this insightful article delved into the business of click farming where people and businesses (and apparently even the US government) pay shady companies a modest fee for thousands of Facebook likes, or Twitter followers, or YouTube views. Only that these likes and clicks are generated by click farms, either malware robots and zombies, or zombie-like people clicking mindlessly, essentially producing inflated popularity through fraud.

I am not much a social media expert or even user, yet I knew about click farming. I just didn't know how extensive the practice was until recently.

At this point we must assume that the vast majority of likes, views and followers are fake. Certainly not everyone is involved, but faced with such overwhelming and obvious scam, one must conclude that digital popularity is now but fiction and holds no credibility. And it doesn't matter who they are, even governments, legitimate companies and celebrities can not be ruled out.

Online scamming is not new. When link farming became a popular method to attain high ranking in Google results pages, Google fought back by changing the rules because SEO scamming was becoming an existential threat to its business. Once users' trust is lost, it is difficult, if not impossible, to gain it back.

Popular social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are now faced with the same credibility issue and they are fully aware of the problem and have the means to correct it. But it's business as usual because most users haven't woken up to the reality of click farming, yet.

Just like now when everybody immediately dismisses an email purportedly sent by a Nigerian prince, an increasing number of users are glossing over the stats on social sites. When the majority of these stats are fake, the whole system becomes useless and irrelevant.

Food on Google

by @ 10:27 am
Filed under: google,health — Tags: ,

I'm not a health nut but I do run regularly and enjoy eating healthy food. I don't know a vegetable or fruit that I don't like, a trait inherited from my late father. Sometimes I like to look up the nutrition info on a banana or broccoli just for fun and now Google has made it easier by producing nutrition results on the first search page.

I use Google for a lot more than just search. It's a great calculator, has references on a variety of topics such as space, chemistry, health, drug facts, geography, and historical names or events. Now Google also comes with quick facts on food, be it broccoli, banana, or just water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice ūüôā

Oracle's Java Bet

by @ 6:40 pm
Filed under: business,google,technology — Tags: , , ,

A couple of weeks ago a judge finally ruled that Google hadn't violated any patents when it used the Java programming language in its Android OS. Good, finally someone wasn't intimidated by Larry Ellison and ruled based on logic rather than emotion. Word has it that the judge actually took some time to learn Java to have a better grasp of the dispute, impressive.

Now comes the news that Android has hit 900k activations per day and is well on its way to reach 1m per days. That may be in part due to some confidence that Android is now a safe bet, free from oracle's licensing threats.

In retrospect, it’s easy to see why Oracle acquired Sun and its assets. Even if some of those assets, like Java or MySQL, were under GPL (essentially free to use), that's counter to how Oracle operates. Oracle had hoped, and still does, to start capitalizing on the large market shares of these products. To that end it hasn't been successful, yet.

The latest Java lawsuit outcome is a great boon to developers and users, but one shouldn't bank on Oracle's defeat in Android's case as being the end of such tactics. Undoubtedly Oracle will be back for more. Given its past business history, Oracle is nothing if not undaunted and persistent.

Kudos to Google

by @ 1:47 pm
Filed under: google,hacking — Tags: ,

My admiration to Google for standing up for what's right. Even in the face of Chinese retaliation, Google has gone public with the revelation that the hacking activity of Gmail accounts had a Chinese connection.

The allegations are as of yet uncorroborated, but Google deserves much credit for standing up to China when there's evidence of wrong-doing.

We'll see how far Google is willing to go on this issue before it permanently damages its prospects in China. But for me, Google's stance has elevated its stature and image.

China paper warns Google may pay price for hacking claims - Technology & science - Security - msnbc.com.

Google Vs. Netflix

by @ 9:25 pm
Filed under: business,google — Tags: , ,

youtube, google's video site, is beginning to beef up its roster of movies, adding some big productions too, like inception.

netflix shouldn't worry quite yet. youtube's list isn't as extensive and its pricing not as competitive. but when google starts to muscle in on a market, it won't be wise to ignore it either.

Google’s YouTube Adding 3,000 Rentals, Challenging Netflix - Bloomberg.

Emergency Pleasure Droid

by @ 11:45 am
Filed under: google,music — Tags: , ,

pleasure droid

Still shot from 'You are the Girl' - The Cars

Apparently The Cars knew about Droid back in 1987 and seems like their version was more fun that Google's smartphone version of today ūüôā

Yep, that's Ric Ocasek getting ready to unleash the "Pleasure Droid". If only the product and the song were released at the same time. Google and Motorola could have used this clip to promote their Droid platform.

Oracle Collects on Sun

by @ 11:15 pm
Filed under: business,google,law,technology — Tags: , , ,

Oracle SunBack when Oracle acquired Sun, you really didn't think that it was going to continue with the free open source model, did you? Of course not. This is Oracle, and Oracle is all about business. It has expensive products and even more expensive support and maintenance terms. And if someone like SAP starts to offer cheaper support, Oracle has the legal resources to sue them out of its turf very quickly.

Those lawyers are now busy suing Google over Java license violations in its Android platform. Meanwhile OpenSolaris is seeing its last days in the sun as the focus shifts to its commercial counterpart, Oracle Solaris, where there's money to be made.

It won't be long before Java, MySQL, and OpenOffice will be history too, at least in terms of their current forms. In Oracle's world if a product doesn't substantially contribute to the bottom line, it's axed. That's an unfortunate hit on innovation and open collaboration.

Oracle has a good track record of successful business ventures and profitable acquisitions. But the company is basically reliant on old legacy systems from itself and acquired companies to drive its earnings. When is the last time you heard of an innovative or exciting product coming out of Oracle? Probably in 1977 when its flagship product, Oracle Database, was conceived. And even then Oracle Database wasn't that novel. It was based on an existing IBM database product.

Google Down, Apple Up, BP Plugs

by @ 11:31 pm
Filed under: financial,google — Tags: , ,

After missing the expected earnings and profits numbers, Google's shares are down 4% in after-hours trading. Apple's shares however are up by 1% in reverse sympathy.

Google Android is beginning to look like a real contender for Apple's ubiquitous iPhone, so the companies are now regarded as serious rivals. Bad news for one parlays into good news for the other.

With the options expiration tomorrow combined with the Google's earnings release, Apple's iPhone 4 antenna press conference, and BP's capping of the oil leak, the market should expect a busy and volatile day.

Related Article

Sunrise and Sunset per Google

by @ 12:24 am
Filed under: google — Tags: , ,

Google has added a new feature to their search page allowing users to get the next Sunrise and Sunset times for any location. This is great for people who schedule their activities based on daylight or night hours, for example running schedules, prayer times, or planning to watch the Sun rise or set on a beach resort.

Here's a sample link for the next Sunrise time in New York City, and here is a link for the next Sunset time in Kathmandu, Nepal.

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