1) Google Buzz is being shut down.
2) Google Code Search is being shut down.
3) Google Labs is being shut down.
4) FTC will be auditing Google for privacy issues every two years for the next twenty years.
5) And a few other things being shut down / consolidated, that don't matter as much.
The sad news:
Google Labs and Code Search in particular have provided a lot of useful tools to end users outside of Googleplex. I'll admit, not all of the Labs tools have proven to be good, but many have eased online activities for a large number of users. And they have inspired other companies to share 'sneak previews' of their products in similar Labs-style environments. Given the fast pace of technology, this has been one of the most productive ways of sharing innovative ideas between companies that typically operate behind closed walls.
The good news:
It's no secret that the US is one of the most lax countries in the world when it comes to privacy. That there's actually a federal commission looking at online privacy issues is an indication to me that people – in particular Americans – are beginning to care about privacy. And perhaps there's a meager chance that the US will tighten up their regulations to match the rest of the world.
First link /via +Siegfried Hirsch
Official Google Blog: A fall sweep
A fall sweep. 10/14/2011 10:03:00 AM. We aspire to build great products that really change people’s lives, products they use two or three times a day. To succeed you need real focus and thought—th…