Tag Archives: google

Google Chelsea Free Wi-Fi: Mapped

Google is notorious for providing their employees free lunch.

Beginning today, certain Chelsea MTA subway stops have free Wi-FI.

Per Transit Wireless (the company Google teamed up with to offer the Wi-Fi), the following locations have Wi-Fi:

Let’s looked at these MTA stops mapped along with Google’s NYC headquarters:

Probably not a coincidence that these stops are the only MTA ones near Google.

Former Google Reader PM on the Update

A take on the Google Reader update from former Google Reader Project Manager, Brian Shih:

Google released the previously announced set of changes around G+ integration and UI updates today, and boy is it a disaster.

He continues on visuals:

Taking the UI paradigm for G+ and mashing it onto Reader without any apparent regard for the underlying function is awful and it shows.

His take on Google+ integration:

Ok, before we get started – let me be very clear about one thing. I think integration with G+ should happen. Reader friends should be managed in the same place you manage G+, with the same metaphors (whether you think they’re flawed or not). Sharing should utilize the same infrastructure and plumbing that G+ does. I am not objecting to any of these things. Google has clearly made its bets with G+, and Reader should be part of those plans.

I find his views on the money. Google has every right to integrate Google+, but why do they trash the sharing functionality of Google Reader in the process? I understand that Google is trying to focus, even though it conflicts with their release-everything-as-a-beta-product DNA.

My discontent with the new Reader lies in the sharing workflow. It’s too many steps, as Brian explains:

But the new sharing flow around the +1 button has actually made it harder to share. Where you used to be able to click one button, or hit shift-s to one-click share to your audience, you now need to:

  1. Click +1 (no keyboard shortcuts for you)
  2. Click the text box that appears that says “Share to G+”
  3. Then choose your circle you want to share to (or let it default to public)
  4. Then click Share

Keep in mind that on top of requiring 3-4 times as many clicks, you also now must +1 a post publicly to share it, even if it’s shared to a private circle. That bears repeating. The next time you want to share some sexy halloween costumes with your private set of friends, you first must publicly +1 the post, which means it shows up on your profile, plus wherever the hell G+ decides to use +1 data. So much for building a network around privacy controls.

When Reader updated, I said the same message:

 Google, please separate the steps of explicitly approving content (+1) and sharing content among friends (sharing to Circles). Just place “Share to Circle(s)” between “+1″ and “Email” under each Google Reader content piece.

While I didn’t spell out the new workflow as Brian did, I was talking about the same issue. Why does Reader make you +1 content that you don’t necessarily want to +1 before you are allowed to share? Why does Reader make you take at least 3 steps now compared to 1 step (hitting shift+S) before?

Luckily, there is a non-intuitive solution if you want to share Reader content to Google+ Circles. Brian shares:

If you click on the top right “Share…” field on the OneGoogle bar, you can bypass the +1 button. It’s just completely undiscoverable.

Ultimately, Google has every right to change Reader as it sees fit. Google provides Reader as a free product to users who derive some benefit. Google wants to align its products toward its bottom line, so they made Google+ the de facto sharing system of Reader. That said, users just want to 1.) read news & 2.) share content. It’s a shame that this latest update made #2 a bloated process.

(via googlesystem)

Google+ Staging Screenshots

Is Google is ready to leave the familiar comfort of white backgrounds?


This new Google homepage is part of their Google+ push. Notice the black bar at the top.

Google Reader

The black bar even invaded my Reader.

Updated Google Reader Mobile Appbar

An Appbar has even taken over their mobile web app.

Apps Section of the Mobile Appbar

This Apps Section shows when you press “more” on the screen above. Oddly, Apps (and not Search) is the default choice.

Search Section of the Mobile Appbar

This is what pressing “Search” reveals.

Bottom of expanded Search Appbar Section

This screen shows you what the bottom of the Appbar looks like. Just in case you forgot you were in the Reader mobile web app.

Google+ Invite Request Screen

Back to Google+.

This is what it looks like when you go to the site uninvited. You can request an invite by clicking on “Keep Me Posted”. Notice “+You” now appears at the top left of the black bar.

Google+ Invite Request Form

This form appears after clicking “Keep Me Posted”.

A strange gaffe here. I have to enter my name and e-mail? If you look at the prior screen, I’m logged into Google Accounts, but here they ask for my info again.

Google Maps (when it finally recognized your Google Account) was the best thing ever. No longer did you have to fill out both the “From” and “To” fields to e-mail map directions. As it currently does, the “From” is pre-populated with your Google Account e-mail address. Recognizing your Google Account after you click “Keep Me Posted” is what Google+ should do.

Reader Link Returns

Whoohoo! This is a good thing.

Gmail screenshot

Three Gmail things to note (from top left, clockwise):

  1. The Favicon Google Labs option is smart design.
  2. The Google Reader link is back! This deserves more exclamation marks.
  3. I’ve had the BETA tag on since it came out in Google Labs.

Regarding #2, people may say RSS is dead, but RSS is still an amazing, useful technology.

Google Hotpot

Just came across Hotpot.

Google Hotpot

The UI is very simple to use once you get into it. You simply search for a location and then rate/review. The list of locations has already been pre-populated by Google Map’s places.

This site wants to be social, but nobody I know has accepted my Hotpot invite yet. This includes a Googler who I assume is too busy swimming in money.

Early Adoption

One gripe I have upon my first visit, Hotpot was stuck on a page requiring me to update my Google profile username before it would let me review places. While I can see why you’d need a public username, it was a speed bump holding me back from instantly using the site.

(via HN)

Google Reader Stats

Via TC, I found out about a minor Google Reader update.

If I recall correctly (when I last looked at the Trends section ages ago), Google Reader only shows your last 30 days activity on the date that you are checking it. Now, it shows your lifetime activity but caps it at 300K for read items. That’s a shame as it would be nice to see what stats their DB has.

I read RSS as a good way to stay on top of many diverse websites for news coverage. RSS has improved the way I get news since I started using it in 2008. Yes, I am late to the party, but RSS is a good tool. I feel like I’m playing a game of Inbox Zero with Google Reader.