Posts Tagged ‘annoying’

Give it a Rest, Google

September 9th, 2010

Google is AnnoyingGoogle Search is getting more and more annoying with each passing day. It’s fair to assume that Google developers think we are pretty dumb, and they need to show us the right path through the internet’s complicated web of sites.

Search results on Google are getting less and less relevant and useful. Further more, since Google assumes we’re all idiots, it tends to decide for us what we ACTUALLY wanted to search. So, it searches similar words, similar meanings, and many other “similars”, which are usually completely different from what I searched for. Thus, I have to use Quotes and the Plus sign a hell of a lot more than I used to. Just like in the good old 90s.

Now, Google launched a new feature – Google Instant. With this feature turned on, search results appear immediately when you start typing. Not only will Google suggest search queries for you – but it will also give you the search results before you even finished typing. Wow.

This, in fact, is an even more annoying feature than Google Suggest. First of all, not all people look at the screen when they type. A lot of people need to look at the keyboard, and won’t lift their heads until they are done typing. In the words of Robin Williams – totally redundant number one.

Of course, if you mistype, the suggestions and search results will change when you type and correct your mistake, creating a distracting movement of letters and images on the screen. Moreover, the results displayed rely on the most common searches done by other Google users. Which means that if you are searching something that’s a bit out of the mainstream, the search suggestions will be completely irrelevant.

Fine, you say, disable Google Instant and stop complaining. You’re right, of course. I did that. Slight problem, though: Google allows me to disable Google Instant, but the ability to disable Google Suggest has vanished from the preferences page. Again, Google thinks it can decide what’s good for me. For all of us. Google brags that the new feature will save us all a lot of time. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Google for the time I had to waste on finding a way to disable their stupid features. So, thanks. Really.

Disable Google Suggest

If you want to use Google without Google Suggest, you need to use this URL:

http://www.google.com/webhp?complete=0&hl=en
Another good option is to use a different search engine. My favorite is Duck Duck Go – a wonderful, quick, smart search engine, which gives very relevant results and is fun to use.

Google, just give it a rest, will ya? Just let us decide if we want your fancy, useless features. KTHXBAI.

Buzz Off, Google!

February 10th, 2010

It’s hard to understand Google’s hysteria when it comes to social media. True, Twitter gives Google a good fight when it comes to real-time search, and people spend more time on Facebook than on any other site. So what do they do on Google? They try to fight back. And it looks ludicrous.

Gmail is one of the net’s most useful services. It’s the best webmail around and it has tons of useful features. My Gmail tab on Firefox is always open. In fact, by far, it’s the site I spend most of my time on. And I am not the only one.

Some of us don’t want many distractions to interrupt our work. I mean, web games, Twitter and porn are distracting enough. But Google doesn’t seem to care. First was the annoying, blipping Google Talk, which you can only disconnect from, but not disable entirely, and now there’s Google Buzz.

Without asking for it, I got the Buzz icon in the left sidebar of my Gmail. The icon looks familiar… Wait a minute… Is that a Microsoft service? Ah, no. Just another Google annoyance. So, I click on the Buzz in order to disable it, and I am horified to see that I already have followers. Worst of all – these aren’t my friends. They are not even my online friends. They are a random bunch of people I once mailed or contacted, mostly in business-related matters. I sure don’t want THEM to follow me anywhere. I also don’t want to follow them, but it appears I am doing just that.

Where’s the Block?!

It seems that Google Buzz is a Twitter/Facebook wannabe – it encourages you to share thoughts, clips and links. Only here, for some reason, you can’t choose your friends that easily. For example, if you access the list of your followers, you only get an option to follow them back. You can’t block them or prevent them from following you. At least, not that easily. In order to block a person on Google Buzz, you need to click on their icon and block them from there. I hope you don’t have too many followers at this point.

Where’s the Privacy?

If you are concerned about your privacy, Google Buzz is definitely not for you. The message that appears on the Buzz’s main page is: “Your Google Reader shared items, Picasa Web public albums, and Google Chat status messages will automatically appear as posts in Buzz”. This is the default, unless you change it.

Also, activity on the sites listed on your Google Webmaster account will also be made public, unless you prevent Google Buzz from spreading around your every move.

Best Feature of Google Buzz?

Clearly, Google Buzz is a noise-making, privacy-damaging, redundant service. If you have Twitter, Facebook or both, you really don’t need the Buzz. I don’t even want to THINK what this does to the well-known Gmail-Firefox memory leak.

The best feature on Google Buzz is clearly the option to disable it entirely. This option hides as a little, tiny link on the bottom of your Gmail screen.

Google, do us all a favor. Stick to worthwhile services, like Gmail, RSS Readers and, um,  that little thing called “Search Engine”. When I want a bunch of strangers to follow me around, I’ll open a Twitter account and announce that I am Ashton Kutcher.

Google Toolbar Ignores Your Privacy

January 26th, 2010

Toolbars are rarely worth the effort. They mostly interrupt work, weigh heavy on your browser and are relatively useless. To date, I haven’t seen a good toolbar.

Unfortunately, a lot of free software comes bundled with annoyances such as the Google toolbar. Users rarely pay attention to what they are installing, and find themselves with a bad addition to their browser, that to top it all, also infringes on their privacy.

Now it’s revealed that Google toolbar ignores your privacy and keeps tracking you even if you disabled that option:

…even when users specifically instruct that the Google Toolbar be “disable[d]”, and even when the Google Toolbar seems to be disabled (e.g., because it disappears from view), Google Toolbar continues tracking users’ browsing.

And another annoying feature:

The Google Toolbar also added a “Google” button to my Taskbar, immediately adjacent to the Start button. The Toolbar installer added this button without any disclosure whatsoever in the installation sequence – not on the toolbar.google.com web page, not in the installer EXE, not anywhere else.

Pay attention to what you are inserting into your computer. Most of the time, toolbars aren’t needed and are more harmful than beneficial.