Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Businesses The Internet

Xooglers - Google Discussed by Ex-Googlers 211

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the insiders-looking-back dept.
perler writes to tell us that Xooglers, a relatively new website created so that ex-Google employees could reminisce and share, has been gaining a great deal of popularity recently. The website shares what went wrong, what went right, and all of the funny happenings in between. Quite an interesting piece of Google history.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Xooglers - Google Discussed by Ex-Googlers

Comments Filter:
  • Why "ex" googlers? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cytoman (792326) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @10:27PM (#14231257)
    I assume that being a Google employee represents the highpoint of your career and you would never want to leave...like one of the xooglers says, why become a boring specialized cell when you can be a stem-cell and take on any and every challenge thrown at you?

    If *I* get a Google job, I am never leaving!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 10, 2005 @10:44PM (#14231306)
      If *I* get a Google job, I am never leaving!

      So easy to say about a company until you have actually worked there. Not saying that working at Google wouldn't be cool, but you never know what little things here or there might be a frustration at your job. What about an annoying boss? Hard schedule? Your employers aren't always going to accommodate you to fix a problem, no matter where you work.
      • by adpowers (153922)
        Or because you live in LA and work in Mountain View, as one of the bloggers did. I've been reading this site for a while now and it is very good. One of the guys worked there for a year, flying in on Mondays, working until Thursday, flying home, and then telecommuting on Friday. That's one hell of a commute.
    • by nandu_prahlad (706343) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @10:49PM (#14231324)
      If *I* get a Google job, I am never leaving!
      Never say never. As Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans". Suddenly, working for Google (or some other great company) may not seem like great idea as before because your interests have shifted, or you may wanna spend more time with your family.
    • by hyeh (89792) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @11:06PM (#14231377) Homepage
      I'm a Xoogler myself, and personally, I find my current job more fulfilling from a personal/learning/growth standpoint. Just my two cents.
    • by roach2002 (77772) <murcnh102&sneakemail,com> on Saturday December 10, 2005 @11:09PM (#14231383) Homepage

      From the blog (Ron's first post [blogspot.com])

      I guess the #1 FAQ for people who have left Google is why did you leave. My main reason for leaving was that I was commuting from Los Angeles. I'd fly up on Southwest early Monday morning, fly back on Thursday evening, and telecommute on Fridays and weekends. That regimen was pretty stressful even under the best of circumstances, but when 9/11 happened it became completely untenable. I had already given my notice before 9/11, but I don't think I could have stayed on after that even if I had wanted to. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

      So that's why Ron left, I'm not sure if Doug's said why he left yet.

    • Perhaps they were sacked?
    • They have to be ex-googlers, because Google, like many other companies, see's people talking about their employer on their own time as a sackable offense. The First Ammendment is only for the government, so there's no way to stop employers from sacking people who dare to exercise their first ammendment rights during non-working hours.
      • I work for Google...

        Google does not discourage employees from talking about their employer or blogging... The company is extremely open with their employees and gives them a lot more freedom than you would expect from your employer... But still, I am sure a lot of Googlers (myself included) are still a little gun-shy about what they post on websites simply because Google is so 'in the spotlight'...

           
    • by koltrane (925418) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @07:20AM (#14232542)
      Honestly, you people think working for Google is like playtime and that no one would ever have problems there. I felt the same way about working at McDonalds when I was 8.

      Any successful business is just that...a business, and all the adolescent fantasies of corporate ski trips and pool tables in the break room aside, work has to be done. A job at Google is not a panacea for the workaday blues. I'm sure it's a very nice and creative environment, but I remember a lot of dot-com companies that sneered at traditional business practices, opting instead for lavish salaries, non-standard work hours, jacuzzis in every office, and multi-million dollar IPO parties. We all know where they are now...how much is that theGlobe.com stock worth now?

      Not to say that Google is such a company. They obviously have their heads on straight, but don't kid yourself into thinking that no one in his right mind would ever want to leave, because Google ain't perfect.

  • by RebelWithoutAClue (578771) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @10:33PM (#14231270) Homepage
    "How long does it take the sauna to get hot? You think it's okay to go in the women's locker room to get some towels since we're out in here?"
  • hrm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by know1 (854868)
    post only mentions the good things, in fact he seems wistfull of his time there, although he does allude to bad things in a previous post. wonder if the tone of this website will change in a few years time
  • by Cherita Chen (936355) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @10:35PM (#14231278) Homepage
    For those who didn't see this before...

    http://www.intuitive.com/blog/google_fires_blogger _and_the_evils_of_gossip_and_innuendo.html [intuitive.com]

    I'm not suprised there's now a Blog completely dedicated to ex-Google employees. It seems that they (Big G) don't take kindly to outsiders looking in... And God help you if you try to open the window and give others a peek.

  • News? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by logik3x (872368) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @10:54PM (#14231335)
    So how is this news? this is just publicity for a blog. It's not because there is the word google in the story that you have to post it. You can mod me down if you want but this is true... maybe if the blog was something new ok but it's old... it's been around for a while...
    • Re:News? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Saturday December 10, 2005 @11:59PM (#14231517) Homepage
      This is slashdot. Anything with google in the title is published - often before anyone's even bothered to read it.

      Future slashdot titles:
      Google to buy microsoft
      Google to buy AOL
      Google finds cure for cancer
      Google starts space programme
    • Re:News? (Score:3, Informative)

      by harmonica (29841)
      So how is this news?
      An interesting source of information on Google has been created recently. So, it's new. It's newsworthy on /. because quite a few readers might be interested.
  • Scroll down (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rolfwind (528248) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @10:55PM (#14231338)
    to the "Let's get a real database" comment. It's nice to see such a good comment over MySQL by pros. Back in 2001/2, when I was considering to start a DB project for my own amusement, I heard almost nothing but bad things over MySQL by PostSQLers or Oraclers due to missing features though I went with it anyway.

    BTW, it's not a slam on those others systems, but I feel the missing feautures debate usually gets out of proportion to actual use of said feautures by the average project by a small/mid-size business.
    • Re:Scroll down (Score:4, Interesting)

      by xenocide2 (231786) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @12:37AM (#14231629) Homepage
      Context is everything. MySQL originated as a flat file backed database. Something quick and dirty that got picked up by a few php coders. Naturally its SQL syntax was incompatible and the implementation lacking. By 2000 it had grown up somewhat but was still somewhat scary; fast but not what I'd call safe or transaction oriented. You'll note in the post that they claim they never got it as fast as MySQL. Probably because they went with something "Real" (Oracle's a good a guess as any) that did transactions and considered recovery from failure.

      If you dig further, you'll find a post [sitereservation.com] about a multithreading race condition that boggles my mind. Maybe I've no imagination, but I'm having trouble imagining a scenario where that's a good idea. It's not even something you can do unconciously! The explaination is also unsatisfactory, which leads me to believe that perhaps the fog of time is clouding the whole story somewhat?
    • Comment by the pros? Ron isn't a database guru by any stretch, and in the comments he even ignorantly states that mysql not having transactions (it didn't at that time) didn't matter because you can easily "roll you own".

      This isn't a small business using mysql because they don't need features, this is google, and they needed features that mysql didn't have. They used stupid and unsafe hacks to partly work around it instead of simply using a real database.

      Of course it was a pain to move to a real DB after
    • by gothfox (659941)

      I heard almost nothing but bad things over MySQL by PostSQLers or Oraclers due to missing features though I went with it anyway.

      When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp.

      • Wow, maybe you should stop building on that swamp. Or at least get it drained....

        I don't know what that has to do with using MySQL in my small personal project though?

        I think I'll file this under other "misc" such as the "Don't go to Linux, you'll have higher TCO!" remarks by Microsoft.
  • obvious question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slashdotnickname (882178) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @10:56PM (#14231343)
    How did these people become ex-employees? Were they fired or did they leave on their own accord?

    I've been browsing some of their early entires (and the one guy's profile that's not empty) but that detail of their google experience is never addressed. I would think that if you wanted attention for being an ex-anything, you'd at least be upfront about what brought about that "ex-" status.

    So I'll reserve my trust regarding this site... for the same reason that I can't imagine a blog site of my ex-wives to be perfectly honest about me.
    • by greginnj (891863) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @11:58PM (#14231510) Homepage Journal
      So I'll reserve my trust regarding this site... for the same reason that I can't imagine a blog site of my ex-wives to be perfectly honest about me.
      I find your ideas intriguing and I would like to Subscribe to your newsletter.
    • Re:obvious question (Score:4, Informative)

      by roach2002 (77772) <murcnh102&sneakemail,com> on Sunday December 11, 2005 @12:19AM (#14231576) Homepage
      FTFB:

      From the blog (Ron's first post [blogspot.com] [blogspot.com])

      I guess the #1 FAQ for people who have left Google is why did you leave. My main reason for leaving was that I was commuting from Los Angeles. I'd fly up on Southwest early Monday morning, fly back on Thursday evening, and telecommute on Fridays and weekends. That regimen was pretty stressful even under the best of circumstances, but when 9/11 happened it became completely untenable. I had already given my notice before 9/11, but I don't think I could have stayed on after that even if I had wanted to. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

      So that's why Ron left, I'm pretty sure Doug hasn't said why he left yet. So no, Ron wasn't fired.

  • Consumed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tufriast (824996) * on Saturday December 10, 2005 @10:56PM (#14231344)
    Ok, I was worried about one thing, and I was right. The leaders of Google are consumed with a vision, and ulitmatley, that's a very dangerous thing. While wanting it is ok...consuming an entire population around it...I don't know. At this point, I'm not so comfy-cozy about Google any longer. That's not to say I'm comfortable with Apple, M$, or the folks any other large company. I am worried in the end. Worried that age will take hold of these people at Google, and wring them out to dry. I surely hope that in the end they appreciate people. I mean that - appreciate them. Not use them, and cater to them b/c they are laborers. Drawing in brilliant people only to use them...seems caustically dangerous. From this blog, it seems like they did that at least somewhat to the author.
    • "That's not to say I'm comfortable with Apple, M$, or the folks any other large company. I am worried in the end."

      Hmm. Know what I think? I think that even if Google has a flawless Slashdot record, in 6 months others will feel the way you do. They'll get bigger, more people will become dependent on them, then it'll become fashionable to not need Google. Within a year, Slashdot will be putting on a negative spin on every move Google makes. Within two years, people will start realizing that the anti-Goog
    • The leaders of Google are consumed with a vision, and ulitmatley, that's a very dangerous thing.

      As opposed to being consumed by money and power?
  • Not quite (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuperBanana (662181) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @10:56PM (#14231345)
    The website shares what went wrong, what went right, and all of the funny happenings in between.

    No ScuttleMonkey- it's what a bunch (more specifically: TWO. "Doug" and Ron") of ex-employees think went wrong, think went right. I've seen ex-employee websites/mailing lists and been on them. They're petty, rarely accurate (I saw wild claims made I knew were false) and so on.

    I am no fan of Google, but why is anyone giving ANY credence to what two guys have to say? I see nothing to verify they are who they say they are.

    • "Ron" is Ron Garrett [flownet.com], nee Erann Gat. He used to work at JPL, [flownet.com] where he created an autonomous spacecraft control system which was named NASA Software of the Year. His homepage has a list of his publications, and you can find his Usenet postings with Google Groups, if you like (he used to post quite frequently in comp.lang.lisp).

      His Blogger profile even links to his homepage. Xooglers is not some anonymous blog; it's written by people using their real names and at least one of them has a decent track record as
    • Re:Not quite (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jsight (8987)

      No ScuttleMonkey- it's what a bunch (more specifically: TWO. "Doug" and Ron") of ex-employees think went wrong, think went right. I've seen ex-employee websites/mailing lists and been on them. They're petty, rarely accurate (I saw wild claims made I knew were false) and so on.

      I've seen plenty of that from ex-employees as well (esp disgruntled ones, but really all of them to some extent or another).

      However, the Google X'ers at that site actually seemed fairly level headed. Honestly, for the most part their

      • However, the Google X'ers at that site actually seemed fairly level headed. Honestly, for the most part their descriptions make the place sound like a pretty nice place to work!

        Again, what evidence do we have that they are who they say they are? Or that anything they're saying is true?

    • What kind of slashdotter are you?
    • If this was about Microsoft, rather than Google, you and your like would have no problem believing what they're saying or who they were. God forbid that Google isn't the paradise everyone says it is.
  • Why they quit... (Score:5, Informative)

    by satchmodian (657710) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @10:58PM (#14231351)
    I browsed through the whole damn blog trying to figure out why each of the two guys that write the blog quit. One said "I guess the #1 FAQ for people who have left Google is why did you leave. My main reason for leaving was that I was commuting from Los Angeles. I'd fly up on Southwest early Monday morning, fly back on Thursday evening, and telecommute on Fridays and weekends. That regimen was pretty stressful even under the best of circumstances, but when 9/11 happened it became completely untenable. I had already given my notice before 9/11, but I don't think I could have stayed on after that even if I had wanted to. But I'm getting ahead of myself." From what I could tell, the other one, "Doug", made a decent chunk of change in stock options and doesn't have to work anymore. Probably the same is true for the first guy also.
  • I understand Google is a seemingly great company to work for and a pioneer in the search engine world. But why did I even waste the time to read though that "Back in ought one when I was still at Google.." garbage? I think I was hoping for some juicy tidbit that only blog readers would be privvy to, something secretive that I would never expect to happen to the employees of Google. Instead, I got a nice voyage down memory lane - getting to listen to people reminisce about things I was never there for in the first place.

    I don't know if this qualifys as either "News for Nerds." or "Stuff that Matters."
  • well then (Score:5, Funny)

    by caffeinemessiah (918089) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @11:04PM (#14231369) Journal
    I am an engineer at heart. I get a real kick out of watching something that I've built work. And the 'plex was the perfect environment, filled with smart, friendly people, state-of-the-art equipement, and half a dozen different kinds of coffee machines. (I actually had some interesting conversations about the finer points of espresso making, and at one point someone even brought in a book that was entirely devoted to the topic.)

    Well LAAA-DEEE-DAAAAA. Excuse the rest of us who couldn't get past the 3rd round of interviews! We'll just continue in our windowless labs/cubicles here, sucking down on 35 cent coffee from a vending machine perpetually on the fritz.

    • by amightywind (691887) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @12:11AM (#14231550) Journal

      Tech startup stock option millionaire dropouts engineers are a rarity these days. One of their tendencies is to cement their genius reputation by publishing a personal account of their heroics and lamenting the sad decline of the company - after cashing out ofcourse. Good examples are Mark Andreesen, Jamie Zewinski, and Andy Hertzfeld? Any others?

    • by Mad_Rain (674268)
      Well LAAA-DEEE-DAAAAA. Excuse the rest of us who couldn't get past the 3rd round of interviews!

      Where is that "Mod -1, Bitter" option?

      (joking!)
  • It seems to be teeming with irony.
  • by putko (753330) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @11:15PM (#14231406) Homepage Journal
    You'll see there's a lisper who left JPL because managers decided to follow "best practices" of industry and move to C++. This is despite the fact that programming a space mission isn't a "standard" problem -- it is, in fact, a problem that a language like LISP is excellently suited, because people can deal with unclear/dynamic requirements as a project evolves.

    So he goes to Google because they have some LISP guys there (not using LISP -- just smart guys) -- and then he gets told to do the first Java project. And later he gets told that LISP is out of the question.

    And in fact, he details how a race condition in the C++ memory management leads to them billing clients nonsense amounts -- a problem that simply couldn't happen if they'd used a language like LISP (or Java) -- because the GC wouldn't reclaim something if the thing was still in use.

    So Google can yet be beat -- they are not perfect. Of course, that doesn't mean there is anyone to beat them, yet.
    • Not that I have an axe to grind against LISP'ers, but I'm not sure how better memory management would have prevented one thread from accessing another's now defunct stack data aside from not allowing it in the first place.
      • "Not that I have an axe to grind against LISP'ers, but I'm not sure how better memory management would have prevented one thread from accessing another's now defunct stack data aside from not allowing it in the first place."

        The basic idea is that the programmer doesn't manage the memory, so that problem just can't occur. You aren't supposed to be able to tell where the storage is (heap, stack, etc).

        Were there to be a problem, it would be the fault of the LISP implementor.

        The implementation of lexical closur
        • I haven't used LISP, but I do have experience with a functional language (OCaml). Praytell how do you permit multithreaded access local variables of a function without severely destroying things? "Stack variables" in C are variables local to the function (and parameters). To access the local variables within another thread you'd have to perform some very specific kludges to obtain a reference into another thread's stack, either by knowing presciently where the compiler will place the thread or some communci
          • by putko (753330) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @03:10AM (#14232066) Homepage Journal
            "I haven't used LISP, but I do have experience with a functional language (OCaml). Praytell how do you permit multithreaded access local variables of a function without severely destroying things?

            See below.

            "Stack variables" in C are variables local to the function (and parameters). To access the local variables within another thread you'd have to perform some very specific kludges to obtain a reference into another thread's stack..."

            Actually, I think the problem is that it is very easy for a C++ programmer to get ahold of a pointer to stack-allocated data. No special tricks are required. I suspect this is how their program was (from reading the article carefully):

            void period_writer(char *p){ ...}

            void spawner(){
            char[BIG_ARRAY_SIZE] x;
            spawn(periodic_writer, x);
            for(;;){ ... } /* under some circumstances, the body finishes.
            }

            main(){
            ... spawner();
            wait_for_all_threads_to_finish();
            }
            In this case, there are two threads -- the initial one that calls spawner and the one that gets spawned to run period_writer. Periodic_writer receives the pointer to the data to periodically write out.

            Everything works, unless spawner exits too early, deallocating the buffer shared between the two threads. It isn't at all hard for spawner to pass the stack-allocated data to the thread, making it very easy to make this error -- no specific kludges are required.

            To do it in a LISP (or just Scheme) with threads:


            (let ((x (make-vector size)))
            (spawn (lambda () ... x ...))
            ... x ...)


            X won't get deallocated prematurely in a multi-threaded implementation.

            "If I understand your language correctly, what I understand to be happening in their C++ multithreaded system was bluntly impossible to do in LISP. You can't have the problem, because you can't solve it that way.

            Right -- you can't solve it in such a risky fashion. And if you do something bad, the GC will keep around the data -- it won't allow some other thread to write in to the space. And in the event one thread writes some crap there that the other thread isn't expecting, you'll likely get a type error and the system will halt -- it won't just proceed blindly ahead with garbage.

            The only way I can think to duplicate the error is if you allocated some bytes and treated them as untyped bytes, arranged to store/retrieve data in the untyped bytes, implemented a stack and duplicated the concurrency error in the C program. The nature of the language is such that you can't screw yourself if you do the normal thing, which is just to use lexical scoping to share the variable.

            The typical C++ solution is to use shared globals and accurately protect them. I suppose there could be a kludge workaround to what I'm saying, but the general point I was making was that it's a kludge in C/C++ too. Trying something like that in a multithreaded LISP environment isn't something on my todo list, however."

            Actually, they said they stored the shared data on the stack, as in my example. As long as you know that the thread with the data on the stack will always exit after any uses, that's going to work, and it isn't kludgey. As for it not being on your todo list, if you've got a lisp available, it won't be more than a few lines -- it isn't nearly as bothersome as the C++ version.

            But hopefully this one case shows you why Ron was of the opinion that he could get work done around 10x faster with LISP than C++. Tracking down the bug probably cost them a lot of time and stress.
    • That guy reminds me of a quote: "A zealot is someone who can't change their mind, and won't change the subject."

      (For bonus points, anybody remember who said it? I don't)
  • Google Got Cooties (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Quirk (36086) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @11:21PM (#14231423) Homepage Journal
    Google has had cooties for years. While I was a very early user of Google and had it up on my then site, I would give up Google now in a heart beat if there were a viable alternative.

    'Do no evil' does not jive with 'IPO'. Once a company goes public it's doomed to image control in order to keep it's stock price looking pretty.

    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @11:52PM (#14231495) Journal
      Viable alternative for what part of google?

      Want to replace G-Mail? Try Yahoo
      Want to replace Google Maps? Try MSN's http://local.live.com/ [live.com]
      Replace Google Search? Try MSN live.com

      MSN has been really trying to make up for lost ground recently, especially in relation to Google's services.

      There are lots of alternatives to Google, it's just that Google has become the 800lb gorilla and nobody really wants to 'make the switch' away from something they're comfortable with. Kinda like the whole Windows vs Mac/linux thing.

      P.S. Hotmail still sucks in comparison to Yahoo/Gmail. I only keep it around because I've had the same address for at least 8~10+ years.
      • Want to hurt Google? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Quirk (36086) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @12:36AM (#14231624) Homepage Journal
        nobody really wants to 'make the switch' away from something they're comfortable with.

        Early adopters of Google may have, for the most part being looking for a better search engine, but what sold Google to the masses was far simpler.

        The masses seek simplicity.

        (1)Google, the name is as simple as baby talk. The name, Google, while carrying its math connotations, is friendly in a silly, simple way. MicroSoft, like a cowboy wanting to see his brand everwhere, would do well to let go of MSN and brand its search engine with something akin to Google. Yahoo has some similarity in simple, attractive terms, but Google is bunny cute.

        (2)The colours Google employs are engaging in a primitive simple way as is the name Google. If I were competing against Google I would go with simple attracting colours that held out a similarity to finger painting. Again, Google employs simple, childlike colours that are reminescent of kindergarden and hold out a process of searching that is as simple and fun as fingerpainting. Google's cartoon representations of Christmas, Easter and other notable days again are made to make the Google search experience childlike in simplicity. It's Google's eye candy that pulls in the common searcher.

        If I went up against Google I'd start out by licensing something like Paddington Bear [paddingtonbear.co.uk] to signify a safe site for children. Paddinton's raingear suggests safety and what's more child safe than a teddy bear? I'd employ other brightly coloured images, say a red rose for personals, etc..

        Icon's dominate windows on the desktop, the same iconographic point and click simplicity would do more to drive inroads into Google's domain than better tech.

        Unfortunately Google's competitors, like Google itself is driven by wringing every penny from every resource to support stock price. Public companies can only do evil, like the wicked witch in Snow White, they stand before the mirror and ask "mirror, mirror, on the wall, whose stock price is the prettiest of them all", and, what they offer to their users is a bright, rosy, red poisoned apple to put them to sleep.

      • There are certainly alternatives to Google, but few good ones. In addition to the obvious inferiority of Hotmail, MSN search sucks and will always suck as long as Microsoft controls it. For that matter, all aspects of MSN will forever be garbage. Yahoo search only became useful when they made it exactly like Google. Despite the numerous Google alternatives, I don't see any of them winning out in the near future.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    From the blog: '..when I left Google in October of 2001..'

    What reason other than to ride on the crest of Google's success can there be to wait until now to write this? Sure, some of the things are interesting, but something a bit more current would be more newsworthy - this is 'News for Nerds' maybe in 2002, but history now.
  • Sounds like a rather dull place to work.

    To quote Steve Jobs when he interviewed an ex-VP of Sun to work at Apple after the NeXT merger, "Sun's no Apple." From what I read, "Google's no Sun."

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Doug Edwards, Google's Director of Consumer Marketing and Brand Management from 1999-2005, has started blogging as Xoogler

    you can find more information about here-
    http://www.addict3d.org/index.php?page=viewarticle &type=news&ID=13483 [addict3d.org]
  • Blogger (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sloths (909607)
    Does anyone else find it ironic that this blog is hosted on Google owned Blogger.com?
  • Slashdot readers who are Sick And Tired of pointless Google stories.
  • RTFB (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vectorian798 (792613) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @12:37AM (#14231625)
    A lot of you are pointing out that these are just random ex-Google people (or even that we have no proof they ever worked there) but there are some good points brought out in the articles. I think the majority of posters who are complaining about the blog or the accuracy of a blog are just randomly posting in hopes of points/Google-whoring rather than actually reading what was linked to. That being said,...

    While those outside Google might disagree with the ultimate decisions the company has made, they should know that those decisions were not made without reflection on the consequences. One of my goals with Xooglers is to expose the nature of that debate. I agree with Matt that providing more transparency into how difficult decisions get made within the Googleplex can only enhance the brand. It's not enough to say you're not evil; you need to show the world how you define evil and how you choose to avoid it.

    Well put don't you think? Indeed a large portion of slashdotters tend to believe Google is the messiah and that they are not an 'evil' company. But let's face it, 'evil' is different from person to person and to vaguely portray one company as evil and another as not is ridiculous. To many, MS won't seem evil - after all, a lot of people use their products and are damn satisfied with them. To still others, the fact that Google supports OSS means nothing and they want only excellence of product (BTW don't start a tangential reply about MS products not being excellent blah blah).

    The moral of the story is that sometimes, and in particular with free software, you get more than what you pay for. There are a lot of companies out there paying dearly for commercial databases (and operating systems for that matter). As far as I'm concerned they might as well be flushing that money down the toilet. Actually, they might be better off. We certainly would have been. As an aside, there is a raging debate in the hacker community about the overall economic merit of the open source model. (Making money producing free software is quite a challenge.) I am not taking sides in that debate here. All I am saying is that from the end user's point of view free software is often much better than the producers of commercial software would like people to think.

    Again, a good point - there are some OSS that are good, others that aren't. But what I want to point out is that Google did go for non-OSS software at one point - suddenly, it seems like Google was making a decision from the standpoint of "What would be best for us?" (the fact that the ACTUAL decision they made was wrong and they returned to OSS later is irrelevant BTW) correct? Indeed, they are a business. While no one here can likely say for certain, we certainly shouldn't assume that because of Summer of Code or other opened material that Google is supporting OSS (btw I am not an advocate of OSS nor am I an opponent, so please don't think I am being biased) or that it is "not evil".

    My 2 cents

    PS: When people bring up databases and talk about MySQL, PostgreSQL, or Oracle, they often ignore some other big players: MS's SQL Server and IBM's DB2. Don't start a thread about the different relational databases half-assedly plz.
  • by Animats (122034) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @01:29AM (#14231809) Homepage
    Sadly, what Google really is an ad agency that uses a search engine as a traffic builder. It's a very good search engine, but fundamentally, Google is an advertising-delivery system.

    If they'd gone private instead of going public, they could have been a very profitable near-monopoly, sustained by the fact that it doesn't really cost that much to run a search engine, and thus, their ad content can be minimal. But now they have to produce a reasonable return on investment for their overblown market cap. So they have to add more and more advertising-oriented services, from catalogs to classifieds. This dooms them to become more like their competitors in those spaces.

    It's not going to be fun to work there as the profitabilty vise closes.

  • I started reading Xooglers and it is mesmerizing. I'm an MS CS in artificial intelligence (with OpenCyc [opencyc.com] and ResearchCyc [cyc.com] if you're interested; I want to make my computer talk to me). I always say I want to go work at Google after I finish my thesis, but now that goal (hubris?) is getting a much-needed reality check. Not that it's cooled my infatuation with the world's coolest company (soooo dreamy!), just glad to know.

    Fascinating reading.
    • Just curious about this:

      Once you get your computer to talk to you _genuinely_intelligently_ will you be certain you'd understand how you did it, and how it works?

      There are a few ways of getting nonhuman intelligence. But if it involves throwing stuff together and without really understanding it, I suggest you might as well go to a pet store.

      Or just breed a more intelligent animal.

      I suppose the advantage is you can make a 100% copy of your AI, you can't do that with a dog.

      But maybe that might not be possible
      • Well, there is a certain wing of scientists who don't think that we'll get strong AI unless we grow brains in vats and hook them up to the computers (roughly).

        My research is toward intuition and metaphorical thinking, but Cyc in general is about collecting common sense knowledge that can be used as a sort of broad context to understand natural language. Naturally, I hope this isn't a terrible blind alley, but in fact it does seem to have a lot to do with how children learn more when they learn facts in cont
  • Let Them Eat Google (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TallMatthew (919136) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @07:23AM (#14232547)
    The one thing that stood out to me reading this guy's blog was how nostalgic he was for the place. He was practically weepy. That attitude makes me nervous. Yeah, it's a company based on innovation with plenty of smart people running around being smart and acting silly. It's also a multibillion dollar corporation. That doesn't make it evil, necessarily. But being a thinktank doesn't make it good, necessarily. When I read accounts of this place that make it sound like heaven, I wonder what the deal is. Behind most panaceas is a bunch of people getting played. Is building a better search engine really such a noble pursuit? Maybe.

    Google is doing a fine job sucking up talent. Not just the big fish like Cerf, but the more clued individuals in our industry. Working at Google has become something of a status symbol, something akin to having a CCIE. Oh, you worked at Google? You must be good. I've noticed one thing that results from this. There seem to be more senior positions open in the Bay Area, New York, everywhere Google has significant footprint. Too, the annual salaries for these positions has risen about 20%, presumedly out of demand.

    For that, I can say ... thank you Google!

  • from article : "MOMA displayed latency times, popular search terms, traffic stats for Google-owned properties and, at the center of it all, a large graph with colored lines labeled with the names of Muppet characters. I cant reveal what that graph represented, but if Rizzo or Fozzie started closing the gap with the Great Gonzo, Oscar would not be the only grouch on Sesame Street."

    what do you think - browser stats ? :)
    that would be one nice but flamed portion if it was made public...

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow

Working...