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Are you interested in reading fashion news about haute couture, prêt-à-porter and avant-garde clothing? We hope so because you will learn about these topics as well as find style reports about emerging designers, new lifestyle brands, cutting edge fabrics, and much more. Anything relevant to the fashion industry is open for discussion.

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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Google Evil Empire

Google+ Closed Possibly Due to Evil Empire Development

Is Google an evil empire?  "Don't be evil" was a motto that was officially used within Google's corporate code of conduct.  In October 2015, Alphabet (the new Google corporate name) took "Do the right thing" as its motto instead.  Why did they replace "don't be evil".  When they say "do the right thing" does that mean do the right thing for the "company"?  Clearly a distinction between doing the right thing for the company and doing the right thing for users of the service.  Hey Google, maybe it is time for, "Do the right thing and don't be evil".

The following article is only somewhat relevant to fashion.  It is relevant to fashion due to the fact that we had thoroughly enjoyed Google+ and had spent a great deal of time posting to our fashion relevant pages and communities on the social network.  In fact, each blog post from this fashion blog was posted on Google plus.  Apparel Search is very disappointing that Google has shut down the service due to what appears to be a poorly reported security breach.

Warning: If you are interested in reading only about clothing, shoes, handbags, etc., this is NOT the article for you.  Skip this one, unless you are curious.  Again, this particle article is not really relevant to our typical topic of interest.

Google+ Is Closing

Another FAILED Google Experiment

Why did Google+ close?  Read on for a strong possibility of the reason.
Firstly, what is happening.  On March 7, 2019, all Google+ APIs will be shut down. This will be a progressive shutdown beginning in late January, with calls to these APIs starting to intermittently fail as early as January 28, 2019. On or around December 20, 2018, developers should receive an email listing recently used Google+ API methods in their projects. Whether or not an email was received, they strongly encourage developers to search for and remove any dependencies on Google+ APIs from their applications.


It appears that because Google+ may have become a liability to Google, they are shutting it down.  Below explains further.

According to Techcrunch Google closed Google+ after a security bug allowed third-party developers to access Google+ user profile data since 2015 until March of 2018.  According to the article posted by Josh Constine, "When a user gave permission to an app to access their public profile data, the bug also let those developers pull their and their friends’ non-public profile fields."  https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/08/google-plus-hack/

In the above mentioned article the author also reports the following: 
The company decided against informing the public because it would lead to “us coming into the spotlight alongside or even instead of Facebook despite having stayed under the radar throughout the Cambridge Analytica scandal,” according to an internal memo. 
Rather than face backlash, further disappointing users of the platform by closing it down entirely appears to be Google's preferred method on how to proceed.  First, a bug on the Google+ network allowed access "non-public" profile information.  Second, Google decides to close the free network to the public and turn it into a paid network for large corporations.



Google+ is shutting down for consumers who have enjoyed the social network for several years and they are now offering Google+ for enterprise organizations.



The following screen shot image from 1/5/19 (the hideous red circle, I added. Also, I moved the browser bar so we remember the page this was found at):


New enterprise-grade features in Google+ help businesses drive collaboration.
According to Google, "One of the ways we help businesses share information is through Google+ for enterprises. G Suite customers like Nielsen and Auchan are already sharing information across their organizations using Google+, and over the past year, we’ve been building a new experience that’s designed specifically to meet the needs of large organizations with distributed workforces."  More details found at https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/g-suite/new-enterprise-grade-features-in-googleplus-help-businesses-drive-collaboration

The question becomes, is Google the evil empire?  

We are not sure if it is appropriate to say, Google is the evil empire.  However, evidence does point in that direction.  Very compelling statements at https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/08/google-plus-hack/
Although not as popular as Facebook, many people (including myself) truly enjoyed using Google+.  Due to what appears to be a security breach that was hidden by Google for many years, they have decided to close the service rather than face additional scrutiny.  As if this evil is not bad enough, evil Google is taking away the free Google+ service from consumers and now they will provide it as a paid service to large corporations to enjoy.

It is important to note that the number of people & time spent on Google+ may not have been meeting Google's expectations.  In addition to the bug in their system (and what appears to be a breech of users non-public data), the system may have been depreciated due to lower than expected use by consumers.

Do you remember Google Friend Connect?

Google Friend Connect was a free social networking site from 2008 to 2012. Similar in practice to Facebook Platform and MySpaceID, it took a decentralized approach, allowing users to build a profile to share and update information (through messaging, photographs and video content) via third-party sites.  Google Friend Connect take the online social graph beyond social networking sites to external web sites and applications".  This social graph feature allowed a user to post a message on a third-party site, but allowed viewing access only to other authorized "friends" contained within the user's chosen social graph.  Friend Connect was removed for all non-Blogger sites by March 1, 2012, and for Blogger sites on January 11, 2016.

Google Friend Connect had ultimately been replaced by Google+.  Did Google Friend Connect also have non-public information shared?

Did you hear about the built-in microphone that Google never told Nest users about?

The following is from a February 19, 2019 article by Nick Basone at the Business Insider website.  "Google says the built-in microphone it never told Nest users about was 'never supposed to be a secret' (GOOG, GOOGL)"

  • In early February, Google announced that Assistant would now work with its home security and alarm system Nest Secure.
  • The problem — users didn't know a microphone even existed on their Nest security devices to begin with.
  • On Tuesday, a Google spokesperson told Business Insider it had made an "error."
  • "The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs. That was an error on our part," the spokesperson said.
A long time question in the making.  Is Google an evil empire?

Is Google the new evil empire? Technewsworld Oct. 31, 2005

Why Google is the new evil empire FoxBusiness April 20, 2015

Google The Evil Empire Infowars April 23, 2015

Don't Be Evil to Evil Empire Mother Jones June 26, 2013

Google The Next Evil Empire Computerworld March 16, 2009

Is Google the next evil empire?  The Motley Fool November 18, 2011

The following information retrieved from Wikipedia January 5, 2018 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_be_evil
Don't be evil" is a motto used within Google's corporate code of conduct (is it still the motto?).  Following Google's corporate restructuring under the conglomerate Alphabet Inc. in October 2015, Alphabet took "Do the right thing" as its motto, also forming the opening of its corporate code of conduct. The original motto was retained in Google's code of conduct, now a subsidiary of Alphabet. In April 2018, the motto was removed from the code of conduct's preface and retained in its last sentence.  While the official corporate philosophy of Google[10] does not contain the words "Don't be evil", they were included in the prospectus (on Form S-1) of Google's 2004 IPO (a letter from Google's founders, later called the "'Don't Be Evil' manifesto"): "Don't be evil. We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served—as shareholders and in all other ways—by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains." The motto is sometimes incorrectly stated as Do no evil.  
As of early 2018, the motto was still cited in the preface to Google's Code of Conduct: "Don't be evil." Googlers generally apply those words to how we serve our users. But "Don't be evil" is much more than that... The Google Code of Conduct is one of the ways we put "Don't be evil" into practice...

You may want to read the following article about Google tracking.


Largest Study of Online Tracking Proves Google Really Is Watching US All (May 20, 2016) "Researchers at Princeton University say they have conducted the largest study yet on the technology that tracks people's movements around the Web, focusing on the use of tracking code on the Internet's 1 million most popular websites. The five most common tracking tools were all Google-owned, including Google Analytics, whose code was on nearly 70 percent of websites."

Top 10 Ways Google Does Evil Listverse September 24, 2018

Why is Google shutting Google+ down?  Is it because of the possible security breech mentioned in the Techcrunch article? https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/08/google-plus-hack/

To be honest, we don't know the exact reason, but we are certainly disappointing in Google from closing down the free service.  Consumers utilized the service for "years" and contributed valuable feedback to Google regarding the good & bad of the service so that Google could tweak the effectiveness.  After all of the free feedback from users, Google is taking the service away from consumers and offering it only to large business.  Is this an example of evil tactics by Google?

It is a good idea to keep in mind that in addition to what can potentially be perceived as evil, Google does much good.  To be honest, we gain many advantages by utilizing Google services.  Google search, Google maps, Blogger.com, etc., are services that we don't wish to be without.  Thank you Google for providing so many fantastic services.

Please note that this blog you are currently reading is actually posted on the Blogger.com platform which is owned by Google.  We greatly appreciate Google for allowing us to utilize this fantastic free service.  Without Blogger.com our company as well as numerous others, would lack the ability to publish news about fashion and other topics.  We truly hope that they don't decide to close down Blogger.com as they are doing with Google+.

Why would I take the time to highlight the issues above?  Well, glad you asked. Over the course of the past decade (or two), we have utilized numerous services provided by Google which have later turned to ash.  Although we truly benefited by the free services Google provide, we had also invested a great deal of time and energy setting up methods to utilize their services.  Countless hours invested which later turned to a complete waste when Google decided to close down the services.

Google Friend Connect - closed

Google API - closed

Google+ - The consumer edition of Google's social media platform will be closing in 2019.

Goo.gl – a URL shortening service. Started to turn down support on March 30, 2018 and is planned to be discontinued by March 30, 2019.[

Google Search Appliance – A rack mounted device used to index documents. End of hardware sales in 2017 and planned shutdown in 2018 with final shutdown in 2019.

Inbox by Gmail - an email application for Android, iOS, and web platform that organizes and automates to-do lists using email content. Planned to be discontinued by March 2019.

Google Portfolios – Personal financial securities tracker. Deprecated in November 2017.

The following discontinued products and services found on Wikipedia retrieved January 5th, 2019 at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Google_products 

Discontinued products and services

Google has retired many offerings, either because of obsolescence, integration into other Google products, or lack of interest.  Or possible other reason. Google's discontinued offerings are colloquially referred to as Google Graveyard.  It is important to keep in mind that every time Google retires a service, people are effected.  It is fair to say that many people put time & energy into utilizing the service prior to Google decided to simply shut it down.  Their is a clear track record showing that Google is more interested in the bottom line than the users of various services.

2006
Google Answers – online knowledge market that allowed users to post bounties for well-researched answers to their queries. Discontinued on November 28; still accessible (read-only).

Google Deskbar – desktop bar with a built-in mini browser. Replaced by a similar feature in Google Desktop. Discontinued May 8.

Writely – web-based word processor. On October 10, Writely was merged into Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

2007

Google Click-to-Call – allowed a user to speak directly over the phone without charge to businesses found on Google search results pages.

Related Links – links to information related to a website's content. Discontinued on April 30.

Public Service Search – non-commercial organization service, which included Google Site Search, traffic reports and unlimited search queries. Discontinued on February, replaced by Google Custom Search (Google Enterprise Search).  That was very nice of Google to replace Google Site Search with Google Custom Search.  However, the evil Google empire decided to put an end to the service in 2018.  "Google has discontinued sale/renewal of the Google Site Search since Apr 1 2017. The product will be completely shut down by April 1, 2018."  

Google Video Marketplace – discontinued in August

2008

Google Browser Sync (Mozilla Firefox) – allowed Firefox users to synchronize settings across multiple computers. Discontinued in June.

Google Lively – 3D animated chat. Discontinued December 31.

Hello – send images across the Internet and publish them to blogs. Discontinued on May 15.

SearchMash – search engine to "test innovative user interfaces". Discontinued on November 24.

Send to Phone – send links and other information from Firefox to their phone by text message. Discontinued on August 28, replaced by Google Chrome to Phone.

Web Accelerator – increased load speed of web pages. No longer available for, or supported by, Google as of January 20.

2009

Audio Ads – radio advertising program for US businesses. Discontinued on February 12.

Catalogs – search engine for over 6,600 print catalogs, acquired through optical character recognition. Discontinued in January.

Dodgeball – social networking service. Users could text their location to the service, which would then notify them of nearby people or events of interest. Replaced by Google Latitude.

Google Mashup Editor – web mashup creation with publishing, syntax highlighting, debugging. Discontinued in July; migrated to Google App Engine.

Google Ride Finder – taxi and shuttle search service, using real time position of vehicles in 14 U.S. cities. Used the Google Maps interface and cooperated with any car service that wished to participate. Discontinued in October.

Shared Stuff – web page sharing system, incorporating a bookmarklet to share pages, and a page to view the most popular shared items. Pages could be shared through third party applications such as Delicious or Facebook. Discontinued on March 30.

Google Page Creator – webpage publishing program that could be used to create pages and to host them on Google servers. Discontinued, with all existing content transferred to Google Sites.

2010

Marratech e-Meeting – web conferencing software, used internally by Google's employees. Discontinued on February 19.

Google SearchWiki – annotate and re-order search results. Discontinued March 3, replaced by Google Stars.

GOOG-411 (also known as Voice Local Search) – directory assistance service. Discontinued on November 12.

Google Base – submission database that enabled content owners to submit content, have it hosted and made searchable. Information was organized using attributes. Discontinued on December 17, replaced with Google Shopping APIs.

2011

Google Labs – test and demonstrate new Google products
Google Buzz – social networking service integrated with Gmail allowing users to share content immediately and make conversations. Discontinued in December.

Google PowerMeter – view building energy consumption. Discontinued on September 16.

Real Estate – place real estate listings in Google Maps. Discontinued February 10.

Google Directory – collection of links arranged into hierarchical subcategories. The links and their categorization were from the Open Directory Project, sorted using PageRank. Discontinued on July 20.

Google Blog Search – weblog search engine. Discontinued in July.
Squared – creates tables of information about a subject from unstructured data. Discontinued September.

Google Sets – generates a list of items when users enter a few examples. For example, entering "Green, Purple, Red" emits the list "Green, Purple, Red, Blue, Black, White, Yellow, Orange, Brown". Discontinued mid-year.

Google Pack – application suite. Discontinued on September 2.

Google Fast Flip – online news aggregator. Discontinued September 6.

Desktop – desktop search application that indexed emails, documents, music, photos, chats, Web history and other files. Discontinued on September 14.

Aardvark – social search utility that allowed people to ask and answer questions within their social networks. It used people's claimed expertise to match 'askers' with good 'answerers'. Discontinued on September 30.

Google Sidewiki – browser sidebar and service that allowed contributing and reading helpful information alongside any web page. Discontinued in December.
Directory – navigation directory, specifically for Chinese users.

Gears – web browser features, enabling some new web applications.

Hotpot – local recommendation engine that allowed people to rate restaurants, hotels etc. and share them with friends. Moved to Google Places service in April 2011.

2012

Google Notebook – online note-taking and web-clipping application. Discontinued in July.

Google Apps Standard Edition – Discontinued on December 6.

Google Code Search – software search engine. Discontinued on January 15.

Google Health – store, manage, and share personal health information in one place. Development ceased June 24, 2011; accessible until January 1, 2012; data available for download until January 1, 2013.

Google Website Optimizer – testing and optimization tool. Discontinued on August 1.

TV Ads – Method to place advertising on TV networks. Discontinued on August 30, with all remaining active campaigns ending December 16.

Google Friend Connect – add social features to websites. Discontinued on March 1, replaced by Google+'s pages and off-site Page badges.

Google Insights for Search – insights into Google search term usage. Discontinued September 27, merged in Google Trends.

Knol – write authoritative articles related to various topics. Discontinued October 1.

Google Wave – online communication and collaborative real-time editor tool. Support ended on April 30, 2012.

Picnik – online photo editor. Discontinued on April 19, moved to Google+ photo manager.

Jaiku – social networking, microblogging and lifestreaming service comparable to Twitter.

Nexus Q – digital media player. Discontinued in November.

Slide.com – Discontinued on March 6.

Google Mini – reduced capacity, lower-cost version of the Google Search Appliance. Discontinued on July 31.

Picasa Web Albums Uploader – upload images to the "Picasa Web Albums" service. It consisted of an iPhoto plug-in and a stand-alone application.

Google Chart API - interactive Web-based chart image generator, deprecated in 2012 with service commitment to 2015 and still serving as of 2017. Google promotes JavaScript-based Google Charts as a replacement, which is not backwards-compatible with the Google Chart API's HTTP methods.
Listen – subscribe to and stream podcasts and Web audio. Discontinued in August.

BumpTop – physics-based desktop application. Discontinued in August.[65]
Google Refine – data cleansing and processing. It was spun off from Google on October 2, becoming open source; it is now OpenRefine.

2013

Google Cloud Connect – Microsoft Office plugin for automatically backing up Office documents upon saving onto Google Docs. Discontinued on April 30, in favor of Google Drive.

Google Building Maker – web-based building and editing tool to create 3D buildings for Google Earth. Discontinued on June 4.

Google Calendar Sync – sync Microsoft Outlook email and calendar with Gmail and Google Calendar. Synchronization for existing installations stopped on August 1, 2014. Replaced with Google Sync, which does not synchronize Outlook calendars, but can sync email using IMAP or POP3. Also, Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government customers can use Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook 

Meebo – A social networking website discontinued on June 6
Google Reader – web-based news aggregator, capable of reading Atom and RSS feeds. Discontinued on July 1.

Google Latitude – mobile geolocation tool that lets friends know where users are. Discontinued on August 9, with some functionality moved to Google+.[68]
Google Talk – instant messaging service that provided both text and voice communication. Replaced May 15, by Google Hangouts.

SMS – mobile phone short message service. Discontinued on May 10.

iGoogle – customisable homepage, which can contain web feeds and Google Gadgets. Discontinued on November 1.

Google Checkout – online payment processing service, aimed at simplifying the process of paying for online purchases. Discontinued on November 20, merged into Google Wallet.

My Maps, GIS tools for Google Maps

2014

Google Schemer – social search to find local activities. Discontinued on February 7.

Google Notifier – alerted users to new messages in their Gmail account. Discontinued on January 31.

YouTube My Speed. Discontinued in January, replaced by Google Video Quality Report.

Orkut – social networking website. Discontinued on September 30.

QuickOffice – productivity suite for mobile devices. Discontinued in June, merged into Google Drive.

Google's "discussion search" option. Discontinued in July.

Google Questions and Answers – community-driven knowledge market website. Discontinued on December 1.

2015

Google Moderator – rank user-submitted questions, suggestions and ideas via crowdsourcing. Discontinued on June 30.

Wildfire by Google – social media marketing software

BebaPay – prepaid ticket payment system. Discontinued on March 15.

Google Helpouts – Hangout-based live video chat with experts. Discontinued on April 20.

Google Earth Enterprise – Google Earth for enterprise use. Discontinued on March 20.

Google Earth Plugin – customize Google Earth. Discontinued on December 15.

2016
Google Code – Open source code hosting. Discontinued on January 25.

Picasa – photo organization and editing application. Replaced by Google Photos.

Google Compare – comparison-shopping site for auto insurance, credit cards and mortgages.

Google Showtimes – move showtime search engine. Discontinued on November 1.

MyTracks – GPS logging

Project Ara – an "initiative to build a phone with interchangeable modules for various components like cameras and batteries"[84] was suspended to "streamline the company's seemingly disorganized product lineup".[85] on September 2.

Panoramio – geolocation-oriented photo sharing website. Discontinued on November 4. Google's Local Guides program as well as photo upload tools in Google Maps rendered Panoramio redundant.

Google Feed API – download public Atom or RSS feeds using JavaScript. Deactivated on December 15.

Google Maps Engine – develop geospatial applications. Discontinued February 1.

Google Swiffy – convert Adobe Flash files (SWF) into HTML5. Discontinued July 1.

Google Nexus - Smartphone lineup - replaced by Google Pixel on October 4

2017

Free Search – embed site/web search into a user's website. Replaced by Google Custom Search.

Google Hands Free - retail checkout without using your phone or watch. Pilot started in the Bay area March 2016, but discontinued on February 8.

Google Spaces – group discussions and messaging. Discontinued on April 17.

Google Map Maker – map editor with browser interface. Discontinued on April 1, replaced by Google Maps and Google Local Guides.

Trendalyzer – data trend viewing platform. Discontinued in September.

2018

Encrypted Search – anonymous internet searching. Discontinued on April 30. All Google products and all modern browsers automatically use HTTPS connections. In May 2010 Google rolled out SSL-encrypted web search.


Goggles – Discontinued on August 15, 2018. Last app update directs users to Google Lens or Google Photos.

Not sure if above covers it all, but you get the idea.  Google has a clear history of starting and stopping projects.  Wonder if they fully comprehend who it hurts each time they close a service.  Apparel Search has put hundreds of hours into various Google services over the past 20 years.  Hours put into developing web pages, and then many more hours deconstructing what was created. Unfortunately, when Google turns off a service, it leaves tons of "non-functioning" pages.  To make matters worse, Google search then finds the non-functioning pages and most likely penalizes the site for poor quality (poor quality Google helped to create by closing the service).

What is your favorite Google service?  Will you be disappointing when they close it down?

On Apparel Search, we have at least 20,000 pages.  One of fabulous features we utilized to help viewers more easily find information was the Google custom search.  Google allowed websites to utilize their search service to search a particular website.  Below is a screen shot example of the portal today.  Previously this is where we modified the search engine to search our sites.  The search worked fabulously for years and then suddenly turned off.

"Google has discontinued sale/renewal of the Google Site Search since Apr 1 2017. The product will be completely shut down by April 1, 2018."
Today after clicking the link to access information about our engine, we simply get an error page as follows.  Lovely, at the end of the error message they add, "That's all we know".
All we know, is that Google turned off the service which really hurts our site.

Fashion Blog Network - closed.  Yes, Google retired the tech.

2019

January 31, 2019 Blogger posted that they will be removing Google+ a few days later on February 4th, 2019.




Below is the message in our blogger account. Unfortunately, all of the comments that have been posted on blogs created with Blogger.com during the past several years will now be lost.  To be honest, we don't have that many comments on the Fashion Blog, but we truly feel bad for other users of Blogger.com that have been using Google+ that will be losing the comments that they worked so hard to cultivate. 


By the way, the Google+ removal was to take place on February 4th, 2019.  On February 5th, 2019 we noticed that our blog was completely down.

Thank you for taking the time to read this fashion blog article.  Although this particular blog post was not very fashionable, we hope it helped you learn about more about Google+ closing down and the negative effects caused.

Critics of Google frequently spin their old motto "don't be evil", in a negative way.  For example, InfoWorld's 2014 article "Google? Evil? You have no idea". Google's 2012 announcement to "begin tracking users universally across all its services" (via "Google Plus" accounts) resulted in public backlash on the motto, like "Google's Broken Promise: The End of 'Don't Be Evil'" on Gizmodo.  In the same year, major social networks even co-developed a "Don't be evil" browser bookmarklet (specifically to expose alleged SERP manipulation promoting Google-owned content over that of others).
Google Vampires
Image Source: Gizmodo.com 2012 Google's Broken Promise.
An evil corporation is a trope in popular culture that portrays a corporation as ignoring social responsibility in order to make money for its shareholders.

Time to read more
fashion news. Thank you for reading the fashion blog.

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Essentially, we cover most of the topics you would find in an industry journal as well as other topics that you would discover in a typical fashion magazine.

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