Of Google Hotel Finder and comparing Apple, Microsoft & Google

In an interesting critique of Google Hotel Finder, these lines stood out:

As Google grows, its willingness to float bad products is starting to seem a little bit similar to Microsoft, ten years ago. You know what’s also similar? Its dependence on a single cash cow that keeps them from caring whether any single side venture lives or dies.

Which leads us to:

The direct contrast of course is America’s best design-driven company, Apple. Steve Jobs would rather die than release any new product that wasn’t a step-wise improvement over everything that existed before. That’s the mentality of someone that cares about whether people use a product. It’s the mentality of a designer. Google’s mentality is that of an engineer, content to labor over one cool feature at the expense of creating any overarching value.

And finally:

As the example of Microsoft vs. Apple showed us, the engineer’s mentality can win early in a product cycle, when new features can create great advantages over competitors. But over time, as the tech gets commoditized, it’s companies like Apple, which are focused on integrating all the features, that create world-changing products.

Join Google Groups without Google id

If, like me, you don’t have a Gmail id (shock horror!) it can be a pain trying to figure out how to join a Google Group (( I know you can have a Google id that is NOT a Gmail id, but let’s leave that out for now. )) . Some groups (like the Django ones) do have web pages with a sign-up form, but most don’t. So how do you join those groups without going through all the Google id related shenanigans? Simple – type this in your address bar (and remember to press enter!):


Replace GroupName with the name of the group you want to join and emailid with your email id. In case you didn’t make any typos, you’ll find Google telling you that “a confirmation message has been sent” to your id. Just click on the link in that email and you are good to go.

[tags]Google, Google Groups[/tags]