Friday, October 21, 2011

Dear Google: Dude, are you OK?

Lately, I'm noticing things in Google services that I never noticed before. Not that I wasn't looking. They just weren't there.

I'm talking about glitches.

Here and there, now and then, there's a 403, 404 and 500. Things happen. Calendar stops sending notifications (cost me some serious money). Multiple logins don't work. Docs and sites interface that made my pretty modern computer crawl (and their "redesign" might turn out on par with Netflix's). Other things I can't put my finger on at the moment. But the alarming trend is that the pace is increasing. And, just like always, Google is not transparent about what they do.

Why am I talking about it now?

Because Google Music, for no apparent reason whatsoever, ate four of five tracks of my favorite Wish You Were Here (rest assured, completely legal). And then I saw that out of almost 900 tracks I uploaded there (all of them paid for with my hard earned money) are about 650 left. And I have no idea which tracks are gone and why. And, of course, there are no logs.

So what, you say? Well, I value my time. I'm not going to spend it to figure out what is gone. I'll just switch. To what, I don't know (suggestions appreciated).

And back to the trend. A friend of mine said back in about 2000, "Ride the gravy train. Just don't forget to jump off before it hits the wall".

Now is the time to start thinking seriously whether it is the radiant Google's future we're looking at, or just the headlight of the other train in the tunnel.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Dear Google: Please Fix the <Censored> Multiple Sign-In

When Google gets things right, users rejoice. When it doesn't, trying to tell Google about it is like praying to God: you say the words, but you never know if they're listening.

Multiple sign-in is probably one of most bug-ridden pieces in the whole Google infrastructure.

Sometimes it fails to provide a link or simply doesn't react when you click on it when you're trying to sign in into several accounts at the same time (to reproduce: click your name on top right/ switch account/sign in to another account => nothing happens 100% of the time).

Sometimes, it forcibly logs out all accounts logged in, and logs them in into whatever account du jour it feels like.

Sometimes, it throws a login/password screen at you right after you have logged in into a totally different account (or so you thought).

I'm not a paid Google tester and not going to get all worked up collecting use cases for these bugs to send it to them so they can fix them (see above about praying to God), but I thought they have enough testers to take care of the very face of Google (which I believe authentication and authorization is).

Looking at Google's face, all in pimples, makes me nervous.

And just now, it threw a 500 Error at me.

UPDATE: Fresh in: now in some places it doesn't offer to "sign in as a different user", it simply says "sign out and sign in as a different user". This blows *ALL* accounts currently signed in out of the water. Oh, and it is, apparently, their "new sign-in page".