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Where's Google Answers (and where was Gmail)?

Scott [PersonRank 0]

Thursday, April 12, 2007
12 years ago5,301 views

I'm getting a 403 error message when I visit Google Answers pages this evening.

Google Answers is defunct – but it retains significant value as a research tool. (Try researching a question on Google Answers – at the moment, via the site operator and cached pages on Google's search engine – versus Yahoo! Answers, and you'll see what I mean.)

Gmail was also down briefly on Wednesday. This is the first time I've encountered a "try again later" message on Gmail.

Is something going on down on the (Google server) farm?

Tue Abrahamsen [PersonRank 7]

12 years ago #

It does from time to time – I always hope for the reason to be Google pushing out some amazing new features, but it never is :(

Conor Cleary [PersonRank 8]

12 years ago #

yeah Picasa was down with a 503 yesturday and Gmail had a 403 for me at the same time.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I've asked Google whether Google Answers is temporarily down to a glitch, or removed for good.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Weird. It seems just the question/answer archives are offline whilst other files are still available:


answers.google.com/answers/ans ...


answers.google.com/answers/faq ...
answers.google.com/answers/ter ...
answers.google.com/answers/res ...

Maybe they're migrating them to a new system...?

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Y!A was always better=(

Auger [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I can access it all fine!

Haochi [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Works fine....


googlified.com/files/temp/goog ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

(Updated the post.)

Eytan Buchman [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

God, Google must save thousands a year because of this site. Instead of needing to maintain their own systems for checking out site's uptime, they just get the Blogscoped RSS feed.

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

lool!

Sohil [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Eytan, That's quite true. I reported a problem about Google Reader here and it was solved within 2 days (It was previously unnoticed for ~month)

macbeach [PersonRank 6]

12 years ago #

Gmail Pop servers were down or seriously broken for a good part of yesterday (the 11th) too and I find not one official word on it from Google, even in the official Google Groups dedicated to that purpose. How hard can it be for them to set up a status page for all of their services? There is in fact a section of the above mentioned group specifically for system notifications. Empty.

I had people calling me at one in the morning because they couldn't read their e-mail. Why did they call me when they couldn't find any official online status page to go to? Is it because I get paid big bucks to do customer support for Google? No, it's because I raved about how good Gmail was and convinced them to switch their company over to it.

I'll think twice before doing that again. Even the pitiful Yahoo does better than this!

photoactive [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

[put at-character here]Philipp: taking up Eytan and Sohil's points . . . this may be too hard to implement and not your style, but it seems to me that – given the traction Google Blogoscoped has – Google might really appreciate an area of the site in which people could report downtimes and bugs. Or one area in which they did that; and another area in which they suggested features for/expressed gripes with individual Google products (Gmail, Maps, Reader etc). You could have Digg-style voting, or do it another way. Google would take notice . . .

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> Google might really appreciate an area of the site
> in which people could report downtimes and bugs

Wouter Schut once came up with this:
code.google.com/p/googlebugs/i ...

But I think you can also just post bug reports to this forum (as new thread), and we can see how that works out...

What would make the most sense in theory would be a "report bug" link across all of Google's applications, but I think it's a scaling issue... as soon as you make it very easy for people to report bugs, you'll be getting more non-bug reports (e.g. someone can't login to Gmail because they turned off cookies, stuff like that, or someone thinking that Google thinks George W. Bush is a "failure"...).

photoactive [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

OK, and good. I agree this is a problem for Google to solve rather than you.

(Some bug reports are terribly trivial, and not worth a new thread: I just had a weird display issue with Google Maps in which some of the Saved Locations came up several times in my browser apparently struck through in white; I reported it to Google as a bug after much faffing around through the Maps help site to find the correct "contact us" link. I guess it would be nice to see, somewhere, as a whole, the issues everyone has reported.)

The thing about suggested features for Google products: it seems to me that things like wishlists for Gmail, which appear as a thread, are incredibly important and remain live issues until the product's next incarnation, so those things perhaps deserve more than a thread which which will eventually get buried. But it's just a thought :)

photoactive [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Though I guess all this is what the various Google Groups are for . . .

j [PersonRank 2]

12 years ago #

I see this on the site now

"We're sorry, but Google Answers has been retired, and is no longer accepting new questions. Search or browse the existing Google Answers index by using the search box above or the category links below."

Is this new? Is it no longer accepting new questions? If so, why is it even there?

Heather Paquinas [PersonRank 2]

12 years ago #

hey, haochi, you should seriously turn on font smoothing, either the normal or cleartype. It's under Display => Appearance => Effects => smooth edges of screen fonts.

Anytime I see rough fonts like that I want to barf.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

To j: Google Answers stopped accepting new questions on 30 November 2006, but has converted the database to static pages and is keeping the content online (maybe for the content, maybe for the AdSense, who knows?).

Several dozen former Google Answers Researchers (including me) are providing a paid research service at uclue.com/

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

[put at-character here]macbeach

Google did experiment with something like this – Google Online Assesments.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

James Xuan, I don't think we really know what "Google Online Assesments" really is, do we? (I'm pretty sure it's nothing to do with online status pages anyway.)

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

We know, Tony. The title is self-explanatory.

google.com/search?q=online+ass ...

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Ionut, there's much more to what something *is* than just *what* it is. Of course it's an online assessment but who (or what) is being assessed through it?

Either way, it's not what James Xuan implied it was. I think we agree on that, at least.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Some of the CSS classes should be quite revealing.

essay_grader
essay_writer
candidate
personal_info
proctor
grader

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I thought i saw a screenshot where you could report a fault and then you could see the tatus of the problem- if it was being resolved. I must have been mistaken.I am sorry. I have done this too many times on this forum and I am sorry. This is the last post I will ever make. Goodbye.

BTW, i know you all hate me anyway. Nobody ever cares what I say. Im always wrong

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

James, nobody hates you, I for one always appreciate your comments!!

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Philipp! Calm down I was joking! I didn't think anyone would take me seriously! (there I go again with inappropriate jokes.*slits wrists*)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Heh, OK.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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