Doctor Memory — I just spent three days at “Go...

I just spent three days at “Google Cloud NEXT” — their big cloud services dog and pony show in Las Vegas — and the flop sweat was visible from space. Very clear that every presenter had been given strict orders to talk about Google Gemini, no matter how hilariously irrelevant it was to the topic.

What worries me about this is that there has only ever been one thing that can engender this level of panic in a Google exec, and that’s clear signal that people prefer an alternative to Google Search. Bing beating Google on a few internal quality measures in 2010 was a Code Red.

Doctor Memory

But the last time google tried to do a flood-the-zone approach against an upstart competitor they couldn’t buy off was when they did a full court press on “Social” against Facebook, and now they’re trying to run the same play and seem to have learned nothing from how the last one went?

Doctor Memory

So if non-technical consumers prefer ChatGPT to Google Search (and why wouldn’t they, it’s a much nicer experience) and don’t consider its accuracy problems to be a major concern… yeah, that’s a problem. And not just for Google.

Doctor Memory

I dunno. Wave made a great _demo_. I remain unconvinced that there was a product there, and the fact that they built it on The Pit of Despair AKA XMPP was never a good sign. Writing your own Wavelets or whatever they were going to call them promised to be just an intolerable experience.

Pavel

Yeah, I’ve seen how they’re pushing LLMs at their major customers, and it’s pretty desperate at close range, too. It’s a shame, because there’s nothing technically wrong with GCP, but Google’s solipsism means their products will be perpetual also-rans looking for a magic bullet to save them.

Doctor Memory

I’m honestly amazed GCP does as well as it does— having worked at Google I can’t emphasize enough how alien the kind high-touch customer focus necessary there is to its DNA. But I do wonder for how long they’re willing to plow billions into being #3 in that market.

Convolver

They’ve got too many big customers with long contracts at this point to just pull a Reader and euthanize it, but they could sell it off and there’s only one path that wouldn’t drown them in antitrust suits:

“Google Cloud Platform, powered by Oracle”

Doctor Memory

I never thought I’d say this, but Oracle is /much/ more responsive to customer demand for their cloud offerings. I had written them off when Ellison’s Trump-fluffing and JEDI lawsuits failed, but they’re a plausible number three player in the mid-future.

Doctor Memory

That’s the consistent report! I can’t help but think that it’s a trap— never make the mistake of anthropomorphizing Larry Ellison — but against all odds they seem to have put together a decent team and offering.

Convolver

Oracle being Oracle, at some point their cloud offering will be better known for whatever ugly customer litigation will spring up around it, but have to give them credit for a ruthless and consistent focus on knocking GCP out of the number three slot in public cloud.

Doctor Memory

The account teams for larger accounts do a decent job. My biggest issues were that they were always 6-12 months behind on delivering features we needed and there was definitely a vibe based on some post mortems that there were some serious gaps in SRE practices

Convolver

I’ve dealt with both GCP and OCI and only one has a constant stream of Service X vX.X is being deprecated and will be shut off in [short amount of time]
Oracle can be awful to customers (audits etc) but does understand why people pay it money. Long-term enterprise support is not in Google’s DNA

Doctor Memory

I can say that in the SI/arch space Google was the only public cloud player who I never had direct contacts with. AWS and Azure would snow me with product and vertical SMEs for even $3mm deals, but GCP only dealt with their specified internal contacts (some acquisitions excepted).

Doctor Memory

Yeah, they’ve been trying to do everything through resellers and integrators for a while now. I don’t think it’s a great strategy, but at least it keeps their customers from discovering just how antediluvian their own support and engagement tools are? 🙃

Convolver

To their credit, we had some really good GCP-based turnkey platforms for federal and highly-regulated spaces that were cost-effective and well-designed, but it always felt like GCP was supremely disinterested in my selling their solutions for them. 🤷

Doctor Memory

Yeah, it was very much in the same vein: “if we force all of our employees and partners to talk about this incessantly, people will flock to it!”

Reader, people did not flock to it. Plus never exceeded the daily active users of _LiveJournal_.

Citrus Ghost

Eh, honestly? No. LJ had mismanaged itself into irrelevance long before they got sold to the Russians. I loved it in its day, but the LJ UI is just insanely primitive and clunky compared even to 2012 Twitter. No one was ever going to flock back to it.

italianstylemeats

There’s a better timeline, maybe, where SixApart understood that there was a real product there but one that required a serious capital investment to rewrite both the front and backend to keep up. But the window closed on that by 2008 absolute latest IMO.

Doctor Memory

Remember, it dates to the days when you couldn't just add more hardware to solve problems because there was a 6-8 week lead time on delivery and installation! It is performance tuned well enough to squeak and it is *extremely* well architected.

rahaeli

Not just memcached! He had the curse of having the genius to solve the thorniest problems out there but the inability to make his solutions usable for people whose brain didn't work exactly like his. So much of the history of Web 2.0 is "we'll start with how LJ solved this but make it usable"

Doctor Memory

Some day I will explain to you all the translation system, which is the most elegant technical solution you could imagine and has never been surpassed on *that* scale but was so unusable on "actually managing the translations" it is a running joke that it is powered by a cranky steam radiator

rahaeli

I want to read this story. :) I remember documenting the TELNET port concentrator for TinyMU* in 1990, allowing the maximum number of TELNET connections on one port from 31 to 8091...

This got codrus a job at an ISP...with my documentation.

rahaeli

The tragedy is it is normally terrible management, when it's a really easy problem for management to solve and something they're supposed to be good at! You just find people who like cleaning shit up and make it clear we don't need you to improve this, just interact, doc, and package.

rahaeli

Fair! (And, seriously, props to both y'all and the original implementors.). Honestly I was thinking 50/50 backend scalability and also what people's expectations are of how a modern "social" website/app behaves: given the era when LJ was written, I'm not even sure where you'd start.

rahaeli

I remember when discoverablity was just a chain of friends of friends recommending the shit they were into & following it down like a wikipedia deep dive. But all of our communities were a lot smaller back then.

(I remember the exact afternoon I followed a chain of webrings and found myself on LJ)

rahaeli

Yeah, one of the things that kills me about the Plusterfuck is that they in a lot of ways really did put together a nice product there. But Larry and Vic weren’t trying to build a product: Vic was building an empire, and Larry was trying to prove he was a big boy CEO. Quality was irrelevant.

Loredena Frisealach

The funny thing is there absolutely are use cases for LLMs and transformers that will revolutionize industries.

Just building a chatbot as the new interface for what was an easy to use application is not one of them.

Doctor Memory

It's been said the most common Bing search is "How do I remove CoPilot from my taskbar?"

Probably not *literally* true, but there's a truth about it, if you follow me. It's certainly the first thing I searched (not on Bing) when I saw the damn thing in my taskbar.

Doctor Memory

I’d believe it.

The thing is that for its original use (the worlds best tab-complete in a coding IDE), CoPilot is _great_. I pay for it happily and increasingly can’t imagine writing code without it. There’s a product there!

There may not be a product that earns back the $90B investment however…

Lizard

I'm using it in my "Learn BLAZOR for Possible Better Job" project at home. At least, I guess I am, as it seems to be wired into VS 2022. It's pretty good at figuring out if I have a long list of "foo.bar.field1=...", and I change the first to "foo.baz.field1...", I probably want to change the rest.

Doctor Memory

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