Why Google killed off Google Reader: It was self-defense

I’ve been a fan and user of Google Reader since its start. And while I’ve tried a dozen or more other RSS readers, I wound up returning to Google’s. This is sad.


It’s not a huge surprise that Google is dropping Google Reader, the blog reader it operated since 2005. After all, they’d let it go for some time now (not that I’m complaining – it was after all, a free service, a fine product, and a boon for the overall ecosystem of blogging, podcasts and RSS).

The reality, though, is that Google operates at vast scale, and a niche consumer product like Reader just doesn’t move the needle. As crazy as it may sound, today even a billion-dollar business is simply a distraction to Google (unless, of course, it’s well on the way to becoming a five-billion-dollar business).

So all those who are signing petitions to Google  (and even one to The White House!) are missing the bigger point: that this is a victim of the company’s DNA, one that’s accelerated under Larry Page’s management. Some companies specialize…

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‘Robodocs’? ‘Tricorders’? How telemedicine will shape the future of health


Telemedicine is an idea that has been talked up for decades, but it looks as if it’s finally coming into its own.

Thursday’s news that iRobot’s medical robot, which would let doctors talk to and monitor patients remotely, stoked interest across the web. But ‘robodocs’ are  just one way telemedicine could keep healthcare costs down, improve care and increase access to patients in remote communities.

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) estimates that 10 million Americans directly benefited from some sort of telemedicine service in the past year, with clinical applications, like those for radiology and emergency room services leading the pack. A report this month projected that telehealth would grow 53 percent in 2013 and six-fold by 2017.

Aside from the rise of sensors, expanded broadband access and the ubiquity of connected and mobile devices among patients and doctors, several health-specific trends are making remote care more of…

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