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Just when I had gotten used to the Daily Show being my best source for real-world news...
... now I'm starting to realize that XKCD is turning into one of my primary sources for tech news. I hadn't heard about the fascinating rumors of Google+ possibly being killed/transformed until seeing it in this cartoon.

(Okay, yes -- my best source of real-world news is *actually* the Economist, and I find out a lot from NPR. But it's still pretty common for me to come across something on the Daily Show first...)

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I still put Ars Technica and The Atlantic at the top of my feed reader, but XKCD is increasingly the place where I see the best succinct summaries of things.

Different buckets for me. XKCD goes into my critical-priority LiveJournal flist, which notionally isn't "important" but which in practice (at the moment) I'm actually pretty current on. Ars Technica is too voluminous for that, so it goes into Feedly with the rest of my technical blogs, and I mostly read it on my phone when I am on the subway...

Oh, heh -- I saw that XKCD but assumed the author was speculating. I hadn't realized there was a real rumor.

Reading between the lines of the various rumors, I would guess that "de-emphasized" is probably the likeliest truth.

Google has *probably* realized by now that there is a substantial reputational cost in killing popular services, so it seems less likely that they would actually discontinue G+. (Especially after vigorously denying it in public, which would all but invite silly lawsuits.)

But it wouldn't surprise me if the rumors are correct in suggesting that they're going to focus their development efforts elsewhere, and let G+ per se coast for the time being. Given that even Facebook is currently working hard on unbundling the look and feel of their highly-integrated system, it would make lots of sense for Google (which was never as integrated to begin with) to focus on the various parts, instead of trying so hard to jam it all into the G+ bucket...

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