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Today, Google takes care of all family business
While Google, thankfully, isn't offing its rivals in the manner of the Corleone Family (or the Sopranos – see our quiz), the near-simultaneous announcement of a wide range of big moves – war on ad blockers, the end of Google Reader, a new head of Android – still reminded us uncomfortably of the last scene in "The Godfather."
Andy Rubin steps down as head of Android
Rubin – the creator of Android and the man who turned the open source operating system into the biggest in the mobile world – has handed over the reins to Chrome chief Sundar Pichai, effectively unifying those two product families.
Ad blockers get whacked
In a move that immediately provoked angry reactions from Android power users everywhere, Google moved to ban ad-blocking apps from the Play store, on the grounds that they interfere with third-party services. Like, say, mobile ad networks. Hmm.
Google Reader to sleep with the fishes
Another one that caused an unhappy stir among techies (and media types) was the announcement that Google Reader would be turned off on July 1. Not that this affects anyone at the Network World offices. Nope.
Maps and Commerce break up, Jeff Huber steps down
The reorganization continued with a split between the Maps and Commerce divisions at Google, with former head Jeff Huber transferred to the company's experimental Google X team.
Google breaks omerta to admit privacy fault
Perhaps most shocking, Google admitted that it had violated user privacy in collecting information for its Street View feature, settling a case brought by 38 state attorneys general for $7 million.
A history of violence
These upheavals shouldn't be a surprise to experienced Google watchers – the company has been ruthless about killing off products it doesn't want to spend more resources on, and 2012 saw a large number of Google projects go the way of the buffalo.