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Google: 'we dun goofed'

The internet is a wonderful force for democracy and all that, but we do wonder whether sometimes people power gets used for... well, let's say 'insufficiently serious' purposes. For example, over the weekend a massive storm blew up among Gmail users. There were angry complaints on Twitter, furious blog posts, and endless coverage by tech sites.

The subject of all this ire? Google took away the link to Google Reader at the top of every Gmail page.

We know, not exactly a scandal, but some people really liked that link. 'I think that Google hates me,' whined one tweeter. 'Google UI design failure,' snarked another.

Well, it turns out it was all an accident. Google say the decision was made to promote a 'Photo' link - to its Picasa online photo service - but it wasn't supposed to replace the Reader link. And if you go to Gmail now, you'll find it's duly returned.

So that's a victory for people power! Though we suppose even if no-one had protested, eventually someone at Google would have noticed and fixed it anyway...

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