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Google Answers: RIP

Google has killed off its question-and-answer Web site, which connected people with questions to people with answers for a price. In doing so, Google cedes the market to free services like Yahoo Answers.

Google will stop accepting new questions later this week and stop accepting new answers by the end of the year, but is keeping the existing questions and answers accessible, at least for now, according to the Official Google Blog.

"Google is a company fueled by innovation, which to us means trying lots of new things all the time--and sometimes it means reconsidering our goals for a product," the blog posting says. "The project started with a rough idea from Larry Page, and a small 4-person team turned it into reality in less than 4 months."

The blog nostalgically lists some questions that were answered on the service such as: How many tyrannosaurs are in a gallon of gasoline? The quick answer is 1/460th. How do flies survive a good microwaving? By flying around and, thus, dodging the microwaves. Why shouldn't you drink water emitted by your air conditioner? Because it can collect bacteria. Another question was: Is Google headquarters on fire? It wasn't. Firefighters were practicing on a nearby abandoned building.