I just read this thread twice and didn't spot anything remotely resembling "relentless Google loving."
No, it's a facelift and a good one at that. However, the underlying information is the same old results. You can take old vegetables and give them a great presentation on the plate with lots of sauce, but it's still a bunch of old vegetables with lots of sauce. The consensus apppears to be that Ask needs to move beyond superficial enhancements and marketing campaigns and focus on improving the underlying technology so that the actual data is fresh, accurate, and more useful.