Two things you can always count on from WW, thought provoking information and irrational Google hate :-)
The web is, of course, all about personalization so if Google doesn't do it someone else will. They might be doing it wrong but it seems to me that they don't have any choice but to try it.
The attempt at integrating Google+ is also a no brainer. No doubt most of us here are aware that social media has cut into search in terms of how people find information online in a big way. Any search engine that doesn't find a way to deeply integrate social signals is probably going to be left behind. You might even say that user interaction is the new pagerank.