One thing that bugs me: they’re now hosting original news content, yet they prohibit other aggregators from crawling it (per robots.txt restrictions and TOS). Of course Google News relies on the openness of other organizations with original news content.
That policy wasn’t a problem when Google was simply aggregating news from around the web. But now they are hosting original news content, written by people that are involved in the story. And they are telling the world that no one else can crawl that content and display it. Yahoo News, TechMeme and every other non-Google owned news service on the web is restricted from using that content.
The restrictive policy hasn’t changed with the new feature launch, and this may just be an oversight. We’ll find out soon enough if Google intends to build a wall around this news content, or share it with the rest of the web.