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Monday, July 03, 2006

Bits and pieces...Google

The first time I heard of Google was at some street fair in Cambridge in 2001 or 2002 or so -- they had a booth and were busy recruiting workers.... Interesting name and T-shirts, I thought. Who realized they would become so central to my daily routine. Not only do I use gmail as my main email clearing point (cannot beat their spam catching efficiency), but I now have them as my toolbar, personalized home page, as my blog home, as my primary access to researchh, and most recently as my "web accelerator" (who even knew I needed one....). Almost a bit scary -- even 1984ish....

This morning's NY Times had an article that hinted at what is going on at Google in regard to their capacity to expand technologically from within. The impression you get is that this is a company that has the capability to meet the challenges posed not only by its current competitors (which seem to be web-based search engines from Microsoft and Yahoo!), but also its potential competitors in the information "common carrier" business -- that is, those who provide the infrastructure that transports internet communications (e.g., AT&T, Comcast, etc.). Those providers of access have been lobbying Congress to defeat the "network neutrality" legislation that would explicitly establish common carrier principles for that infrastructure, and last week they succeeded in keeping such provisions from getting to the floor of the Senate (to get a you have to listen to the explanation by Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska -- :-)). The immediate importance of this for Google is evident in the fact that the company launched its first overt lobbying effort to push for the neutrality provision.

But after reading the article in today's Times and considering all one hears in the media about Google's investment in infrastructural things, I have the impression they are building up to a solution that involves going head to head with those major carriers. Hmmmm, something to ponder.....

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