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Julian Dibbell
Kevin Shaw
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New York Magazine

Randall Stross

Planet Google

Google's search engine is so well known that we now have a verb: to google. But Google's aim of organising the world's information means that it is active in plenty of other areas besides web search. In Planet Google: How One Company is Transforming Our Lives Randall Stross describes some of the projects the company is currently involved in.

To maintain it's position Google needs to be aware of new ways in which people use the internet, and to gain a share of each new market. The book starts with a look at the competition between Google and the social networking site Facebook. We also hear about Google's acquisition of the video upload site YouTube, and it's plan to scan large numbers of the world's books. What I liked about this book was Stross' discussion of the issues involved in such cases. Is it reasonable that Google should disregard the objections of copyright holders? Should we be worried that Google is organising information that we think of as confidential? Stross also discusses the benefits and drawbacks of wholly algorithmic search results rather than those with some human input.

Some books about successful companies such as Google tend to concentrate on the areas in which they are most successful - search in the case of Google - rather than their future plans. I felt that this book gave a more detailed and up to date look at the world in which Google is operating, and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the current state of the internet. info
Hardcover 288 pages  
ISBN: 141654691X
Salesrank: 2399900
Weight:0.9 lbs
Published: 2008 Free Press
Amazon price $2.90
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Hardcover 288 pages  
ISBN: 1843549808
Salesrank: 3282396
Weight:1.15 lbs
Published: 2008 Atlantic Books
Marketplace:New from £5.00:Used from £0.01
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ISBN: 141654691X
Salesrank: 2715188
Weight:0.9 lbs
Published: 2008 Free Press
Amazon price CDN$ 6.99
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 6.99:Used from CDN$ 0.01
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Product Description
After Google had one of the most successful IPOs in history, in August, 2004, raising a staggering amount of cash, the company set forth on an incredibly audacious new strategy for its future, a vision so bold, large-scale and in many ways so troubling that the company has worked very hard to keep it totally under wraps. Randy Stross has achieved unprecedented access to the Google headquarters and top management, including notoriously close-to-the-vest CEO Eric Schmidt, and to a wide range of sources who have worked with Google or monitored its activities, and he will reveal in this book for the first time the astonishing scale and scope of what Google is setting out to accomplish, and also explore the profound implications for not only the business world, but for our culture at large.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews