Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Julian Dibbell
Kevin Shaw
Adam Thierer
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: 1983762
Weight:0.9 lbs
Published: 2008 Free Press
Amazon price $2.90
Marketplace:New from $2.89:Used from $0.01
Buy from info
Hardcover 288 pages  
ISBN: 1843549808
Salesrank: 3202165
Weight:1.15 lbs
Published: 2008 Atlantic Books
Marketplace:New from £5.00:Used from £0.01
Buy from info
ISBN: 141654691X
Salesrank: 2670297
Weight:0.9 lbs
Published: 2008 Free Press
Amazon price CDN$ 6.99
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 6.99:Used from CDN$ 0.01
Buy from

Product Description

"In this spellbinding behind-the-scenes look, Stross leads readers through Google’s evolution…the unfolding narrative reads like a suspense novel" (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

Based on unprecedented access to the "Googleplex," Planet Google goes deep inside the company to unveil the extraordinary scope and scale of its ambition to become the master gate-keeper of "all the world’s information," including its users’ most personal information. New York Times columnist Randall Stross provides a lively tour through Google’s flurry of new information gathering initiatives. Will Google stay true to its famous "Don’t Be Evil" mantra? Will it protect all of the personal information it collects? Planet Google is a much-needed wake-up call about how powerful the Google juggernaut has become.