In many ways thats all Google is, a networked Linux application (database-driven). Theyve been very busy taking new features gold lately:
- Google Maps. (Slow loading, but attractive.)
- Google News. (Input your own keywords and dump their categories if you want.)
- Google Desktop. (Search e-mail, PDF, and multimedia.)
- Google Local. (Google Maps integrated, but I know a half-dozen good restaurants within a mile of me that arent listed.)
- Google Toolbar. (Everything Gator did, and no spyware.)
- Google Mobile. (The main page now redirects mobile phone screens appropriately.)
There is a dark side. Googles increasing power brings with it scrutiny and skepticism. The Toolbar and Desktop tools, in particular, are heavily criticized by privacy advocates.
The whole idea of entering someones name and hometown, then getting their phone number and a map to their home, gives some the shivers.
Still, once data is in a database, who is to decide when it cant be searched?
Now heres my question. Is Google a model for anything else, or is it a one-off wonder? Let us know what you think in TalkBack.