The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture by John Battelle (2005)

From Archie through Altavista (the first Internet search engine, where DEC executives were not wishing to see the light and grab the opportunity), AOL, Yahoo to GoTo.com (Overture) and Google the books offers an overview of development in the search on the Internet, arguing that this is likely just a beginning of a transformation on how we find and access information. Google is the 1000 pound gorilla in this game today, and is being described in somewhat less than ideal light. From the humble beginnings in a dorm room, living off the "free" bandwidth and computer parts of Stanford, through their various corporate actions, which do not seem to correspond to the often repeat "do no evil" slogan. Their stand on issues, like hiring practices, trademarks, advertising practices, privacy issues, dealings with the Chinese government, issues during their IPO and others many times bring them to the questionable side, although usually putting more money in the company's pocket on the way. But I guess repeating the mantra frequently, some could get brainwashed indeed ... Search and internet activity information stored about individuals by these private companies (in addition to the credit and medical information stored by other private companies) and the use of this information by other private companies and the government likely is to be cause for concern.

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