Thursday, April 01, 2004

Google, a.k.a. Big Brother?

Google is beta testing a new free email webmail service. They'll be offering 1 gigabyte of storage space, which is about 1,000 megabytes, searchable and all. This is a very aggressive attack at Microsoft and Yahoo, no suprise. But what once was once an affable business relationship with AOL now becomes a direct attack on their (AOL's) main cash cow. Moo (boo hoo boo hoo).

Google has been my favorite search engine for years. They used a very honest page ranking scheme and they don't have ten thousand splash pages/links on their home page. Very straightforward. However, lately I've been reading some information about Google's cookie that expires in 2038.
The CIA had to stop using a comparatively innocent log-analysis cookie that expired in 10 years, and their document search site isn't even used by many people. Google handles 200 million searches per day, and their cookie expires in 2038. One of Google's leading software engineers, Matt Cutts, has a top-secret clearance and used to work for the National Security Agency. Google doesn't even feel the need to defend their cookie policy; they merely laugh off anyone who inquires about it.

I have my doubts about the validity of it all, but it is interesting. The amount of data that they collect would be a data miner's dream. If Google ever started to lose large profits, they could just sell all this information for a ridiculous amount of money. You can find out how to thwart Google's cookie here.


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