Sunday, November 06, 2005

To Google or Not to Google

I don't like it when one company or group gets too much power in one area. I may have to Yahoo more, as I certainly won't be Microsofting more -- Bill Gates has got enough stuff to monopolize and mess up on his plate.

But I do appreciate Google's mission statement: to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."
Such advances, predicts Esther Dyson, a technology consultant, will bring "a huge reduction in inefficiency everywhere." That, in turn, would be an unsettling force for all sorts of industries and workers. But it would also reward consumers with lower prices and open up opportunities for new companies.

Now, efficiency isn't necessarily a good thing. For instance, in sex. And I'm concerned for Wal-Mart's bottom line more than for my own benefit, as are they.
The worry is that by making information available everywhere, Google might soon be able to tell Wal-Mart shoppers if better bargains are available nearby.

But I hate the process of looking for a place to live. The phone calls, drive-bys, wasted days in hotel rooms. This is a good place for efficiency.
Among the many projects being developed and debated inside Google is a real estate service, according to a person who has attended meetings on the proposal. The concept, the person said, would be to improve the capabilities of its satellite imaging, maps and local search and combine them with property listings.

The service, this person said, could make house hunting far more efficient, requiring potential buyers to visit fewer real estate agents and houses.

I think I'll keep Googling.

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