CORRUGATED TIMES-DISPATCHSeptember 8, 2008
Google, having run out of mainstream data to collect, now plans to store digital copies of your birthday cards, love letters, baby books, photo albums, refrigerator magnet poems, shopping lists, drunken apologies on hotel stationery, obsolete electronics manuals, luggage tags, and countless other artifacts.
The project announced Monday extends Google's crusade to make digital copies of content invented before the Internet's arrival, so the information can become more accessible and, ultimately, Google can profit from ads shown on its Web site.
"This is a radical, bold, exciting new step for the Information Goliath," said Jean-Paul Richter, editor of the Northern Arizona Restaurant Critic's Guide to Family-Style Restaurant Menus in Greater Flagstaff. "Niches can now open up to much larger... crevices."
Google is touting the program as a way to give people an easier way to find a rich vein of history. The initiative also is designed to provide a financial boost to independent publishers as they try to earn a little bread from the publications that once were considered too minor for the marketplace.
"Information should be free," said Larson Gerrymander, Chief Strategist of Google's Media Consolidation Division. "And it should also somehow make us money."
The data-vacuuming program, launched last month, has triggered a lawsuit from group that alleges it infringes on privacy - a charge that Google will fight in court, when it has finished uploading all of your old bank receipts.