Streams

The Searchers

Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 05:42 PM

NPR’s Rick Karr covered more than one search engine in his five-part series The Search Engine Wars but when he was on the show today our listeners wanted to talk Google and Gmail.

In the last few weeks the company has found themselves embroiled in a controversy all stemming from the introduction of google email – Gmail. The advantages range from the incredible storage size 1000 megabytes (much more than other free email providers) to the ease that the user would have to search for archived messages.

Rick pointed out the main disadvantage is the potential for privacy infringement on the user. He explained emails either sent or received by the Gmail member will be monitored for marketing purposes allowing companies access to anything from your sexual orientation to your choice in deck furniture even after you have cancelled your Gmail account.

A Gmail Beta user called in to disagree indicating changes have been made allowing users to delete their mail and account permanently.

Whoever is right, it will probably lead to an increase in spam.

One of our listeners asked about the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, which Rick informed us was Google's means of showing off their prowess in hunting information down.

Brian suggests going to Google and typing in "Weapons of Mass Destruction" and then clicking "I'm Feeling Lucky".

To save you googling time – we’ve posted the results here

Do you think in the future we’ll still use the verb to google regardless of the search engine, kind of like the way we Xerox now?

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