Wednesday, December 18, 2002

"People find long-lost relatives, recall old song lyrics and locate parts for old MGs. College instructors sniffing for plagiarism type in suspiciously accomplished phrases from the papers of otherwise inarticulate students. Computer programmers type in error-code numbers to find out which Windows function crashed their program. Google can even save your life. When Terry Chilton, of Plattsburgh, N.Y., felt a pressure in his chest one morning, he Googled heart attacks, and quickly was directed to a detailed list of symptoms on the American Heart Association site. 'I better get my butt to the hospital,' he told himself, and within hours he was in life-saving surgery."

Another article about the power of Google, by Steven Levy in the December 16 Newsweek (via Nick Denton, who admits he's already altering his behaviour to suit the way the all-powerful search engine works).

Also check out Google's 2002 Year-End Zeitgeist, if you're interested in finding out the top search terms for the year thus far i.e. what the world has had on its mind lately. (For the record, I myself haven't searched for any of the Top 20 Gaining Entries. I haven't even heard of half of them.)

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