Friday, February 04, 2005

Search and you shall find

With the launch yesterday of MSN search, Bill Gates is taking Google on at its own game. But it's not just a fight for web hits and advertising dollars: it is also a reflection of how a simple tool has become essential to the way we live our lives. Oliver Burkeman and Bobbie Johnson report
"It becomes an extension of my mind, an extension of my taste, my sensibility, my active memory," says Sherry Turkle, a philosopher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. We no longer need to remember, yet nor can we ever truly forget, because everything's out there, logged and stored. It's not so much that knowledge is power. Dominating the market in the tools people use to navigate that knowledge - which is what Gates wants to do now - is the true source of power. Own that, and is it too much of an overstatement to say that you own a little piece of people's brains?
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