Adolph Hitler is credited with saying, "He who controls the information, controls the world." This concept is not lost on the U.S. Government, which on June 30, 2005, announced that it has changed it's plans to relinquish control of the main computers that govern traffic across the World Wide Web to an international body. They're no dummies, neither was Hitler. But what you do with this control is the difference between good and evil.
In 1995, two guys from Stanford, who were not dummies either, worked on a new way of indexing and ranking information on the rapidly growing World Wide Web, a.k.a. the Internet. The results of their efforts, Google, have changed the world and their company is now the Wal-Mart of cyberspace. Recently valued at over $78 billion, their rags-to-riches story has been shaped by their company motto, "Don't be evil." But can such a good thing, used by millions every day, help but to succumb to the inherent corruption indicative of all corporate behemoths?
At Boise Weekly, we use Google every day to research stories; to "Google" people and to find other Web sites with the information we need. But we also use it to get our message out. Our Web site takes advantage (not full advantage but a smattering) of features to enhance it's ranking on search returns. We are active with the Google News service and regularly show up in the top rankings there, at least inside Idaho. For something so vast, Google is freakishly underrated. In this issue, we've decided to celebrate Google, teach you a thing or two about something that has quickly become almost a necessity in our lives, and maybe instill a little Big Brother paranoia in you, too.