Sunday, June 20, 2004

The Google PC

Jon Udell has a column in Infoworld on the Google PC.
    Imagine that Google, rather than Microsoft, controlled the desktop. Job No. 1 for the Google PC would be to vacuum up all available sources of data. Job No. 2 would be to exploit that data to the hilt.
So, what does he mean by vacuuming up all sources of data?
    On the Google PC, you wouldn’t need third-party add-ons to index and search your local files, e-mail, and instant messages. It would just happen. The voracious spider wouldn’t stop there, though. The next piece of low-hanging fruit would be the Web pages you visit. These too would be stored, indexed, and made searchable. More ambitiously, the spider would record all your screen activity along with the underlying event streams.
And what does he mean by exploiting that data? In addition to easy access to any data you previously accessed or used on a task, Jon suggests that the Google PC would do personalized information filtering:
    Bayesian categorization: My SpamBayes-enhanced e-mail program learns continuously about what I do and don’t find interesting, and helps me organize messages accordingly. A systemwide agent that’s always building categorized views of all your content would be a great way to burn idle CPU cycles.

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