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PLANET GOOGLE: One Company's Audacious Plan to Organize Everything We Know

Editorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe

Yes, the Googleplex is trying to take over the world, but in the end this vaunted company is just as fallible as the others.In his just-the-facts account, New York Times columnist Stross (Business/San Jose State Univ.; The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World, 2007, etc.) assumes a judicious tone, avoiding the common extremes of either enthusing with childlike ... Read full review

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Section 1
a. Title – Planet Google: One Company’s Audacious Plan to Organize Everything We Know
b. Author - Randall Stross
c. Copyright date – September 2008
d. General subject matter – Non-fiction
e. Special features -
f. Price – United States Price: $26.00 Canadian Price: $29.99
g. ISBN - 9781416546917
Section 2
2. The purpose of this book is to examine how two college students created the most amazing search algorithm that the world has ever known. The book goes through the history of how Google was invented and the company’s successes and failures.
a. The author choose this subject to explain Google’s growing family of services including Gmail, Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Scholar and YouTube
b. The author’s point of view is to explain the history of the “googolplex”
c. The intended audience would be the technology industry and the general public who is interested in the googolplex.
3. I believe that this is a formal scholarly book because there is an impersonal style to the writing. The subject matter is clean and precisely and explained with a professional tone and language. The use of words is straight to the point and uses a lot of imperial data. I believe this is an academic book but can also be a popular book as well. The data and information the book provides makes it an academic source but the pop culture of the googolplex makes the book desirable for the general public as well.
4. I believe that the writing style does suit the intended audience. The technology industry would appreciate the empirical tone of the book. There is a correct use of technical words. The book is conciseness and very direct. The book strives to explain the coherent economic strategy behind the googolplex clearly and logically. Most of the data is given to the reader through statistics. I believe that this is the best way to communicate the large amount of influence that the company of Google holds. For example; “as of June of 2010, Google had digitized 12 million books in its Google Books Library.”
5. The book, Planet Google: One Company’s Audacious Plan to Organize Everything We Know, holds interest through out the 8 chapters, breaking down each section in to manageable portions for the reader to have a better understanding. I believe that this book has the potential to be a bland corporate history but instead the author wrote the book more like a suspense novel trying to keep the readers’ interest even while explaining complicated engineering terms such as the break down of the Algorithm. I think that this book hold an immense amount of importance in today’s society. Planet Google is an informative and entertaining book that explains the stories of the creation, and the successes and failures of one of the world's most important companies. Everyone has used Google in one form or another. Its unreasonable to be part of the technology wave and not use the fastest and most efficient form for web searching. Even my six year old nice knows how to bring up Google and search what words mean rather than going through a dictionary. The usefulness to the intended audience is the understanding of great success. Many people in our culture take for granted our accessibility to all the world knowledge. Google has become so imbedded in our culture that I often hear the phrase “just Google it” on the daily when people have questions about anything and everything. Reasonable historical questions like “Who was the first president of the United States?” and even outrageously random questions like “How many ants would it take to lift a car?” Google will help you find the answer.
I believe that the author’s main arguments are true. Randall Stross’ goal to writing this novel was to successfully offer the readers an inside look into the strategy of the most innovative and pivotal companies of our era. Stross does this by examining the Googleplex offices, CEO Eric Schmidt, and Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The authors opinion is clearly
 

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Randall Stross has put together this amazing, well researched book with lots of research and skill. I was really filled with awe and respect for Google after reading this. Fantastic.

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very interesting

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Enjoyed reading this.
Had good discussion at book group about this book and the influence of Google on our lives.

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An interesting look at what an amazing capitalist success story Google has been and how lucky we are that they have been at least a little bit successful in their mission "to organize the world'(tm)s information and make it universally accessible and useful." Each chapter discusses a different part of Google's growing family of services -- GMail, Google Maps, Google Earth, Book Search, and YouTube. Of course, it all started with search and Stross does a good job explaining how the ingenious Google search algorithm has grown from dorm room project to the greatest aggregator of human knowledge that the world has ever known.
Importantly, Stross doesn't shy away from highlighting some of the mistakes Google has made, and he also goes into great detail about the privacy concerns raised by the sheer volume of information the company is now collecting. Although I personally believe most of these privacy fears are overblown, Stross does a nice job explaining why Google is likely going to attract more attention in coming years -- from users and policymakers alike -- as its search algorithm and other applications grow more powerful and comprehensive.
Stross also notes that Google's growing clout in the marketplace will likely invite more calls for antitrust intervention as the company gradually replaces Microsoft as the new King of the Tech Hill. I think those market power concerns are over-stated as well, but Stross rightly points out that making so many enemies so quickly is bound to come back to haunt Google in the long run (or perhaps even the short run).
In sum, Planet Google is a fine early history of the company and the new era of computing it has ushered in. Recommended.
My complete review of Planet Google is here: http://techliberation.com/2009/02/02/book-review-planet-google-by-randall-stross
 

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