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This Week In Google: From Desktop To Demo

The search-engine behemoth continues to dominate the news, from speculation that it's building its own Internet to talk that it's poised to launch a PayPal competitor.

It's only February, but it's becoming apparent that Google is going to dominate the news of 2006 much like another well-known vendor did 10 years ago. (Hint: They're in Redmond, Wash.)

In January, the Google buzz centered on news that the U.S. Justice Department had been seeking search data from the search engine giant and from Yahoo, MSN, and America Online. Google received a good chunk of positive press for resisting the government subpoena. (A court hearing to determine if Google will have to turn over search records is scheduled for March 17.)

Google also got some highly favorable video coverage, when ABC Worlds News Tonight anchor Bob Woodruff visited the company's Mountain View, Calif. headquarters and interviewed the company's co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, on ABC's January 20 broadcast.

Woodruff followed up with a vlog addition to the newscast segment, in which he toured Google and offered some gee-whiz commentary. "One of the things that first strikes you about this company is that it seems to be unlike any others," he says in the beginning of the vlog piece. "Check out this office; it's got toys everywhere. Is this for creativity?" (Woodruff is currently recovering from injuries he received in a Jan. 29 explosion in Iraq.)

Almost a week ago, Google took something of a media ribbing when news reports filtered back from Brazil that Page and Brin, visiting that South American country to meet with local software engineers and Google employees, had a credit card rejected when they attempted to settle a $50 tab in a Rio de Janeiro restaurant.

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