"Google To Index Millions Of Books." That was the headline in The New York Times last week, for a story about how the Internet search company had struck a deal with several leading libraries to catalog and make available online the contents of their books.
The Library of Alexandria has been a metaphor for the Internet since its inception. Last week's announcement by Google brought that promise closer to reality. There are legitimate questions about the project: Would it commercialize library content? What about the copyright implications? But Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who are underwriting the online-library project, say it's something they've dreamed about doing for a long time.
I don't know about you, but I became involved in technology because of its promise. And Google's ambitious effort seems like a promise kept.
Several people who see the promise of technology are part of our list of "Innovators And Influencers" for 2005. Overpromising and underdelivering is the theme of our "Overrated/Underrated" feature, a tongue-in-cheek look at the best and worst of 2004.
This is the last issue of InformationWeek in 2004. Have a happy holiday season, and a fun New Year's celebration. We'll be back in 2005. I promise.