John Markoff and Saul Hansell write in the New York Times today about a massive computing complex Google is building in Washington state. Oddly, Markoff and Hansell miss the big picture and instead focus on Google as a "search engine":
Google is known to the world as a search engine, but in many ways it is foremost an effort to build a network of supercomputers, using the latest academic research, that can process more data — faster and cheaper — than its rivals.
The need to slice milliseconds off query results is only part of what Google seeks. The authors only, while google-eyed at the power of the distributed computing network that by their words is greater than the NSA’s computing power (an interesting comparison to be made), hint at other services by way of the a quote, "Google is like a Borg", and the comment on the culture of secrecy in Google derived from not discussing revenue sources.
Google does so much more than return results, as I’ve written about in the past. It is unfortunate this front page, below the fold, NYT story misses this. Google is probably happy they did.