Steven Bell writes \"A Nov.28 NYT article, \"Postcards From Planet Google\" explores the social relevance of the dominant search engine - over 150 million questions a day from 100 countries. Google collects every search query and enters it into a database. The article focuses on the stories these queries tell, and what can be learned by analyzing the question patterns. For example, why was there a sudden spike in queries about Carol Brady\'s maiden name (you\'ll have to read the article to find out). Even your local public librarian knows that something is up after the 17th grade-schooler in a row asks for the same information. Google just needs to do this on a massive scale with no knowledge of its user community. The big question: can the data analysis be used to turn a profit? The marketers are showing up at Google. Read more (registration needed) at The NYTimes \"