It is worth mentioning that Google does have a yen for practical jokes, especially around April 1 and their birthday. They've just celebrated their seventh birthday. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> That's why people aren't taking the news seriously, alokmohan. Check this out if you want to see their sense of humor.
<br /><br />However, alokmohan is absolutely right. As reported on the news, such as this article at Forbes.com
, Google has made a commitment to work together with NASA. This could prove to be very lucrative for Google, and is a shrewd move on their part. If things in the volatile world of e-business don't pan out longterm, they will have one foot in the relatively stable world of government contracting. They're looking into IT, data management, and other options. They could, of course, revolutionize the way NASA publishes data -- this could be a godsend for eager space enthusiasts like us who don't have ready access to academic channels.<br /><br />There is some controversy already, though, even though nothing has actually been done yet. As part of the deal, Google has committed to develop one million square feet of real estate at NASA Ames Research Center. This article outlines the controversy.
Basically, some folks are upset because this gives Google a rare opportunity to develop on federal land -- which means they wouldn't have to pay local property taxes. Silicon Valley landlords are upset because it means they lose a very lucrative potential tenant. The county is upset because if they built just off the federal land, they'd be paying up to $3 million in property taxes. However, Google will still be paying a large sum for the privilege, since the <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em> -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>