If the health breakthroughs of the 20th century were about eradicating disease-causing organisms -- with antibiotics, inoculation, and hygeine -- the breakthroughs of the 21st century could be identifying, cultivating, and deploying a large array of health-giving microbes. Is there a bacteria or virus out there that once discovered will save as many lives as penicillin has?
Nah. Google probably intends their forthcoming desktop search product to include an advertising component. But, they don't want to be lumped with the Gators of the world, or face another PR crapstorm like the one that accompanied GMail's email-based ad-placements. Hence, in advance of the desktop release, they're laying the groundwork for what an "acceptable" piece of ad-supported dekstop software might be. With any luck, they'll get publically attacked for meddling and arrogance by the makers of software that violates their proposed "principles," highlighting the very differentiation they seek to establish.
Wow. Even though nature already has its own anti-HIV saluvirus (discussed here), the fact that a few Lawrence Berkeley Lab researchers have managed to synthesize another is impressive. And, as the article notes, scary.