Oh boy, looks like I’m really out of the loop. When I looked back at your first post above I finally noticed that Now was capitalized and it hit me.
It certainly looks Google-ish, i.e. leveraging a vast data-mining operation to craft free services which feed back into the mountain of data. I’m sure it’s a very useful service and all but I value my privacy a little too much to be interested in all this cloudy stuff right now.
All our information is out there whether we like it or not. Just being on the Internet puts a lot more information out there than you or I should be comfortable with. Short of unplugging entirely, I figure I might as well get some benefit out of what Google knows.
We have some control over how much info is collected. For example with Google, they can collect my individual queries but it won’t do them much good unless they have a way to link them. They could use my IP address but they won’t because it changes from time to time and I could move locations, etc. They could tie them together using a cookie except I’m blocking cookies from Google and other sites engaged in profiling web users. Actually for most of them I’m blocking the entire site at the DNS level. But I don’t think it has to be all or nothing. I’ve choosen a point on the scale with a comfortable balance between privacy and service. To each his own.