Just picked up my office phone and it’s Sergey Brin, who says: “This is Sergey Brin. You think I’m a spoiled hypocritical billionaire who talks smack about energy conservation while commuting to strip bars in a jumbo jet, and I think you’re an argument for making abortion retroactive. Am I catching you at a bad time?” He goes on to say that he’s very upset about some of the coverage surrounding Cuil, this new search engine created by some former Google engineers that some people are suggesting could disrupt Google’s business. Sergey said he wanted to say some things about Google and he wanted me to print those things but he didn’t want to have anything attributed to him so he would only talk off the record and if I didn’t agree in ten seconds he was going to hang up the phone. I said fine. Now, clearly I cannot tell you what Sergey said, but nothing I heard from him contradicted reports printed elsewhere that Google does not view Cuil as a major threat at this time and does not agree with Cuil’s claim to have assembled a larger index of Web pages. Also, according to someone with very, very, very reliable insight into the thinking of Google’s top management, the founders of Cuil were not considered superstars when they were at Google and their departure was welcomed. Asked to comment on this last assertion, Sergey Brin declined to comment and angrily hung up the phone.
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