Some interesting news this week about Google. Buried in a list of patent applications by co founder Larry Page is one on a "Method for searching media". Innocuous enough, but a sign of things to come ?
Possibly. Because the most notable element of the application is the proposed ability of the search engine to search scanned printed media, or even digital magazines.
There are two key elements of the patent: a method for executing a permission protocol so that the publisher could authorize Google to display more text from the relevant publication; and storing scanned versions of printed documents along with data sets representing the ads that went with them.
What's driving this is that Google is finding it difficult to monetise news (quite possibly the only thing they share with the BBC) and is looking to CD, DVD and even audio book content to find other revenue streams.
The biggest drawback would appear to be getting permissions from publishers to get at their content, but if they (Google) do manage to get a subscription revenue stream going, that has got to be good news in pushing publishers (and their products) digital.