INTERNET GIANT Google was rattled by the launch of the social notworking website Facebook, and threw itself into a panic as it set about fighting it.
The New York Times has seen an advance copy of a book by technology journalist Steven Levy, who was apparently treated to an extensive tour of Google's offices and lent an ear to its internal discussions.
In the book, called In the plex: how Google thinks, works and shapes our lives, Levy said that the launch of Facebook started something called "Urs-quake" internally, and was named after a memo from Professor Urs Hölzle that discussed the scale of the challenge. "They're supernervous about Facebook," Mr Levy told the NYT, yet apparently software development efforts in the social networking space only really kicked off at Google last year.
A project called Emerald Sea was launched internally, named after a painting of a wave knocking over a ship, and well, we guess, Google launched Buzz, its intrusive and unpopular sharing software to an unsuspecting audience. Buzz did not go particularly well for Google and the firm has been charged by the FTC over its privacy practices.
The book also details the firm's difficult relationship with China, which has not gone very well either. So bad was an initial visit by Google's Brin and Page that Al Gore was forced to step in and tell them how to behave, the paper reports.
Google declined to comment on the contents of the book or the suggestion that it was rattled by the success of Facebook. µ
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