The internet's transformation into a really dodgy public access cable channel continues apace. Google co-founder Larry Page has announced that the company wants the public to send in its homemade videos - and he doesn't mind how mucky they are.
"There might be an adult section, or something like that. I don't think that is going to be a big issue," Page told attendees at the National Cable and Telecommunications Show in San Francisco on Monday, where he was speaking on a panel.
Google has yet to formally announce the proposal but Page said to expect the doors to open "within the next few days".
Officially, it's in the name of research. Google started indexing TV shows late last year, and Page wants to use the public contributions to test its prototype video search software, which uses pattern matching to find words or phrases in video clips. And surely there can be no more daunting a challange than to identify the tattoo on a swinger's cellulite-dimpled buttocks.
Unofficially, this is perhaps an acknowledgement of the web's changing demographic. In a recent survey 23 per cent of Britons cited pornography as their primary reason for getting broadband internet, far outweighing any other factor.
Google's prototype faces an uphill battle getting its software into the professional newsrooms, where Autonomy's Dremedia (now Virage) has a lead of several years. Virage's software, which uses Bayesian pattern matching, can perform much of work of a traditional archivist, such as segmenting and labelling footage, recomposing it with subtitles, and even cleaning it up for broadcast.
However in a time shifted world, there's conceivably a place for an independent search front-end to a PVR set top box, and Google is in a position to do just that - if can strike a deal with the rights holder.
The privacy conscious among you may wonder how this giant database - which knows your search queries, your email, and the people you know through social network - could have managed to stay out of your bedroom for so long. Now you have it. ®