Some European nations have been talking for a while about how they need to engender their own technological innovations, like Quaero, which has been billed to be the European-made, Euro-centric version of Google. John Battelle talked to the CEO of one of the companies partnering for Quaero, and it turns out it's not a search engine and it won't have a site, but rather it's a "long term effort to spur various European competitors toward creating better search related technologies". As Battelle notes, it sounds like Quaero may be little more than an effort to divert governmental funds into these companies' R&D using the "Google threatens our culture" line. So while the French may decry the influence of American culture on the Internet, the $2.5 billion their government is throwing at Quaero and other "the European version of x" projects indicate they've embraced that long-running American political tradition, the boondoggle.
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