Google Set to Tackle World's Ills
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
Google, one of the few companies to become a verb, has done everything from Web searching to maps. Now it plans to reduce poverty and global warming.
The company is starting Google.org, with about $1 billion in seed money. People briefed on this program tell the New York Times that Google plans to develop an ultra fuel-efficient hybrid car engine. It would run on ethanol, electricity and gas.
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
And just as it does for everything else, Google is taking an unconventional approach to philanthropy. Google.org will be for-profit. That means it has to pay taxes, but it also has more freedom to fund start-up companies and lobby Congress.
The head of Google.org, whose name really is Larry Brilliant, likens most corporate foundations to a pianist - only able to play the highest notes on a piano. He tells the Times, Google can play the entire keyboard.
(Soundbite of piano music)
MONTAGNE: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
INSKEEP: And I'm Steve Inskeep.
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