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Google’s Sergey Brin talks about Chrome, but won’t talk about secret projects

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Google-watchers were disappointed that newly (re)minted CEO Larry Page did not make an appearance at Google’s annual developers conference in San Francisco.

But co-founder Sergey Brin (wearing his Vibrams) did show up for a question-and-answer session with journalists Wednesday to talk about the new Chrome laptops. But, tsk, tsk, the busybodies in the news corps strayed off-topic.

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One asked about Brin’s secretive new role at Google post-management shuffle. Brin is rumored to be working on Google’s hush-hush social networking projects.

Brin would say only that he is working on ‘chauffeur,’ the code name for Google’s self-driving cars project, and he hoped to be able to reveal more next year.

‘I get the luxury of doing fun things,’ he said.

Another wanted to know about Google’s disclosure in a regulatory filing this week that it was setting aside $500 million for the potential settlement of a U.S. investigation into its advertising business, resulting in lower first-quarter net income.

That’s when Brin’s new behind-the-scenes role truly came in handy. He joked that he had no clue about the DOJ (as in the Department of Justice), he just knows acronyms such as Cr-48, the first laptop loaded with the Chrome operating system for a pilot program.

Related:

Larry Page, back as CEO, shakes up management ranks

Larry Page is fostering Google’s start-up spirit

Google shows off new Chrome laptops, launches Chrome Web store

— Jessica Guynn


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