Leading article: Guessing game

So what will you do with the time you save? The world's most famous search engine – so famous it has gone from being a noun to a verb – yesterday launched Google Instant. This new gizmo starts to display search results as soon as you begin to type a word without waiting for you to complete your word or phrase. The company suggests that its latest feature could cut between two and five seconds from the average web search. This, at present, lasts 24 seconds – nine of them taken up by typing and 15 in then selecting the desired result. The new service will predict what you are going to type based on an aggregate of the world's most popular searches. But soon – and this is really creepy – it will start to remember the kinds of things you are interested in and offer guesses based on your past behaviour.

Yet try it out and you f... fin... financial times... find a post code ...discover that all manner of t... tra... train times... Travelodge... translator... traps lie in wait for the un... underground... unsecured loans... unsubscribe... unsustainable... unsuspecting Google user. But don't worry. If you find all this annoying you can simply s... swimwear... Switzerland... switch it o... orange... ofsted... off.