Just another thought today. Search engines are built on extremely complex grid like infrastructures. At this point, with the given technology it is not feasible to miniturize these applications so they may run with the same power on our disconnected little lonely laptop or desktop PC. blah blah blah ...
With all this talk about Google saving my search history and relating it to my email and so on and so forth I got to thinking about a Personal Search Engine (PSE). Sure my PSE would probably still rely on Google, but it would do this in a much less trackable way (say by building custom high level indexes on my PC and using a shared Personal Search Engine tracker cookie to agg all PSE user search content). In essence PSE would be a privacy proxy to keep your personal information personal - and a free search history tracker.
The catch would be that PSE could be enabled to auto download content. As such, I could download all .pdf files on a topic to be explored when offline, I could automatically download any .flv file etc. This could all be done VIA Regex patterns the user could build in a slick interface.
Further, this PSE wouldn't be a start page like destination site, it would actually copy content to your hard disk that is shared in any HTTP ring. I mean, at the end of the day, we use the web for content, not for the funky look of a page with all it's advertising.
I like the idea of having a search bar embedded on my desktop for web, or local search. I don't care if you think they have this now, it isn't a proxy and it doesn't auto download stuff.