In a secret location somewhere in California, the "Google X" laboratory is a testing ground for such ideas as driverless cars and "space elevators." Investors say the lab, a pet project of Google's founders, doesn't make much business sense. "These moon-shot projects are a very Google-y thing for them to do," said analyst Colin W. Gillis. "People don’t love it but they tolerate it because their core search business is firing away."

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