Matt Cutts told me 400 adjustments to search had been made last year.
Matt insisted that the early spirit of freedom and experimentation was still there in the culture. But when I pressed him on whether even Google could afford that luxury in harder times, he admitted that people like him now had perhaps to be a little more focussed on the bottom line. But he said the one day in five spent on personal projects was not being discarded.
It seems like a pretty lightweight interview to me - at least there's nothing earth-shattering being shared, and no really tought questions either. Interesting to hear that "the cloud", plus both Chrome and Android are still on the front burner for Mountain View.