God & Country Line Up to Stop White Spaces

A week before the Federal Communications Commission is set to vote on a proposal to turn over spectrum between the digital television channels for a wireless broadband service, singer/songwriter Dolly Parton has come out against the plan.

Google Earth for iPhone: I Can See My House From Here

While Google claimed long before Android’s release that having their own mobile OS would not dampen their enthusiasm for the iPhone platform, I had my doubts. How was it possible that the iPhone would not get short-changed overall, with preference and primary focus going to Android apps and support? For now, at least, it seems like my concern was uncalled for.
Following closely on the heels of the news that the iPhone 2.2 firmware beta does indeed contain support for street view in Google Maps, another native application from the Google team has landed. Google Earth is the app in question.
As most of you are probably aware, Google Earth is the slightly unnerving Big Brother-style software that allows people to be voyeurs from space with a satellite-mapped version of the globe. The iPhone version is no different. Like its desktop and webapp counterparts, it offers address and keyword searching, but, taking advantage of the iPhone’s locations services, you can also pinpoint and zoom in on your current location. Other iPhone specific features include the ability to zoom in and out, rotate, and move the view using multi-touch gestures, and the ability to tilt the phone to change your viewing angle.
The app works well over WiFi, 3G, and EDGE, and loads much faster than the comparable (though much less fully featured) Earthscape, which has been available for some time. Even with the optional overlay of geo-tagged photos and Wikipedia articles enabled, loading times were minimal. I would, however, caution those with limited data plans against using it too much on cellular networks, since it seems to be a data-heavy application.
Google Earth is available in the App Store now for free.

Wholesale Internet Bandwidth Prices Keep Falling

Sure it’s not like back in the early 2000s, when those crooks from Enron were driving the prices of bandwidth down into the ground, but even today prices on Internet bandwidth continue to fall. If you are a consumer, however, there’s a good chance you’re wondering what I’m talking about — after all, broadband service providers like Comcast and Time Warner are talking about putting the meter on the bandwidth they serve up to residential subscribers.

What I’m talking about is wholesale Internet bandwidth that is sold to Internet services providers (ISPs) and content companies like Yahoo and Google. This is called IP Transit and it is sold at a rate of “per megabit per second per month” and often requires a monthly bandwidth commitment. Cogent Communications, Level 3 Communications, Tata Communications, Global Crossing and AT&T are some of the more well-known IP Transit providers.

Today research firm Telegeography came out with a report that shows the price of wholesale Internet access (IP transit), while varied around the globe, are still in decline. Here are some facts. Read More about Wholesale Internet Bandwidth Prices Keep Falling

UK Govt. Orgs Launch Climate Change Maps on Google Earth

How do you visualize the colossal amount of data surrounding climate change? Al Gore squeezed a lot of info into 100 minutes and a PowerPoint presentation, but the next step needs to be dynamic, interactive and malleable. That’s where Google Earth has been doing a lot of good and today Google Earth Outreach, the Met Office Hadley Centre and British Antarctic Survey have launched climate change-related mapping info using the research groups’ catalog of scientific data.

Google Earth Outreach allows organizations to map and chart a variety of information and data into layers on top of Google Earth, making it publicly available and easily visualized. Groups like Greenpeace can map deforestation while reseachers at the Jane Goodall Institute can track chimpanzee movement. We profiled some of our favorite user-created ones here, including Scottish wind farms and crude oil refineries.

The layer from the Met Office Hadley Centre, called Climate Change In Our World, provides an animated globe of the Center’s model of CO2 concentrations spanning from November 1999 forward to October 2099. Along the time line, different annotated place markers pop up to provide insight into the impact of global climate change on specific locations. Each place marker links you to a complete published scientific paper on topics ranging from Amazonian dieback to Siberian river flow changes.
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Calgoo Adds iCal Support

ScreenshotCalgoo – whose products we have covered in the past – has just announced the addition of Apple iCal support across its product line:

  • Calgoo Hub, which supports sharing calendars
  • Calgoo Connect, which handles synchronization of online and desktop calendars
  • Calgoo Calendar, a desktop calendar product

This brings iCal into the growing Calgoo compatibility list, which also includes Google, 30 Boxes, and Outlook. There are other options for synchronizing Google Calendar with iCal, but Calgoo is one of the few vendors trying to cobble together some sort of universal synchronization solution.

Everex will supply Windows XP drivers for CloudBook

Everex_cloudbook_ce1200vIncluding Windows XP drivers with the Asus Eee PC has been a big hit, so I’m not completely surprised that Everex will be following suit. CloudBooker has confirmation from Paul Kim, the Director of Marketing at Everex, that XP drivers will be available at Everex.com for download. The CloudBook is probably better suited to run Windows XP than the 4G Eee simply because it has almost eight times the on-board storage capacity: 30 GB vs. 4 GB. However, you can easily run a full installation of XP on the Eee and have 1.5 GB of storage left; more if you slim down your XP installation with nLite.The CloudBook release date still appears a little foggy. The original January 25th date brought us news of a delay to the end of February even though other sources indicated February 15th. All signs still point to the end of February, apparently due to changes in the gOS Rocket operating system. The gOS home page indicates that Rocket is still in beta, so I’m still leery of the dates we have. We met with Paul Kim from Everex earlier this month, so I’ll dig out his business card and see if I can find any additional details.(via UltraMobileLife)

Vid-Biz: Castfire, Blinkx, Sony, Red Dwarf

Castfire Partners with Next New Networks; the video publishing tool maker and ad network will add content from the videoblog publisher, starting with comic book podcast Pulp Secret. (Read Write Web)

Blinkx Creates its own Ad Tool; service will renumerate consumers who embed clips on blogs and other web pages, will split revenue with users 50/50. This comes on the heels of YouTube’s ad announcement earlier this week.) (Dow Jones)

Sony Signs More Content for BRAVIA; CondéNet, Sports Illustrated, blip.tv and Sony Pictures will have Internet channels available through BRAVIA Internet Video Link Service. (release)

Red Dwarf Moves to Mobile; nothing smeggy here as animated mobisodes of the cult sci-fi comedy will be available in Europe and other territories starting Oct. 11. (release)

Read More about Vid-Biz: Castfire, Blinkx, Sony, Red Dwarf

Earth2Tech’s EcoTour of Google Earth

[qi:_earth2tech] Google Earth’s bird’s-eye view of the globe is being used by environmentalists, concerned citizens, and yes, eco-bloggers, to map the effects of climate change, tag renewable energy plants, and point out environmental degradations of the land. Scientists, such as Dr. Jon Blower from the University of Reading, even use Google Earth to visualize multiple scientific geo-data sets, which can lead to new conclusions. Continue Reading.

Chasing RIM is futile?

7100t_small.gifRIM’s recent run is ample proof that it has nailed down the wireless email pretty good. Even our friends at Techdirt are eating humble pie. They are mostly right about everything else, so they are entitled to one or two boo-boos. I am not going to hold against their otherwise excellent blog. Which is why it surprises me that companies like Good, Seven, and Visto keep trying. I don’t blame them: there are approximately 50 million mobile workers in the United States and nearly 70% of them would want wireless email, according to The Yankee Group. They came up with this 35 million number by combining the percentage of workers considered mobile professionals and field salesforce, according to the Yankee Group 2004 Corporate Wireless Survey. This is a big enough market for anyone to take a crack at – so what if they face a near impossible climb against much revered and equally loved Crackberry. Today Visto announced that it was taking a gander at the wireless email market, with its Visto Mobile 5.0, and I say good luck to them. (I do like the fact that Visto has a more open and clearly better solution – on paper. I hope to try it out soon enough and report on the results!) The problem I have with all these so called competitors is that they are focusing on the enterprise market and are too dependent on the carriers’ largesse to promote their products. My gut feeling is that most people fall in love with Crackberry as individuals and then perhaps convince their corporate masters to adopt the technology. That kind of adoption is tough to compete against. With RIM already on a massive licensing binge, it is going to be tough times for rest of the wireless email crowd.