The world’s hottest digital markets: a music map

Unlimited-access digital music services are racing to beat iTunes – and each other – in new countries each week. Our map breaks down the world’s digital music market, country by country.

App Review: oMaps — Offline Mapping for iPhone


Due to hefty 3G roaming rates, Apple’s (s aapl) Maps app just won’t cut it when you’re out of the country. The oMap app lets you download maps for offline viewing — dodging a shocking bill post-vacation.

The iPhone is an almost perfect companion for travels to distant lands. With a bit of foresight and time set aside for planning, it’s possible to mix and match the perfect blend of vacation apps, ensuring you make the most of your journey.

My own package of essential travel tools includes Evernote, QuadCamera, Gengo Flashcards and HearPlanet. Without a 3G connection overseas, though, Apple’s Maps app proves utterly redundant — if I can’t connect, I can’t use it.

oMaps brings offline mapping to the iPhone. The app includes GPS, multiple zoom levels, map bookmarking and search functionality. Read More about App Review: oMaps — Offline Mapping for iPhone

Ethanol Deathwatch: POET Cancels Plant Plans

Record high oil prices aren’t enough to keep ethanol plants from getting the ax. POET Energy, an ethanol plant developer, has canceled plans for a plant in Glenville, Minn. (hat tip Greentech Media) POET says it pulled the plug on the plant due to permitting problems.

We’ve added the company’s recent cancellation to our Biofuels Deathwatch map.

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In December Pacific Ethanol (PEIX) said it was suspending the building of its Imperial Valley plant near Calipatria, Calif., “until market conditions improve.” And that month news came out that the plans for ethanol plants from Panda Ethanol and Renewable Agricultural Energy wouldn’t see the light of day, either. Earlier in October, BioFuel Energy Corp. (BIOF) and VeraSun (VSE) both said they would suspend construction of ethanol facilities as well.

With so much public scrutiny on the environmental effects of corn-based ethanol, the permitting process will likely not get any easier. And even companies that are building plants to produce non-food-based cellulosic ethanol will have to go through rigorous permitting processes. In addition to permitting issues, mounting construction costs are putting the squeeze on the margins of corn-based ethanol producers, leading companies to make tough choices — like cutting back on planned plants.

The Social Map Is All About Me

Regardless of where any of these informational breadcrumbs may originate, each of us needs to think of ourselves as the center of our respective social map universes. In other words, the social map — in order for it to be considered a map – needs to systematically connect the dots between me, my content and my network. A map-lication of sorts. Continue Reading.