OK, it's California. So we are quite used to the rest of the country rolling their eyes in knowing exasperation at our fads. But often, they turn out to be harbingers of national trends. And so the question: Will AB-255 (a bill that would "censor" some aspects of Google Earth) number among them as well?
The hum of the single-engine Cessna fills your ears as you ascend above the Peruvian high desert. Below you, flat expanses of dry, brown earth extend in every direction, punctuated only by twisting dry riverbeds ... a lifeless landscape. Then the plane banks, and over the intercom the pilot directs you to look at what appear to be just another set of curving, squiggly lines.
I'm strapping myself in for a ride to the edge of the sky. Outside my porthole, the ground crew is preparing the vehicle for launch. The entry hatch is sealed, the mobile gantry pulled away. All systems are go. Soon, powerful thrusters will accelerate us to more than 500 miles per hour. At the peak of our trajectory, we will soar above about 80 percent of the atmosphere. The view of Earth will be panoramic.
It took six flights, six airports, six landing strips, each one consecutively smaller, to get me from my base in Mexico City to La Petanha, a village of about 250 people set deep in Brazil's Western Amazon.
The next big thing is the integration of location-based information with social networking applications. At least that's one conclusion I took from a high-energy "social media" breakfast for 100 techies in New York this week.
As 2008 gets underway we don't have peace. (Just look at this depressing list in Wikipedia of ongoing conflicts worldwide.) But Daniel Stauffacher doesn't get depressed. Instead he thinks technology can help. This entrepreneur and Swiss diplomat leads a recently-formed group called the ICT for Peace Foundation, which aims to promote the latest digital and Internet tools for the people who truly need them most. (ICT stands for Information and Communication Technology.)
Video courtesy NBCBrad Pitt unveiled his ambitious new residential vision for the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Ninth Ward of New Orleans on Monday's Today show. With a goal to have the project completed by the end of next summer, he calls it "Make It Right."
NASA's unmanned aerial vehicle Ikhana is a cousin of the Predator B, an Air Force tool used for wartime surveillance and reconnaissance missions, but this drone is on a more benevolent mission: assessing the damage from wildfires in Southern California.
Google is bankrolling a $30 million out-of-this-world prize to the first private company that can safely land a robotic rover on the moon and beam back a gigabyte of images and video to Earth, the Internet search leader said Thursday.
Can everyone be an astronomer? It certainly seems that way, especially with some of the latest tools at our fingertips, like Google Sky, which allows Internet users to navigate through a digitized map of space. But some say virtual astronomy is not just for amateurs and should also be the way forward for professional space exploration. A future of virtual astronauts, too.
World Water Week is upon us, an annual fete of all things H2O. The event, held in Stockholm, is the leading global meeting place for experts from businesses, governments, science, NGOs, academe and United Nations agencies. This year's event features the launch on Tuesday of a remarkable Global Water Tool, a free online resource to help companies calculate water consumption and efficiency across a portfolio of facilities around the world.
We all know the drill: To make sure you have enough green for your golden years, you're supposed to max out your 401(k) contributions, invest in index funds and growth stocks, and not - repeat, not - splurge on that top-of-the-line Ferrari. All sound advice.
Virtual mapping tools like Google Earth and Microsoft's Virtual Earth 3D are great for those who want to ogle their neighborhood - but they may soon turn out to be an even bigger boon for the advertising industry.
Researchers say they have developed an enhanced map of the human genome that could yield breakthroughs in understanding the genetic origins of illnesses such as heart disease, Alzheimer's and various forms of cancer.
Motorola has announced plans to sell its auto electronics business to Continental of Germany for $1 billion in cash. The company made its last "motor Victrola" -- better known as a car radio -- in 1987, but it has stayed in the automotive business, supplying behind-the-dashboard electronics to Ford, General Motors, DiamlerChrysler and BMW, among others. The move could make Motorola a more attractive merger partner, since it leaves the company chiefly with broadband and wireless businesses. One question remains: Should we call the company just plain "Ola" now?