While computer monitors and TV screens continue to become the size of small stars, there's no beating the real thing short of visiting a planetarium, or lately--Google Earth. Yesterday Google unveiled the second iteration of Google Sky for Google Earth at the Astronomical Society's annual conference in Austin, Texas. Among the more notable additions is podcasting that's been integrated into the Earth and Sky layer. These short 90-second podcasts will tell you anything that's coming up this week (or that's historically taken place), and you can listen to them right from the app via … Read more
Two of the most useful online services have got to be maps and weather.
With this in mind, The Weather Channel Interactive is offering a new mapplet for Google Maps that lets people add customizable weather layers to maps and see weather data on Google Earth (download it for Windows or Mac OS X).
One click and you can see the clouds over San Francisco on Google Maps. Pop-up bubbles provide more detailed information like current conditions including temperature, humidity, wind speed and UV Index. You can also find links to forecasts and track storms.
The weather information combines data … Read more
Earth Class Mail, which enables people to manage snail mail online, has closed $13.3 million in Series A funding.
The company aims to open a chain of retail stores, starting with one in Manhattan early this year, according to the Portland Business Journal. The storefronts will focus on easing the process of signing up, which requires completing some notarized forms. The Seattle-based service is used currently in 130 countries.
Earth Class Mail is billed … Read more
With the holidays over and only a few days to go in 2007, Power Downloader decided to take a look back at the year to relive some of his more exciting adventures. Always knowing which software to download in a given emergency is never easy, but having Download.com at his disposal definitely helps when on the trail of an Internet bad guy.
Looking through his case files, Power Downloader remembered the time when he had to get a new laptop computer. As with anytime Power needs to get a new computer, he knew he wouldn't be comfortable until … Read more
So, you were one of the lucky people to receive a shiny new Mac for the holidays. We're all jealous! But if you're reading this, you've probably already spent some time getting set up and checking out all the cool features and programs that come with your Mac--and now you want more! Out of the box, your Mac is loaded with cool apps to get you started on stuff like uploading and organizing your digital images, creating a music library, making your own movies, and surfing the Web. (You're here, so it must have worked!)
While … Read more
Google has improved its search results for flight tracking. Previously, when you searched for an airline and flight number in Google (for example, AA 28), you got links to services that would tell you if your plane was on time or not. Now, you don't need the link: you get that data on the search result page.
This is a time-saver for Google users, but Travelocity, Expedia, and FBOWeb, which offer flight tracking services, will suffer since they no longer get the links. Instead, the data is provided by Conducive Technology's FlightStats. It's a decent service, but … Read more
Microsoft said Wednesday that has scooped up Multimap, a United Kingdom-based mapping service.
The software maker didn't say how much it was paying for the online mapping company, but said the unit should help in the company's broader Virtual Earth and search efforts.
"Partnering with Microsoft gives us a world of new opportunities to build our mapping services into new technologies and applications," Multimap CEO Jeff Kelisky said in a statement. "As one of the world's foremost technology brands, Microsoft is in a position to bring even more value to the Multimap service and … Read more
Google Maps has added a new view layer to its repertoire today. It's called terrain view, and as the name suggests, it lets you get a detailed look at natural geographical features, as well as man made ones, like buildings and landmarks. Unlike Google Earth, you can't zoom around and change eye level to see how high something is, but Google has provided some degree of rendering on the surface of the earth to give it a 3D look and feel.
As of today, Google Earth can finally tell you what the weather is like while you zoom around the 3D representation of our planet. The app has a new layer that lets you toggle cloud cover, Doppler radar, and conditions and forecasts, which will show you what's on tap in each region using information aggregated from Weather.com. There's also an "information" link that has more background about each of the services and links to download the 6- and 24-hour cloud animations, which can be controlled using playback buttons in the top right of your screen. It looks just like you've seen on any TV weather report, except you have complete control on the playback slider, and can drag is backward and forward ad nauseum to bend the clouds to your will (it's great fun).
I couldn't manage to get the "conditions and forecasts" sublayer to activate with the latest build for Windows, but maybe that's just me. Everything else works marvelously, including the Doppler radar that Google claims is "near real-time," which is a reasonable considering it's updated every 15 minutes--about what you'd find at most weather sites. The data for Doppler comes from Weather.com and is limited to the contiguous United States, with plans to roll it out to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Europe "shortly." All other regions of the globe are limited to cloud cover and forecasts, which Google pins at somewhere around 50,000 cities worldwide.… Read more