Google Earth – Is ‘Real Skydiving Better’?

The foundations of Google Earth aose from one man with a mission – to replace many maps with a singular one that pinpoints several locations within one area.

Keyhole, a company partially-funded by the CIA, ran with his idea to develop the technology further. In October of 2004 Keyhole was purchased by Google for an undisclosed amount. Larry and Serge moved the team to Building 45 at Google’s HQ in Cupertino and dubbed the genesis of Google’s new project Google Earth.

I was amazed to discover how Google Earth obtains data. From what I gather, initial topographical information is gathered by satellites. To flesh out the satellite information, Google Earth depends on locals to submit “layers” containing detailed info about city or neighborhood’s streets, points of interest, and more. These layers can be turned on or off within the program.

Besides contributing layers, users are taking the mapping to an entirely new level by creating personalized maps detailing items such as favorite restaurants, walking paths, and favorite places to vacation. Sites like Yelp and Socialight overlap personalized maps with social networking – creating a uniquely new experience.

This social collaboration has extended beyond contributing to where we live and what we know. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has collaborated with Google Earth to display visual evidence of the destruction in Darfur.

Learn more about how Google Earth works here:

The Sounds of Silence

Today, thousands of webcasters across the nation shut down in a ‘Day of Silence’ to protest the proposed royalty rate increases slated to take effect July 15.

The proposed fee would require every webcaster to pay per song, per listen, per play, in addition to $500 per month per channel that would irrevocably put sites like Pandora out of business.

Radio stations are encouraging everyone to contact their local congressperson and ask them to support the Internet Radio Equality Act if they have not already.

This act eliminates the minimum fee per channel and charges webcasters the same 7.5% of revenue that satellite radio pays.

Today Save Net Radio has exceeded it’s bandwidth and switchboards in Congressional offices all over Capitol hill are tied up with listeners phoning in on the issue.

Read more and act now:

Music review: the quiet return of ‘Client’

Ok, so critics have been bashing Client’s new record. I’ve got to tell you, this may be my favorite record by them yet. A self proclaimed “anonymous” duo, the two girls of Client have added a third member to the group for this record. While they still embrace ‘electronic-nouveau’ (or whatever you want to call the second wave of mainstream electronic music), Client has developed a mature sound with this record – one that is transcending obscure electronic avant-garde for a sound that is melodically true to form. Check it out on Amazon .

The Post-Privacy Age

‘Privacy on the Internet’ – the oxymoron of our time.

By revealing personal data online, what kind of risk are we setting ourselves up for?

Ten years ago most of us were hesitant to enter our credit card information online. Today, many are posting intimate details of their everyday life alongside personal editorial – propelling them to the status of semi-celebrity.

Yes, the internet works based on the premise of sharing information with the world. Fringe Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul who as of late has become a superstar in part to his success on the news-ranking site Digg. According to FacebookObama enjoys
‘Basketball, writing, loafing w/ kids’, and his favorite music is ‘Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Johann Sebastian Bach (cello suites), and The Fugees’. Hilary is on MySpace with links to her various sites and Youtube videos of her stance on the issues. Sites like Myspace, Facebook, and Moveable Type allow users to manage privacy by implementing features that allow us to have what they call ‘total control’.

But what are the by-products of this sharing of personal information? I’ve heard of employers who will visit one’s Myspace page prior to moving forward with an interview process. Will those photos of you boozing it up with your friends at last winter’s trip to Aspen cost you your dream job? It it easier to attract stalkers and what about selling your soul to the marketing devil? Plenty of companies aggregate demographical information and sell it to third party vendors. Are you becoming type-cast in a world that is meant to ‘set you free’?
We’re all celebrities in post-privacy age