Google maps goes into orbit

Google has purchased  the exclusive rights among online mapping sites to the new GeoEye-1 satellite. 

The GeoEye-1 will allow Google to obtain images with 50cm of resolution.   So be careful of what you have in your backyard folks, because everyone will be able to see where you left your lawnmower.

Google’s Navy

Via slashdot comes this story about Google’s just-published application for a patent on the Water-Based Data Center.  The story says that water based data centers can use wave based energy and use the water for cooling.

Interesting and certainly will play well in many circles. There are also a couple of other interesting data points about the proposal.  One, having your data centers off shore, espcially if Internet commerce is involved, provides a possible tax haven.

There is also the issue of avoiding having governments demand access to your data by having it in International waters.  That is until a couple of warships show up and demand access in the interest of “national security.”

Update: The Times Online caught up with this story finally.  They provide some more detail, including that Google is looking at barges, not ships, to be anchored about 7 miles (11 Km) offshore.  The Times is also quick to pick up on the same tax angle as I did.  Being offshore means no property taxes. 

Google jumps into the browser market

Google has come out with an open source browser.  It’s called Chrome.

Of course, being the geek I am, I am writing this post using Chrome.

It’s a fairly straightforward, clean, Google like interface, based on tabs.  From what I’ve read, the special sauce is under the hood, specifically the tabs.

From what I’ve read, the tabs are supposed to be fairly seperate entities.   If a process goes south in one tab, it only takes out that tab, not the entire browser.

Currently only available on XP/Vista.  No Mac or LINUX support.  

I’ll report more about it after I have banged on it some more.

No Bluetooth support in Android 1.0

According to the Android Developers Blog, Bluetooth support has been dropped from the upcoming Android 1.0 release.

The reason is that we plain ran out of time. The Android Bluetooth API was pretty far along, but needs some clean-up before we can commit to it for the SDK. Keep in mind that putting it in the 1.0 SDK would have locked us into that API for years to come.

The honesty is refreshing, but that is a major chunk of basic functionality missing.

Keep in mind, that Android plans on doing a lot more with Bluetooth than supporting wireless headsets. So I’m expecting a 1.1 release to follow up pretty quick with Bluetooth and GTalk functionality.

Android rumors

Perhaps the Google Android team is getting a bit nervous, with actual working LINUX based smart phones on the horizon.  Or it could be that iPhones are still selling like they were coated with crack and that Best Buy is going to start selling them as well.

Whatever the reason, the rumors of Android not being available to consumers until 2009 are getting competition from rumors that Android based phones may be availiable sooner.  The word is T-Mobile will have the device.

Update: T-Mobile uses a GSM network.

HT to Morgan Webb.

Google breaks into college email

According to Mass High Tech, Worcester State College replaced its Microsoft Exchange based email system for Google Apps for Edu.  This is expected to save the College IT department $120,000 the first year and $70,000 each following year.

This is a trend I’m seeing in college IT departments.  Very traditional services, like email & database hosting are being outsourced so the IT departments can focus on more innovative services that directly meet the needs of the facility and students.

There are “privacy” issues raised about handing the campus email system over to private company.  On the other hand, I can see a mail server at a college getting hacked at lot easier than a Google based server.

Google Apps also includes Google Docs, so I can see more students storing their files “in the cloud” instead of on their local systems.  Of course, there will be those, both students and facility, who just don’t back up their files.

The Digg/Google rumors

MIT Tech Review is now covering this story.  Kevin Rose was on the lastest episode of TWiT and talked about it.

He said the company policy was not to comment on such rumors and then went on to say it was not the kind of deal that Digg was looking for at this time.

I wonder if all of his board is as immune to massive amounts of google bucks as he appears to be.