Here's my round-up of tech oddities this week and topping the list would have to be Google Earth.
Mother Earth must be feeling downright naked since Google Earth 5.0 came out earlier this year. Not a day goes by that it seems another "scientist" has made some sort of crazy discovery using the big googly eye in the sky.
Last month, it was the supposed discovery of the mythical Atlantis. Don't get too excited. It's still a myth, after several close-ups of the ocean floor off the Canary Islands appeared to resemble a human-made grid perhaps laying out an ancient city.
This week, however, now it's Osama Bin Laden. A group of geographers from UCLA claim they have zeroed in (via Google Earth) on a compound of three buildings within Afghanistan. The geographers want the military to check it out and see if it is home to Bin Ladin.
Here's my favorite part from the write up from the UCLA newsroom:
The researchers advocate that the U.S. investigate — but not bomb — the three buildings.
- Meg Sullivan UCLA
My question: Not bomb? Huh?
Item #2 from the week; also from Google. Introducing what I call the Joe Scarborough button on Gmail.
It's actually called the "undo" button. If you use Gmail, all you have to do is activate by going to Gmail labs and finding it under settings and then lab.
If you have ever hit send and then immediately thought, "Oh $%^~!; then this button is for you.
It puts a five second delay on your outgoing e-mail, giving you the same amount of time to hit the button and save your marriage/job/etc.
Being a former television producer, this reminds me of the old seven second delay during live broadcasts made fashionable after George Carlin's infamous "Seven Dirty Words" monologue. The FCC, if you are old enough to recall, had what I would call a conniption fit. It went all the way to the Supreme Court.
More recently, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough let a F-bomb slip during a live broadcast. He's now on seven second delay.
I hope Joe uses Gmail.
Item #3 It's an iPhone, no it's a Trombone! Huh?
And last but not least; Apple took the wrapping off it's latest version of iPhone software, version 3.0. As the pre-announcement collective buzz predicted, the highlights of improvements include a new cut and paste feature, push functionality and peer-to-peer connectivity.
Never mind all of that!
File this under, "Gee, I miss Steve Jobs":
The demo drifted off into the surreal when two guys demonstrated an app called "Leaf Trombone" allowing users to convert their iPhone into a sort of musical instrument. You play it by blowing into the microphone while manipulating the touch screen. I don't think that I'll ever be able to enjoy Phantom of the Opera again.
Have a great weekend. We'll get back to business on Monday.
- Renee Oricchio