If you are unfamiliar with an area that you are trekking around, Wikinear is a new service that will tell you about its environs. Utilizing Yahoo’s Fire Eagle, APIs will find your location and display the 5 nearest interest points on a Google map courtesy of Wikipedia. The service is currently in beta, so you are required to sign up for Fire Eagle and there are only a limited amount of invitations available. Still, we like what we see since we love traveling, and hope that by the time it is officially open it will have more info for the rest of us.
Read More | Mashable
Sure and begorra! If you are looking for a place to hang out to get your green brew today, go over to Google Maps and get a pleasant surprise. To get into the St. Paddy’s spirit, Google has brought in a leprechaun as a traveling companion. Move him around and he leaves a rainbow trail. We don’t know if he will lead you to that pot o’ gold, but he will help you to find some places to celebrate the holiday. It sure beats MSN’s green home page although Yahoo’s header is a decent effort.
(Have a great holiday, folks!)
Read More | ZD Net
Pakistan has decided to block YouTube from its country’s usage because of offensive Islamic content. In fact, its efforts have been blamed for the site’s Sunday two hour blackout. Owner Google claims that it was because of “erroneous internet protocols sourced” from Pakistan Telecom and its PCCW Internet provider. Anyone trying to access the site was diverted to another address. Unfortunately, other countries also felt the effect until YouTube was notified of the circumstances. Pakistan joins Turkey in its censorship, and although Thailand recently lifted its ban, some content is still blocked.
Read More | BBC
This week during the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google showed off its software platform Android for cell phones in solid form. Acquired in 2005 and launched last year, the company rounded up a team to show how it may look. They also announced the formation of the Open Handset Alliance, 34 handset manufacturers, carriers and chipmakers that will support Android. Based on open-source coding, Google is counting on the prototype to give the competition, including Microsoft, Nokia, and RIM a run for their money. Hooray for free enterprise.
Read More | c/net news
Magellan has premiered their newest GPS unit for autos, the 5340+GPRS, the first GPS unit with Google Local Search. Users can search their area for events, businesses and services, receiving real-time results from Google based upon the user’s current location or a specified location.
The wireless GPRS service also enables the unit to deliver up-to-the-minute information on traffic and weather. Additionally, users planning trips in advance can send addresses or other information directly to the unit using the wireless service. In case a change to an itinerary is needed while the trip is in progress, third parties can send changes to the unit using the Magellan website.
Like the rest of the recently-introduced Elite line, the 5340+GPRS features voice command, a USB port and 6 million points of interest. It also features a 533 MHZ S-Media 3362 processor and and a 5-inch WQVGA widescreen. The Maestro 5340+GPRS will be available for puchase in March for and estimated $1299. Full press release available, after the break.
After months of talking and testing, Wikia Search has announced that it will be open to the “general public” next week. Founder Jimmy Wales is sending it the way of Wikipedia, i.e. allowing volunteers to improve on its technology as it develops. The site will open with about 50 to 100 million Web pages indexed, as opposed to other search engines that run in the billions. Interestingly enough, Google is planning to launch its own version of Wikipedia, knol, where authors actually get credit and share in its advertising revenue.
Read More | ABC
For those of you who admit to googling yourself or others, you are not alone. An actual study shows that 47% do it, up from 22% in 2002, with 74% having only done it once or twice and only 3% doing it regularly. When queried about how much information is released, 60% of Netters are not concerned about the amount that is out there. The survey was done by telephone and contained data from experts in the field of privacy, identity management, and searching.
Read More | Pew
Keeping track of multiple projects? Gmail has now made it even easier to keep your inbox straight. The newly introduced colored labels make it easy to see at a glance what’s on your plate. Easy to create and edit, and even easier to add to existing filters, consider it another way to manage your email without actually having to look at it.
Google is back with more mapping fun. This time they have created a new mobile phone technology for those without GPS. My Location is now in more than twenty countries and lets you in on real-time traffic conditions, detailed directions, integrated searches, satellite images and interactive maps. It will work on most web-enabled phones, including Java, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and the latest Nokia/Symbian. iPhone and Treo users will just have to wait their turn.
Not quite as accurate as GPS, Google says that locating the user’s phone is still in transition and hopes that will change in time.The company claims that it will not use any personal information on the user. No ads will be posted on the service, but we suspect it won’t be long before that becomes a reality, too.
Read More | Google My Location
Maps and directions are available on cell phones, PDA’s, GPS units, Onstar, or heaven forbid: actual paper maps. This doesn’t stop people from getting lost from time to time, so Google is partnering with gas companies to embed the Google Maps application into gas pumps at 3,500 gas stations across the United States starting next month.
The newly teched-out gas pumps will feature an Internet connection and the Google Maps application. By providing this at the pump motorists will be able to both fill up on gas and get directions to their destination. The participating gas stations will likely get a boost in business from drivers too stubborn or embarrassed to ask for directions from anything other than a shiny, all-knowing machine. This sounds like a win for retailers, motorists, and Google alike.
Read More | LA Times