Archive for November, 2010

Google Earth 6 Mixing In 3D Elements adds integrated Street View, 3D trees

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Google Earth version 6 was released Monday giving new meaning to up close and personal. The upgrade adds integrated Street Views into Google Earth along with a new emphasis on trees. More than 50 species of trees have been added to Google Earth’s 3D models of places.

Also with this latest version of Earth, Google has added a new character to the software’s repertoire, Pegman. Similar to the way Google Maps works, when looking at an aerial view of a location, areas with Street Views available are outlined in blue on the map. You can drag Pegman to any blue area and you’ll be immediately taken to a street level view of that location. Better yet, you can “walk” down streets by using the scroll wheel on a mouse or the cursor keys on a keyboard.

While in Street View, you can toggle to 3D view, which gives you a ground level view with 3D graphics buildings and now, 3D trees, too. “In Google Earth, while we and our users have been busy populating the globe with many thousands of 3D building models, trees have been rather hard to come by,” Google Product Manager Peter Birch explained today in the company’s Lat Long Blog. “All that is changing with Google Earth 6, which includes beautifully detailed, 3D models for dozens of species of trees, from the Japanese Maple to the East African Cordia to my personal favorite, the cacao tree.”

With 3D trees you can see tree species in places like parks, neighborhoods and forests. Some 80 million trees have been “planted” so far by Google Earth in places like San Francisco, Tokyo, Athens and Chicago, as well as the Surui Forest in South America and Kahigaini, Kenya.

Google has also added a time machine of sorts to the new version of Earth. If you view an area where historical imagery of it is available, the date of the oldest imagery will appear in the status bar at the bottom of the screen. Click on that date and you’ll be transported back in time to see imagery about that place at that time.

Whether you’re using the desktop version of Google Earth or its browser plug-in, the new features add a personal dimension to viewing places both familiar and far away that’s the next best thing to being there. (more…)

Dell Hybrid Tablet PC Inspiron Duo

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

The 10-inch Inspiron Duo tablet-netbook, positioned as an iPad competitor, runs a dual-core Atom N550 processor and offers work and entertainment features.

Trying to differentiate itself in the hot tablet market, Dell is expected next week to launch the Inspiron Duo, a hybrid device that acts as both a tablet and converts into a clamshell netbook.

The device resembles a netbook. But when the case is opened and the screen is flipped backward, it becomes a high-end netbook with a full QWERTY keyboard, running Windows 7 and a dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor, according to reports. Other features, including RAM and storage, are not yet known.

The 10-inch Inspiron Duo is being targeted as a competitor to the Apple iPad. When the device first appeared at an Intel developer conference in September, a marketing executive said that while tablets are good for entertainment purposes, they aren’t ideal productivity tools. The executive, Dave Zavelson, said the Inspiron Duo would be ideal for both work and entertainment, and then showed off the hidden keyboard, according to CNET. (more…)

Dell switching off BlackBerry, onto own smartphone

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

* 25,000 employees moving to Dell Venue Pro
* Dell to push customers to switch as well
* Dell and RIM now rivals in smartphone market

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Dell Inc (DELL) will shift thousands of its employees off Research in Motion Ltd’s (RIM.TO) BlackBerry and over to Dell’s smartphones, the company said on Thursday.

The money-saving switch affects the roughly 25,000 Dell employees who carry a company-issued BlackBerry. Dell employs around 100,000 people worldwide.

Dell is also launching an effort to convince its business customers to switch to the company’s smartphone.

News of the company’s plans was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, and confirmed by Dell spokesman David Frink.

Frink said the switch will begin soon, but said it will take some time to complete. (more…)

Dell Moves Deeper into Cloud Computing with Boomi Acquisition

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Dell leaped further into the clouds Tuesday, announcing an acquisition of software-as-a-service company Boomi. The deal aims to provide Dell (DELL) with some software magic designed to allow its corporate customers to transfer data from hosted, or cloud-based, applications to applications sitting inside computers at the customers’ offices.

Boomi’s integration software doesn’t require additional appliances, software or special coding to get the data to flow to customers’ apps, Dell says. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, indicating it was small enough not to be material to Dell. Boomi is privately held.

Dell, as with the other hardware makers, has been pushing to expand into cloud computing. For Dell, the Boomi acquisition has been relatively painless, especially compared with its previous effort to snag cloud-computing company 3Par. In a bruising battle that went on for several rounds, Dell lost out in a bidding war to HP (HPQ), which paid $2.35 billion for 3Par. Dell walked away with a $72 million termination fee.

Dell may have found good use for some of those termination fee funds in acquiring Boomi.