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Thursday, March 02, 2006

In an article at describing how many UK CIO have banned the use of Google Desktop for security reasons, comes this statement from Steve Noyes, CTO at the Met Office:

We have recently stopped people using Google Earth because it has adverse impacts on our networked desktops.

I guess that’s something Google and its users are going to have to consider as the future use of that product in business and government plays out.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/02 at 07:42 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

TechFest is Microsoft’s annual “science fair” for employees. Techies show off silly and not silly projects to their peers. Some are shown to the press. It sounds, based on a Seattle Times article, like its part “show and tell” and part networking.

Of the goodies shown to the press, several revolve around geospatail including a real compass that always points to the nearest Starbucks (I suspect Live Local is in there somewhere), the “build your own map” work being done in India with a reworked Virtual Earth, and several projects based on data collected from employees with GPS receivers. Microsoft purchased 55 GPS receivers and had employees drive with them for two weeks. That data was then made available for research. The projects include trying to predict where someone is going, based on past trips and predicted when they will stop. The former might be used for location-based ads or traffic warnings, and the latter for holding cell calls until the vechicle is stopped.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/02 at 07:18 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

How do I know? TeleNav secured $30 million in private equity financing. This was picked as a hot company by a reader some years ago. Clearly, the company leadership has convinced investors it’s a winner.

On a slightly related note, in my travels around Boston in recent days I saw several former cell phone stores closing or closed. One was soon to be a Chinese restaurant. Clearly, that delivery model is not working any longer, sort of like video rental stores…

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/01 at 01:57 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

I recall all the hoopla around ArcGlobe a few years back and point out now and again that its use doesn’t seem to have matched the hype. Then I run into it again. It seems the City of Yreka has set aside $10,000 to build an ArcGlobe 3D database of at least one part of its master plan. The vote was unanimous after a demo by a GIS company.

It doesn’t match the use of Google Earth, but it’s a start.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/01 at 01:36 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

As a trial, the folks at Microsoft presented a live session outside Boston on Virtual Earth that was also carried via Live Meeting and a dial in conference call. The hope is to make it available online on demand, as well. The about 20 of us seated in Waltham, Mass (17 guys, 3 women, including myself) watched as the two presenters fiddled with phones and cables and such to get the session running. So far as I could tell there were 2 folks on the phone and 19 online.

The first part was an in intro to Virtual Earth by the Microsoft’s local developer evangelist, Thom Robbins. The second part, the down and dirty code part, was led by Don Sorcinelli
a Microsoft MVP, and local third party developer. He runs BostonPocketPC.

Based on the questions, I believe this was a group of programmers, not a group of geo-geeks. They did however manage to stump the Microsoft host on questions such as how a business gets in the Live Local listings, the source of imagery and the license agreement. I’m sure trying to be an evangelist for so many developer platforms is tough.

Sorcinelli did a nice job building up from a basic map to one with added functionality. Apparently he drew on Dr. Neil’s material on Via Virtual Earth, a semi-affilicated to Microsoft developer site. Though I didn’t completely follow everything, I felt pretty comfortable that I could copy some code and start mucking with it. (That’s how I learned AutoLISP and Avenue back in the day…)

The other reason for the event seems to be the announcement of a contest of VE apps. The winner takes home an XBox. I smiled when they asked how many people in the room would like to take home the prize and only a few of the many gray haired developers raised their hands. I’ve found no details about the contest; I left before they talked about it.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/01 at 12:47 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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