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Google goals...

Posted on Friday, October 27, 2006

An interesting post with some of Google's objectives for 2006 (via John Battelle's Searchblog).

Amongst the goals, Google aims to ' the best in search – no surprise here. To reach that goal, Google wants to have the world’s top AI research laboratory...'.

A nice link to this NASA press release issued today on 'A growing Intelligence Around Earth" (via

An interesting read...

Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I haven't had much chance (or better: chose not to spent the time) myself lately to dive into the Virtual Worlds (VW) of World of Warcraft (WoW), Second Life, Multiverse, etc (except for Google Earth maybe, but that's different...sofar...probably that will chance in the future). Come to think of it, I did once install Second Life on my macintosh about a year ago, and flew around for a couple of nights...interesting experience I remember, standing up, and then smoothly go into flying mode...but beyond that it didn't really do it for me...yet...or better: chose not to dive into it further...yet...

I did recently finish Snowcrash, a book by Neal Stephenson, frequently quoted as being an inspiration for Google Earth (then Keyhole) developers, and an influential book for everybody thinking about (or dealing with) virtual worlds.

Anyway, getting to a point, I try to stay up to speed on the blogs I follow (see on the right here), and I notice there is more and more news and stories coming out on VWs, especially Second Life, but also on all other activities taking place in the virtual worlds arena. One example is this article, which I found via one of the key blogs on this topic,

Of course, the subject of this blog is the future merger of the virtual world of the computer and the 'virtual' world of outer space...and when I think of it, it makes perfect sense...but its far from being there, which is ok cause it leaves some room for definition...

Btw, here I found another interesting text on the subject, an interview of with William Gibson, dating back to 1999.

Something else to check: emerging technologies...

Bush using The Google

Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006


More at Think Progress (via John Battelle's SearchBlog)

Google's business model?

Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Evolution in full effect: Building a Googley workforce (via Pasta&Vinegar).

Space Atlas and more...

Posted on Monday, October 23, 2006


Some catching up to do. Frank Taylor at GoogleEarth Blog has been travelling to the X-Prize cup at Las Cruces Airport in New Mexico. Here are some of his posts on it:


Posted on Monday, October 23, 2006

Google buys SpaceShipOne replica (via John Battelle's SearchBlog).

Google Earth eyecandy

Posted on Monday, October 23, 2006


Following up from my earlier post on 'War from Space' (seems I got something going here...), here is one of the best layers I have seen sofar for Google Earth. It gives an overview of all the nuclear missile silos in the US. I already spent several nights zooming into all these little fenced off corners in the middle of nowhere USA. Brilliant!
Zoomed out to full US size its also a pretty sight. Brings back some wonderful childhood memories: these nukes are/were(?) well grouped together in specific states....

Will be interesting to see when the same data becomes available for the former USSR...As a good start, Belgeoblog has already blogged the location of some US nuclear weapons on the Belgium airforce base 'Kleine Brogel'.

Here's looking at you kid...

Posted on Sunday, October 8, 2006



NASA's Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter is looking down at the rover 'Opportunity'...More on these amazing images at NASA JPL and BBC.

The other way around

Posted on Thursday, October 5, 2006


Re my post below, New Scientist just published an article about shooting nuclear warheads (aka satellites) back into space...

Huge launch ring

The problem with/for Google (Earth)

Posted on Thursday, October 5, 2006

“Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one.” AJ Liebling

An article by Rich Gibson, co-author of Mappinghacks that makes you think about the good intentions of Google vs. their unavoidable lockdown into their own tools (via OgleEarth).

War visible from Space

Posted on Wednesday, October 4, 2006


The 2-week visit of Anousheh Ansari to the ISS was definitely one of the more interesting events in space lately. Her Space blog gives a very open, personal and compassionate insight into the daily activities during her trip, from the very good (first view of Earth from space) to the rather bad (space sickness and nowhere to go...). In a related article on spacedaily, this quote caught my attention:

"According to one of her fellow space travellers, Israel's four-week bombardment of Lebanon was visible to "the naked eye" from space."

Mmm...makes you wonder what you'll think when you see these little light flashes down there on the ground...Which brings me to the intruiging photo depicted here above.

Working on a concept for new re-entry technology demonstration mission for ESA (which if launched will use a recoverted USSR nuclear missile SS-18-N (aka VOLNA), I get introduced to quite some spectacular military imagery. Like the one above, which is a timed exposure of a nuclear missile re-entry test firing (aka MIRV, or Multiple Independently targetable Return Vehicles - thank god for wikipedia ;). The streaks of light are individual warheads raining down on the Earth. And in case you always wondered what a nuclear warhead re-entry capsule actually looks like, here are a couple of them ( some more nice images):


Solid Rocket Booster Camera

Posted on Sunday, October 1, 2006


This image is taken from a brilliant movie that I recently found as a podcast on the NASA shuttle and Space Station page. It shows the journey of one of the two white solid rocket boosters which are strapped to the Shuttle to provide the main thrust during the first part of the ascent. After jettisoning, the 2 empty rocket shells fall back to Earth and land in the ocean, where they are picked up for refurbishment and re-use. When you play the movie, put your audio levels up...

The future is process, not a destination
Bruce Sterling

Everything is ultimately becoming information technology
Ray Kurzweil

Data is the Intel inside
Tim O'Reilly

There is only one machine and the web is its OS
Kevin Kelly

The medium is the message
Marshall McLuhan