"World-renowned Science Fiction writer and futurist Bruce Sterling will outline his ideas for SPIMES, a form of ubiquitous computing that gives smarts and 'searchabiliity' to even the most mundane of physical products. Imagine losing your car keys and being able to search for them with Google Earth. This same paradigm will find you "wrangling" with product-lifecycle- management systems that do for physical objects what the iPod has done for music. These and other radical ideas are delivered in Sterling's latest book`Shaping Things'. This concise book was written to inspire designers to visualize radical scenarios connecting information technology and sustainability in a new ecology of artifacts. Sterling suggests new connections between the virtual world and the physical world that will have you rethinking many of your assumptions about how we relate to products. He will be joined by Scott Klinker, 3-D Designer-in-Residence at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI who leads a graduate design program known for giving form to experimental cultural ideas. Klinker's own design work focuses on digital customization as industry shifts from mass production toward niche production in a networked society. The presentation will include an invitation for Sterlling and Klinker/ Cranbrook to team-up with Google to create a short documentary film that would portray a speculative future of life with SPIMES. Distributed online, this short film would convey the look and feel of SPIME scenarios as a provocation for widespread industry discussion about the new potentials of ubiquitous, ambient, searchable, geolocative products."
(Google Tech Talks, 30 April 2007)
"While appearing innocuous from the ground, the striking shape of a construction in San Diego, now on view to internet users accessing Google Earth, is unmistakable - it resembles the Nazi symbol.
Ground-breaking began for the six-building complex at the Coronado US navy base in southern California in 1967. While the original plans called for two central buildings and a single L-shaped barracks, Naval Amphibious Base Complex 320-325 evolved in design. By the time it was finished in 1970 it had four L-shaped buildings - set at right angles. That was when the problem was spotted.
The scheme's architect, John Mock, said this week that while he was aware of the shape as viewed from above he did not think it a true swastika. 'We knew what it was going to look like, but it isn't that. It's four L-shaped buildings ... looking at it from the ground or the air, it still is.'
Forgotten about after the initial controversy, the buildings' form has emerged again as an issue thanks to the internet and Google Earth."
(Dan Glaister, 27 September 2007, The Guardian)
ABC News Online (Australia)
On the [London bombings] map, you can do an automatic fly-through of the sequence of events using the play button. Or you can navigate manually to the site of each explosion, where you can find extra material, including the latest news, plus audio and photos.
An interactive map created by ABC News Online (Australia) showing the scene of the recent London bombings. This map runs inside the software application Google Earth.