Cingular is once again selling the popular Razr phone from Motorola after sales were halted last week following the discovery of a glitch that was cutting off calls, according to a report Tuesday.
The AP is reporting that Motorola has shipped repaired versions of the thin Razr phone to Cingular, which has made them available in limited quantities in its stores. T-Mobile, the other carrier affected by last week's shipment halt, is expected to begin selling the devices again later this week, according to the report.
Cingular and Motorola representatives did not immediately return e-mails seeking comment. A T-Mobile representative said he would have more information later in the day.
The problem, which Motorola said only affected Razr phones shipped after Feb. 1, was caused by a bad component that would kick callers offline. CDMA versions of the Razr sold by Verizon were not affected, according to Motorola.
Google Maps and Google Earth may be two separate services, but the gap between the software and Webware apps is narrowing. Last night Google rolled out a new view in Maps, enabling users to view geocoded YouTube videos, something Google Earth users have been doing since October of last year.
The videos show up as small red dots, and can be played right on the map. To enable the feature users simply need to add the layer from Google's map add-ons directory , which has quickly grown to include more than 50 add-ons--many of which come from third parties.
One option sorely missing is a way to search for videos within the map; something that must be done from YouTube. For instance, I was looking to geolocate Tay Zonday's "Chocolate Rain" in Minneapolis, but was unable to. I'm assuming Zonday has not geotagged his video, but it would still be nice to search for videos by title using the same interface.
Other layers that have made their way into Google Maps from Earth include clouds , elevation , and the Wikipedia mapplet , which shows you Wikipedia entries based on location--something that's been ported over to Yahoo's Fire Eagle as well. Still missing, however, is Google Earth's claim to fame: a spinning 3-D and oblique view. Competitors like Microsoft have been pushing the limit of in-browser visuals on its Live Maps product , while Google seems to have settled with its Street View technology, which incidentally is making its way to Google Earth from Google Maps later tonight .You can now watch YouTube videos in Google Maps with a brand new add-on. Missing, however, is a way to search.
They're supposed to be studying rocks and protecting national parkland, but, like the best of us, some of the U.S. Department of the Interior's 80,000 employees are prone to getting a little, well, sidetracked.
That's the conclusion detailed in a 15-page report released this week by the federal agency's watchdog arm. Its title, "Excessive Indulgences: Personal Use of the Internet at the Department of the Interior" and eye-catching cover--featuring clip-art of an empty shopping cart, a woman's bare, toned midriff, chess pieces, and slot machine reels--don't leave much to the imagination.
But here are some numbers shared by the auditors, who collected and analyzed Internet usage logs over a specific seven-day period from six bureaus and offices, including the U.S. Geological Survey, National Park Service, and Minerals Management Service:
* 4,732 log entries related to sexually explicit and gambling Web sites had been accessed by department computers during the week. * 7,763 computer users spent over 2,004 hours accessing game and auction sites during the same week. * If one full-time employee works 2,080 hours per year, then that means the equivalent of 50 full-time employees spend all their working hours surfing online gaming and auction sites over the course of a year. * A number of computer users spent 30 minutes to an hour at porn sites. * In one egregious case, a single machine had 2,369 log entries at two Internet game sites, indicating 14 hours spent there that week.
Based on that sample, the auditors concluded the diversions are costing 104,221 working hours in lost productivity--or, put another way, potentially more than $2 million.
For the record, department policy prohibits a number of Internet-fueled escapades on government time, including gambling, viewing sexually explicit material, and engaging in political and commercial activities.
The report's advice for the bosses? Beef up filtering software and training programs, and, most important, catch and punish offenders.
It's a wonder that a site like this didn't come along sooner. FidoFinder.com , in operation for about a year, is a place where pet owners can post and search for their lost dogs, as well as share related resources. A true Web community hub, it even has RSS feeds naming lost and found canines.
One word of caution: The site's operator warns of recent scams that have tried to dupe some registered members into paying ransom to con artists claiming to have their dogs. "Internet users must be careful as old scams evolve to the digital age," it says.Topics: Bookmark: Digg Del.icio.us Reddit cnet_news406:http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-5810614-7.html
If you happen to have seen my work in the past, you may have noticed that I am a big fan of all things Lego.Jarad Barkdoll participating in the San Francisco regional of the 2006 national master Lego model builder competition. Barkdoll is one of millions of regular Lego users. The iconic plastic brick turned 50 Monday.
Over the years, I've covered two national master Lego model builder competitions , visited Microsoft headquarters for a demonstration of Lego robots , written about the communities behind Lego robotics , and much more. Oh, and played with the bricks a lot myself, though certainly not nearly as much as some of the people I've met while writing about this wonderful toy.
I even have a friend whose car is covered in the colored bricks.
So when I found out last week that Monday is the 50th anniversary of the Lego brick--defined by the date, 50 years ago, when the patent for the brick was filed--I have to admit I was excited.
The Lego company plans to celebrate the anniversary with, among other things, a worldwide contest to discover the best kid Lego builder. Each country will have its own national champion, Lego promises, and these lucky kids will get the right to come to headquarters in Denmark to fight it out for the world title.
Having, as I said above, covered two adult U.S. national model builder competitions, I can tell you that these things are great. I don't know what Lego plans for the kids, but if it's like the adult version, they'll get some time to pull bricks from endless bins, and then a few hours to build something magical. They'll also have to all craft the same object, with the best models getting a leg up for later in the competition.
But this is just a way for the company to celebrate its anniversary. The real point is that the little plastic brick has meant something significant to endless millions of people around the world. And it all had to start somewhere. It happens that it started, by one measure, 50 years ago today.
I hope to be around to play with them for 50 more.
Toyota plans to install solar panels on the roof of the next generation of Prius hybrid cars, according to a report in Monday's edition of the Nikkei newspaper.
The panels, which are expected to begin appearing on the high-end version of the gasoline-electric hybrid car as early as next spring, will supply part of the 2 to 5 kilowatts needed to power the air conditioning, MarketWatch cited the Japanese business daily as reporting. Kyocera will reportedly supply the panels.
The move would make Toyota the first major automaker to incorporate a solar-power generation system into a mass-produced car.
Prius was introduced in 1997 and has since sold more than 1 million vehicles worldwide. The car was redesigned in 2003, and a third generation has been widely expected to appear soon.
SnapVillage, the brand-new microstock from late entrant Corbis, has just fired up a revamped Web site, and it features some notable changes for photographers--chiefly, the ability to upload images with IPTC metadata such as captions and keywords. But the more interesting information from the company is in the future: the potential for raw-image support at SnapVillage , which I just wrote about at CNET News.com.
SnapVillage has revamped its beta microstock site for selling photos.
SnapVillage has added support for Adobe Systems' XMP, which can record raw-file settings as well as other metadata. Part of the reason for the move was that it would make it easier to handle raw images.
Raw images are more flexible than JPEGs, but they need to be processed before they can be used in brochures, ads, Web sites or other common microstock markets. It's rare for microstocks to support raw images, which are typically in proprietary file formats that vary from one camera maker and model to the next.
Also coming up is a new Java-based upload tool that can handle 150-200MB worth of images and international sales. SnapVillage expects that will help bump the current library of images from about 60,000 today to hundreds of thousands by the end of the year.