The official Google Earth plugin is one free download that makes all sorts of cool stuff possible in your browser. There's a full screen version of the program (complete with underwater views and 3D buildings) which can be searched by entering queries at the end of the URL. There's a framed version with support for layers, historical imagery, day/night cycles, and the Google Sky starmap. Less useful but more fun are Google's collection of "experiments" demonstrating the possibilities of the Earth API, including a "Geo Whiz" geography quiz, an antipode locater, a 3D first-person view of San Francisco, a virtual route-follower, and MONSTER MILKTRUCK!, a crazy fun driving simulator that lets you careen a virtual milk truck through the Googleplex campus, ricochet off the Himalayas, or explore any other place you care to name. Lots more can be found in the Google Earth Gallery -- highlights include a look at mountaintop removal mining, a real-time flight tracker, a guide to trails and outdoor recreation, a 360 panorama catalog, geotagged Panoramio photos, and the comprehensive crowdsourced Google Earth Community Layer. And while it's too large to view online, don't miss loading the Metafilter user location map into a desktop version of Google Earth! [more inside]
The Free Art and Technology (F.A.T.) Lab is an organization dedicated to enriching the public domain through the research and development of creative technologies and media. You may know them from such projects as How to build a fake Google Street View car, public domain donor stickers, internet famous class, the first rap video to end with a download source code link, or their numerous firefox add-ons (such as China Channel, Tourettes Machine, or Back to the future). FAT members have been hard at work standardizing various open source graffiti-related software packages, including Graffiti Analysis, Laser Tag, Fat Tag Deluxe and EyeWriter [previously] to be GML (Graffiti Markup Language) compliant. Fuck Google. Fuck Twitter. FuckFlickr. Fuck SXSW. Fuck 3D. FAT Lab is Kanye shades for the open source movement.
Call 1-800-GOOG-411. Google Labs rolls out an experimental, free voice-based 411 service, where you can search by category ("Thai restaurants") or name. Unlike Free 411, there are no ads. Nifty service while we wait for Futurephone to return from the dead.
Ad Supported Software It started with email, and now it's everything from IM, maps and photo galleries. But, free network management software? Can this work?
A world of sounds. Despite their difficult URL, The Freesound Project has grown at a rapid pace over the last year, arguably surpassing archive.org's audio library when it comes to sound effects, field recordings, site design, and usability. Now Freesound is combining their sound library with geotagging and Google Maps, allowing users to navigate the world by sound too! (previously on mefi)
"They use my lines for free -- and that's bull." The CEO of SBC Communications Inc. Ed Whitacre launched this criticism at the likes of Vonage, Google,Yahoo and MSN. Meanwhile Google is seeking some alternative paths to the Internet.Perhaps SBC should head the old adage from John Gilmore "the net treats censorship as a defect and routes around it”Or perhaps these companies need to pay the proverbial Internet plumbers; myself, I prefer more competition;my phone bill has never been lower!