In honor of the opening of Shepherds Flat Wind Farm in Oregon this week, the largest wind farm in the United States, let's take look at 'high-altitude wind power', HAWP: [more inside]
Google eBooks, the new Google eBooks store that will compete with Amazon on price and selection. Introducing Google eBooks (video). Launch USA only. NPR: "..independent booksellers will get a cut of the revenue when people buy e-books on their local seller's website instead of directly from Google."
We've discussed the "once in a century" Amazon Drought of 2005-06. Five years later and we are seeing another once in a century drought in the Amazon. How serious are the effects of these droughts for global climate? The science appears to be mixed. Helping monitor is the newly released Google Earth 6.0, which can track individual trees within a section of the Amazonian forest, and 80 million other trees in 7 cities around the world (video).
Google Translate Toolkit is a new webapp from Google to help translate webpages. Video demonstration (1:30s). It has built-in support for Wikipedia and Jay Walsh thinks it "may change the way Wikipedia grows in other languages".1
Google is testing a Digg-like social interface to Google Search results, Techcrunch has an early preview video. This is bad news for Jimy Wales's Wikia since this is what they have been trying to build. Perhaps related it looks like Google is buying Digg.
Google Maps now integrates with Wikipedia (click "More" tab). Concharto is a geographic wiki for documenting historical events. Flick also has a map service.
Google Books has an interesting new feature called "Popular Passages" which shows how many future books have quoted passages from the present book - it's billed as a way to follow literary memes but would be equally helpful in sleuthing for old literary crimes. They've also added "Share and Enjoy" for clipping quotes from public domain books into a blog or notebook.
Dead Plagiarists Society. Using Google Books to uncover old (and recent) literary crimes. "Given the popularity of plagiarism-seeking software services for academics, it may be only a matter of time before some enterprising scholar yokes Google Book Search and plagiarism-detection software together into a massive literary dragnet, scooping out hundreds of years' worth of plagiarists—giants and forgotten hacks alike—who have all escaped detection until now."
Archaeological treasures found on Google Earth. In 25 years on the ground, "I've found a handful of archaeological sites. I found more in the first five, six, seven hours [on Google Earth] than I've found in years of traditional field surveys and aerial archaeology,"
GarbageScout. An interactive online map for locating and posting free stuff that's lying around your neighborhood.