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If you believe Virgin and Google, they’re planning on colonizing Mars in the coming 20 years, through a project called Virgle. I have an underbelly feeling that this is a very serious hoax.

Here’s question 2 of the official Virgle application questionnaire:

  1. I am a world-class expert in
  2. – physics
    – medicine and first aid
    – engineering
    – Guitar Hero II

Here’s the Google guys making asses of themselves:

As you might or might not know, I am an incredible fan of the real-time visualization tools (especially Arc) of Digg, that really makes the web feel much more lively and current. Now there’s Flickrvision, a really nice visualization tool that shows current postings of photos on Flickr. It even has a 3D view. Personally, I prefer the ‘Classic View’ as they call it, because it serves its purpose: showing photos.

These are the images that people all over the world are currently investing some of their time in to share them with anyone who cares to look. I sometimes wonder what this tells about the world. How objective is the idea an alien gets about the earth, just by looking at many photos people voluntarily share with the world? First of all, I think we do not wish to share ugly things, or photos we consider to not be so aesthetically pleasing. We probably have the tendency to point our lenses at things of interest and or beauty and we will always try to find some sort of a composition, even if it is not more than aligning the object in the center of the image.

More than an honest look into the lives of people, through photography we are looking through their eyes. If the photography of lots and lots of different people are combined in a single place and you look at them flashing by, what are we really looking at?

Google, a company you might know, has just released Android, an open source mobile platform. Open Source? Yes, open source. Hackers and other scum can now hack their phones just to their own liking. The video below is a bit crap, but can you imagine the possibilities of an open source mobile platform? Why does Google do this for free? What will be Google’s catch? They’re going TO GIVE AWAY $10.000.000,- for creative applications? Is Google the new Santa Claus?

Away with Symbian and hello to the Open Handset Alliance! Be afraid, you glossy iPhone…

(this post is dedicated to my friend Jeff, but usefull for any Mac user)

If you’re a Mac user, there are a few programs that really make your Mac an even greater joy. Here we go.

Quicksilver is just completely awesome and, as of yet, for free! It is kind of a command shell, but be not afraid: it’s a command shell for ‘normal’ people, not (just) for nerds. Quicksilver really is the application that’s missing in OS X. With this program, you almost just make happen what you think about. Of all the Mac apps in the world, this one could be the most important one you’ll ever use. Try it, give it half a day, and after that, you’ll really miss it on computers that don’t have it.

Writeroom is a very nice and simple text editor. There are a lot of text editors out there, but this one takes charge of your whole screen, so it looks like you’re typing into a text based OS. It’s interface is highly customizable so if you want to type pink Comic Sans letters on a turquoise half-transparent background, nobody will stop you. Distraction free writing, great for setting up plain text documents. It’s not completely free (click-away-pop-up) but fully functional anyways.

Neo Office really makes paying for a ‘professional’ text editor quite unnecessary. The functions seem to be much more logically placed and grouped than in Microsoft Word, where you never know where an option might be, unless you know the program though and through. Neo Office is the native Mac version of OpenOffice.org, that recently only was available through the emulator X11. Also works fine, but native feels more …. well, native. Free program.

Appzapper fixes bit of an incomplete in your OS X. When you delete a program from your applications folder on the Mac, usually many files remain on your disk. Appzapper makes sure all files are deleted. Five time use only, unfortunately. Tip: if you throw an application in your zap window, it displays all the files associated with the app. You can click the little magnifier button for each file and delete them by hand. Same result, but for free.

Adium is a replacement for MSN messenger. Why use a replacement? Well, you’ve got a few option that Messenger doesn’t offer, like the way you can customize your contact list (floating above everything, transparancy, colours, etcetera). Also, you can connect to most messenger servers other than MSN’s.

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You probably know Google Earth and if you don’t: GET ACQUAINTED! Celestia is less known, but also a great app. What is it? Well, kind of like a Google Universe. It enables you to zoom out of our solar system, our galaxy, and very far into deep space and check out other galaxies in your lunch break.

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Browser Firefox and bookmark site & plugin del.icio.us are a dream team. It takes a bit of time to understand why it’s so great, but once you realize the info-power it means, you’ll never go back. Also, check out the post ‘3 digital highway speeding tips’ on this blog. It’s all about Firefox and Delicious.

Jeff Hahn’s been busy. Earlier we’ve posted a movie of his multi-touch display, and here’s another one. The future of computer interaction. Enjoy.

A well designed, interesting, perhaps utopian (or dystopian, depending on whom you ask) look into the future of the internet and the world.

If you think Google Earth is really cool, you’re right: it is!

But imagine in Google Earth to push the globe aside for a moment and within a few seconds travel a few thousand lightyears away to check out a nice star constellation or galaxy over there. This is not possible in Google Earth, but a really nice application exists that can serve as quite a good surrogate to that old boys/girls dream to one day travel the galaxy in a quest very deep into the Unknown.


(‘the Pale Blue Dot’ by Carl Sagan)

This application goes by the really awfull name of ‘Celestia’ and it’s highly recommended to all those that have even the slightest interest in science fiction, space travel and astronomy. You just ‘zap’ through the galaxy, with millions of planets, stars, asteroids, moons and even spacecrafts to discover and explore. It is so awesome to just literaly hop from galaxy to galaxy, a geek’s wet dream.

Oh what a joy … it’s free!
Here‘s a great review about the program.

Google Earth has just addded 170.000 3D buildings in the city of Amsterdam! Make sure to tick ‘3D buildings’ and below that ‘3D warehouse’ in your layers palette to make also the detailed buildings visible.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since 1984, it brings together thinkers in these fields. They’ve got a very nice video collection of speeches made by a wide variety of specialists in many different areas. It’s often very funny, it’s inspiring and above all: free.

http://www.ted.com/index.php/themes

Check it out now.

Google was once (actually a very, very very short while ago, namely 1999) a tiny little company, just doing their best to make a few bucks doing what they liked to do best: search for things, the thing I personally hate most, especially for crucial things, just before I gotta leave for work, like my keys. Well anyways, below is a picture of Google’s first server ever, created from old components. For the nerd 😉

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