Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Virtual Earth

I get an inexplicable feeling of excitement whenever I glimpse historical travel maps of mankind's greatest explorers, such as from Marcopolo's 13th century travels.

Silk Road Map of Marcopolo's legendary explorer days

Marcopolo was among the first Europeans to reach the far east lands of what is today's China. No one believed his swashbuckling tales from the eastern world upon his first return home. Yet when he exposed the first eastern cultural artifacts to the west, he defined the course of international trade history, hence the term Silk Road.

Makes you think, what if Marcopolo had Virtual Earth + GPS right in his fingertips back then?

Fast forward 800 years, it's pretty amazing to think that today's technology has mapped every surface of our planet. With Windows Live Virtual Earth service the image quality is just stunningly detailed.

Venice Blvd, in a place called America? Tell that to middle age Italians!

What's even more amazing, Windows Live Virtual Earth service comes with an enhanced 3D view combined with Microsoft Photosynth technology, which creates seamless virtual 3D landscapes from a library of high-res images, on-the-fly.

It's time to check out your own neighborhood from
Windows Live Virtual Earth!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Web 2.0 Social Networking Evolution

Many of us don't realize this, but the internet has evolved immensely since its birth in 1973 through the DARPA project. The current evolutionary phase has been termed as the Web 2.0 era. So what is Web 2.0 exactly?

Web 2.0 is a knowledge-oriented environment where human interactions generate contents that are published, managed and used through network applications in a service-oriented architecture.

Keeping it simple, Web 2.0 technology brings social interaction to the next level among internet users in the online world.

If you're registered at one of the popular a social networking services such as Facebook, Friendster or Myspace, then you're already benefiting from this technological evolution. It's pretty common these days to meet your long lost buddies on these social networking sites. I myself have discovered a childhood friend living in Austria that I've lost contact with since 15 years ago. Out of curiosity, I searched Facebook's database of Austrian school networks, typed in the public school and the year i used to attend, and 10 minutes later...Guten Tag my long lost Austrian friends. Danke Schoen Facebook! Now, imagine if we had to live in the 15th century...

Facebook founder, 22 year old Mark Zuckerberg. The 21st century Mr. Gates?

Here's an interesting but obvious fact: each geographical region has its own popular Web 2.0 social networking service.

In Japan, they have Mixi. For german speaking countries in EU, almost everyone who's web savvy is registered with StudiVZ. In South East Asian countries, Friendster dominates as the #1 most visited site in the Phillipines and it's also ranked #2 in Indonesia. For the US, it's of course Facebook which Microsoft has recently invested $230 million in, making the 22 year old founder the upcoming billionaire of Web 2.0 universe.

So what other Web 2.0 stuff are must-haves other than social networking services?

Check out this awesome COMPLETE WEB 2.0 WEB DIRECTORY

If you're are into internet marketing then this
Web 2.0 Resource Bible is a must read.
and not to forget - thanks Mark for being such a genius!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Diving with the Gods

I've always wanted to take up diving so that I can explore the mystical underworld of our vast oceans, starting from the famous Great Barrier Reef in Aussie, to the little known Raja Ampat Islands in Papua, Indonesia which has just been discovered to be the most diverse coral-reef ecosystem on planet earth.

71% of our planet's surface is actually covered by water, so just imagine how much of it is still left unexplored. At Raja Ampat scientists have recently discovered a new species of walking sharks! And if you've read Jules Verne's classic, 20,000 leagues under the sea, today its legendary sea-monster has come true since Japanese scientists have caught a 24 foot giant squid on camera at last.

Giant Squids probably make nice truck-tire sized calamari rings. Yum!

Well, enough scaring you with sea-monsters. Now here's a great video I'd like to share showing off some of the most exotic locations to dive in Indonesia. Enjoy!