Google Skybox for Good

Skybox For Good

Skybox for Good

Google is opening up their satellite imagery to non-profit companies.  It’s called the  Skybox for Good program and it is already taking applications.  That is to say that non-profit companies can apply for imagery.

The program will begin with a few close partners and expand from there out to everyone.  Fortunately, the data is all licensed under Creative Commons for public use.

Google is no stranger to pushing forward into the higher ideal and this example is a prime for it.  The idea behind this move is to offer a helping-hand to budding or low income groups that need overhead views of remote land locations.  It can also be used to observe changes over time.  Check out the map listing site for current projects (map)

One example is an organization called “Save the Elephants” out of Kenya is using the maps to watch poaching and the ivory trade.

Google’s commitment to helping non-profits may lead to painting the idea of world mapping in a positive light.

New Google Share

New Google Plus Share Button appears

New Google Plus Share Button New Google Plus Share Button 02

New Google Plus Share Button

Get your new Google Plus share button on as long as you are logged into a browser with your Google account.  This new Share button will allow you to post to Google Plus from just about anywhere.  And remember public Google Plus posts are public everywhere on the web, not just on Google Plus.

This breaks out the sharing feature from the prior version that was tied to your user profile.  You can now share away without more clicking.  No longer will you need to add a bookmark to your links just to share with Google Plus.  And more than just photos and links, the new Google Plus share button includes videos, events, and polls.

Cox Cable upgrades to Gigabit Internet Service

Cox Cable

 Cox Cable Upgrades Internet Service Speeds

It would appear to be a trial when Cox Cable upgrades to gigabit service.  Not everyone who currently has access to Cox internet service will be able to get the gigabit service.  Only a mere 5000 customers will be tuned to the new service to start.

Cables companies can definitely see the writing on the wall and are moving to close the bandwidth gap before Google steals it from them.  But unlike Comcast, Cox Cable is matching the pricing of Google Fiber at $120 / month for tv and gigabit internet.  Comcast has been upgrading customers to double and triple the prior speeds in areas that Google has promised to install Fiber.  And these upgrades come at no additional cost to the consumer.  But Comcast is not matching the prices that Cox has moved to.

AT&T appears to also have plans to change prices for gigabit services in select locations to something more closely resembling the prices charged by Google Fiber.  But will they also be performing a tiny roll out, or a massive one like Google?  We’ll have to wait and see.

Across the board incumbent ISPs are beginning to feel the pinch from Google Fiber, only time will tell as whether they decide to compete.  Apparently Google’s plan to force competition is working?

Google Fiber Construction in Austin, TX

Google Fiber Construction

 Google Fiber Construction

Google is going “Full Bore” in Austin TX now with construction of its fiber network.  Planning, designing, and laying out those beautiful strands of glass capable of carrying your every whim via the internet.  Google Fiber construction continues unabated but may cause at least some difficulties to the citizens of the city.

The whole of the build in Austin is entirely from scratch.  Just like what AT&T and other telecommunications companies have had to do in the past, Google too is doing.  But this time they are laying the conduit of fiber first.  It’s no easy task, by a long shot nor is it by any means inexpensive.  But Google has the advantage of doing it all at once, rather than piece-meal like its competitors did.

Much of the Fiber will be laid underground via bored tunnels.  All the heavy planning that went into this project is a good chunk of the cost, but the advantages greatly outweigh the costs.

Like Kansas City, Austin is one of the first of many cities that will be receiving fiber.  Already dozens of companies have cropped up in both cities with the idea of taking advantage of this futuristic upgrade.  No longer will businesses and the top 1% of consumers have the only access to massive bandwidth.  Thanks Google.

Google Fiber Map in Austin, TX

Google Fiber Map in Austin

Google Fiber Map

If you’re still in the dark about how Google Fiber is going in Austin, one forward-looking soul has done you a great service.  This heavily populated listing is the full Google Fiber Map in Austin.    You can find your house or work place in this mess if you zoom in enough.

Each dot represents the permitting process.  Red means “make-ready” or a preparatory statement for the local carrying infrastructure. Green is “installation of buried circuits”. And Blue is for a permit to bury fiber.   The Yellow however is a where each Google Fiber hut will sit.  Google Fiber huts house 20, 000 connections of fiber, each.

Ref: Austin Culture Map