Friday, February 20, 2009

A monopoly on COOL

February 18, 2009 - 2:39 P.M.
by Preston Gralla

The blogosphere regularly excoriates Microsoft for being a monopoly, but Google, not Microsoft, may be in the cross-hairs of the nation's next anti-trust chief for monopolistic behavior. Last June Christine A. Varney, President Obama's nominee to be the next antitrust chief, warned that Google already had a monopoly in online advertising.

The Bloomberg news service did an excellent job of sleuthing, and uncovered statements Varney made about Google and what she considers its monopoly in online advertising. Here's what Bloomberg reports her as saying:

"For me, Microsoft is so last century. They are not the problem," Varney said at a June 19 panel discussion sponsored by the American Antitrust Institute. The U.S. economy will "continually see a problem -- potentially with Google" because it already "has acquired a monopoly in Internet online advertising."

(And a monopoly on COOL ... check this out ...AM)

By Matthew Moore
Last Updated: 9:49AM GMT 20 Feb 2009

The network of criss-cross lines is 620 miles off the coast of north west Africa near the Canary Islands on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.

The perfect rectangle – which is around the size of Wales – was noticed on the search giant's underwater exploration tool by an aeronautical engineer who claims it looks like an "aerial map" of a city.

The underwater image can be found at the co-ordinates 31 15'15.53N 24 15'30.53W.

Last night Atlantis experts said that the unexplained grid is located at one of the possible sites of the legendary island, which was described by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato.

According to his account, the city sank beneath the ocean after its residents made a failed effort to conquer Athens around 9000 BC.

Dr Charles Orser, curator of historical archaeology at New York State University told The Sun that the find was fascinating and warranted further inspection.

"The site is one of the most prominent places for the proposed location of Atlantis, as described by Plato," the Atlantis expert said. "Even if it turns out to be geographical, it definitely deserves a closer look."

Bernie Bamford, 38, of Chester who spotted the "city", compared it to the plan of Milton Keynes, the Buckinghamshire town built on a grid design. "It must be man made," he said.

Google Ocean, an extension of Google Earth, allows web users to virtually explore the ocean with thousands of images of underwater landscapes.

Launched earlier this month, it lets users swim around underwater volcanoes, watch videos about exotic marine life, read about nearby shipwrecks, contribute photos and watch unseen footage of historic ocean expeditions.

The legend of Atlantis has excited the public imagination for centuries. In recent years "evidence" of the lost kingdom has been found off the coast of Cyprus and in southern Spain.

Plato described it as an island "larger than Libya and Asia put together" in front of the Pillars of Hercules - the Straits of Gibraltar. He said Atlantis was a land of fabulous wealth, advanced civilisation and natural beauty destroyed by earthquakes and floods 9,000 years earlier.

(Add-on, quick someone get a boat and start sailing! -AM :)

Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:14PM EST
by Ben Patterson

Quick—fire up Google Earth on your PC, and find the following coordinates: 31 15'15.53N, 24 15'30.53W (hint: it's about 600 miles west of Morocco, deep in the Atlantic Ocean). Zoom in, and check out that rectangle on the ocean floor. Could it be … Atlantis?
That's what a squad of "Atlantic experts" are telling the Daily Telegraph, and indeed, the rough rectangle—complete with dozens of shaky grid marks carved into the ocean floor—is a surreal sight, at least to the untrained eye.

Apparently, the oddly shaped box marks "one of the most prominent places for the proposed location of Atlantis, as described by Plato," said New York State University historical archaeology curator Dr. Charles Orser (as reported by the Telegraph).

Amazing—so amazing, in fact, that the story touched off an online firestorm Friday morning, with the search term "Atlantis" ending up as a top trend on Twitter. So ... should we dispatch James Cameron and his team of IMAX-equipped submersibles to investigate?

Well, maybe not, says this party-pooping report from the Daily Mail.

Turns out the odd rectangle doesn't actually exist, according to a Google rep; instead, it's simply an "artifact of the data collection process," representing the criss-cross patterns of sonar-equipped boats scanning the ocean floor.

Uhhhh … "artifact of the data collection process"? Please. I smell a cover up!

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