Google Earth, Microsoft Maps

Google Earth

Have you seen the earth from Google’s point of view, aka Google Earth, yet? It’s a super cool way to travel the earth without ever leaving the comfort of your office/home. You can spend hours using this! One of the cool new features they have is “Sight Seeing Tour” which you use by clicking on the link near locations and it will take you all over the world. You can see street names in most parts of the world, you can also have it show you lodging and restaurants. For a $20/year upgrade, you get to plug in GPS points and have better printing of maps.

For a long time, this was a Windows-only product – now Mac folks can use it, too!

Some cool other sites enhancing the experience:

Google Sightseeting – Offering lots of places to see in the world, plus updates about GE.

Google Earth Blog – Lots of tidbits about the Google Earth product, rumors, image updates. They even have add-ons not yet published on GE.

Microsoft Maps Live

Yup, Microsoft has their own version Live Maps! Of course, you have to install some add-ons and it can only run on Microsoft Internet Explorer (it’s now looking like desperation rather then incompetence that they don’t design stuff to work on any platform). I messed around with this for about 15 minutes. It’s kinda cool – and the building search is fun. I still prefer Google Earth.

Complaint Free World, The Secret

A Complaint Free World?

Ah…..wouldn’t this be nice? No complaining, no criticizing, no sarcasm, no gossiping. Can it happen? One church in Kansas City, MO thinks so. It’s simple, you get this free purple bracelet from them. You put it on your wrist. You move from wrist to wrist each time you criticize, complain, gossip or say a sarcastic word/phrase. The trick is to do this wrist switch even if you “think” of doing any one of these 4 things. When I first heard about this cool program, about 10 days ago, they had given out 750,000 bracelets. Now look at it – 1,000,000 and rising. Why not order your free bracelets today? Read all about it. To remember the site – just go to acomplaintfreeworld.org.

The Secret is no Longer

If you’re one of the 5 to 10 people who hasn’t hear of “The Secret,” I’m here to tell you about it. The Secret is the latest amalgamation of thinking of the great minds in the growth and self-improvement movement. It’s a wonderful reminder about the “Law of Attraction.” It talks about what you think is what you bring into your life. If you think positively about something “I want an abundant life,” you will attract what you need for abundance. If you think “I want to be out of debt,” you will stay in debt, as the mind misses the word “out.” For me, it’s a great reminder of how the mind creates our reality. In other words, “perception is reality.”

You can watch the whole move on-line for $4.95 – something I haven’t seen for a mainstream media before. You can purchase the DVD from $25 – $35 (There are 3,555 items on ebay for The Secret, 544 which are the DVDs). BTW, there’s the “original Secret” and the “edited Secret.” You’ll only be able to get the “Original Secret with Esther Hicks” on ebay or through other non-current retail outlets. You can read the blog. There’s an official Secret Seminar. You’ll probably be able to buy the tee shirt and mug soon (oops – time to change the bracelet). There’s even a follow up – “The Secret – The Next Step” due in Sept 2007.

Commonality between A Complaint Free World and The Secret

What do the Purple Bracelets and The Secret have in common? How are they different? I believe that both projects started to do good and to make a difference in this world. The purple bracelet project seems more altruistic and pure and will lead to a better world. Granted, it’s most likely making oodles of money for the church through donations – I donated for my 10 bracelets – but I doubt this was the motive. The Secret will also lead to a better world through people being positive and attracting good into their lives. The Secret seems more like a money making venture the the complaintfreeworld project. When I first heard about it – The Secret sounded mysterious and fun. The more I see of it, the more I get a little bid jaded about the motives from the main author/producer and all the people who are “cashing in” on doing the video. Granted, I don’t read all the reviews and publicity around both events – but I don’t hear about Rhonda Byrne giving money to charity or other social causes from all the wealth she’s accumulated from making “The Secret.” I’d love to be proven wrong.

One last note, both of these hugely successful project are wonderful examples of viral marketing. My guess is that neither project spent very much on advertising or marketing. I heard about both through word of mouth and my guess is that others did the same. In my experiences in teh self-growth movement, The Celestine Prophecy and The One Minute Manager were both examples of excellent viral marketing which also took on very wonderful personal feels – not hitting you over the head with their messages.

Online Photo Sharing – Printing

Online Photo Sharing – Photo Printing

There are many site which allow you to share your photos online. Ones that I’ve tried and I’ve liked are: Picasa by Google, Snapfish by HP, Kodak Gallery (formerly Ofoto), Flickr by Yahoo and Shutterfly. Photo prices range from 12c – 19c/4 x 6 print. They all have first 15 – 30 prints free for first order. The photos are pretty incredible.

My new favorite of all these sits is Winkflash. First, they have the cheapest 4×6 around at 12c. They have a 99c/batch shipping fee. Doesn’t matter how many photos you have printed. They have unlimited storage of your photos. You can have very large resolution photos – which uploaad at full resolution – and you and your friends can download these at their set resolution. Most sites either won’t ever let you download your photos at full resolution or charge you a price for this benefit. You could use this site just to store photos – and never print a single photo. The painful thing with this site is that they have no “import contact” function, so you have to type in contacts, one at a time. Other then taht drawback, thsi is the photo site to beat!

An awesome, lenghty comparison of all the photo sharing sites can be found on Cnet.

Happy Shooting!