Reviews

Kevin Rose’s Oink: Stop Rating Places – Rate the Stuff Inside Them Instead

Oink, the first product to come out of Digg-founder Kevin Rose’s Milk project, launched earlier this week. At this point, the thought of yet another location-based app that lets you rate things may induce some involuntary yawning in you. After testing it for a while now, though, I have to say that while I was highly skeptical of yet another app in this space, Oink actually puts enough of a twist on the genre to be interesting and to become a potential challenger to similar services like Foursquare (or even Yelp) in the long run.

google

Chromebooks Take Flight on Virgin America

Google is definitely trying its best to get the word out about its ChromeOS-based Chromebooks. Now, the company has teamed up with Virgin America – one of the Silicon Valley’s favorite (yet perennially money-losing) airlines – to offer travellers to “test-fly” Chromebooks for free onboard their flights and at select gates from July to the end of September. Chromebook users – including those who bring their own ChromeOS-powered laptops on board – will also get free Wifi courtesy of Virgin America and Gogo. Travelers who stay in New York’s Ace Hotel will also find a Chromebook in their rooms.

google

Know When Your Bus is Late: Google Maps Gets Live Transit Updates

Most online mapping products today feature transit directions. Sadly, though, it’s the nature of public transit that things often don’t quite run on schedule. Thankfully, quite a few transit district have now track their buses and trains with a GPS system so that the public can know exactly when the next bus or train will arrive. For the most part, however, you won’t know this information until you arrive at the station (which is always either far too early or just too late). Starting today, however, there’s a better way to get this information quickly: Google Maps will now feature live transit updates in four U.S. cities (Portland, OR, Boston, San Diego and San Francisco) and two European ones (Madrid and Turin).

google

Google Earth Brings 3D Buildings to the Virtual San Francisco Bay Area

Google just announced that Google Earth now features high-quality 3D-models of virtually all the California Bay Area, including the city of San Francisco, Google’s hometown of Mountain View, Palo Alto, Oakland, Redwood City, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and Sunnyvale. To see this expanded 3D coverage, you will need to turn on “3D Buildings” in Google Earth.