One of the focuses of this special addition to Google Maps is to teach users about the history of Antarctic exploration and the people who first set up shop in this bleak environment.
Here’s what Google’s technical program manager for Street View Alex Starns wrote in a blog post:
In the winter of 1913, a British newspaper ran an advertisement to promote the latest imperial expedition to Antarctica, apparently placed by polar explorer Ernest Shackleton. It read, “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.” While the ad appears apocryphal, the dangerous nature of the journey to the South Pole is certainly not–as explorers like Roald Amundsen, Robert Falcon Scott and Shackleton himself discovered as they tried to become the first men to reach it.
Partnering with the Polar Geospatial Center at the University of Minnesota and the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust, Google has added 360-degree images of many historic spots, including the South Pole Telescope, Shackleton’s and Scott’s small wooden huts, Cape Royds Adelie Penguin Rookery, and the Ceremonial South Pole.
“They were built to withstand the drastic weather conditions only for the few short years that the explorers inhabited them,” Starns wrote, “but remarkably, after more than a century, the structures are still intact, along with well-preserved examples of the food, medicine, survival gear and equipment used during the expeditions.”
Learn more: c|net - Google Maps visits Antarctica’s snowy landscape
Inside the houses of the first explorers:
Selling consumer electronics isn’t as easy as it used to be for Best Buy. The big-box retailer is closing 50 stores and compensating employees based on customer service after its fiscal fourth-quarter sales fell short of expectations.
The company today reported a fiscal fourth-quarter net loss of $1.7 billion, on revenue of $16.63 billion, up 3 percent from a year ago.
Best Buy’s problem: Amazon. Best Buy has been trying to grow its e-commerce business to compete better, but the big-box approach to selling consumer electronics isn’t what it used to be. That reality has Best Buy thinking small.
The company outlined the following moves:
- It will cut $800 million in costs by fiscal 2015.
- Close 50 big-box stores this fiscal year.
- Open 100 Best Buy Mobile and small stores this year.
- Boost online revenue by 15 percent.
- And Best Buy will change its employee compensation model to revolve around customer service and business goals.
“The company is gradually becoming a physical showroom for online retailers,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter.
via c|net – Business Tech
The company is also closing 11 stores in the UK, and:
As part of the plan to fix its troubles in Europe, Best Buy says that it will bring its “Wireless World” experience to some of the 2,500 small box mobility stores it currently operates in Europe.
via c|net – The Digital Home
// Photos via Kevin Dooley & MJ/TR
CES 2011 is approaching and the DC Tech community is representing. A quick round-up shows at least 10 of us going. Here is the robot’s guide to the best keynotes, sessions, parties, awards, showdowns, and private events. Let me know if I missed anything!
DC Tech Representing
With a ton of us going it would be great to keep us united to for chatting and support. Here is my shortlist of those attending, please, comment if I left you out:
- Amy Senger & Steven Mandzik
- Alex Priest (works for CEA)
- Shana Glickfield (for NextGenWeb)
- Rachelle Lacroix
- Peter Corbett (of iStrategyLabs)
- Leslie Bradshaw and Jesse Thomas (of Jess3)
- Jen Consalvo and Frank Gruber (of Techcocktail)
- Amy Phillips, Amy Webb, & Mario Armstrong (from Baltimore!)
Amy and I will be attending for the Digital Hollywood and Technology and the Environment tracks. This year seems to be the year of digital media at CES with so much going on around Movies and TV. Here are my potential favorites:
Our next reason for attending is the green side for the non-profit, A Clean Life. Strange that this track only has two events considering that the conference sells itself as the greenest conference on the continent. Those two sessions:
Last but not least is the TweetHouse. Sure to be the powerhouse of the conference due to the sheer amount energy social networking brings to the table. The sessions:
- Social Media In Action: Philosophies, Strategies and Tactics
- Measurement and ROI: How To Quantify Costs and Results
- Campaigns that Connect: What Drives Engagement, Traffic, and Goodwill?
- Growing your Community: Fans, Followers, Members, and More
- Monitoring and Mining Social Data
- Workflow and Staffing: Maximizing Impact While Minimizing Effort and Expense
- Apps, Geo and Mobile: Critical Arenas for 2011
Events, Parties, and Keynotes
The rest of CES is where it’s at with the showroom floor and the events galore. The top hits I’ve dug up so far:
Finally, there is a CES iphone app for the conference and if you want to catch some quiet time join Amy and I in the press or blogger lounge.