January 14, 2010

Monster Quake Magnifies Haiti's History of Misery

Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince was described as "flattened" by a devastating earthquake that struck on Tuesday (Jan 12). CNN reported a Haitian government official as saying that the 7.0-magnitude quake may have killed more than 100,000.

Reports coming in indicated that three million people, about one-third of Haiti's population, were affected by the quake.

This is the country's worst quake in two centuries, destroying Haiti's presidential palace which was the most beautiful building in the capital and many other buildings in the city, including the UN headquarters here.

Aids are pouring in from many countries. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the United Nations plans to release $10 million in aid immediately.

Meanwhile, the World Bank had pledged another $100 million. CNN reported that President Obama promised a "swift, coordinated and aggressive" response from the United States.

Xinhua news agency reported that China was preparing to send a 50-member rescue team, including three sniffer dogs. China has 125 peace-keeping police in Haiti, but no diplomatic ties with the country, Xinhua reported.

The Haiti quake set the Internet abuzz as news seekers flocked to Twitter for more immediate information. Web surfers also scoured blogs to get the latest.

Nick Caistor of the BBC News writes:

"Haiti appears to have had more than its fair share of chaos, poverty and natural disasters. And, as has happened so often in the nation's past, just when the situation was getting better, a fresh catastrophe struck."

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

> Haiti Quake News Updates

> BBC News Live Coverage

> BBC News: Eyewitnesses speak of devastation


January 7, 2010

Nexus One - A Smart Move by Google?

 Although Google and Apple appear to have very different market strategies - one sells phones, the other sells ads - the Nexus One smartphone, which was officially unveiled on Tuesday at Google's Mountain View headquarters, is seen as a game changer by some market analysts.

"Google's Nexus One is the first Android phone that may make Apple nervous because it does a few things better than the iPhone," Walt Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal says on his Personal Technology video.

However, the New York Times cited Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin as saying that "It looks like a really cool phone, but it is not a game changer."

According to an NYT report, SearchEngineLand's editor Danny Sullivan said: "It would have been nice to see them roll out something really unique...It is more evolutionary than revolutionary."

Opinons differ, but the Nexus One aka the "superphone" looks like a serious competitor to Apple's iPhone. Most analysts are looking at a scenario where Google and Apple are on a collision course.

It remains to be seen how the marketplace pans out in the coming months.

The Nexus One is seen by analysts as a move to ensure Google remains relevant as people search the Web using mobile phones rather than typing queries into a PC.

If indications are true to form, Google is apparently setting its sight on the hardware market, starting with the much anticipated Nexus One which it will sell exclusively to consumers through its new online store.

On the one hand, Google is already facing a grudge match with old-school media baron Rupert Murdoch over the contentious issue of copyright and payment for online content.

Now, on the hardware front, Google's plan to sell the Nexus One on the Web could affect sales of Apple's iPhones and the Cupertino company is not expected to sit tight and not do anything while Goog intrudes into its territory.

According to a NYT report following the unveiling of the Nexus One, Apple has announced that it had acquired mobile advertising start-up Quattro Wireless, indicating that it has plans to attack Google's core advertising business. A tit-for-tat scenario looms large.


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