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NASA photo of Eyjafjallajokull eruption from space

The Internet lets you watch real-time what’s going on in the airspace as NASA satellites track Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano plume. See this YouTube video showing the plume drifting over Europe.

The last time Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano blew, the eruption lasted more than a year, from December 1821 until January 1823. The volcano is erupting small, jagged pieces of rocks, minerals and volcanic glass the size of sand and silt into the atmosphere. Wind can blow these tiny ash particles tens to thousands of miles away from the volcano, causing costly damages to aircraft engines.

The hazard posed to aircraft can extend more than 3,000 miles from an erupting volcano … which could lead to more Skype-type teleconferencing in the future, according to Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.

Science Fair reports the Eyjafjallajokull volcano isn’t necessarily the main problem. If lava flowing from Eyjafjallajokull melts the glaciers that hold down the top of Iceland’s volcano Katla, then Katla could blow its top, pumping gigantic amounts of ash into the atmosphere, sending the world, including the USA, into an extended deep freeze.

Track aircraft clearing the not-so-friendly ash-filled skies over Europe.

iPad runs a country

Stranded in New York City because the volcanic eruption in Iceland has disrupted air travel, Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has been using the iPad to get his daily work done, according to a CNN report. Showcasing the new tech and the use of the Internet, Stoltenberg is using the iPad to run his country.

“It’s very normal for a prime minister to travel abroad, so this is not different from the other travels, it just lasts some days more than expected,” Stoltenberg told CNN. “We have the Internet, the mobile phone. I also use an iPad, which is excellent.”

Until Stoltenberg is able to get back to his country, his iPad could be his best friend as he keeps his government running, also giving Apple a boost to its promotion of the iPad as a mobile companion: it can help a prime minister run his country!

ix-nay on iPad in Israel

Israel has banned all imports of Apple’s hottest new product, the iPad, citing concerns that its wireless frequencies are incompatible with national standards. Israeli customs officials have confiscated several iPads, preventing anyone from bringing an iPad into that country until officials certify that the computers are in compliance with local transmitter standards. Confiscated iPads are held by customs until their owners depart the country.

Media giants to bring you news on the move

Fox, Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television, NBC and eight other broadcast giants are launching Pearl Mobile DTV Company LLC, a joint venture to develop a new national mobile-content service to nearly 150 million U.S. residents.

The consortium will use existing “broadcast spectrum” to provide content to mobile devices, including live and on-demand video, local and national news from print and electronic sources as well as sports and entertainment programming.

The venture is designed to complement the Federal Communication Commission’s National Broadband Initiative by giving consumers mobile access to video content and local-national, time-sensitive, emergency information while reducing congestion of the nation’s wireless broadband infrastructure.

Chirping about Twitter’s future

Biz Stone and Evan Williams, co-founders of Twitter Inc., the 4-year-old San Francisco Internet sensation, spoke about plans for the future at its inaugural developers conference, Chirp, in San Francisco last Wednesday.

Twitter has drawn international attention with more than 105 million registered users, 180 million unique visitors to Twitter.com (75 percent of Twitter traffic comes from outside of the Twitter site), adding 300,000 new users every day. Growing at more than 1,500 percent growth a year, it fields 600 million search queries each day, and it gets 55 million tweets a day.

Twitter’s challenge: to make money at it, and figure out how to catapult it into the mainstream by making it easier for people to sign up and use it.

Internet search giant Google Inc. and the Library of Congress plan to index Twitter’s massive archive. And Twitter is introducing a feature called “Points of Interest,” which will allow people to see all the tweets emanating from a particular spot.

Connect 2 Congress–tracking your reps

It is our civic duty – and challenge – to keep up with what our government is doing. During the 110th Congress (2007-08), there were about 14,000 bills and 2,500 votes that took place.

Peter Kinnaird, master’s student in Georgia Tech’s College of Computing, has developed Connect 2 Congress, a simple program that works by analyzing congressional voting records with a type of mathematical analysis.

In addition to showing where each member fits on the political spectrum, Connect 2 Congress also conducts a leadership analysis on each member, updating a few times a day, showing Congressional activity from the present back to the beginning of the 110th Congress. Kinnaird is currently building a new version of Connect 2 Congress that tracks the current 111th Congress. Connect 2 Congress pulls its data from GovTrack.us.

Google CEO loves newspaper editors, not bloggers

Google Blogger.com CEO Eric Schmidt has the biggest blog network in the world, so why was the Google CEO insulting bloggers at a newspaper conference?

Schmidt’s Blogger.com attracts far more visits than chief rivals Twitter and WordPress, according to Quantcast and others. Is the Google chief uncomfortable with blogging? Read a snapshot of Schmidt’s comments.

Debate: Google Trends numbers that show WordPress.com is bigger than Blogger.com. We report, you decide?

Online TV wave of the future?

If you’re like me, you’re annoyed at having to pay your cable company for all those channels you don’t watch. So now with more and more high-quality TV fare coming online, some of us are experimenting with eliminating our cable and satellite TV subscriptions for online options such as Hulu, Netflix, broadcaster websites or Apple’s iTunes. The reported numbers are still small, but an estimated 600,000 U.S. households of the 101 million cable/satellite TV subscribers ceased their cable service in 2009 according to the Convergence Consulting Group.

It’s an indication of the shift to TV viewing on the web. An estimated 17 percent of the total weekly viewing audience watches at least one or two episodes of a full-length TV show online. Last year, that percentage was 12 percent, and next year it is forecasted to grow to 21 percent.

How will the Internet change the world?

In the year 2020, technology’s effect will be life-changing. Technology itself is going to improve, come what may. That computing power, bandwidth, storage capacity, even our ability to pack pixels into screens is going to keep improving. Anonymity will be harder to maintain. We won’t have to remember as much, but new cognitive skills will be required. Health care, education, government and civic activity all will be impacted. These predictions come as the result of 895 web experts and users who were asked by the Pew Research Center and the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University in North Carolina to assess predictions about technology and its effects on society in the year 2020.

Through the rearview mirror

1954 – Brits order clampdown on Kenyan Mau-Mau

1955 – Albert Einstein dies. Check out these never-before-seen images

1975 – South Vietnam president resigns, accuses U.S. of betrayal

1980 – Iranian hostage rescue fails at Desert One, 8 dead

1993 – Inferno at Waco

1995 – Oklahoma City bombing

2000 – Elian Gonzalez seized by feds

Now playing at the Princess Theater, Urbana, Ill.

Congratulations to WorldNetDaily reader Wayne Austell of Doylestown, Pa., one of several readers who correctly guessed actor Michael Douglas’ portrayal of Gordon Gekko in the 1987 Oscar-winning movie “Wall Street” directed by Oliver Stone.

The film told the story of a young and impatient stockbroker willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the young man under his wing.

The movie quote was, “You’re walking around blind without a cane, pal. A fool and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place.”

This week’s trivia quote: “Well, if this thing works, I’ll kiss Amin’s foot.”

Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Good luck!

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