Video: Jimmy Buffett shows off the new Google Earth

Google unveiled its new version of Google Earth, the first to map the world’s oceans, at a press conference today in San Francisco. On hand were some high-level Google executives like chief executive Eric Schmidt and senior vice president of search product and user experience, Marissa Mayer. Former Vice President Al Gore also spoke for a bit about how this new version of Google Earth can showcase some of the troubling climate changes our planet is undergoing. Then, musician Jimmy Buffett came up with more lighthearted fare.

Google Earth now travels the world — and the seven seas

Google Earth is one of Google’s most intriguing projects. It’s a stand-alone program (not a web application) that shows our planet in 3D. But up until now, it might as well have been called “Google Dirt,” jokes Sylvia Earle, explorer-in-residence of the National Geographic Society and founder of the Deep Search Foundation. Her point is that Google Earth has neglected some two-thirds of the world — its oceans. But not any longer.

Adobe and Apple working to bring Flash to the iPhone? We've heard that before.

Adobe Flash support has been at the top of everyone’s list of features they want on the iPhone since the device was first released in the summer of 2007. The apparent roadblock had been Apple, which didn’t think Flash would perform well enough on the device. But Adobe chief executive Shantanu Narayen said this week that Adobe and Apple are actually now working together to bring the technology to the phone, according to Bloomberg.

For 40 minutes this morning, the Internet was all spam

We’ve known for a while that there are a lot of bad websites out there that could damage your computer or wish to stealing your personal information. But this morning, it was revealed that 100 percent of all websites wished to do you harm — or at least, according to a little search site called Google that is.

Credit problem takes down the iTunes store

I just opened the iTunes store to attempt to buy last night’s episode of Battlestar Galactica and was greeted with a message telling me that my store credit balance is currently unavailable. I found that odd because I don’t currently have any credits in the store, but it turns out that all of the credit processing in the iTunes store — including credit cards — may be down right now.

ABC dreams up the way to halt growth in online streaming: Double the ads

I was just as surprised as anyone to find that Hulu, the online video streaming site backed by NBC and Fox, is actually really good. It works because it lets you watch your favorite TV shows when you want to watch them, with commercials that aren’t too intrusive — all for free. The other TV networks have their own systems for online streaming, which, while not as good as Hulu, also work to varying degrees. But ABC is apparently looking for a way to kill its own, as it’s out there touting the idea of doubling the ads you have to watch, according to AdAge.

Dell choosing between Windows Mobile and Android for its phone — is there really a choice?

It seems that the number of computer makers entering the smartphone market is growing daily now. Just one day after it was revealed that Acer would unveil a smartphone at next month’s Mobile World Conference, Dell is apparently thinking about doing the same thing. At the very least, it has been working on its phone for about a year now, and has some prototypes, sources tell The Wall Street Journal.

Google apologizes for killing Bambi's mom

Google recently reported strong earnings despite a weak economy; it continues to gain search market share and its Android platform is set to take the mobile world by storm this year. It makes one wonder: Can anything stop Google? Thanks to Google Maps, we now know the giant’s one weakness: Deer.

Windows Mobile 6.5 IE looks, well, awful

Word keeps circulating that Microsoft is poised to unveil its latest mobile operating system, WIndows Mobile 6.5, at the Mobile World Conference to be held in a few weeks in Spain. There are plenty of screenshots already out there, but the latest show the OS’s version of its web browser, Internet Explorer (IE). Quite frankly, it looks awful.

Google, Plaxo offer simplified identity-sharing service

In an effort to make data-sharing easier to use, Google and social contact service Plaxo are showing off a simplified new way to sign in and synchronize accounts between them using only “two clicks.” The promise is that the average web user will eventually be able to easily take their user identities and their data anywhere online.

iTunes Plus upgrades get an important feature: Choice

I love iTunes Plus, Apple’s digital rights management (DRM)-free catalog of tracks in the iTunes music store — I’m buying music left and right on iTunes again. But I still have some iTunes tracks that I bought before the days when iTunes Plus was ubiquitous. Apple allows you to upgrade those to iTunes Plus, and has for a while, but there’s been a problem: It’s been all or nothing. That changed this week.

Hollywood stars pass studios, go directly to YouTube?

Google still hasn’t figured out a way to make money from YouTube, but that isn’t stopping the insanely popular online video service from signing interesting deals left and right. The latest involves the William Morris Agency, one of Hollywood’s top talent agencies. And it could alter the way artists get paid for content — and the web’s role in providing it.

A new iPhone lurking in the shadows?

Digging into code reveals a lot of things. It’s usually pretty good for predicting upcoming software changes, but it’s also good for upcoming hardware changes as well. And the latter may have been uncovered by MacRumors tonight about the iPhone.

Push, the movie, coming soon. Push, Apple's notification system, not.

At last year’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) where Apple showed off the iPhone 3G and the App Store for the first time, the company noted that third-party applications would not be able to run in the background on the iPhone, but said that a solution for that would be coming. That solution, called Push Notification, was due to launch in September, just a few months after the iPhone 3G and App Store’s July launch — but that never happened.

Will Intel let Jen-Hsun Huang spread graphics beyond PCs?

Nvidia chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang is on a mission to get graphics chips into everything from handheld computers to smart phones.  In a dinner with reporters on Monday night, the head of the Santa Clara, Calif.-based graphics chip maker said that the company is going to invest heavily in research and development and announce some interesting hires (see announcement story) soon. We last interviewed him in August.