Stories by Ian Paul

Google Earth reveals the devastation in Haiti

Google responded to the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti earlier this week by working with satellite imagery company GeoEye to quickly make images of the destruction available in Google Earth and Google Maps. The images were taken at approximately 10:27 AM Eastern time on Wednesday, and could prove to be a helpful tool for aid organizations attempting to survey and assess the damage to Haiti's infrastructure.

Tech tools tell the story of earthquake in Haiti

The worst earthquake to hit the Caribbean in 200 years struck Haiti on Tuesday. The 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck near the Haitian Capital of Port-au-Prince, where it devastated the tiny nation, causing an unknown number of deaths and widespread destruction. But despite being the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti's Internet connected devices were key tools in telling the rest of the world about the emerging crisis.

Facebook tracks your every move, employee claims

Facebook is tracking your every move on the site -- or so says one purported Facebook employee, according to an anonymous interview with the Rumpus. In the interview, the Facebook employee, whose identity was protected so she wouldn't lose her job for talking to the media, also said that Facebook employees have relatively easy access to user accounts.

Apple tablet frenzy hits new heights

Now that this year's Consumer Electronics Show is history, gadget hounds are turning their attention to a rumored Apple event on January 27, when it is widely believed Apple will announce its mythical tablet device. With just over two weeks until the supposed event, rumors surrounding the Apple tablet are reaching a fever pitch.

Facebook CEO challenges the social norm of privacy

Lost in the flurry of products announcements at last week's Consumer Electronics Show was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's suggestion on Friday that some aspects of privacy are a thing of the past. The Facebook founder's comments were part of an interview with TechCrunch's Michael Arrington during last week's Crunchie awards presentation.

Google's Chrome tops Safari: Is Firefox next?

Google Chrome hit a milestone over the weekend when it became the third-most popular browser after Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, according to metrics firm Net Applications. It controls just 4.63 percent of the browser market, but Chrome has made significant inroads against competing browsers, such as the former bronze medalist Apple Safari.

Amazon: Kindle is most gifted item ever

Amazon's Kindle e-book reader hit a watershed moment on Christmas Day, when, for the first time ever, customers purchased more Kindle books than physical books. The company also claims the Kindle is the most gifted item in Amazon's history. These two facts were part of the online retailer's recently announced holiday sales activity.

Chrome netbook specs stretch believability

Interest in Google's Chrome OS is heating up with the emergence of new rumors about specs for an upcoming netbook. The device would supposedly have a 10.1 TFT HD-ready multitouch display; 2GB RAM; and WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G connectivity. As if that wasn't enough, this netbook would also have a 64GB solid-state drive, according to IBTimes (more on that source in a minute). By the sound of it, the Chrome OS netbook sounds like a great device, but there's only one problem: in my view these rumors aren't very believable.

OLPC plans super-thin, super-cheap tablet

The nonprofit group One Laptop Per Child wants to produce a touchscreen tablet computer by 2012 that will cost less than US$100. OLPC released its device roadmap this week, which includes two upgrades to the original XO computer, as well as lofty plans for a new 8.5in by 11in tablet device called the XO-3.

Twitter's top trending topics of 2009

Did you know that Twitter users are a bunch of Super Bowl cheering, American Idol watching, Google Wave using music lovers? That's according to Twitter's top trending topics list for 2009, anyway. Twitter recently released the list, which details the topics that people were talking about this year, in messages of 140 characters or less, of course.

Google Chrome for Mac: First Impressions

Google has finally released the beta version of its Chrome browser for Mac. As expected, the new browser is lacking some features that its Windows counterpart has, such as bookmark sync, a bookmark manager, and offline capability.

The CrunchPad is now the JooJoo

The fate of the once-named CrunchPad has been decided: The device will be coming to market by the end of the week under the name JooJoo. Fusion Garage -- the onetime manufacturing partner with TechCrunch -- held a video call for reporters and analysts Monday morning led by CEO Chandra Rathakrishnan, and announced his company's intent to move ahead without TechCrunch and bring the JooJoo to market.

CrunchPad demo promised next week

Just when you thought it was gone for good, the controversial CrunchPad is scheduled to make its debut on Monday morning for reporters and industry analysts. Fusion Garage CEO Chandra Rathakrishnan will participate in a video call, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Pacific, when he will speak to the media and show the device in action. Fusion Garage was developing the CrunchPad in partnership with TechCrunch.