Top 5 News - Ubuntu 11.04, Google, Open Data Cuts, Android, and the Last Typewriter

First up with a bullet and a subject near and dear to my heart, Ubuntu 11.04, the Natty Narwhal, has been released. The big change here is the Unity interface, which based on all the reviews you will either love or hate. Other than putting toolbars on the top bar, a concept that has been haunting Mac users for years, put me in the love column. If you’re going to take the plunge, make sure you use the keyboard shortcuts to good advantage. You can get wallpapers with keyboard shortcuts on

Google had a bunch of big announcements at and around Where2.0. Google Map Maker is now available in the US, letting users contribute and correct data in a sorta-wiki style. I have to give Google the official suck it on that one. If I’m going to spend time inputting and correcting data (and Google isn’t planning on cutting me a check), it’s going to be OpenStreetMap, so the data is available to everyone. They also talked about an upcoming product, Google Earth Builder, which is a cloud service for your GIS data, including access control and clients for any Internet connected device. This is more interesting (depending on cost). Here’s a presentation on both by Google’s Marissa Mayer.

Next up is a sad story from the Sunlight Foundation on deep cuts being considered to federal open data programs. It would include shuttering and many other sites due to the cutting of 94% of the Electronic Government Fund. Sigh. I keep telling my conservative in-laws that they really don’t want smaller government. They just want to pay less taxes, which I can understand. Everybody likes the idea of smaller government until they see it.

From the Business Insider, Android is eating everyone’s bacon, gaining 7 points of market share in just 3 months. Android now has 33% of the market, with RIM plunging to 29% and Apple holding steady at 25%. Think twice before releasing an iPhone-only app, or better, make a HTML5 web app that every device can use.

And finally, via Slashdot, the last typewriter factory in the world has shut down. I have the typewriter sound going on my Droid as a tribute (and to annoy colleagues). There’s a joke to be made about IE6 users here, but I can’t seem to put my finger on it.