Items that might grow up to be blog posts

Lots of people in the blogosphere post tidbits or smaller items when they either don’t have time for a longer post or they have too many things they’d like to write about. Fred Wilson does it, Kottke pretty much invented it (of course, I expect Dave Winer to take issue with me here), and Steve Rubel is pretty good at it too. So I figure what the hell – I know a good thing when I see one.

In that spirit, here’s a few things I came across recently:

  • An analyst says Google is close to launching a downloadable music store to compete with iTunes. Mark Stahlman of Caris & Co. says “The music industry is broadly unhappy with the fixed pricing and lack of subscription options at the market-leading iTunes Music Store and likely to support alternative services.” I would say that’s a no-brainer.
  • Bloomberg notes that Microsoft has signed a deal for 500,000 Windows-powered handsets for the U.S. Census Bureau, its biggest contract ever and a jab at handheld leader (and Canuck success story/legal punching bag) Research In Motion. Death knell for RIM? Hardly. More of a shot across the bow.
  • Google Real Estate launches, with a search powered by both Google Maps and Google Base. When Base first came out, many people (including yours truly) wondered what the heck it was for. Well, this is part of the answer (and autos too perhaps). My friend Stuart says travel could be next.
  • Singer Sandi Thom of London, England has been signed to a record contract with RCA based on the strength of her Internet shows, which she recorded and broadcast from her living room to an audience of more than 100,000. She was approached by several labels.
  • Not much new in the Washington Post piece about traffic on the Internet being driven by blogs and social networks such as, but a nice quote: “The growth in blogging reminds us the Internet is fulfilling its original promise about participation,” said Gary Arlen of Arlen Communications Inc. “This medium empowers users in such a way that they can do what they want and be heard.”
  • Phil Sim of Squash has a great, long rant about how the tech blogosphere is imploding, the whole thing is over, is going tits up, turn out the lights, etc. Of course, he is likely wrong, as several people (including Gabe of memeo and Paul Montgomery of point out in the comments, but it’s a great rant nevertheless.
  • A University of Connecticut physics professor says he is building a time-travel device, and expects that time travel (of a sort) could be possible within 10 years.

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