Google Maps adds real estate option

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Google has added real estate search to Google Maps in Australia and New Zealand. Properties for sale or rent can be viewed on the existing maps with additional photos and details available with a click of the mouse.

Private users’ listings are added via sites such as homehound and myhome and there are also estate-agent based listings available as well.

House-hunters input the area they are interested in and advance options such as type of properties, price range, floor area range, number of bedrooms, bathrooms and parking spaces.

The system was developed by workers at Google’s Sydney office and it is expected that the service will be expanded to the US first and then the rest of the globe.

With many individuals already using Google Map’s streetview to look around areas and particular streets that they are interested in, the move to include real-estate listings is a logical one.

(via The Age)

New Zealand's guilt-on-accusation copyright law postponed

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New Zealand, as we’ve previously reported, wants to take a hard line against people accused of copyright infringement by cutting them off without any attempt to ascertain whether they’re actually guilty.

The copyright owners argue that this is necessary, because successfully prosecuting someone is a time-consuming and costly business. Of course, copyright owners have a history of falsely identifying acccused infringers.

As a result, there’s been uproar in the country, with many across the world “blacking out” their social network profile pictures to draw attention to the law, due to come into force this Saturday (28th Feb 09).

Thanks to their actions, and the media spotlight placed on the country from across the world, the law has now been postponed. Although it’s only postponed for a month, it’s still a major victory for consumers, who’ll now have a chance to input on a code of practice for the implementation of the law.

If no agreement is reached on the code of practice, then the law will be suspended further, and the government has also promised a review of the effectiveness of the law six months in, to see if it’s had any effect on volumes of filesharing. My guess? It won’t.

(via Stuff.co.nz)

New Zealand's approach to file-sharing – "guilt upon accusation"

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The heavy-handed scaremongering and litigation being handed out by the entertainment industries in the UK and North America is one thing, but New Zealand seems to be taking an even-more-hysterical approach to the problem of filesharing.

From the end of February, Section 92 of the Copyright Amendment Act will come into force. This act assumes that any individual simply accused of sharing copyrighted works on the Internet is guilty. The punishment? Disconnection from the internet.

Scary, huh? Well, if you live in New Zealand, the Creative Freedom Foundation have got a “Not In My Name” petition for you to sign. If you’re not a New Zealander, then just thank your lucky stars that your politicians, for the moment, retain some sense.

Creative Freedom Foundation (via Torrentfreak)

Related posts: Australia remembers British convictism, asks for help dealing with filesharers | RIAA to drop failed lawsuits strategy

Sony launches "revolutionary new VAIO" teaser site

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Sony are joining Dell in launching a teaser site for some sort of new product (likely to be announced at CES in January). Sony is promising a ‘revolutionary new VAIO’ on January 9th, which tells us two things – firstly, it’ll not be that revolutionary, and secondly, it’ll be very expensive. Still, my rampant cynicism aside, we’ll have the all details from our CES correspondents come 9th Jan. Stay tuned.

Sony Teaser (via Engadget)

Related posts: Sony launches VAIO TT Blu-ray notebook and new customisation service in UK | Sony launches limited edition Bond Z-Series Vaio – Facebook stalk people like 007

iTunes 7.7 now available: iPhone App Store live

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With New Zealand’s iPhone launch less than an hour away, it’s no surprise that Apple has finally released iTunes 7.7, a required piece of software for activating the iPhone and accessing the applications store.

It’s a 48MB download, but given that you need a broadband connection to use the iPhone anyway, it should only take you five minutes or so to install (unless Apple’s web servers start crawling, which is a possibility)…