Insolvencies down… Google Earth images update… The online fitting room

SmartCompany /

Booming economy is not good for all

The poor insolvency industry. For the past 15 years, the economic boom has left many struggling for business as companies just refuse to do badly. But things are now worse than ever.

Figures out yesterday show that the number of companies placed in administration were down nearly 10%, to 651 for the year to February compared with 723 the year before.

The culprit? Good times in Western Australia with only a handful of administrations in February.


Google Earth re-freshes New Orleans

If it didn’t happen on Google Earth, it didn’t happen. Following criticism that it had “airbrushed history” by loading pre-Hurricane Katrina images of New Orleans and surrounding areas, Google has updated its Google Earth service with fresh, high-resolution photos showing the city in its current state, reports ITWire.

According to John Hanke, director of Google Maps/Local/Earth, what happened was that volunteers at the company moved quickly to provide post-Katrina images in Google Maps and Google Earth.

Last September, those images were “replaced with pre-Katrina aerial photography of much higher resolution as part of a regular series of global data enhancements.” The post-hurricane images and associated data were preserved on the Google Earth web site for ongoing use.

In light of the recent furore, Google has expedited “the processing of recent (2006) aerial photography for the Gulf Coast area (already in process for an upcoming release) that is equal in resolution to the data it is replacing”, wrote Hanke, and those images were made available on April 1.


The solution to online clothes shopping woes

Websites such as MyShape and Zafu have taken big steps towards making online clothes shopping viable with their clever size estimators, but Intellifit’s virtual fitting room takes the concept to a whole new level.

The company is installing virtual fitting rooms in shopping malls and other public places in the US, Trendhunter says. The virtual fitting room is about the same size as the regular kind, but step inside and an automated wand uses radio-wave sensors to measure more than 200,000 data points all over the user’s body.

The shopper gets a “fitprint” with more than 200 body measurements that they can use to buy clothes online from a range of clothes retailers hooked up to the system. The virtual fitting room takes just 10 seconds to get the shopper’s measurements.


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