In the 1990s, many people knew the Internet by a different name: AOL. America Online was the lens through which millions viewed the Web. At the time, there was little reason to look anywhere else. In 2011, Google has come perhaps the closest to once again luring people into a single vision of the Internet – from Google search and YouTube to Gmail and Android phones. To keep people in the Google way of life, the company constantly launches new services. In fact, Google has an official "20 percent" rule that asks every employee to spend "one day a week working on projects that aren't necessarily in our job descriptions." These extracurricular experiments live at GoogleLabs.com, a self-described "playground" where anyone can try out the almost-finished projects. Recent alumni include Google Maps, Alerts, and its SMS text message directory service. The current collection showcases 50-plus "bubbling test tubes." There's no guarantee that any will graduate to full Google status, but here are five projects that are worth donning a virtual lab coat to test for yourself.
Once California’s youngest governor, Jerry Brown reprises his role as the state's chief executive starting Monday, now as the oldest person elected to that office. Then, as now, Brown replaced a Hollywood actor-gone-governor – Ronald Reagan in 1975 and Arnold Schwarzenegger now – and the top issue was high unemployment amid a sagging economy. Here's a look at California and Brown then and now.
This week will see a lesser known meteor shower, the Quadrantid, dazzle the night sky on Jan. 3 and 4. It's the first of nine significant meteor showers in 2011. Here’s a list of all the events and what to watch for each time.
Recent attacks against Christians in Egypt and Iraq have drawn attention to the Middle East's Christian populations, which are dwindling as Christians flee violence, political strife, and persecution. Christians made up more than 20 percent of the region's population in the early 20th century, but today, they make up less than 10 percent. Here is a look at the status of Christians in seven key countries, from Egypt to Iran.
The new year holds the promise of a fresh crop of intriguing titles. Here are eight biographies likely to attract attention in the new year.
There's no better way to face the new year than with a good book in hand. Here are 15 promising-looking nonfiction books, all due for release early in 2011.
The past year has produced some of the most intriguing business deals of the decade, which boosted (or sunk) the fortunes of CEOs and shareholders alike. Perhaps the most relevant question, however, is what impact these transactions will have on consumers? Here are the Top 5 deals of 2010 that, for better or worse, will change the way you spend your money.
Currency analysts pay obsessive attention to economic factors that indicate the direction of interest rates, because interest rates represent the price of a currency. Any price change has a direct impact on the currency’s value. That can mean huge gains or losses for currency traders, but it also has a big impact on what savers earn, borrowers pay, consumers shell out for imported goods, and global companies plan in terms of compensation and hiring. In 2010, the stress on various currencies became clear, causing many central banks to push interest rates to record lows. Here’s a look at how those forces could play out in 2011 in six major regions of the world:
Education reform will be on many state education agendas across the nation in 2011. The past year saw Republicans elected or appointed to top state education posts in many states. But a bipartisan group of veteran education leaders has also stepped up to call for more dramatic change in how schools operate. Here’s a sampling of state education leaders to watch:
Much of the US will be tuning into the Times Square ball drop in New York City, but there are celebrations to rival that one around the world. Below are some of the world's biggest New Year's Eve celebrations.
In all, 45 states, the District of Columbia, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico passed 31,005 new laws in 2010. Some of them will come into effect with the new year. Here is a sampling of some of the trends in lawmaking in 2010.
It was a year when contaminated eggs and McDonald's glasses found their way into the headlines. But the product fiascos of 2010 included everything from recalled cars and home appliances to food and medications. What was the year’s top recall? Read on:
Movies both disappointed and surprised studios and audiences in 2010. Star power dimmed while real-life stories turned both dramatic and documentary features into unexpected hits. And technology wowed, then disappointed as 3D and high-profile sequels fizzled at the box office. The top trends from this year present a very mixed bag heading into the second decade of the new millennium, says Hollywood.com box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian. IN PICTURES: Movie Trends 2010
For the US military, there are a number of lingering questions about how to implement the legislation repealing 'don’t ask, don’t tell.' But a Pentagon supplement released in November offers clear answers on a number of matters relating to the repeal.
When Election 2010 came and went, we thought the highest-profile losers – most of them Republican tea partyers – might fade quietly into oblivion. Not this group, for the most part. At least one is writing a book, a couple are launching political action committees, and one is already running for office again. One is under federal investigation, and another still isn’t completely finished contesting the 2010 race.
The harshest effects of this week's Northeast blizzard are starting to fade as snowplows reclaim New York City roadways and airport travelers rebook their way home. But the massive post-Christmas snowfall had some impacts that may linger for a while to come.
Crumbling ruins loom large in this late 2010 fiction roundup: There's a castle haunted by a madwoman and a mystery, a derelict race track that's the setting for this year's National Book Award-winner, and a once-stately manor home that now houses the insane and infirm.
Recent actions by Israel's religious and right-wing communities have challenged the rights of the country's growing Arab minority.
Considering a New Year’s Resolution to cut back on Facebook time in favor of real face time with friends and family? A one-week blackout of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, and instant messaging at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania prompted students and faculty to reflect on – and in some cases, change – their usage habits.
What's selling best in independent bookstores across America.
The “who said what” buzz came in full force this election year through campaign ads, public appearances, and even tweets. But who are the politicians that shocked and zinged the most? Here’s a roundup of the year’s most memorable political quotes.
Most 2010 lists of major news will include the Gulf oil spill, the Haiti earthquake, the Republican midterm election sweep, and WikiLeaks. But we saw many events that also inspired or amazed or brought a smile. Here's our top 6 list.
The bull market is entering its third year, historically a time when investors grow wary. They’ll have good reason for caution in 2011, given the potential for higher interest rates, federal budget struggles, a surge in commodity prices, and the challenges corporations may find in churning out higher and higher profits. These stresses won’t necessarily end the party on Wall Street, just change it. Here are 10 investment trends to watch for in 2011:
Although the recession is technically over, many companies are still struggling to make up for lost profit, customers, and locations. But some companies have come out of the recession better than they went in, thanks to their adjustments to consumer demand and other smart business strategies. Here are five companies that have thrived despite the worst downturn since the Great Depression:
Monitor staff writers and correspondents in each of the world's regions share what they expect to be top headlines in 2011.