Monday's links: TV becomes social again; Solar powered iPods; iPhone Earth

It’s a bank holiday here in the UK and Memorial Day in the U.S., therefore posting on last100 will be a little lite today. However, the ‘interweb’ never takes a day off and so without further ado here are three of this morning’s more noteworthy stories:

TV becomes social again

The BBC’s Darren Waters has an interesting post talking about the return of TV’s ‘water cooler moment’. In the age of multiple platforms, on-demand, Internet TV, PVRs and the like, people no longer watch television ‘together’. Or at least not as much as we used to. However, potential ‘water cooler’ moments still exist, such as this weekend’s Eurovision song contest, which can be discussed around a virtual water cooler, and in near-realtime, thanks to the messaging service Twitter. “Last night I was watching Eurovision with Twitter running on my laptop. In real time, my Twitter friends and I shared comments and made observations about the event as it was happening. Twitter was being used to extend the experience of watching the event together, but also for people to share links to sites with backstory, or explainers etc.”

Also see our post from last year: Television networks seek connections to viewers through Twitter.

Solar LCD Powered iPods, iPhones and Laptops?

Macrumors reports on a recent Apple patent that describes a method for creating solar power supported mobile devices. The challenge that Apple is looking to solve is how to add solar powers to devices with a limited surface area without adding extra bulk. A possible solution: “is the integration of the solar panels behind the actual LCD screen of a portable device. The solar panel would absorb ambient light that passes through the LCD screen of the device. This could eliminate any additional footprint typically required by the solar panels. If successfully implemented, Apple’s iPhone, iPod and laptops, could require no outward changes in design to add solar power.”

Demo of iPhone Earth

TechCrunch links to a video demo of a mobile application in development that puts virtual earth software on the iPhone. The software was created by a Boulder-Colorado startup called Earthscape, who showed off the early Beta at the recent Where 2.0 conference. “When the iPhone is tilted, the earth begins to rotate and you can navigate to another part of the globe.

last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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