Ok, we’ll admit it. We don’t always spend our time doing “business.” Sometimes we happen upon a Website or a tech toy — er — business tool that has us whiling way the hours. Here’s a look at some of the tech we just can’t get enough of:
Google Earth (www.earth.google.com; free). Jules Verne wrote about an 80-day world trip; with Google Earth, you cn do it in about 80 seconds. This free application lets you tool around the globe, view maps, satellite, 3-D images, and geographic terrain. You can search addresses, chart your own course, and create points on a map and share them with others (called conent overlays). Upgrade to Google Earth Plus (a $20 annual subscription) to add real-time GPS tracking, or Google Earth Pro ($400) for business use (you can try it free for seven days).
Logitech MX Air “AirMouse” (www.logitech.com; $149.99). The minute we saw the MX Air, we were hooked. The rechargeable, cordless device is designed to run on Windows XP and Vista-compatible PCs and is perfect for media center junkies who like to lounge, look, and listen to their favorite media with minimal labor. The sleek, black device is as light as a, well, mouse and requires no line-of-sight or surface contact to work. Slight movements — a wrist flick here, a tiny wave to the right or the left there — are all you need to skip tracks or adjust volume. It’s a couch potato’s dream.
Meebo.com (www.meebo.com; free). If you’re tangled up in multiple IM accounts (and who isn’t these days?), Meebo provides a great way to cope. The site lets you consolidate AIM, Yahoo, Google Talk, MSN, ICQ, and Jabber IMs in one location so you can chat to your heart’s content. Cool features include Meebo Map, which shows worldwide IM conversations in 15-minute slices, and Meebo Me, an embeddable IM window you can drop onto your personal Web page and use to chat with your site’s visitors.