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The City of West Des Moines has been recognized for mixing its road-salt solution with two other chemicals in a new way that's intended to cut down on environmental pollution. That's the second time in the last couple of years when a metro suburb has been noted on a national level for its de-icing efforts. Ankeny got some press back in December 2008, when it used excess garlic salt from Tone's on its roads.
Google has released its Nexus One mobile phone, a smartphone with a number of Google-related Internet features built right in. It's only available online or through T-Mobile locations, so one would have to visit a local T-Mobile store to play with it first-hand. T-Mobile is undoubtedly hoping that a connection with a hot new phone like the Nexus One will boost its presence in the US mobile market, which isn't really all that big. But what we might not recognize here is that T-Mobile is part of Deutsche Telekom, a much bigger international phone provider.
The release of the Nexus One is really the final step towards proving that the iPhone would attract a herd of rivals not long after its own release, and now it will be exciting to watch and see where future generations of smartphones take us. Apple faces too much competition now to rest on its laurels, and Google is trying to get into the market because it's afraid of losing its grip on mobile users. This competition is going to be profoundly costly to the competitors, and richly rewarding to us as consumers.
The building formerly known as the Burj Dubai has finally opened, but it's been renamed in honor of the neighboring king who ponied up a lot of money to keep the project (and Dubai) afloat. The building really is a whole lot taller than anything else ever built, but it's really hard to see how anything that tall will ever be constructed in the future -- except as another stunt to stand as a monument to someone's titanic ego.
NASA has found five more planets outside our solar system. What's really remarkable about the discovery is that we didn't know that any existed prior to 1989, and now we know of 422. Truly amazing -- the more we discover about our Universe, the more majestic much of it becomes.