Interesting. The error log message you describe is a system message (android.server.checkin is a framework Service that pings the Google Android servers for updates etc.). So it's not directly related to the example code you're trying.
Which Chapter 9 Earthquake example are you trying (there are three)? As mentioned in the note preceeding the code, the first example executes entirely on the GUI thread, so it might be blocking other Services from completing properly. The second example (pp303) moves the processing to a background thread, which will improve the system performance.
Another possibility is an Internet connection problem. Can you browse the Internet from the browser running in the emulator? The error you describe suggests that the emulator may not be able to see the checkin server -- it might be worth testing Internet connectivity via the Emulator browser first to make sure there are no issues with proxys etc. If you have a problem there, let me know and I'll try to help figure out what's happening.
Finally, I'm not sure -- but if you recently provided some feedback on Amazon I'd love to have more details on the problems you've encountered. All the code Listings in the book are available for download from here: http://media.wiley.com/product_ancil...20Listings.zip
It's a separate file from the full example projects which contains each of the Listings for each chapter.
If you encountered specific errors in code, I apologize. I'd love to know them so we can add them to the errata and fix them for future versions.