- Myth of the Free Internet (The Atlantic) — equity of access is an important issue, but this good point is marred by hanging it off the problematic (beer? speech? downloads?) “free”. I’m on the council of InternetNZ whose mission is to protect and promote the open and uncaptureable Internet. (A concept so good we had to make up a word for it)
- Periodic Table of the SmartPhone (PDF, big) — from Scientific American article on Rare Earth Minerals in the Smartphone comes a link to this neat infographic showing where rare earth elements are used in the iPhone. (via Om Malik)
- CrazyFlie Nano Preorders — 19g, 9cm x 9cm, 20min charge time for 7m flight time on this nano-quadrocopter. (via Wired)
- Changing Scientific Publishing (The Economist) — Nature buys an alternative journal publisher (30 titles in 14 scientific fields), which comes with an 80k-member social network for scientists. Macmillan are a clever bunch. (O’Reilly runs Science Foo Camp with Macmillan’s Digital Sciences and Google)
ENTRIES TAGGED "environment"
Equity of Access, Smartphone Rare Earths, Nanoquadrocopter, and Macmillan Expands in Open Science
Minecraft Devastation, Constructive Dialog, Oatmeal Rocks, and Pwning Printers
- Minecraft Experiment Devolves into Devastating Resource War — life imitates art, but artificial life imitates, well, Haiti.
- Finding Unity in the Math Wars — I recently heard a quote about constructive dialog: “Don’t argue the exact point a person made. Consider their position and respond to the best point they could have made.” I like this! (and the point that math teachers fighting with each other is missing an opportunity to fight for the existence of math education) (ps, “unity … math”, I see what you did there)
- Tesla Museum Funded — Matthew Inman, cartoonist behind The Oatmeal, used IndieGogo to raise over $850k to buy Tesla’s old building in New York and turn it into a museum. In five days. There are still 39 days to run. Impressive channeling of his audience for good.
- Printers Spontaneously Printing “SQL” Strings (Hacker News) — it’s a sign that someone’s scanning your network for vulnerable web apps, found the exposed printer port, and sent an malignant HTTP request to it.
Animal Imagery, Infectious Ideas, Internet v Books, and Transparency Projects
- Penguins Counted From Space (Reuters) — I love the unintended flow-on effects of technological progress. Nobody funded satellites because they’d help us get an accurate picture of wildlife in the Antarctic, but yet here we are. The street finds a use …
- What Makes a Super-Spreader? — A super-spreader is a person who transmits an infection to a significantly greater number of other people than the average infected person. The occurrence of a super spreader early in an outbreak can be the difference between a local outbreak that fizzles out and a regional epidemic. Cory, Waxy, Gruber, Ms BrainPickings Popova: I’m looking at you. (via BoingBoing)
- The Internet Did Not Kill Reading Books (The Atlantic) — reading probably hasn’t declined to the horrific levels of the 1950s.
- Data Transparency Hacks — projects that came from the WSJ Data Transparency Codeathon.
Library Licensing, Mac Graphics, Coal Computing, and Human Augmentation
- Just Say No To Freegal — an interesting view from the inside, speaking out against a music licensing system called Freegal which is selling to libraries. Libraries typically buy one copy of something, and then lend it out to multiple users sequentially, in order to get a good return on investment. Participating in a product like Freegal means that we’re not lending anymore, we’re buying content for users to own permanently so they don’t have to pay the vendor directly themselves. This puts us in direct competition with the vendor’s sales directly to consumers, and the vendors will never make more money off of libraries than they will off of direct consumer sales. What that does is put libraries in a position of being economic victims of our own success. I would think that libraries would remember this lesson from our difficulties with the FirstSearch pay-per-use model that most of us found to be unsustainable.
- Cost of Computing in Coal (Benjamin Mako Hill) — back-of-the-envelope estimation of the carbon costs of running an overnight multicore Amazon number-crunching job. Thinking about the environmental costs of your crappy coding might change the way you code, much as punched cards encouraged you to model and test the program by hand before you ran it. How many tons of coal are burnt to support laziness or a lack of optimization in my software?
- Friction in Computer Human Symbiosis (Palantir blog) — Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process. (via Tim O’Reilly)
Dennis Stovall on the intricacies of sustainable publishing.
Dennis Stovall, director of the Publishing Program at Portland State University, discusses the state of sustainable publishing and who's doing it right.
Why smart metering is just the first wave of the power grid's data revolution.
The smart grid is an information revolution for utilities, and the first line of the information the grid uses will come from smart meters. EMeter's Aaron DeYonker discusses meter use and data applications in this interview.
Carbon capture tech would require huge scale, but could give the world needed time.
Capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere has major challenges, but it can be done at a price that would not destroy our economy. Doing so would give us more time to find ways to switch to inherently zero-carbon methods of powering our civilization.
Solar cost per watt is dropping on an exponential curve, and will drop below coal by 2020.
If humanity could capture one tenth of one percent of the solar energy striking the Earth, we would have access to 6X as much energy as we consume in all forms today, with almost no greenhouse gas emissions.
How can massive environmental datastreams create new markets?
Because companies are tracking their inputs and byproducts carefully, there has been an exponential increase in the amout of efficiency/environmental data available for primary stakeholders and investors.
Carbon Offsets, Good IDN, People Don't Suck, and Passive Lifeblogging
- Holiday Carbon Offsets — buy carbon offsets against Santa’s trip, a stockingful of coal, or this year’s Reindeer Games. (via Val Aurora on Twitter)
- Sad Story of the Snowman — the best use of Internationalized Domain Names yet.
- Katie, Starwars Geek (CNN) — best use of the Internet this year.
- Everything The Internet Knows About Me Because I Asked It To (WSJ) — passive lifeblogging. (via Keith on Twitter)