Thursday, July 29, 2010

Is It Possible to Go Truly ‘Off the Grid’?

I have a good friend who mentions going off the grid. I think he'd understand and appreciate this guys point of view, that in fact, we can't truly go off the grid anymore.

Is It Possible to Go Truly ‘Off the Grid’?
Via: The Infrastructurist

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cloud Computing goes governmental

A lot of things in tech get out ahead of themselves. Cloud computing is one of them. And the PC folks have an advantage. Back in 1995 or so I worked at KLA. Our desktop PCs all shared apps on the server - no local apps running. I thought it was brilliant. Stored all my docs there too in case my computer blew up. I know it's not quite cloud computing, but the concept was there. Your files and apps are safer on the server.

I butted heads about this with many an IT guy. A group of us in account services had to update a part of a large document every week. We kept it on the server. But we had to pull it down, make our updates, and repost it to the server when done. Oh the drama if two people did that at the same time. And the Word of the day would crap out on you if you tried to open it from the network. We were itching for the cloud. We just didn't know what to call it.

And I think this is still an issue. People don't get it. And they are afraid of what they don't get. It's coming around with online taxes, banking, and now Google and Microsoft's Windows Live.

I've read the stories about copies of databases being brought home on laptops and lost. I've seen colleagues almost cry when all their email was locked inside a dead Mac. I believe in bus-proofing my desk, including my computer. And cloud computing is key to making this real.
Google Introduces Government-Approved Secure "Apps for Government" Suite | Fast Company
Via: Fast Company


Monday, July 12, 2010

Parking Godess full of grace. Help us find a parking space.

Now here's an idea that is both technology and community. Why not help out your fellow city parking space searchers by letting them know when you're leaving a spot. And of course where it is.

Google Open Spot alerts Android users to freed parking spaces
Via: Engadget

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The connected Arctic

Seems like such a far place away. But with modern tech, the Artic is well connected. Tourists, infact, visit on day trips. Its a bizarre place as far as international relations go as well. 
“A few dozen of them spend the winter up here. “The midnight sun is one thing,” one of the select few boasts, “but the full moon at noon is rarer and finer.”
Green.view: The connected Arctic

Via: The Economist

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

LEDs for Avoiding Traffic Accidents�:�Greentech Media

I like when innovation takes advantage of technology already in place to make something new. Using headlights and brake lights to communicate a car's status - speed, direction, approach is a great idea. The idea in the article depends on using LEDs as they are chip based, and thus programmable by changing the frequency of their on and off cycles. (LEDs are always blinking. Just too fast for the eyes to see.)

I also appreciate how Intel lays out possible customer applications as ways to tout and prove their own products' appeal. Intel probably won't ever make tail lights that communicate, but they want to be the chip that powers the systems that their customers eventually bring to market. Nice air support, no?

LEDs for Avoiding Traffic Accidents
Via: Greentech Media

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How Does Sewage Treatment Work?: Scientific American

My wife might tell you I'm obsessed with poop. It's not true. But this article is everything you every wanted to know about sewage in 14 pages.

How Does Sewage Treatment Work?: Scientific American

I once had my 10 year old nephew visiting in San Francisco. One Saturday morning as we were getting ready for the day, I called the sewage treatment plant at Ocean Beach, and asked if they did tours. "In ten minutes." came the answer. "Don't start without us. We're on our way."

It's an amazing thing. The sheer volume of input to separate the less than 1% of bad stuff from the 99% water. I encourage you to see how it's done in your community.