Gone Surfing  

Posted by Big Gav

I'm off for a week - see you next Tuesday.

In the meantime here is a brief link dump (if I had more time I have about 1000 other interesting items, but alas...).

Technology Review has a look at Cellulolytic Enzymes - designing better enzymes for making biofuels from cellulose.

The Lahontan Valley News has an article outlining some of the challenges involved when expanding transmission capacity when building new renewable energy projects - in this case geothermal energy in northern Nevada.

Renewable Energy Access has a look at efforts by German organisation Green Step to teach people in Cameroon how to construct their own wind turbines and hydroelectric plants using local materials. Currently, ninety percent of the people in Cameroon are not connected to the national electricity grid.

TreeHugger has some video from "Six Degrees" looking at the segments on Jamais Cascio's cheeseburger obsession, including the "infamous latex glove scene".

Technology Review has a look at "Reality Mining" and "behaviour logging" - researchers looking at how to use data gathered by cell phones to learn more about human behavior. Frequent tinfoil consumers will no doubt view this sort of thing as a civilian spin-off of military/intelligence research - looking at how to extract some value from all of the monitoring infrastructure that has been set up to collect data on our every move (with the example used of modelling the spread of diseases further adding to the foily alarm bells). The idea of being able to predict human behaviour based on aggregated data is quite an interesting one - I used to watch the electricity grid data quite closely and you can see some mass behavioural patterns from that data quite clearly. Maybe one day when everything we do is monitored, measured, stored and analysed, Asimov's old ideas about "psychohistory" might become realised...

Bruce Sterling has a post on a Compressed Earth Block (CEB) press called "The Liberator" ("(It makes bricks out of dirt. Then you make cheap, open-source houses out of the bricks"), and introduces a new concept - "Neo-commercialization".

Bruce also has an annotated version of the Italian National Anthem and some notes on a simmering water war betwen Georgia and Tennessee.

4 comments

It is very easy to monitor your cell phone calls. No doubt the US government does this as a matter of course. In fact, your position can even be triangulated using cell phone towers when you use your phone.

Maybe it is time to start talking in code. Like the Code Talkers of WWII

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ST: I occasionally point to articles that talk about features built in to mobile phones that allow them to be monitored while turned off - basically they can be used as a bugging device that people go to great lengths to keep in their presence.

I view 3G / video phones as the implementation of Orwell's big brother surveillance devices - you can be watched anytime, anywhere :-)

IS: biggav at gmail dot com

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