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The Internet

Green, Wireless Networking 138

spacepleb writes "A solar and pedal powered bi-directional satellite connection shared out over 802.11b. Given the difficulty of satellite connectivity alone in Europe, these guys turned some heads."
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Green, Wireless Networking

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  • by SeanTobin ( 138474 ) <byrdhuntrNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Sunday September 22, 2002 @07:03PM (#4308736)
    I've got no idea what the link is about, but I'm guessing thier bicycle just got a lot harder to push.
  • Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by nelf ( 192284 ) on Sunday September 22, 2002 @07:05PM (#4308739) Homepage
    There is a mirror for this at
    http://mirror1.psand.net/green/
  • Now all I need is a bicycle of my own so I can follow them around and get free internet access.
  • Mirrior (if the page would finish downloading...):
    Here [5light.com] (note, this might have to be taken down, I'm not sure how MY site will handle the bandwidth, I'll keep a close eye on it.)
  • I wonder how much money my gym could save by using this concept...
    • Hold on a second. Just so that we can enjoy more callories, we justify more exercise.. to give back the callories... wtf.. doesn't this seem a little silly?
      • Just so that we can enjoy more callories, we justify more exercise.. to give back the callories... wtf.. doesn't this seem a little silly?

        Yeah, but lots of things we do to make ourselves more attractive to the opposite sex are silly.

        Anyway, I looked it up. You get about $0.01/hour of electricity per bike... So, not worth it.

        • A single bike isn't worth it. However, for a gym owner with dozens of bikes, all of which currently dump the power generated as heat (they use magnetic resistance, in the form of a generator hooked up to big banks of resistors, with a little power bled off to run the computer), you can save quite a bit in air-conditioning costs, while paying for lighting to boot.

          Besides, .01 pays for 200 watts of electricity (at least it does in Los Angeles), more than enough to power your computer and monitor. Might as well use that pedaling to crunch RC5 keys before converting it to heat...
          • However, for a gym owner with dozens of bikes

            ...they'll get dozens of pennies per hour.

            all of which currently dump the power generated as heat (they use magnetic resistance, in the form of a generator hooked up to big banks of resistors, with a little power bled off to run the computer), you can save quite a bit in air-conditioning costs

            I don't think it works that way. Just as much, in fact, slightly more heat would still be produced. I mean, it seems the second law of thermodynamics would imply that.

            Besides, .01 pays for 200 watts of electricity (at least it does in Los Angeles)

            Yeah, that's where I got the $0.01 from. I used 200 watts and estimated the cost of electricity at $0.05/kilowatt.

            And actually, my gym's bikes already power the bike's computer (to monitor heart rate, regulate resistance, etc) this way, I believe. I'll have to check, but I'm pretty sure it gets nowhere near 200 watts though.

            • all of which currently dump the power generated as heat (they use magnetic resistance, in the form of a generator hooked up to big banks of resistors, with a little power bled off to run the computer), you can save quite a bit in air-conditioning costs


              I don't think it works that way. Just as much, in fact, slightly more heat would still be produced. I mean, it seems the second law of thermodynamics would imply that.

              I think you misunderstood me. Exercise bikes currently take all the work you put into them and converts it to heat. What I proposed, is you could avoid the heat production by channelling the power generated by the generators already hooked up to me bikes to the electrical grid, instead of to the resistors on the bike that are currently bleeding the generated power as heat.

              Nothing here violates the 2nd law - air conditioning costs would go down because you would no longer have to cool down all these machines, as that power is off doing work elsewhere, rather than in the actual gym. Yes, you'd still generate heat during the generation process, as it's not 100% efficient, but you wouldn't be converting 100% of it into heat, immediately in the gym, as it currently works.

              The onboard bike computer doesn't get 200 watts, because most of that generated power is bled off as heat, through the resistor banks, which provides the resistance to the pedals.
  • by Boiling_point_ ( 443831 ) on Sunday September 22, 2002 @07:16PM (#4308776) Homepage
    Now all we need is a three hundred metre tall trebuchet to launch the satellite itself into orbit, and we're as green as Kermit :)
  • Green? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 22, 2002 @07:20PM (#4308785)
    All those people pedaling the bicycle were producing carbon dioxide, which leads to global warming.
    • Re:Green? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by doc_side ( 557114 )
      Think of it more like this.

      The world is more or less set up as a closed eco-system. Any sort of process occuring that is a build up of any substance probably has something that gets rid of it. Trees turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, and we turn oxygen into carbon dioxide. Everything is in equallibrium. I even heard this theory that if you burned a certain number of plants, the system wouldn't collapse right away, and even if you burned a lot of plants, the whole ecosystem wouldn't collapse, just scale down in size, thus keeping the equallibrium.

      This discussion leads us to how fossil fuels are causing us harm. See, these fuels are plants that died a long time ago, and for all intents and puroposes, are not within this above ground ecosystem naturally. Thus, we are bringing from outside an ammount of carbon dioxide that this system is able to handle. With nothing to process it or use it, we are creating an excess of it with nowhere to go except up. :)
      • This discussion leads us to how fossil fuels are causing us harm. See, these fuels are plants that died a long time ago, and for all intents and puroposes, are not within this above ground ecosystem naturally.

        Nonsense. Watt for watt, fossil fuels produce less CO2 than humans. Yes, one person pedaling a bike doesn't create very much CO2, but they also don't create very much electricity.

        • I have no reason to dissagree with you on this, however my post was more to point out that using things like bio-diesel and the like are less likely to cause large excesses of carbon dioxide.
        • Re:Green? (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Random Data ( 538955 )

          Yes, one person pedaling a bike doesn't create very much CO2, but they also don't create very much electricity.

          Perhaps if wedid move to personal poewr generation along the lines of a pedal power generator, or a bank of solar cells on the roof, appliances might become more energy efficient?

          I've got a 10W halogen globe rigged into a bike light [hired-goons.net]. If I can ride a bike off road at 30km/h (~20mph) by this, I can read a book by it. But I tend to use the 100W incandescent in the lounge room, or the 50W halogen in my desk lamp, simply because that's what's easily available.

          If I were truly green I'd swap all those high power globes for smaller ones and rewire the house to run off renewable resources, and use portable lamps closer to what I'm doing rather than a big "light the whole room" one. But that doesn't stop me from wondering why it's such common practice to throw gobs of power into basic tasks.

          • Re:Green? (Score:2, Insightful)

            Perhaps if wedid move to personal poewr generation along the lines of a pedal power generator, or a bank of solar cells on the roof, appliances might become more energy efficient?

            More likely we simply would have to give up on many appliances. I mean, in general yes, if you raise the cost of energy, you are going to see more energy efficient products, but so what? I'm all for keeping reasonable taxes on pollution producing products, but beyond that the free market will take care of utilizing our resources in the most efficient manner.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      they coulda used a paddle-wheel to harness
      the river-current flow to eliminate the C02.
  • They could have just burned the grease from the guys hair that was peddling the bike to create enough steam power to power the whole camp... That or they could have made candles out of it and turned all the lights off.

    Sorry, but those dreads look pretty nasty....
  • by peatbakke ( 52079 ) <peat@p e a t.org> on Sunday September 22, 2002 @07:29PM (#4308806) Homepage
    ... the server's been slashdoted. :)
  • Another Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by adelayde ( 185757 ) on Sunday September 22, 2002 @07:36PM (#4308826) Homepage
    Another mirror of this to be found here [pipex.com].
  • Amongst adult users, in general, females seemed to be more proficient and less complaining than males when given free use of the network. Males complained more, and were less open to learning. This was an overall feeling between us after the 5 days.

    Guess they weren't in tune with the Earth Mother, or something...
  • mirror (Score:3, Informative)

    by jazperbg ( 596574 ) <webmaster@kiwisparks.co.nz> on Sunday September 22, 2002 @07:53PM (#4308861) Homepage Journal
    and yet another mirror, here [kiwisparks.co.nz] (the images may still be downloading from the original site for a wee while)
  • by teqo ( 602844 ) on Sunday September 22, 2002 @07:55PM (#4308865) Journal
    25 comments, and everybody besides the valuable mirror people (thx!) is trying to be funny... I cannot refrain from the idea this must have to do with the /. community perception of these people as just being wierd treehuggers, but a) how is this less hackish or nerdish than other fringe hardware hacking, like setting up overclocked boards in fridges or similar stuff which always gets applauded here, and b) this in fact isn't useless, not because it actually solves energy problems, but it rather points to environmental issues someone needs to address...

    Maybe its too bad for their /. appreciation that its called the Big Green Gathering and not HAL [hal2001.org] or Chaos Communication Camp [www.ccc.de].. Nonetheless they have done a nice and valuable hack, and a green one too...

    • Maybe the story just isn't very interesting?

      Also, it's prime time Sunday TV time across the USA right now.
      • Sure, maybe many people do not consider this interesting, which is fine to me. But although its thrilling US TV prime time, they find time to comment on a boring story..? (Which is fine to me as well) Maybe they comment on a what they consider boring since the TV is even more boring?

        Maybe we can agree on 50% bored people, and 50% smart asses? ;)

    • by swb ( 14022 ) on Sunday September 22, 2002 @08:16PM (#4308909)
      b) this in fact isn't useless, not because it actually solves energy problems, but it rather points to environmental issues someone needs to address...

      What's the proportion of energy used to *make* all the comms gear they have vs. the energy it actually takes to power it? 100:1?

      In other words, what's the total energy cost of the product (production, distribution, use) and what percentage are you actually saving? Is it the equivilent of not running the A/C in your 400-cubic-inch-V8-powered SUV because it gives you a tiny payback in gas mileage?

      • What's the proportion of energy used to *make* all the comms gear they have vs. the energy it actually takes to power it? 100:1?

        Yep, you are right. That's one reason I said they address, yet do not solve the problem, because its not solved in an efficent way, plus its not very convenient... Alone considering the amount of energy and resources put into the production of their AirBases and notebooks outnumbers what they save through bike power by far. IMHO their approach does not qualify as a solution, but more as a hackish project, which can function as a reminder, maybe even as kinda proof-of-concept, and that's it.

        On the other hand, if somebody would try to develop some environmental-friendly way of powering outdoor notebooks or whatever, this development would initially waste far more energy than it would save, hopefully paying off in the long run. I see that their project is no research effort or something similar serious, but asking for 'greener' solutions and at the same time rejecting the trade-off of initially higher resource usage for the sake of resource-friendly solutions would end up in dumping all technology and doing LANs and WANs with drums, becoming the infamous treehugger person.

        That's my two Eurocent at least...

      • In other words, what's the total energy cost of the product (production, distribution, use) and what percentage are you actually saving? Is it the equivilent of not running the A/C in your 400-cubic-inch-V8-powered SUV because it gives you a tiny payback in gas mileage?

        And your argument is that the guy in the SUV who saves 1 out of every 10,000 Watts he expends would be better off running the A/C? Even if the other 100,000 SUV users also do the same and between them they consume 100,000 Watts less? Huh?!!!

    • 25 comments, and everybody besides the valuable mirror people (thx!) is trying to be funny...

      I wasn't.

      how is this less hackish or nerdish than other fringe hardware hacking, like setting up overclocked boards in fridges or similar stuff which always gets applauded here

      True...

      this in fact isn't useless, not because it actually solves energy problems, but it rather points to environmental issues someone needs to address...

      What, that the environmentalists are hypocrites who waste just as much energy as the rest of us?

      Nonetheless they have done a nice and valuable hack, and a green one too...

      Pedaling a bike for power? That's neither valuable nor green.

      • What, that the environmentalists are hypocrites who waste just as much energy as the rest of us?

        Well, and I was just given a -1 for flamebaiting? I can live with that, but besides the hypocrits there are people who do think about reducing power usage. Living in an industrialized country, its hard to live an everyday's life (not becoming a treehugger that is) and not waste energy. This fact can be used as a hypocrit's excuse, it can as well be part of the struggle to find alternatives within sensible borders of a given lifestyle.

        Pedaling a bike for power? That's neither valuable nor green.

        No, but its a demonstration, and valuable as a green one.

        • Living in an industrialized country, its hard to live an everyday's life (not becoming a treehugger that is) and not waste energy.

          That's why we have taxes, though. Raise them high enough and you can be sure that people will learn how to save energy.

          Pedaling a bike for power? That's neither valuable nor green.

          No, but its a demonstration, and valuable as a green one.

          I guess I just don't get it. What's it demonstrating, exactly?

          • BTW. I was involved in this. I think it demonstrated this: using solely solar cells and batteries we were able to run the net access for 2-3 hours a day (given that, as per usual for England, it was pretty overcast most of the time). When we used the bicycle generator, we were able to run for 5-6 hours, which effectively doubled the amount of access we could give. Had we run with a diesel generator, then we might have done 12 hours a day and obviously mains would have given us 24x7.

            So it's to do with how much you need to consume and how many resources you need in order to maintain your perception of your need to consume. Everything has a price and an environmental impact - yes of course, even the empty beer cans produced from the need to 'power' the peddlers! - and the important thing in my mind is to be aware of what this impact is with respect to what you consume.

            Last thing, we're not saying that this IS the way forward at all, of course there a lots of issues to do with both its feasiblity and its impact on people and the environment, not least satellite and wireless radio interference, but it was an experiment to see if it was possible, and it was.
            • BTW. I was involved in this. I think it demonstrated this: using solely solar cells and batteries we were able to run the net access for 2-3 hours a day (given that, as per usual for England, it was pretty overcast most of the time).

              And it also demonstrated that those 2-3 hours a day aren't enough for even the environmental hippies. In other words, it demonstrated that solar power is simply not sufficient (for even those professing to care the most about the environment).

              When we used the bicycle generator, we were able to run for 5-6 hours, which effectively doubled the amount of access we could give. Had we run with a diesel generator, then we might have done 12 hours a day and obviously mains would have given us 24x7.

              Depending how much fuel you had the diesel generator could obviously have run 24x7. But had you run it (using soybean oil) to generate enough energy for 5-6 hours, you likely would have created less pollution than the bicycle generator.

              Last thing, we're not saying that this IS the way forward at all

              I sure hope not, because it's a step backward.

              • "But had you run it (using soybean oil) to generate enough energy for 5-6 hours, you likely would have created less pollution than the bicycle generator."

                I am interested in any facts you have that would verify this opinion....

                What pollution does a bicycle generator produce?

                New carbon dioxide emissions are not produced by humans or soybean-diesel, they are both part of the carbon cycle. What pollution are you actually talking about?
              • And it also demonstrated that those 2-3 hours a day aren't enough for even the environmental hippies.

                But actually it was! They got to check their hotmail accounts and were pretty damn chuffed about it too!

                Depending how much fuel you had the diesel generator could obviously have run 24x7.

                But the problem is that you're in the middle of a green festival in the middle of the country and you can't use your car to get more diesel to feed the generator, and you've removed one of the wheels from your bicycle to power your laptop! Oh the connumdrum, perhaps you should just go and enjoy the festival and sod the Internet and hence not run into a dilema about the power generation in the first place.

                But had you run it (using soybean oil) to generate enough energy for 5-6 hours, you likely would have created less pollution than the bicycle generator.

                Seriously though, do you have any hard facts to back this up?, sounds interesting. Is that the corporately controlled, modified by genetic engineering, then sold back to the third world and tree-hugging hippies everywhere type of soya oil?

                I sure hope not, because it's a step backward.

                I'm sorry but the bicycle was neither going forwards nor backwards, it was standing still and powering the laptop.
                • Depending how much fuel you had the diesel generator could obviously have run 24x7.

                  But the problem is that you're in the middle of a green festival in the middle of the country and you can't use your car to get more diesel to feed the generator, and you've removed one of the wheels from your bicycle to power your laptop!

                  "The fuel consumption for the diesel generator is 10KWH per gallon [htmlplanet.com]." So at 200 watts per hour, 5 gallons would last over 10 days.

                  But had you run it (using soybean oil) to generate enough energy for 5-6 hours, you likely would have created less pollution than the bicycle generator.

                  Seriously though, do you have any hard facts to back this up?, sounds interesting.

                  Nope. Do you have any hard facts to suggest that I'm wrong?

                  Is that the corporately controlled, modified by genetic engineering, then sold back to the third world and tree-hugging hippies everywhere type of soya oil?

                  Preferably the genetically engineered kind, since that's a lot more efficiently grown.

                  • Can you post in the right place please, it get's very confusing, there's a lot of you on this thread.

                    Do you have any hard facts to suggest that I'm wrong?

                    Hang on a minute, surely you shouldn't go around making statements like that without being able to back them up. If you can produce hard facts to prove this, then I will happily bother to find some hard-facts to disprove them.

                    I don't have any to hand, but surely there is a awful lot of inefficiency in the process of manufacturing soybean oil in the first place and this includes the barrel or can or bottle or whatever it comes in, the nice label, the crates, the trucks (and possibly boats or planes) that you use to transport the oil to the hippie festival and also all the people required to grow it, process it, bottle it, crate it, ship it, drive the trucks, sell the stuff and they all then all produce quite a lot of shit too. Would be interesting to see what is the difference in shitting capacity for the production of enough soybean oil to run the laptop, compared to that of someone that peddles a bike, and they can also ride to the festival on that very same bike, which incidentally is one of our most efficient forms of transportation - unless of course you include horses and then you need lots of soybean oil again to strengthen them up - I'd go for quick release back wheels if I were you.

                    Preferably the genetically engineered kind, since that's a lot more efficiently grown.

                    erm for a start it's it's not that's . Anyway, fair comment, but can you explain to me how or rather what way or rather in who's opinion is is more efficiently grown?
                    • Can you post in the right place please, it get's very confusing, there's a lot of you on this thread.

                      I posted in the right place, but when threads get too long slashdot messes up the indentation.

                      Hang on a minute, surely you shouldn't go around making statements like that without being able to back them up. If you can produce hard facts to prove this, then I will happily bother to find some hard-facts to disprove them.

                      I've researched into this before, but I don't have any of the information sitting in front of me. As such I'll just drop that part of the argument.

                      I don't have any to hand, but surely there is a awful lot of inefficiency in the process of manufacturing soybean oil in the first place and this includes the barrel or can or bottle or whatever it comes in, the nice label, the crates, the trucks (and possibly boats or planes) that you use to transport the oil to the hippie festival and also all the people required to grow it, process it, bottle it, crate it, ship it, drive the trucks, sell the stuff and they all then all produce quite a lot of shit too.

                      The same could be said about the bike riders' diets. Of course both are dependent on the specific way in which the fuel was obtained.

                      Preferably the genetically engineered kind, since that's a lot more efficiently grown.

                      erm for a start it's it's not that's .

                      Hmm, I'm not sure I agree. "that's" seems perfectly acceptable. "that" refering to "the genetically engineered kind."

                      Anyway, fair comment, but can you explain to me how or rather what way or rather in who's opinion is is more efficiently grown?

                      I thought the whole point of genetic engineering was to produce a crop which is more efficiently grown. I guess it depends what kind of genetic mutations you were talking about. For one example, some plants are genetically engineered to be resistant to herbicides. This allows a farmer to grow more crops in less space, and with less energy expended, which certainly sounds like an environmentally friendly goal to me.

              • And it also demonstrated that those 2-3 hours a day aren't enough for even the environmental hippies. In other words, it demonstrated that solar power is simply not sufficient (for even those professing to care the most about the environment).

                You asked me before what this was demonstrating. Its a technology demonstration with a fun moment included, and saying that this project has proven that solar energy is insufficient since it didnt supply enough energy is like telling Mrs. Curie she could have stopped exploring radioactivity since her gramm of radium will never be enough to produce energy for cities, and since I suppose you support nuclear energy you might understand this example. Solar energy is an alternative, that has been practically proven in many areas, even in northern hemisphere areas which do not have aquatorial sun light. It might not be the full answer, but it can contribute significantly.

                Again, keeping your 'environmental hippies' stereotype suggests me you will not take some people seriously whatsoever...

                And there can hardly be any doubt that solar power produces less pollution in operation than burning any fuel, whether its soy bean oil or coal or whatever...

                I sure hope not, because it's a step backward.

                Now that even those who liked that projects have agreed that this is not the ultimate step forward, what's exactly the mighty step backwards?

      • What, that the environmentalists are hypocrites who waste just as much energy as the rest of us

        Well, without engaging your 8th grade debate technique, Ill simply say your probably pretty wrong.

        Im as green as they come, a #1 tree-hugger, and I can tell you, I watch my coworkers, neighbours and family pollute and waste endlessly. Try riding your bike to work. Leave bags and packaging on the counter at the grocer. Grow a garden. Compost. Recycle. Pick up random trash when walking in parks and put them in your pocket. Dont use paint where you dont have to. Plant trees. Use an electric lawnmower (infrequently enough to get letters from city-hall). Let 90% of your lawn grow at its own will. Have your shoes repaired. Buy organic-cotten clothing at a co-operative [www.mec.ca]. By organic groceries and support local farmers. Dont eat at chain-restaurants.

        ...and tell loud-mouthes on slashdot -- who call OTHERS HYPOCRITES TO SATIFSY THEIR OWN GUILT AND PROVIDE SHALLOW-JUSTIFICATION FOR THEIR OWN MISDEEDS to @#$@-Off .

        Im not greener-than-though pal, but I resent the implied justification for your OWN ACTIONS you present by calling someone a hypocrite.
        • What, that the environmentalists are hypocrites who waste just as much energy as the rest of us

          Well, without engaging your 8th grade debate technique, Ill simply say your probably pretty wrong.

          Touche, I was being hyperbolic.

          Im not greener-than-though pal, but I resent the implied justification for your OWN ACTIONS you present by calling someone a hypocrite.

          What actions are that? You don't know me, and you don't know what my actions are.

          By organic groceries and support local farmers. Dont eat at chain-restaurants.

          Do you have any data backing up whether or not that is more energy efficient? I would think that communal cooking would be much more energy efficient than individualized cooking.

          • What actions are that? You don't know me, and you don't know what my actions are.

            just as you cant brand Treehuggers hypocrites. Simple.

            Do you have any data backing up whether or not that is more energy efficient? I would think that communal cooking would be much more energy efficient than individualized cooking.


            Organic, locally produced foods are unprocessed, better for you (free of chemicals), more-nutritionally-rich (fresher), better for the environment (dont contribute to pollution), dont require transportation (ie: boxed and driven across hell's-half-acre), maintain biodiversity because local-farmers maintain heritage varieties. You support decentralized control which helps avoid the corporatization* of the food supply (pay or starve scenario's by the mega-wealthy)... etc etc.

            as for chain foods, they are nutritionally appalling (bad for you), again, you supporting a system of centralized control (by people with perpendicular motivations to their efforts (making money is unrelated to feeding people)), chain restaurants rely on packaged/processed foods shipped from afar, use disposable everything, pay people minimum wage and crush union efforts. chain-restaurants are a product (and source) of marketing bombardment and encourage consumer culture, these are also wasteful. Advertising is meant to coerce, to lead you to a decision that benefits someone's selfish motivation. The Mental Environment [adbusters.org] suffers because of it.

            ...as for communal cooking (or central food-prep) vs. individual cooking... im sure a Intentional Community's central cooking facility one within a short walk of a few hundred people is an environmental benefit. But im willing to bet that the idea that everyone should jump in their Internal-Combustion-Engine powered car and drive down to a %burger_joint% far overcomes the savings in your proposed-scenario.
            *
            • just as you cant brand Treehuggers hypocrites. Simple.

              I admitted I was wrong for making that statement.

              Organic, locally produced foods are unprocessed, better for you (free of chemicals), more-nutritionally-rich (fresher),

              You don't back any of that up (and it depends on the resturant), but in any case, I'm talking solely about environmental impact.

              better for the environment (dont contribute to pollution),

              How so? I don't see the alternative case for chain resturants, unless you're talking about transportation costs...

              dont require transportation (ie: boxed and driven across hell's-half-acre),

              As I live in New Jersey this is pretty much required anyway, but I certainly agree that this is an advantage of locally grown food. But I'm not sure it exceeds the disadvantages, which come from the economies of scale of central food growing and preparation.

              as for chain foods, they [...] use disposable everything

              Not all chain resturants "use disposable everything"

              chain-restaurants are a product (and source) of marketing bombardment and encourage consumer culture, these are also wasteful.

              In what way? I assume you're talking about environmental impact.

              ...as for communal cooking (or central food-prep) vs. individual cooking... im sure a Intentional Community's central cooking facility one within a short walk of a few hundred people is an environmental benefit.

              So what's the difference? Just because someone's making a profit all of a sudden it's not environmentally sound?

              But im willing to bet that the idea that everyone should jump in their Internal-Combustion-Engine powered car and drive down to a %burger_joint% far overcomes the savings in your proposed-scenario.

              I never said anything about jumping in your internal-combustion-engine powered car.

              Anyway, we already have a system for determining the cost to society of a product we buy. That is - the cost of the product! There are certain things that need to be done to factor in the costs of economic bads, such as the pollution caused in the transportation of the product, but guess what, the diesel that powers those transportation vehicles is taxed to reflect those economic bads!

              • determining the cost to society of a product we buy. That is - the cost of the product!

                except that we dont - does the lcoal factory pay for the air pollution it causes? does mcblondblands pay for the increased health costs of its obese patients? does the auto-driver (solely) pay the cost of the roads (s)he uses? does the yacht owner pay for the oil he spills in the lake? does the gap pay to replace the forest that was cut to grow cotton for the 1231th needless pc of clothing the average-western-teenager DOESNT NEED (it brainwashes the unwashed masses to believe they NEED %something%)? does the local starbucks come and pick up the trash-paper-cups from my yard?

                so, in the end, we have a economic system that doesnt account - completely - for all the costs... our Capitalist system EXTERNALIZES and SOCIALIZES costs and INTERNALIZES profit.

                do you see the disconnect?
                • except that we dont - does the lcoal factory pay for the air pollution it causes?

                  Yep - through taxes.

                  uses? does mcblondblands pay for the increased health costs of its obese patients [presumably you meant customers]?

                  Yes. Through lowered demand and therefore lower product costs.

                  patients? does the auto-driver (solely) pay the cost of the roads (s)he uses?

                  Sure, through gasoline taxes.

                  does the yacht owner pay for the oil he spills in the lake?

                  Yep, when s/he gets sued.

                  does the gap pay to replace the forest that was cut to grow cotton for the 1231th needless pc of clothing the average-western-teenager DOESNT NEED (it brainwashes the unwashed masses to believe they NEED %something%)?

                  Yep, they pay for that cost when they buy the cotton.

                  does the local starbucks come and pick up the trash-paper-cups from my yard?

                  The ones that they put there? They sure better. On the other hand, if you put the cups there, that's your problem.

                  so, in the end, we have a economic system that doesnt account - completely - for all the costs... our Capitalist system EXTERNALIZES and SOCIALIZES costs and INTERNALIZES profit.

                  It's not quite perfect. There are still a few economic goods/bads which we don't account for, but you haven't come up with any of them.

                  do you see the disconnect?

                  Yeah, I've taken Economics classes, and you haven't.

                  • As the Oxford dictionary states:

                    Economics - the branch of knowledge concerned with the production, consumption and transfer of wealth.

                    Wealth - an abundance of valuable possessions or money.

                    Valuable - worth a great deal of money, or extremely useful or important.

                    Therefore it all seems to depend on what you view as valuable: money or something extremely useful or important

                    I ask you to explain this (by referring to your economics class notes):

                    Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money can not be eaten. ~ Cree Indian Prophecy.
                    • Therefore it all seems to depend on what you view as valuable: money or something extremely useful or important.

                      Huh? What does this have to do with anything?

                      Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money can not be eaten. ~ Cree Indian Prophecy.

                      What do you want me to say about this? Why don't you start by telling me what point you're trying to make. Are you trying to disprove capitalism, or something?

                    • Nobody can prove something which already has a dis-proof:

                      It's not quite perfect. There are still a few economic goods/bads which we don't account for
                    • Huh? Are you hitting me with non sequiturs again? Oh, you mean that it's not perfect? The solution to that is to perfect it, of course, not to throw out the whole system. Economic bads should be taxed. Economic goods should be government subsidized.
                    • Huh? Are you hitting me with non sequiturs again?

                      No, it follows perfectly. If you have studied economics you should be able to understand intelligent discourse.

                      Oh, you mean that it's not perfect? The solution to that is to perfect it.

                      To attempt to prove, or perfect, something already dis-proven is a non-sequitur. How do you intend to perfect capitalism then? surely you must have a more positive suggestion, than more taxes on the hard working masses.

                      By the way Economic bads are usually illegal. - I don't like the Andersen method of accounting.
                  • Yep - through taxes
                    nope, absolutely untrue.

                    Sure, through gasoline taxes.
                    no, roads are paid (in canada) by a combo of fed/prov/municple tax, someofwhich comes from a at-the-pump tax. why do non-car owners pay for roads?
                    Yep, they pay for that cost when they buy the cotton.

                    do they pay to replace the Ecology they destroy? species made extinct? the hundred year old trees? No, that has no 'value' in your economy.

                    The ones that they put there? They sure better. On the other hand, if you put the cups there, that's your problem.
                    no, im talking about the 'convenience' cups they provide, the paper one-use disposable ones that goto landfills and float on beaches and collect in my garden... when they pay $0.03 per cup, are they REALLY considering all this? No.

                    Yeah, I've taken Economics classes, and you haven't.

                    Yeah, I've taken Economics classes, and you haven't.
                    really, here is a simple question -- as an example -- Is there anyone *selling* access to throw something into the garbage? The cost of a dump is *MUCH* greater than the land it happens to sit on. Furhter, all that disposable-stuff had to be made in the first place, did the cup-manufacturer pay for the real, long-term health/environmental cost of the item? or did they simply vent the process into the atmosphere?

                    BTW, ive taken quite a few economics courses - your either A) a moron or B) intentionally missing the point.

                    Have a look here [ecosystemvaluation.org] for more info

  • Wireless + green energy = tumours without all the earth-mother impact. Just what we needed...
    • I am very interested in health issues concerning wireless networking. Do you have any more information regarding the tumours which you refer to?
  • by jonbrewer ( 11894 ) on Sunday September 22, 2002 @08:10PM (#4308898) Homepage
    I wonder why the poster thinks satellite connectivity is difficult in Eurpoe... what is s/he comparing to? I found that there are more satellite Internet providers serving Europe and the Middle East than North America, by far!
    • by nelf ( 192284 ) on Sunday September 22, 2002 @08:18PM (#4308919) Homepage
      As it goes, Ku band downlink using the DVB-RCS standard which lets you get higher speed 2-way satellite links has been very difficult to get hold of in Europe up until very recently... the equipment we used was still under development at the time we carried out the activities in the article, and we are only now starting to see this sort of technology come to market, either in the UK or elsewhere in Europe... we've been after this sort of kit for about 4 years and we had to work very hard to get hold of it.
      • Erm, europe? Is the air different over there?

        Yep, there's dvb-rcs services. I know, cos I work on a project and thats out there (www.aramiska.com)..

        But if anything, we're seen little interest from american companies in it. Ok, might be because its standards based, but the point being, I would say its probably more difficult to get 2 way in the US...
  • a wrist powered model... (-;
  • they used a two-seater bike so two people could pedal at once? Or maybe they could hire Lance Armstrong for a LAN party...

    "Lance, pedal faster, my ping sucks"

  • Seeing an airport base station handle all there network needs is interesting. Just 1 base station proves how much this can handle. Even though I don't know how good db are when it comes to usablity with wireless, still having 6db with a Dell TrueMobile laptop shows wonders. I am thinking that is still a few megs/sec. At least it gives users access from over 250 meters away (roughly 820 feet).
  • This is perfect. Now all those washed-up "Tour de Where/Whatever" competitors have something to do when they can no longer race. They can put their urge to pedal to good use and keep the rest of us connected. Would that mean the leading pedal pounder would get a Green Jersey as opposed to a Yellow one? Oh, the possibilities...
    • Would that mean the leading pedal pounder would get a Green Jersey as opposed to a Yellow one?

      Just for your info, the Green Jersey already exists. It's awarded to the rider with the most sprint points in The Tour de France [letour.fr]. But it's the mountain bikers who are the real tree huggers... Wham! (ouch...)

  • by Treeluvinhippy ( 545814 ) <treeluvinhippy @ s n e t . net> on Sunday September 22, 2002 @08:44PM (#4308975)
    Green internet connection huh? Well lets see here... hmm depends on a sattelite with an apple airport for a connection and yet no mention of all the pollutants released in the atmosphere from the rocket.

    Lots of plastic chairs in the pictures that's not good.

    Cars! My god these people drove!

    Looks to me like it's just a bunch of yuppies doing their yearly feel-good protect the earth thing, and getting some excercise at the same time. When I saw that pic of the dude on the excercise bike I thought "Go Speed Racer, Go Speed Racer Go!"

  • As much as we all appreciate the mirrors, I have to wonder what would happen if someone less than friendly was mirrored (maybe without permission because it takes longer to get permission than it does to get slashdotted) by some well-meaning slashdotters. Would there be copyright issues involved?
  • Given the difficulty of satellite connectivity alone in Europe[...]

    Ehm, would anyone mind explaining what exactly is so difficult about satellite connectivity in Europe? From my experience in setting up systems all over the world, it's no more difficult (or easier) than setting up in the US or pretty much anywhere else (some fun regions in Africa or Asia excluded, where spotty coverage and 'rain fade' can really ruin the party - but Europe??)

    • The satellite connection used here uses the DVB-RCS standard to attain 2-way internet access. This equipment has only recently come to market. Two way satellite systems have been available the world over for many years, however higher speed uplink satellite have until recently only been affordable in Europe to organisations willing to invest large sums of money in expensive equipment. Older and more available VSAT (Very small aperture) satellites do not provide very fast or useable connections at all.
      The equivalent Inmarsat services cost somewhere in the region of 7 US dollars per minute. The system used in the posted article was 384K uplink, with downlink FTPs sustaining 100K FTP transfers. What easy to set up and affordable services are out there for the European market?
  • by Nkwe ( 604125 ) on Sunday September 22, 2002 @09:31PM (#4309131)
    Even people expressing "anti-capitalist" views can fail to comprehend or apply the effort needed to avoid using heavily licensed corporate software, even though a viable community alternative is presented in a learning environment with on hand human support.
    I found this comment most interesting and telling. It seems that in a situation as ideally suited for open software and an open environment such as described, the audience would be eager to learn and use what is available. This comment suggests otherwise. Depressing. It seems that we have a long road and a long haul ahead.
  • by FFFish ( 7567 )
    WTF is with the tee-pee encampment? These a bunch of wanna-be Indians?
  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Sunday September 22, 2002 @11:36PM (#4309566)
    Great... the first Slashdot-related fatality...

    "Too much web traffic kills Internet bicyclist..."

    -- Terry
  • Bexdorf? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Lev_Arris ( 60782 )
    Just FYI there's a little spelling mistake: The 'Astra Broadband Interactive Hub' is probably in Betzdorf, Luxembourg (http://www.ses-astra.com/tools/contact/index.shtm l) rather than in 'Bexdorf'. To be exact it's at the 'Château de Betzdorf' which can be seen here: http://be.sun.com/aboutsun/ezine/library/images/in stallation.jpg (Link taken from this article http://be.sun.com/aboutsun/ezine/library/ses_astra .html on Sun's site).

    For those who don't know Astra, they're one of the largest (if the the largest) satellite operators here in Europe doing mostly TV broadcasting. They've also got a picture gallery showing the NOC and the sats on their site: http://www.astra.lu/press-info/documentation/galle ry/index.php
  • (And possibly South America and Asia)
    In most of Africa the only way to get online is a $5000/month VSAT satellite base station.
    A pedal-powered link may sound funny to some of you but you are laughing from a position of privilege.
    A $1000 satellite station would bring the Internet to billions of people.
    And this would remove a significant obstacle to development in many places.
  • Using Power-converters for car-usage whould have saved some of the Power.Converting 12V DC up to 220V AC and back down to xxVDC (16V for the IBM-Laptopsand the Powerbooks) is much worse then direct conversion
  • The internet was designed to survive a nuclear war. It has redundancy, fault tolerance, and, with GNU ( and BSD and..) software, has an open access to most anyone that would wish to invest the time to master it.

    The internet, and free, untrammelled communication between real persons has as its' only threat unrestrained greed. Call it corporatism, or totalitarianism or any other type of --ism that you wish; there are a class of people that have nothing better to do then to manipulate their fellows.

    It is a start, but I do believe that until the internet has cellular -style, personally owned co-operative network nodes in an RF web, the freedom we enjoy to-day could be extinguished by corporate/regulatory/governmental fiat.

    I don't think such a world would be enjoyable to live in... but YMMV...

  • This [pipex.com] [pipex.com] mod to add an external antenna to the Airport hubs is one that Apple should really look into. It would be easy to do, and would make the range much farther. And Apple could make some sort of sexy looking antenna for it.

  • There are major health considerations when setting up the transmit hardware

    Being that I don't know much about the ranges wherein these transmissions become dangerous, it would be cool if somebody "in the know" could elaborate more on this. Can you actually fry people's brains with these satellites, or create cancer-causing radiation?

    My parents have a mini-dish in their back yard, somewhat similar to the one shown on this page. It's mounted pretty low, so I think that it would be about head-level on a tall person. Should I recommend that it be moved lest they cause somebody brain damage?

    That explains the voices in my head - phorm
    • High frequency, high power transmissions are dangerous, and can be deadly. Does the dish at your parent's house transmit? If it is a receiver then the transmitter is probably 36,000 km away, and the signal is drastically attenuated (which is why you need a dish to collect it) If it is transmitting then it requires careful placement. Many dishes look like they are pointing at the horizon due to the off-centred nature of the transmission hardware with respect to the dish, whereas they are actually beaming up at around 30 degrees - even so, if the dish is transmitting it should be well away from anyone's head.
    • A friend of mine who's heavily into E-M-E ham radio (Earth-Moon-Earth) pushes around 2KW into a 20dB gain antenna and managed to kill a tree at the bottom of his garden with it - some 20 yards from the antenna array.

      On the other hand, ordinary DBS satellite downlinks don't transmit any significant power and are entirely safe.

      If you also have to provide an uplink (like the one in this article had to do) then they do transmit. Although the power levels are much lower than my dangerous friend, they still should be treated with caution. I personally wouldn't want to be much less than about ten yards from the direct beam of the uplink, and even then I would try to avoid standing directly in the beam at any times other than the minimum essential.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of code." -- an anonymous programmer

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