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Comment Ok can someone explain? (Score 1) 29

What do I need to read and where do I need to go to get android running on one of those old oneTs? Or whatever - it's a testing ground, sold to a very generic audience. I would love to be able to run an ubuntu distro on there, although android sounds worth trying on a netbook.

One thing about netbooks though is they are half way between a phone and a computer, so they shouldn't need to be so complicated - both in interface design and in expectations. Another is this reliance on google docs or youtube and other commercial free-as-in-beer (I never thought I'd say that) services that just don't seem to have a proper funding model in a very unstable economy.

We really need to develop distributed software models that we can use to keep this kind of thing going. Projects like opengoo, or various mesh network wifi projects and organisations seem really useful, and ones that could easily adapt towards it, but I think the netbook will eventually be their playground...

I would love to find out for sure if at 30-50 watts we're finally at something I can attach an exercise bike or a couple of solar panels to and actually get enough power to run it. In environmental terms it would be a huge breakthrough. And I wouldn't spend so much time reading email.

Comment Re:From a Hot Zone (Score 1) 557

Regardless of who (or WHO) is right - and as with many of these big threats, you should "do what you should have been doing anyway" - an ecologist mantra that you can read more about here: http://www.energybulletin.net/node/25115.

And in this case this means resting, avoiding stress, getting lots of vitamins and above all avoiding pre processed foods and factory farmed animal meat: eat organic, locally grown food that hasn't travelled the world and been imbibed with chemicals or antibiotics that lower your own natural resistance to infection.

The reason we have pandemics like this one, Sars, Aids or bird flu is because of 30+ years of lowering resistance to disease due to the way we eat and the practices we have.

So if you do well with this, by August - by which time the virus may be much more dangerous - you'll have a nice resistant immune system. And if the virus disappears, you'll still have that nice resistant immune system!



Chu's Final Breakthrough Before Taking Office 233

KentuckyFC writes "While preparing for the job of US Secretary of Energy in the incoming Obama administration (and being director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a Nobel Prize winner to boot), Steven Chu has somehow found time to make a major breakthrough in the world of atom interferometry. One measure of an interferometer's sensitivity is the area that its arms enclose. Chu and colleagues have found a way to increase this area by a factor of 2,500 by canceling out the noise introduced by lasers, which work as beam splitters sending atoms down different arms (abstract). One thing this makes possible is the use of different types of atoms in the same interferometer, allowing a new generation of tests of the equivalence principle. (This is the assumption that the m in F=ma and the m's in F= Gm1.m2/r^2 are the same thing). Let's hope he's got equally impressive breakthroughs planned for his encore as US Secretary of Energy."

Comment Re:What the hell is green anyway? (Score 1) 165


Wrong generation really, I'm not a baby boomer, but I'll bite - yes as you say "green" is a really vague buzzword that everyone wants to jump on, sometimes with rubbish products that break straight away or that are only green in a small way, without addressing real issues or causing people to think they can buy their way out of our problems.

I'm a post baby boomer, born in the 70s, consumed during the 80s and 90s as if the world was infinite, as did all of "western" society and as you probably did yourself if you were around then, it was pretty hard not to, and I didn't question this really until the september 11 incidents. So I share that responsibility: as anyone alive and part of society now and in those years has, and probably much farther back in time and in different non-western societies as well, I helped fuck things up for our kids and other species.

But where I disagree with you is how to deal with this situation: one way, as you seem to do, is to just give up and only see the bad side of the so called green movement. I see it as a great opportunity for our teenage society to finally come of age and embrace it's limits, but I don't need anyone to agree with me on that. In anything there are positives, and one thing about being a "modern" environmentalist is that you can be more holistic - it's not about single issues any more, you don't need a beard, and it's certainly not such a side issue that people will not believe you. Most people nowadays have heard of peak oil, climate change, the food and credit crisis and the huge Ponzi schemes the financial system was built on. If you dig deeper you find even more crises that can seem really unsolvable. So what do you do? Just give up, dig for the last drops of oil, fight for the last scraps of food and secure the future maybe half or one generation down the road for your own family or country?

In everything we do there is good and bad. I really have trouble when companies go on about not being "evil" - it's very hard to be purely good, and we have to live with the fact that being alive means eating other living things, consuming resources and sometimes being destructive, but also it includes being creative, wise, strong etc. So nothing we do will be completely safe or positive, and no so called green products will be either, but we can go for the best we know, and try to do the best we can, improving our choices as we go.

What I think though is that everyone can have a positive vision for where they want things to go. These don't have to be the same vision, and sometimes they might even conflict, which is ok as long as we accept that people have differences. So in your example of carbon monoxide or electric car batteries, I think it's a bit of a waste of time to try and measure between how good one or another thing is - sure within reason, but it's a waste of time to aim for total green purity, and I think I prefer seeing this as a road with many corners and stops along the way, rather than just as green vs not green. Changing to low energy lightbulbs, recycling more or convincing people about a coming financial crash feels a bit 2007 now, so we have to keep going farther. People still have issues they see as more or less important than others, but if you give up, how are you going to keep going forward? Same with IT. Don't listen to the idiots or marketing departments, just make your own future and don't give up.


ps:Disclaimer: I'm a webmaster for Transition Bristol in the UK. You can read more about the transition movement here: http://www.transitiontowns.org/

Comment Don't buy kits, buy the bits (Score 2, Interesting) 262

I wouldn't go for the fancy laptop bags with solar panels... Maybe they work well, but if you're a real geek why not build your own? To run a regular 15-24v input laptop for 6 hours a day you'd need:

2 x 30W Mnocrystalline Solar Panels
1 x 6amp Charge Controller
1 x 85 Ah Deep Cycle leisure Battery
1 x Cigar to Crocodile Clip Adaptor
1 x Universal Laptop adaptor

At least that's here in drizzly old england. Comes to around 250 pounds in our drizzly english money.

Carbon costs and payback aren't everything: computers today aren't green and aren't sustainable but don't just get sad and do nothing :)

Using solar panels for this means microgeneration and helps promote use of decentralised, off grid energy which I consider a positive social change towards green-ness, and it will help you in particular if you live in a place with frequent blackouts (i.e not the UK!). Think of it as a ticket to a cheap shed-studio setup, or temporary remote setups like at festivals or camping, and once it's all wired up and charging a battery, I can plug it into loads of other kinds of things.



Submission + - Myanmar Junta Cuts Internet (cnn.com)

lunartik writes: "In Myanmar, formerly Burma, the government has now reportedly cut internet connections. Citizens have been using the internet to bring news to the world of the recent government crack-down on pro-democracy protesters. The latest civil unrest started when Buddhist monks marched by the home of the home of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for years."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - BBC Panorama Questions Long-Term Health of Wi-Fi

vtechpilot writes: "From the article:

Britain is in the grip of a Wi-Fi revolution with offices, homes and classrooms going wireless — but there is concern the technology could carry health risks. The Government insists Wi-Fi is safe, but a Panorama investigation shows that radio frequency radiation levels in some schools are up to three times the level found in the main beam of intensity from mobile phone masts.

Journal Journal: Anarchism

Activism, opposition isn't everything. At home I'm plagued by indecision about what is my home and what is the life I want. I want to go all the way with the communities side but it causes me suffering because I know anarchy is just another political system which if taken to the extreme is just as bad as any other. It's based on means and methods, structures and theory. Still it's strange to think about the left wing now that I've learnt about anarchism.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Fiesta


User Journal

Journal Journal: day breaks

On my way to work and I'm walking down the hill having said goodbye to Andy, my new neighbour who takes the train with me and will live to the left in our new Daisy road house. I think about Matthew from Exeter with his improvising ensemble meeting in that echoey church and going to work every day to do stuff with Maths when he dreams of caravanning around ireland with a troupe of radical farmers or whatever it was. And yet as strange and unique he is he fits into normal society only in that

User Journal

Journal Journal: morning come

Up this morning after 5 postponements in the new downstairs bed, upstairs being occupied by K's mum and here already I don't know if we'll be going with pseudonyms, but well let's say you never know if I've amalgamated two people into one or anything like that, cos for example catso-fatso is a real living thing/person/concept.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Live video effects

The purpose of these effects is to create source materials for live visuals that use lo fi or real life materials for moving visual reasons. 1960s psychedelic screens a la early pink floyd need only be the start. All people can join in just learning different ways of producing DIY video effects. Try it! You can do it. Anyone can.


Journal Journal: Prison System 1

Instead of treating a prison as a punishment, it should be a place of rehabilitation. Of renewal and rebirth into society cured of all evil. The convicts should enter into a complex social system - a heirarchical team based game of points to score freedoms with each good trait or learned positive behavious rewarded by the other prisoners in a collective team based big brother futuristic nightmare. It would be a bootcamp. A rough place but which instills cameraderie, and social values. Convict

Utilities (Apple)

Journal Journal: RFID anti-corporate system

Users voluntary register on an independant ID registry whereby anyone on it is in a web of trust that builds up and dissolves temporarily. They register to have their ID implanted or even just worn on the body as a label - on a piece of jewellery for example. All this contains is a tag. We create a binding legal place for this piece of hardware to exist so that research in this area can never be held privately by an organisa

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