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April 4 to 10, 2005
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Here's a concise Q&A page on the Akaka bill (The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005), with the text of the bill included. In a nutshell, the bill "lays out the procedures through which Native Hawaiians could organize a government that the United States would recognize", but within a federal framework:
Low-power FM (LPFM) radio, devised by the FCC to provide an alternative to corporate-centric radio, is now being dominated by Christian radio networks, effectively limiting the diversity of local community voices over the airwaves. In addition, by using "translators", these stations are extending their reach across states in ways never intended by the FCC. This is certainly true in Hawaii - I did a study of statewide LPFM use last year, and found that an efficient Oahu-wide radio network could be established with five distributed LPFM stations at a total cost of $25,000:
New Tech
A immediate flurry of inventive activity was sparked by the release of the Google Maps satellite imagery feature last week. People started making "memory maps" at Flickr:
And the Google sightseeing blog was born!
This may promote the growth of more Earth graffiti though, not to mention (ugh) advertisements. I can easily see ad campaigns making use of this:
Someone crossed Google Maps with Craigslist housing ads:
The bionic eye lets the blind see again:
More on the future of liquid lenses via Wired:
A better overview of perpendicular storage technology, which leads to a 10X increase in hard drive capacity. There's also an odd Flash movie that may end up being a digital collector's item:
Instant reusable whiteboard sheets are so cool. Useful for traveling workers, artists, and people without magnetic refrigerators:
Camping in the snow? Build a big, warm igloo with this light, packable mathematically-correct device:
This new wireless USB prototype dongle will make any USB device wireless:
Modern Life
This was very popular this week - I think there's a pent-up need to avoid Starbucks! The delocator will show you local alternatives to Starbucks:
Entire city blocks are being purchased as malls and made up to look exactly like - city blocks. Corporate community centers, parks, and villages are the new development trend in America:
The market for dead celebrities has become quite lucrative. Bill Gates bought a lot of them recently:
The original article is gone, but traditional librarians are wondering what do to about the new "millenial" generation that is impatient with the slowness of research via paper:
The book "Shadow Cities" describes squatter cities - they end up being cleaner and safer than low-income housing developments:
Outsourcing is giving rise to overworked employees in call centers in India. Rigid English linguistic training is making employees question their cultural identity:
Interviews with over 300 people who live in mountainous regions around the world, with their perspectives on change and development:
A profile on one of the first real 21st century superstars, journalist, blogger, polyglot, and hot babe Xeni Jardin:
The life of a Verizon wireless test man, who drives over 3,000 miles a month:
An interview with the CEO of the last pinball machine manufacturer on Earth:
Terrorism and You
President Bush's approval rating is the lowest ever for a 2nd-term president. J-Walk provides a nice graph:
Best Buy arrests a man for using $2 bills. The police said "It's a sign that we're all a little nervous in the post-9/11 world." I didn't know that terrorists paid for their nuclear weapons using $2 bills:
How well is the U.S. doing regarding the 14 defining characteristics of fascism? You may not agree with all of the points, but a few sure hit the mark:
Scientists are figuring out ways to stimulate neurons remotely with laser beams and are already controlling fruit flies:
So, could this be combined with the military pain ray to affect people in other ways?
A new military combat simulator stuns people via electric shock if shot. But the real news is that people really like games that hurt you:
China spends three times the world average on energy to produce $1 of gross domestic product - and 70% of its energy comes from coal. Because the U.S. isn't in the Kyoto accord, imported Chinese products come with a terrible environmental cost behind them:
A more balanced, scenario-laden view of the U.N.-backed Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, mentioned last week:
With 99% confidence, researchers have found that planetary biodiversity comes and goes roughly every 62 million years, and may be due to astrophysical causes. Looking at the graph, I think we're at a low point:
Did you know that in 2000, EPA-banned GMO corn was found in Taco Bell tacos, which could produce anaphylactic shock? Here's more on how corporations are surreptitiously introducing GMO into the world's crops:
Meanwhile, Swiss biotech firm Syngenta was fined for "mistakenly" selling hundreds of tons of experimental GMO corn seed not yet approved for human consumption to the U.S. and Europe:
You may one day clean your teeth with a light wand:
Hey developers! Use Ecoglo, non-radioactive, non-toxic, non-battery-using technology for your emergency lighting systems:
The new Breezehouse, a modern prefab home designed for "casual indoor-outdoor living":
The found footage festival consists of movies retrieved from trash bins all over the U.S. Check out the preview trailer!
The work of graphic spin-doctor Glenn Feron. In case you thought those media images reflected reality:
Another elegantly-designed kitchen timer:
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