Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Janine Benyus - Biomimicry

Champion of the Earth honoree and biomimicry pioneer Janine Benyus has transformed the way we think about innovation and design. Benyus challenges us to study nature’s best ideas, then imitate its designs and processes to solve some of our greatest human challenges.

Monday, March 28, 2011


IfItWereMyHome.com: "IfItWereMyHome.com is your gateway to understanding life outside your home. Use our country comparison tool to compare living conditions in your own country to those of another. Start by selecting a region to compare on the map to the right, and begin your exploration."

Friday, March 25, 2011

Eythor Bender demos human exoskeletons

Eythor Bender of Berkeley Bionics brings onstage two amazing exoskeletons, HULC and eLEGS -- robotic add-ons that could one day allow a human to carry 200 pounds without tiring, or allow a wheelchair user to stand and walk. It's a powerful onstage demo, with implications for human potential of all kinds.

Frankengenentics or Science Future?

Paul Root Wolpe: It's time to question bio-engineering

At TEDxPeachtree, bioethicist Paul Root Wolpe describes an astonishing series of recent bio-engineering experiments, from hybrid pets to mice that grow human ears. He asks: isn't it time to set some ground rules?

These advances are both amazing and can be ethically questionable depending on your perspectives and beliefs. We have been manipulating genetics of plants and animals for thousands of years (through selective breeding), the only difference is now we have much greater control.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

TEDTalks : Eli Pariser: Beware online "filter bubbles" - Eli Pariser (2011)

As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Joel Salatin: War Stories from the Local Food Front

American farmer Joel Salatin, the star of the documentary Food Inc, has become a "pin up boy" for the growing food "re-localization" movement. On a recent visit to Canberra, he gives his take on food politics after a lifetime of experience in natural and profitable farming.

Salatin came to prominence with his ideas about creating abundance on a family farm. His methods include learning how to mimic nature and arrange the facets of farm life so they don't operate as independent operations, but rather a system of "intertwined cycles."

Disregarding conventional wisdom, the Salatins planted trees, built huge compost piles, dug ponds, moved cows daily with portable electric fencing, and utilized portable sheltering systems to produce all their animals on perennial prairie polycultures.

Salatin believes we’re now living through an age of a "food inquisition", not unlike the religious inquisition of 500 years ago, where the powers behind industrialized agriculture and food production are putting heretical farmers like him "on the rack."

In this talk, organized by Milkwood Permaculture in association with Slow Food Canberra, Salatin lays out twelve false assumptions peddled by the "inquisitors," which sustainable farming methods counter.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Discovery Landing Ends Storied Chapter in NASA History

eWeek.com reports: "NASA moved one step closer to the end of an illustrious era of spaceflight when space shuttle Discovery touched down for the last time at Kennedy Space Center on March 9. Discovery and its six-member crew delivered the Permanent Multipurpose Module, packed with supplies and critical spare parts, as well as Robonaut 2, the dexterous humanoid astronaut helper, to the International Space Station. STS-133 was Discovery's 39th and final mission."

I wonder if this is truly an end of era of the American space program. If so this is very sad.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

New bank Trojan employs fresh tricks to steal account data

Computerworld reports: "Unlike other conventional hacking tools, OddJob does not require fraudsters to log into a user's online bank account to steal from it. Instead, the malware is designed to hijack a user's online banking session in real-time by stealing session ID tokens."

This is a very scary piece of malware. I am pretty sure that we will soon see a lot of other types of malware copycat the technique.