The Population Media Center addresses issues stemming from the world’s burgeoning population. According to their site the global population is growing by nearly 80 million people per year. "While population growth rates have slowed since their peak in the 1960s, the numbers being added to the population each year continue to be huge, in part because of the growth in the numbers of people of reproductive age. At current rates of birth and death, the world’s population is on a trajectory to double in 49 years."
As they say on their site, "Geekcorpsâ€™ international technology experts teach communities how to be digitally independent by expanding private enterprise with innovative, appropriate, and affordable information and communication technologies."
"Geekcorps is, well, just what it says. Its Internet-age volunteers bridge the digital divide one network at a time in the villages of the low-income world. They train people in information and communications technologies and advise them on starting businesses using these new skills. Working in Timbuktu and beyond, Geekcorps relies on its "Desert PC," specially designed for the low electricity access and high temperatures and dust of the Sahara."
"The XO was designed, with much fanfare, for One Laptop Per Child, the marvelously hubristic organization created by the M.I.T. new-media guru Nicholas Negroponte to equip two billion children in poor countries with a means to educational salvation. In October, Negroponte presented the laptop at the Vatican to an audience of Roman Catholic schoolteachers and nuns. He stressed that his laptop would not run programs like Word, PowerPoint or Excel. When third-world kids use mainstream office software, he said, â€œthat breaks my heart most.â€ Instead, he went on, â€œthe children should be making things, they should be sharing things, they should be creating music, creating pictures, making videos, playing with mathematics, accessing the Internet.â€
A friend of mine emailed this to me. The authors of this project are Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio. I encourage you to visit their site to check out their other great photography and photo projects - menzelphoto.com.
VBS.tv - an online broadcast network, streaming free and original content. Spike Jonze (director of Adaptation and Being John Malkovich) is their creative director. They feature news, music and underground culture coverage. Check out their "Toxic Brooklyn" show.
"You cannot see it, taste it or smell it, but it is one of the most pervasive environmental exposures in industrialized countries today. Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) or electromagnetic fields (EMFs) .... . Based on new studies, there is growing evidence among scientists and the public about possible health risks associated with these technologies."
I got this note from Jenna Higgins of the National Biodiesel Board:
"Tonight Show host and auto expert Jay Leno features biodiesel in a video of his recent meeting with National Biodiesel Board (NBB) CEO Joe Jobe at Jay's garage in California. On his Web site, jaylenosgarage.com, Leno describes his use of biodiesel in his Eco Jet concept car, his motorcycle as well as the New Holland tractor that he uses to move his famous car collection. Thanks to the New Holland Company, winner of NBB's 2007 Innovation Award, for their ongoing work to promote biodiesel to Leno and others. "
Looking for something lost in cyberspace? Don't have enough current information to sift through?
Now you can surf the more than 10 billion pages stored in this site's Web archive. Enter the URL, click Take Me Back, and watch the Way Back Machine find it for you. Even if the search is unsuccessful, this archive locator will promise to find the lost site on its next crawl.
Benetech Bookshare.org claims to be the world's largest accessible online library. They give print disabled people in the United States legal access to over 32,750 books and 150 periodicals that are converted to Braille, large print or text to speech audio files.
I received an email from TED about this exciting news -- EO Wilson's The Encyclopedia of Life is launched.
From their site:
"Comprehensive, collaborative, ever-growing, and personalized, the Encyclopedia of Life is an ecosystem of websites that makes all key information about life on Earth accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world. Our goal is to create a constantly evolving encyclopedia that lives on the Internet, with contributions from scientists and amateurs alike. To transform the science of biology, and inspire a new generation of scientists, by aggregating all known data about every living species. And ultimately, to increase our collective understanding of life on Earth, and safeguard the richest possible spectrum of biodiversity."
A Greener Apple wins a Webby and response from Steve Jobs
"Webby winners you probably missed"
"Environmental group Greenpeace won the activism Webby for its site, A Greener Apple. The site, which mimics Apple's Web site, is a plea to Apple to clean up its act when it comes to the toxic waste its products create. Greenpeace encourages readers to join its campaign asking Apple to remove toxic chemicals from its Macs and iPods. Recycling programs, they say, aren't enough to curb the growing amount of toxic chemicals piling up in landfills. Rather, Apple and other electronics manufacturers, they insist, need to focus on producing gadgets that don't contain the chemicals to begin with.
On Wednesday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs posted an open letter online outlining the efforts his company plans to make to reduce the number of toxic chemicals in its products.
"Computers are hazardous, they are filled with poisonous chemicals and materials, and need to be treated like poisonous waste. Not like something that can be smashed down on tables by inmates."
Here's a site we included in our Sites We Like section of our newsletter from February, 2002 issue. I just re-visited the site and am happy to see that it's still up and it looks like their business is expanding.
They now claim to be the nation's largest electronics hardware destruction firm and materials recycler. And they do not:
# Allow any information to remain accessible on an old computer.
# Donate old computer hardware.
# Dump any portion of old computer hardware/high-tech junk in landfills.
# Refurbish and re-sell old computers.
# Ship old computers overseas where they are dumped in landfills or burned in crude pits.
# Sell anything from old computers we collect
Here's something I spotted on WorldChanging -- yes, a jellyfish house.
"The Jellyfish House, a recent project by San Francisco's IwamotoScott Architecture, has been "modeled on the idea that, like the sea creature, it coexists with its environment....As such, the entirety of the Jellyfish House is designed to operate "as a mutable layered skin, or 'deep surface', that mediates internal and external environments."
"So how does Google compare to Starbucks, which is a very good money making machine in the real world? The key differences between Google and Starbucks are:
* Starbucks spends money on expansion, but Google ads spread themselves;
* Starbucks spends a lot of money on maintenance, Google spends little;
* Starbucks spends money on marketing, but businesses flock to Google because it just works;
* Starbucks relies on people, Google relies on software.
These differences make Google by far the more attractive business, compared to Starbucks. To put it simply, Google has almost no friction."
Weems, who is the artistic director of the New York-based performance and media ensemble The Builders Association, puts technology at center stage to extend the boundaries of contemporary theater. Anyone who has ever encountered (or been) a tech support specialist in India will appreciate this piece.
View what's in store for its next conference in October, 2007, which will bring together 500 thinkers in the sciences, technology, business, design, the arts, education, government and culture.
Here's a great use of technology to promote geopolitical awareness, specifically of the crisis in the Sudan. This online mapping initiative was created by Google and The Holocaust Museum.
From the Holocaust Museum's web site.
"The Holocaust Museum and Google Earth unveil an unprecedented online mapping initiative. Watch the launch of the project here. Crisis in Darfur enables more than 200 million Google Earth users worldwide to visualize and better understand the genocide currently unfolding in Darfur, and to respond to the crisis."
The Foresight Project and Step it Up on April 14th
The Foresight Project
holds an annual contest for high school kids to write or make a video of their imagined solutions to our energy and climate issues. The contest is called Imagining Tomorrow: Alternate Energy Futures
Mary Essary, the founder and visionary of this nationwide contest believes that writing and the creation of video can be powerful tools to help shape students minds, and that science-fiction can be a great way to get them thinking about many of the ways in which we can ensure our future on this planet. The contest is a way to get students to look around in their own backyards and see the realities of the issues we face, while encouraging them to unleash their creativity and envision how we might solve them.
Step it Up 2007
This April 14th, tens of thousands of Americans will gather all across the country at meaningful, iconic places to call for action on climate change.
Given our company history with Flash video, it may not come as a surprise to you that I delight in the proliferation of video (particularly Flash video) sites on the Internet. My how the Internet has changed since we created Flix, the first Flash video encoder, which we brought to market in 2001. Waaaay back in 2000 people thought putting video into Flash was impossible!
But this post isn't a trip down memory lane. It's a celebratory snapshot of what's here now. Here are a few sites currently striking my fancy.
Video Blog Rocketboom
Three minute daily videoblog covering top news stories to quirky internet culture.
Video Networks Beet.tv
"Our goal is to provide insight and information on the dramatic transformation of traditional media and the emergence of new media platforms. Through video clips and commentary we explore how these developments impact journalists and public relations professionals." -- Very entertaining.
This morning I got the monthly newsletter from our friends at Internet Video Magazine and it's loaded with some great video sites, which I want to pass on.
From their newsletter:
Metacafe - Cafe Confidential
"This is extremely interesting - Have you yet checked out Steven Bochco's Cafe Confidential - where people spill their guts and their biggest secrets on video? Check it out. You can win contests and cash. (this is real interesting as we pitched a show just like this about 20 years to various TV syndication houses and producers, but it never got picked up - so it goes) Just goes to prove that good ideas eventually hatch and blossom."
"If you are a film maker interested in how to use the web to promote your productions and projects, check out this cool site. The guys at BullCrank have some good ideas you might want to "borrow." Plus they do have some cool
original content we are sure you will enjoy watching. So crank it up...."
"Interested in telecom, technology and television? Check out one of the best sites on the web for news and views that concern this convergence of technologies. TelecomTV - desktop TV for the global ICT professional. Hereis a direct link to their streaming video page."
Launch of Sites We Like: The Open Architecture Network (with free template)
We've been running the Sites We Like section in our newsletter for years and it's always been popular, so I'm creating a new Sites We Like section here.
I've been following the media and bloggers on the TED Conference that ended last weekend. (We've featured the Ted Talks on the Sites We Like section of our newsletter before. I recommend taking a moment to watch their video of lectures from amazing inventors, artists, scientists, technologists, activists, and mavericks.)
Every year, the TED conference organizers award prizes to people to have their wish fulfilled. One of last year's prize winners, Cameron Sinclair, is an architect and founder of Architecture for Humanity. (You can watch a video of Cameron Sinclair on th TED site.)
This week in fulfillment of his wish, Cameron and the folks at Architecture for Humanity launched a Web site called the Open Architecture Network.
His wish is to solve global, social and humanitarian crisis with design. Right now one in seven people live in slum settlements. By 2020 it will be one in three. He wants his site to be a catalyst for an architectural revolution that will improve worldwide living conditions on a mass scale. The Open Architecture Network is an "online, open source community dedicated to improving living conditions through innovative and sustainable design."
It's a beautiful idea -- and it's not surprising that a group of architects who want to spearhead an architectural revolution would represent their mission with a beautiful, well-designed website.
In the spirit of the democratization of technology that prevails at the TED conference and in the mission of Open Architecture Network, I want to let you know how easy it is for anyone to create in WildPresenter the beautiful slideshow featured on the front page of OAN's site.
In ten minutes, I created a template in WildPresenter of the slide show you see on their front page.
I invite you to use it as a guide for creating your own work. And if you use it to help improve the world like the good folks at OAN, or have something you're proud of and would like to share, let me know.