The transparent society gets closer … or a closeup?
There is a merging of technologies, and the evolution of technologies, that is creating the possiblity of every person becoming a “sensor” that can be used by others. With the Internet, 802.11 wireless, wearable computers, cell phones with cameras, and now embedded cameras … we’ll soon be able to share and broker audible and visual information from anywhere.
This article shows what HP engineers have been up to with embedded cameras in glasses. When coupled with a small computer that has recording capabilities, GPS, and wireless connectivity, we could all be sharing recorded information about almost anything that we experience. If you have not read David Brin’s The Transparent Society … you ought to. We’re getting closer and closer …
A New Idea for E-Paper
I was just talking with a friend about when E-Paper (ePaper?) is going to arrive. This article explains yet another possible way that we are going to see this occur. It involves oil and water, and a way to cause the water to be attracted and repelled by the individual pixels.
I’m not sure if I am as interested in this as a replacement for paper … which would be interesting … as much as for fashion, or other purposes. Imagine giving someone a gift wrapped in this paper!
Man and Machine merging …
I have continued to read about Kevin Warwick and his work with Cybernetics. He is becoming one of the earths first true Cyborgs. Along with Steve Mann (who I’ll post about in the next few days) they are leading the world with this type of research.
In this latest article called “No more talk … Just think” he is exploring an area that I have discussed with friends for quite some time. If the proper sensors were inserted into the brain, a simple application could be used to learn certain neural firing patterns as you thought, or thought of moving a muscle, etc. Once these patterns were learned, we could assign new ways to communicate the presence of these patterns. So now simply thinking about something could be detected by software, and then that software could trigger any type of action. This puts a very different type of spin on “my ears were burning” … I might think about my wife, which would trigger the software to send an instant message to my wife. Even further, it might send a message to her cyborg-implant, which would then activate a small heater implanted in her ear.
With cyborg implants that have visible or non-visible (wireless) communciations you will have whole new ways of communicating … between humans, and between humans and machines.
And the fire still burns …
The fire near my house is still burning and expanding. My house is in a place where the winds are not driving the smoke near us, so nights have been cool and clear for us. Coming to work is a major experience though.
Last night while coming home, I noticed that the fire is now high on the mountain … far above the lake and cities. According to the UtahFireInfo.gov web site, it is only 16% contained, and has burned 4,400 acres. Last night my wife and I were able to watch an entire ridge near the lake go up as a gaint bonfire. It was the one large area nearest to our house that had not burned yet. I drove down to the lake to watch, and there were lots of people with video cameras recording the entire event.
Fire … it still draws humans near, yet still causes fear. It is amazing to get to see something like this so close.
The last couple of nights have been pretty cool. There was a “Prescribed Fire” scheduled by the US Forest Service for the 22nd of September. The first stage was supposed to be 600 acres. Uh … it got a little out of control.
Tuesday night when I got home late, I was able to sit on my couch with my wife and watch the fire ~1.5 miles away on the mountain side across the lake. It was really impressive … and out of control. The news indicated that over 3000 acres had burned, and it was slightly out of control.
Then yesterday morning, working at SCO sucked due to the extreme amount of smoke – even inside the building – that was coming down Provo Canyon. This is actually good in a way since the smoke flowing down Provo Canyon is going away from my house!
Last night was another night of great views of the fire from my couch. And this morning, it seems to still be going strong. When I woke, I could see bursts of flames through the smoke. On the way to work, I could see that a lot of the fire had finished burning … at least low on the mountain. But when I got to Deer Creek Dam at the top of Provo Canyon, it became evident that the fire was still burning quite well up high on the mountain near Cascade Springs.
Now, being at work, I am again sitting in a smoke filled office. Even my truck smelled like smoke when I got in this morning. Watching from the couch with my wife was fun though. Even better than seeing a fire on CNN!
Domains, Domain registrars and Internet property
I have to admit … I hate the Internet “tax” that comes in the form of “domain name registrations”. I remember when I experimented with my domain servers to add the Alternic name space to our servers. It’s amazing to me that with all of the “peer to peer” development going on around the net, that someone hasn’t come up with a good, distributed alternative …
My main purpose in bringing this up is that I “lost” some domain names by not paying in time. It’s an amazing process, and I had given up hope of recovering these names. As of today, I again own my WarBlading domains, and I have found that I “lost” my NoizCast domain.
In the future … I’ll be watching much more closely to ensure that I do not loose these again!
The coming of Dynamic Blogs, and Log Blogs
In following the evolution of the “blog”, I have been thinking about a lot of advanced services that could be converted into “blogging” and “aggregating”.
For example, I am currently involved in a wireless networking project. The wireless access points use the Syslog protocol to send event notifications to a central server for monitoring. I recently realized that it would be great to convert these Syslog events into a blog! So instead of running a conventional “syslogd” on my server, I would instead run a version that created it’s output in RSS format.
Upon thinking about this further, it became obvious that another possible solution would be to instead create a simple log-file-to-RSS engine. It would be given tasks to “tail” a particular log file, and then convert the output into RSS format. This could even be done on demand by a script …
What is very interesting are the number of these “dynamic” blogs that are appearing, and what other possibilities exist …
Wired News has a beautiful new (beta) application for RSS. Give it a search term, and it returns articles that include the term. For example, this feed shows all the articles that contain my name; subscribe to it, and you’ll be informed of anything new written about me on Wired News. We used to call this ego surfing, now I have an ego aggregator. Progress is amazing. As Steve Gillmor says, aggregators are the new desktop, RSS the format that ties together information flows. We call this information routing. Powerful stuff. [Scripting News]
More mapping software …
I have to admit that I am caught up with maps and GPS. This is yet another mapping application that I found, and I’m really impressed at how it combines the various maps – and even Terraserver satellite images – to create a powerful display of where you are, and your routes and waypoints. I’m going to experiment with this one on my wearable computer!
Viking 0.0.5. A GPS data editor and topo viewer. [freshmeat.net]
More and more blogging tools …
I like seeing the increase in blogging tools. There is a lot of work being done to refine the various models and use cases for blogging. I came across w.blogger through the post below. People are building numerous tools for hosting blogs, rendering the posts, and also for posting to hosted blogs. There is a mainstream product just waiting to happen here!
bBlog 0.6-pre1. bBlog is a blogger. [freshmeat.net]
We were acquired …
I’m finally getting close to catching up on my reading. I had over 15,000 articles back-up in Radio, and have blasted through them in under two months. I have to admit that I just plain deleted many of them … and found more Radio bugs in the process!
One of the companies that I was consulting for, Vultus, was acquired back in June. We were out looking for funding, and creating the next generation of our technology, and found a really interesting fit with The SCO Group. We began to explore … what if we took our architecture for platform-independent UI, and moved this to the back-end, and uncouple it from UI? Now we have a whole new place to create the future! It’s fun to read about your own adventures in the press …
SCO scoops up Web services start-up. The Unix software company, at the center of a controversial Linux suit, buys Vultus, a maker of software for building Web-based applications. [CNET News.com]