- “Green” Nuclear,
- Wind Energy,
- Hydro power,
- “Clean” Coal.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Posted by nzchook at 1:39 pm
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Posted by nzchook at 10:36 am
Saturday, August 08, 2009
- Uncertainty – Research has shown that uncertainty over climate change reduces the frequency of "green" behavior.
- Mistrust – Evidence shows that most people don't believe the risk messages of scientists or government officials.
- Denial – A substantial minority of people believe climate change is not occurring or that human activity has little or nothing to do with it, according to various polls.
- Undervaluing Risks – A study of more than 3,000 people in 18 countries showed that many people believe environmental conditions will worsen in 25 years. While this may be true, this thinking could lead people to believe that changes can be made later.
- Lack of Control – People believe their actions would be too small to make a difference and choose to do nothing.
- Habit – Ingrained behaviors are extremely resistant to permanent change while others change slowly. Habit is the most important obstacle to pro-environment behavior, according to the report.
Posted by nzchook at 12:29 pm
Sunday, July 26, 2009
(CNN) U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wants more unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Already he has said that the next generation of fighter planes -- the F-35 that took decades to develop at a cost of more than half-a-billion dollars each -- will be the last manned fighter aircraft.
The drones are dramatically tilting the war [in Afghanistan] in favour of the United States. Predators, for example, played a key role in killing al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi in 2006. UAVs are credited with killing more than half al Qaeda's top 20 leaders.
Lt. Gen. David Deptula, USAF, explains that the next phase will enable a single drone to provide as many as 60 simultaneous live video feeds directly to combat troops. Some new drones will be as small as flies, others walk -- all appear destined to work with decreasing human input.
“The future of how you use these un-manned systems or remotely piloted systems is really unlimited," says Deptula, based at the Pentagon and racing to keep pace with battlefield needs as well as Gates's demands. "We need to open our minds and think more about capability and impact we are going to achieve as opposed to how we've done business in the past.”
Robotic warfare expert Peter Singer, who advised President Barack Obama's campaign team and has authored “Wired for War” says that remote warfare is changing mankind's monopoly on how conflict is fought for the first time in 5,000 years. All that limits its advance is its application, not the technology. "The barriers of war in our society are already lowering," he says. "This tech may allow them to lower to the ground. And we might already be seeing this in the strikes being carried out on Pakistan.”
Posted by nzchook at 2:00 pm
Friday, July 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Posted by nzchook at 10:19 am
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Posted by nzchook at 5:18 pm
Sunday, June 07, 2009
A couple of interesting recent insights on the emerging reach and sophistication of video surveillance:
In its latest report on surveillance technologies, IDC says rapid advancements in network surveillance technology are shifting the emphasis away from guns, guards, gates, and dogs and placing it on “more sophisticated, scalable security solutions,” which the research firm predicts will see worldwide surveillance/monitoring camera shipments grow from 9.3 million in 2007 to 26.5 million in 2013: an average annual growth of 45.0%.
Next generation of camera surveillance will have imbedded intelligence
Bir Bhanu, director of the Center for Research in Intelligent Systems, said the goal is “to understand the interaction of people from video networks, to figure out their intention.” Bhanu foresees a time, possibly within the next decade, when programs analyzing facial identification, emotional expressions, social interactions and contextual anomalies will be able to alert monitors or law enforcement personnel about someone who may be up to no good. He said a computer system could spot “person who brings a briefcase and does not normally carry a briefcase, or a person who is wearing a jacket in Riverside when it's 100 degrees outside. These simple things can be detected.”
THOUGHTS: How can we be sure that the needs of state and commerce for pervasive video surveillance do not override the individual's right of privacy? These market signals are reminiscent of the themes expressed in that movie The Minority Report.
KEYWORDS: Democracy, Freedom, Surveillance, Video, Artificial Intelligence
Posted by nzchook at 10:26 pm
Sunday, March 01, 2009
I ran across a really interesting waste recycling innovation reported in the Las Vegas Business Press. The article reported Rita Brandin, Executive vice president and development director of Newland Communities, as saying:
“It's not only construction elements but the operational ease you create for tenants to recycle. It's about having healthy living systems. For example, we have designed (in Union Park) a (residential) building with segregated trash chutes, so residents can put wet trash in one and what can be recycled in the other.”
THOUGHTS: What a great idea! We already do this for water and sewage. Separating packaging, household and food waste at source seems an obvious next step, for improving waste recycling efficiency and lowering operating (e.g. transport) costs.
KEY WORDS: Waste, Recycling, Building, Sustainability
Posted by nzchook at 1:33 pm