Microsoft Photosynth – blow your mind

28 11 2006

Occasionally there is an “Oh wow” moment when I come across a new internet technology that:

a) I have not foreseen

b) Has the potential to be utterly revolutionary in unimaginable ways.

There have been many such moments and certainly seeing Google Earth for the first time was one such moment.   I want to share a new technology that is being developed by Microsoft to create 3D worlds out of any collection of photos that share common features.  You can watch a demo video here, or download a technology preview here.  At present you can only use demo sets of photos but later the plan is for people to use their own photos or for webcrawlers to drag photos off the net.

Photosynth





Turning up the volume on nuclear debate

28 11 2006

Global Warming Watch discusses the frightening Greenpeace UK video released recently.  Legitimate weapon in the nuclear debate or apocalyptic scare tactics?  You decide.





Can we stop the greenhouse juggernaut?

28 11 2006

More troubling news from the CSIRO via the ABC.

CO2 emissions accelerating, scientists warn

Atmospheric scientists have warned that carbon dioxide emissions are increasing more rapidly, despite international efforts to curb the use of fossil fuels.

They have found the amount of carbon dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere has doubled in the past 20 years.

CSIRO scientists have found global carbon dioxide emissions reached almost eight billion tonnes last year.

Continued here:





Kim Beazley takes heart

26 11 2006

The Victorian election result may provide a boost to the fortunes of Kim Beazley, despite media reports of leadership troubles.

He gave a very polished performance on this morning’s the Insiders.  He seemed to have an air of determination.  Here’s the show. Kim’s interview starts at around 12 min 40 sec.    With issues like Iraq,  AWB, workplace relations and the big one…global warming on the front pages, its now or never for the opposition.

Update 3/12/2006 – Things move quickly.  Beazley decides to spill his position and the whole front bench.  Difficult to see any good coming from this unless there is a large majority of support for either candidate.  Interesting watching.  ALP seems intent on kneecapping itself whenever it starts to enter a period of stability.





Exxon Mobil messes with school education

26 11 2006

Via the Washington Post, it seems that oil company Exxon Mobil is funding the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) in the US.   The NTSA knocked back an offer of 50,000 free copies of an an inconvenient truth from the movie’s producers (for use in schools) citing political bias concerns, as well as:

“unnecessary risk upon the [NSTA] capital campaign, especially certain targeted supporters.”

The company has apparently given $6 million dollars to the teacher’s association since 1996 and has a member on the NTSA’s corporate advisory board.

Why don’t I find this surprising?

Read more from the article here





The clock ticks….and inaction endangers us all

25 11 2006

Is it possible that these words were penned almost fifteen years ago (1992) by 1575 scientists and over half of all living nobel laureates in the field of science?

“Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage to the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about”

I think we’ve got a little catching up to do.





A green challenge – weeding the lawn

25 11 2006

As the warmer months arrive our patchy backyard lawn has developed a flush of clover, bindis and broadleaf weeds.

Now lawn is, by its nature, pretty thirsty stuff and it’s not very eco-friendly in many ways.  But if we’re to have a lawn, how on earth do we keep the rotten weeds at bay without resorting to harmful or toxic chemicals?

Happy to hear of any tips or advice on keeping lawns weed free with organic methods or at least products which fully biodegrade.