News Updates for Aug. 19, 2009

Today's Bytemarks Cafe was our #52 edition. Time sure goes by fast when you are having fun! Theoretically we made one year on the first week of August but since we did not do a show on Christmas and New Years Day this is our 52nd. Today's show featured Jeff Mikulina and Gary Gill from Blue Planet Foundation. You can find the podcast on the Bytemarks Cafe site. Since I have been remiss about posting our news stories, I hope to start a new routine by posting them here. These are the Hawaii science and tech news highlights from today's show. In addition, Seth Ladd joined us to provide an update on the upcoming Aloha on Rails Conference. And now the news...
  • The Washington D.C.-based Broadband Information Services Consortium has partnered with Hawaii to conduct broadband mapping under President Obama's broadband stimulus package. They are also partnered with Oregon, as well as Guam and Samoa. The Consortium is a partnership between One Economy, the New America Foundation, and BroadMap, and its mission is to ensures that states have the most accurate, fully verified, and up-to-date information available in their broadband map, which is needed to compete for $4 billion in broadband grants and loans available through the stimulus bill. In Hawaii, BroadMap is working with the Dept of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA), the Pacific Disaster Center and local companies Referentia and Akimeka on the broadband mapping project, which is being coordinated by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
  • While several companies and international coalitions are investing billions of dollars into laying new undersea cables to bolster broadband connectivity, an established player is working on upgrading its existing system. Last week, Southern Cross and Nortel successfully tested data transmissions of 40 gigabits per second over its nearly 5,000-mile long link between New Zealand and Hawaii, effectively quadrupling the capacity of the submarine cable.
  • Google is becoming the world's central clearinghouse for information, and its web interface supports over a hundred different languages. And now, thanks to the efforts of Keola Donaghy, an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, you can now use Google in Hawaiian. Donaghy, who teaches at the College of Hawaiian Language, volunteered over a hundred hours of his time to translate over 2,000 individual phrases and elements of Google's interface into the Hawaiian language.
  • The Kilo Moana is the flagship research vessel of the University of Hawaii's School of Ocean & Earth Science & Technology. And this past weekend, U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye toured the ship, in his role as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. After meeting with school dean Brian Taylor and several of the scientists who've worked aboard the Kilo Moana, Sen. Inoye declared that "national interests are well served," according to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.