Category Archives: bytemarkscafe

Mixed outcome for PISCES budget

Bytemarks Cafe w/ Rob Kelso, Henk Rogers, Noah Hafner & Joan Matsukawa
We just interviewed Rob Kelso and Henk Rogers on Bytemarks Cafe to learn about PISCES and the opportunity for an aerospace industry in Hawaii. We touch on the topic of funding for PISCES during this legislative session. This press release provides some additional insight into the situation: Hawaii Legislature Approves $8.5 Million PISCES Headquarters; Rejects Funds Needed for General Operations Hilo, Hawaii – The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems, or PISCES, is in an awkward financial position after lawmakers approved the purchase of an $8.5 million state-of-the-art headquarters and test facility for the agency, but declined to add $1.4 million in general funds needed to cover personnel, administrative and operations costs for the upcoming fiscal year (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016). The state-funded aerospace agency is excited and thankful for the legislative backing of a world-class, multi-purpose processing facility that can support the High Tech Development Corporation's incentive to create 80,000 new technology jobs with salaries of $80,000 by 2030. However, additional funding needed to keep the current level of operations was not appropriated, and PISCES is now working to save the agency from shutting down. “We are actively investigating funding options to allow continued operations through Fiscal Year 2016,” said Rob Kelso, PISCES Executive Director. “Otherwise, PISCES will close in early 2016, and unfortunately, that will mean we would have to cancel current and impending contracts and agreements.” Among the high-profile PISCES projects on the line is Moon RIDERS (Research Investigating Dust Expulsion Removal Systems), a program in partnership with NASA that has given Kealakehe High and `Iolani School students the opportunity to develop a historic experiment on the surface of the moon – a feat that, to the agency’s knowledge, has never been done before. Another project at risk is the “lunar sidewalk” that PISCES recently installed in Hilo, in partnership with the Hawaii County Department of Research and Development, NASA, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Kodiak FRP Rebar. The project could pave the way for cost-saving, green alternatives for Hawaii construction, but also for the moon and Mars. Over the last two years, PISCES has not only gained interest from NASA, but from international space agencies in Japan, Canada and Europe, and from the private sector as well. “Our goal within PISCES has been to attract new aerospace industry to Hawaii, help create a high technology workforce, and provide dual-use technologies toward creating new high-technology industries in Hawaii” said Kelso. “But as it stands, the Center’s future is now in doubt.”IMG_2724

Bytemarks Cafe: Micro Frogs from PNG – January 25, 2012

We first talked to Jason Rushin about the planning meeting for a Hawaii Chapter for Startup America. Then we had the field team of Allen Allison and Shelley James from the Bishop Museum on to talk about their discovery of the smallest frog known to man. Called Paedophryne amauensis the frog is found in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. You can checkout the podcast here:

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HPR Pledge Drive – Celebration 2009

HPR - Pledge Drive 2009Every 6 months, 10 days in April and 10 days in October, Hawaii Public Radio will augment their normal programing with the all-important fundraising Pledge Drive called Celebration 2009. It's an intense effort to raise $763K and that number keeps going up, back in April the goal was $741K. This is my third pledge drive since the inception of Bytemarks Cafe on KIPO 89.3FM. The 10 day experience is quite an exhibit of community coming together in support of a valued resource. In this day of giving everything away for FREE, why not the programming on Hawaii Public Radio. And in essence it is. There is nothing stopping anyone from tuning into 89.3 or 88.1 FM and listening to the programming streaming over the airwaves. What people like Chris Anderson believe is that the cost of delivering digital or electronic content is close to zero. But if people perceive value in the product they will pay something for it. For example he might give away the electronic version of is book FREE but the hard copy version will cost $20+ if you want to feel it in your hands. Shareware often works the same way. The programmer will allow people to download and use software and if the user is satisfied can voluntarily make a donation. Similarly in the case of public radio, if you the listener enjoy the programing you hear and find value in the news and stories presented, you can make a pledge. One big difference in the Hawaii Public Radio model as compared to other forms of digital media is the strong community aspect of the station. These 10 day marathons are an example of a real community, i.e. not one in cyberspace or a virtual world, coming together and showing support. Volunteers staff the phones, community members join radio staffers on the mics and listeners call in with their pledges. Food is always available from restaurant businesses that support the station. Restaurants definitely appreciate the concept of community. There is a real physical reason to rally together. If you are in driving distance of the station (738 Kaheka St. Honolulu), you should stop by during this 10 day pledge drive and experience the buzz. We have 5 more days to go and my sense is that the goal will be reached on Friday 10/23. Being there when that happens makes it all worth struggling for.

News Updates for Sept. 9, 2009

We invited Glen Nakafuji from Oceanit to talk about their newly awarded National Transportation Safety project. The project has a broad scope and requires the company to hire project managers and technical staff. If you are looking for a job at a very progressive technology company, you should check out Oceanit's job postings. Bytemarks Cafe - Sept. 9, 2009Ray Kakuda from Clearwire was on to give us an update on 4G Broadband Wireless service. Clearwire is rolling out WiMax in their key markets across the country. On Nov. 1st Honolulu will start to get commercial WiMax. Access speeds are reported to be comparable to cable modem and DSL rates,  multi-meg downloads and 1 meg upload. I will report back actual speeds once I get my hands on the actual service. Here is the news lineup for 9/9/09 covered on this week's Bytemarks Cafe:
  1. Hawaii tax credit program cost state $1.29 billion through 2008
  2. Expedition to extinct Papua New Guinea volcano unearths new species Here is a video of the giant rat talked about in the article. There was a YouTube video but that is evidently no longer available. This video is a photo sampling of the variety of new species found on the expedition.
  3. Further study on irradiator ordered To follow the trail of produce like papaya from local farmer to out of state markets is very interesting and probably not fully appreciated. In order to sell produce to out of state markets, Hawaii needs to 1) eradicate all the fruit flies or 2)thoroughly clean the produce. Mike Kohn from Pa`ina Hawaii is proposing an irradiation solution. Check out his website for his perspective on irradiation. Also Kayla Rosenfeld of HPR produced this news piece on the project.
  4. UH Mānoa oceanographers examine mercury levels of pelagic fish in Hawaii
Here is our song pick of the week:

News Updates for Sept. 2, 2009

People have actually stopped me at work asking about the online productivity tools talked about by Susan Jaworowski and Jonathan Wong on this edition of Bytemarks Cafe. They both did a great job of sharing their favorite collaboration and efficiency tools best suited for team activities. It was a full discussion and you can catch the complete conversation on the podcast.  If you think I missed any application discussed please let me know: And now the news: (*All news stories contributed to by Ryan Ozawa, co-host of Bytemarks Cafe)
  • Tesoro Corporation has shipped its first barrels of crude oil from the Atlantic to the Pacific Basin on a reversed Panama pipeline, the company said last week. The 81-mile pipeline, owned by Petroterminal de Panama, or "PTP," formerly flowed from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Reversal of the pipeline establishes a new conduit for crude oil transportation and will help Tesoro to deliver a broader range of crude oils produced in Africa, the Atlantic region of South America and the North Sea, through Panama.
  • Researchers from the University of Hawaii were part of an international team that detonated 80 tons of explosives in an Israeli desert last week to test methods to detect seismic activity across long distances through atmospheric acoustics. The controlled, above-ground explosion in the Negev desert was equal to an earthquake of 3.0 on the Richter scale. The test was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, and coordinated by the University of Hawaii and the Geophysical Institute of Israel.
  • Hawaii Biotech, Inc., one of Hawaii's largest biotechnology companies, announced last week that its one of its dengue vaccines has moved into a Phase 1 clinical study. The study is being conducted at Saint Louis University, and involves double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation tests on healthy subjects.
  • Now that Mauna Kea has been chosen as the site for the Thirty-Meter Telescope, the search is on for the funding and other support needed to build and operate it. And last week, astronomers from China expressed interest in becoming partners. The telescope, which will become the world's largest when completed in 2019, needs total financing of about $1 billion. Canada and Japan already signed up with the University of California and the California Institute of Technology, which conceived and leads the project.
  • Finally, a quick update on a story we first brought to you in July. The Hawaii School Guide, at, officially launched yesterday. The website is the brainchild of local entrepreneur and parent Evan Leong. The Hawaii School Guide features a searchable database covering over 800 schools statewide, from over 300 public schools to preschools, private schools, and other education centers.

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.

HPR – Challenge 2009

The semi-annual pledge drive is an interesting phenomenon. It's Hawaii Public Radio's major money making effort and occurs in April and October of each year. On one hand it is viewed as a necessary evil, something that needs to be done but not everyone likes it. Listeners want regular programming and staff feels apprehension going on air to ask for money. On the other hand it is a remarkable community event that exemplifies the community in community radio. This was my second pledge drive and although I do not commit anywhere as much time as the staff do, I try to pitch in. In addition to our show on Wed, I usually help as a guest on Pledge Central and also bring in a Bytemarks crew to work the phones on Saturday from 12-5pm. It's a good excuse to call my friends and ask them to pitch in. That act alone helps to build community. People hanging around a table, talking story, eating food and answering the occasion phone pledge. The flow of people in and out of the station indicates the broad community base that HPR relies on. I see familiar faces that I would otherwise rarely see if not for HPR. Given the state of the economy, I was concern the drive would take longer than the 10 day period. In the previous Oct 2008 drive it extended one day and I could see the stress in people's faces and their voices. To my surprise, this drive ended one day early, on Thursday, 5/30. The drive started on Wed. 4/22. To me this showed how committed the community at large is to supporting HPR. The drive ended right around 4:30pm on Thursday during the popular All Things Considered show. As soon as the pledge came in that put us over the top, the drive ended. No more calls were taken, no more soliciting and back to normal programming. Whatever normal was at that point! The energy as very high and people were elated. It felt like running a race and finishing first. I put this 30 sec video together with some shots I took but it does not compare to the excitement in the air. There were lots of hugs, handshakes and champagne to go around. Again this was a great show of a community coming together and accomplishing a goal. It was a bonding event. It almost felt like it shouldn't end. But it needed to so we could go back to regular programming. All in all, the pledge drive was all about community and the event itself is a community building one. Call me strange but I'm actually looking forward to the next one in October.

Digital Imagery Exhibit

I just got word of an upcoming show called Digital Imagery in Hawaii 2009 featuring local photographers. The show is juried by David Ulrich and Jerry Omo, Jr. and will be held at the Canon Gallery, 210 Ward Avenue, Suite 701. The exhibition is sponsored by Pacific New Media and is designed to provide a snapshot of the "state of the art" of digital media in Hawaii. According to the requirements, you must have taken the image digitally; i.e., cell phone, digital camera, or scanner. Image must have been created within the past two years and not previously exhibited. The show runs from March 2nd to March 31st. The exhibit opening is on Monday, March 2nd from 11am to 2pm. Several friends of mine are in it including Craig Ellenwood, Lisa Hoang (@windwardskies) and Carrie Matsunaga (@oreogirl). It sounds like a cool show and certainly a great way to spend a lunch hour getting lost in the imagery.

Public Radio iPhone App

Now you can stream your favorite Public Radio station where ever you go with your iPhone or iPod Touch. Of course with the iPod Touch you have to be within wifi access to use the Public Radio Tuner. This application just became available on iTunes as a free download. You can scroll through quite an extensive list of public radio stations across the country but of course my fingers stopped on KIPO 89.3FM home of Bytemarks Cafe. Several people have recently told me that in spite of the power increase at KIPO they still cannot catch the station in certain pockets on the Windward side of the island of O`ahu. Well here is the perfect solution. I am listening right now and it sounds so fine! Here's how you can get the Public Radio Tuner app.
From your iPhone or iPod Touch: 1. From your iPhone or iPod Touch, click the App Store icon. 2. From the App Store, click the Search feature. 3. Type "public radio" and click Search. Public Radio Tuner will appear in the search results. 4. Click Public Radio Tuner. A description of the Public Radio Tuner application displays. 5. Click the Free button. It changes to an Install button. 6. Click the Install button. 7. Wait for the Public Radio Tuner application to be installed. 8. Click the Public Radio Tuner icon from the iPhone or iPod Touch Home screen and listen! From the iTunes Store: 1. Go to the App Store section of the iTunes Store. 2. Search for "public radio" and the Public Radio Tuner will appear in the search results. 3. Click the Get App button on the Public Radio Tuner application page. 4. After the application is finished downloading to your computer, sync your iPhone or iPod touch with your iTunes account to add the Public Radio Tuner application to your iPhone. 5. Click the Public Radio Tuner icon from the iPhone or iPod Touch Home screen and listen!