First we’ll take a look at the latest tech news and happenings in Hawaii and beyond. Then we’ll talk to Mike Douglass and Henry Mochido about a new crowdfunding project to assist earthquake victims in Japan called Place of Hope: http://www.indiegogo.com/Place-of-Hope
Finally, we’ll explore some of the Internet and tech related bills moving through the Legislature. We will talk to two tech pundits and local policy wonks, Peter Kay and Dan Leuck and the grassroots tech organization called the Hawaii Innovation Alliance: http://www.hawaiiinnovation.com/
You can hear the podcast of the show here: http://www.bytemarkscafe.org/2012/02/10/episode-182-tech-bills-feb-8-2012/
At the conclusion of the show the discussion continued at the Greenhouse which was written up by +Ryan Ozawa
and also by Sara Lin at Civil Beat: http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2012/02/09/14835-hawaii-tech-community-rallies-against-bad-internet-bills/
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We had Gorm Lai, Peter Justeson and Rechung Fujihira on the show today. Rechung was our news guest talking about Jelly Week over at the Box Jelly. Peter and Gorm are co-founders of the Honolulu Chapter of the International Game Developer Association. You can check out the podcast of the show here: http://www.bytemarkscafe.org/2012/01/19/episode-179-gamification-jan-18-2012/
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Last week's announcement
that Hawaiian Telcom will finally emerge out of bankruptcy comes with a sigh of relief. As difficult as the land line business is, it would not be good for the consumer (and businesses in general) if the incumbent telecom provider were to go out of business. Not that the possibility of HT closing shop, like an Aloha Airlines, was any real threat. What was scary was the idea of a Sandwich Isle Communications purchasing
them or worst yet, having the State government come in and run the shop. While the HT bankruptcy proceedings were taking place last week, the Star Bulletin reported
that "Hawaiian Telcom is banking on the success of launching video and television services to become profitable in upcoming years." This telco offered video and television service was originally called IPTV but now referred to as Next Generation Television or NGTV. It would be much like what you are getting on your cable TV but delivered over the phone line via IP or Internet Protocol. This got me thinking how viable is NGTV as a service offering. NGTV has been the holy grail for telcos dating back to 2006. When I worked for Hawaiian Telcom in 2006, they were talking about the triple play: voice, Internet and video. The challenge with NGTV is that it needs a lot of bandwidth
, upwards to 50Mbps. Requirements could vary depending on what you want to deliver over the line. Copper wire, like the type that DSL runs over is distance limited. You would have to live right next to the central office in order to get 50Mbps. NGTV would be easily accommodated over fiber optic lines but it is unlikely you will see any fiber to the home projects in the near future. As a side note
there are stimulus dollars in the Dept of Commerce for broadband projects. Hawaii submitted a $35M proposal
to connect fiber to the schools and libraries to enable gigabit speeds.
The delay in implementing an NGTV solution hasn't stopped video over the Internet. Services like Hulu.com are near the quality of what you get on your television set. I am quite amazed at how crisp the full screen versions of TV shows are on the computer monitor. If you want user generated content, there are sites like YouTube
just to name a few. I don't expect NGTV to be offering much in the way of user generated content but even in the commercial realm, with the lack of good television programs available on the myriad cable channels I can only expect more shows I don't care to watch on NGTV.
Finally, the one thing I've learned during these belt-tightening days is to try to do more with less. I can't imagine paying for an additional subscription service for content I can currently get for free. You might argue that viewing TV content on your computer monitor is different than the living room experience. But that is where Netflix and the Internet ready TV system come in. If someone were smart they would build an iPhone app that controls the TV channel select and the interface for TV content. Suffice it to say, there are cost effective options today that make the expense of NGTV questionable.
Last night's Saltimbanco show was exhilarating! It's rare that you can catch a show like this in Hawaii. Most Hawaii folks fly to Las Vegas and come back to tell everyone what they missed. My first Cirque du Soleil show was in LV some 10 years ago. Since then there have been numerous themed shows coming from the Cirque team. What I did not realize was the Saltimbanco originated back in 1992
and has toured the world since. Highlights of this show were the surrealistic costumes, upbeat live music and stellar performances. I loved the pair on the swing routine that caught everyone's breath. Two ladies sharing the swing performed some awesome in-motion catches. In typical Cirque du Soleil fashion, it was one physically demanding performance after another. One could not help but feel uplifted and invigorated after the show. For a moment there I felt I was in Las Vegas, excited to see if that positive feeling could translate to the tables. Honolulu would do well to have more Cirque du Soleil shows.
Recycle wear at Tadpole Studio.
Experimenting with Posterous.com and it's ability to send posts to many of your social media sites. With Posterous it will accept a post coming from a authorized email and send it out to the sites you select. Other sites like Twitter, Flickr, Blogger, Tumblr, Twitpic or Twitxr will receive a post from any email as long as it goes to your private email address. I've been trying to figure out which way is better. With the Posterous method you don't have to remember all the secret email addresses to send to. All you have to do is remember email@example.com. The downside is if you are trying to send a post from a non-registered (with Posterous) email address, it won't get accepted. Another thing to keep track of is which sites you are sending posts to and which have unique posts. If you save a photo on Flickr and send it out later to Posterous then it will reappear on Flickr. I did this because I like the fact that Flickr re-sizes the photos for you and you don't have to do any editing on your desktop. I think it is going to end up as a combination of private emails and posterous. Email list to Twitpic, Flickr and Twitxr, then email direct to posterous.com which then sends it to Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr and Posterous.
Anyway the photo above is from our friends at Tadpole Studio. Architects by day, underground artists by night, they held a recycle wear event to breath new life in your old t-shirts. You can bring your old Ts and they will print "This used to be..." on them. I brought a bunch of old, but never been worn, Ts from an old company of mine. I appropriately printed on them, "This used to be Yours." I might even wear it around to see if anyone catches the joke.
I recently visited Archinoetics
in downtown Honolulu to get a first hand view of what they do. Lianne Kitajima was kind enough to give me the nickel tour on a very impromptu request. As a tech geek, Archinoetics is a company I would want to work at. They have their hands in the right mix of hardware and software applied to projects that are mankind friendly. This photo of Brain Painting is an example of translating brain wave patterns into a color palette. They've worked closely with artist Peggy Chun, who suffers from Lou Gehrig's Disease, enabling her to express herself through a brain-computer interface. Archinoetics is also involved with NOAA's B-WET program in the development of Project Niu
. A sensor laden device, equipped with camera, telemetry, temperature sensing and communications capability, is tracked by students as it floats in the currents of the Pacific ocean. These are only two projects amongst the many that are being worked on at Archinoetics. You can hear more as we chat with Traci Downs, COO of the company during today's episode of Bytemarks Cafe
on KIPO 89.3FM at 5-6pm.
The minute I start claiming I have a great job it is going to end so I won't say it. So as it turns out I am rather routinely looking into Second Life and its application in health services. Last week I got to attend an online conference conducted by Learning Times about the virtual library with introductions to Info Island and Squirrel Island in Second Life. Admittedly, I've been interested in Second Life for quite some time but never had the time to spend in-world. RL is time consuming as it is so to spend the time developing an alternative reality in SL was somehow hard to justify, until now. So far what I've learned is that the average age of a SLer is somewhere around mid-30s. Higher than what I imagined. The cool factor is serious being challenged by the presence of the John McCain info site. Traditional institutions like education and health care are venturing into SL which is a good thing for people like me. And the off the shelf consumer PC is finally able to handle the rendering demands of SL. My Mac Mini seems to fly through the animations. I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do but at least now I feel it is justifiable. More later as tomorrow I spend time exploring EduIsland.