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:
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 HawaiiSchoolGuide.com, 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.
With the apparent demise of Muxtape, people are rediscovering Blip.FM or in my case discovering it for the first time. Where Muxtape allowed you to upload your mp3s and share it with others, Blip.FM takes it much further. In Blip.FM you can add favorite DJs and as they add music to their playlist it will show up on your Blip homepage. Also with Blip.FM you can select a song to play by answering the question "What are you listening to?" and Blip.FM will go out and find, based on what others have made available, a match. You can't download music from Blip.FM but I am sure someone has written a hack to do the job. Perhaps as a way to appease the RIAA, Blip.FM provides a "Buy This MP3" button that pushes you to Amazon.com. It'll be interesting to see whether or not the RIAA will put the clamp down on Blip.FM like they did with Muxtape. I suppose it will depend on where all these MP3 uploads are being stored and whether the RIAA sees Blip.FM cutting into the royalties of copyrights holders. I hope Blip.FM survives the analysis, but in the meantime enjoy it while you can.
There's a new web identity aggregator in town and it is called Chi.mp. What makes these guys extra special are their strong Hawaii and Pacific Island connections. Gib Bintliff, Chairman and President graduated from Iolani in 1978. Back then he was known as Jonathan. I know this because I got the Annual. In fact I am now going to have to get him to sign my Annual like I did with Guy Kawasaki. But I digress. The Chi.mp folks had a meetup this past week at P.F. Changs in Honolulu to introduce themselves and the product to some of the local geek community. The idea of identity aggregation has been floating around for a while. Mike Gunderloy wrote an introductory article to the subject in Web Worker Daily back in 2007. Since then FriendFeed seems to have gained the most momentum. Now along comes Chi.mp. The novelty here is that with Chi.mp they give you (at no cost) your domain name of choice to aggregate the various identities you've created on the web. For example I've registered Bytemarks.mp and have aggregated my Twitter and Flickr accounts on Bytemarks.mp, i.e. what gets displayed on Twitter and Flickr gets feed to Bytemarks.mp. Right now Chi.mp is in alpha meaning it is still in the early stage of their release schedule. Not everything is working yet. Currently they only aggregate three services, Twitter, Flickr and Facebook. For me at least, the Twitter feed is not working and the Flickr feed isn't updating with current photos. I also noticed that when you add a friend and then your friend adds you, you will end up with two appearances of your friend in your friend list. I am sure these are all being worked on and Chi.mp will be an interesting service to follow. There is also an interesting story behind the .mp and Saipan connection but I will have to save that for an upcoming guest appearance on Bytemarks Cafe.
Thanks to the Hawaii Macintosh Apple Users group, Matt Mullenweg (aka @photomatt, ma.tt, automattic.com) spoke at their annual event on Saturday, April 26. Of course the discussion was mostly about WordPress and blogging but that is what the 50 or so people, crammed into the lecture room in Krauss Hall @ UH wanted to hear. It's one thing to use WordPress, it's another thing to hear the founding programmer of one of the most popular platforms in this Web 2.0 world of ours. Matt talked about WordPress.org for the grow your own types and WordPress.com for the no-hassle types. He joked in the beginning about how he was going to espouse the merits of MS Vista which got a bunch of laughs from this Mac crowd. What was funny though was his initial attempt to do the preso with his MacBook Air but having to defaulted to his Vista PC when the Air couldn't talk to the projector. Ah, such is life. Matt is a young, energetic and articulate spokesperson. He demoed cool features of WordPress like the Gallery feature which appeals to the photographer in all of us. He also covered projects currently under development at Automattic.com, like monotonedemo.wordpress.com, podcast support, buddypress.com, gravatar, bbpress and others. As typical of talks like this, you leave realizing there is a lot more to this picture than originally thought. I will be spending the next several weeks/months figuring out how to put all of this to use. If you missed the talk mobile lifecaster @Hawaii was there with is portable webcam and archived the entire talk on Ustream.tv. Mahalos again to the folks at HMAUS, Eugene, Terrance and the Wolfman!
Thanks to Neenz and fellow Iolani alum Guy Kawasaki, Bytemarks is now on Hawaii.alltop.com. I know Guy's been working on Truemors.com and now Alltop.com but it has really been Neenz that brought the awareness of the sites to top of mind, for me at least. I was just captivated when Neenz was telling me the story about how she met Guy and through a simple introduction and show of enthusiasm she became the point person in Hawaii for Truemors. That just goes to show, you can't be too shy about seizing the opportunity. So when I heard that Neenz was consulting with ubergeek Ryan Ozawa about a site on Alltop.com dedicated to Hawaii I figured I better get on the bandwagon. Alltop.com, the site, aggregates the best sites as recommended by folks like you and me, and vetted by people like Neenz. The Hawaii.alltop.com specializes on sites about Hawaii. They feature all the top bloggers, newspaper and television websites. You can easily move your mouse over a blog post title and the content appears. You don't even have to click through. You get it all on one page. Like reading it off a news rack. Okay, now I better get cracking on some frequent posts since I don't want to be the stale site. Mahalo Neenz and Guy!