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 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.
This past Wednesday's Bytemarks Cafe
on Light Rail turned out to be quite a spirited discussion. Although I intended it to be educational, some callers felt we were "clubby" and one-sided. We did not have the elevated rail option represented and that was a shortcoming on my part. We will work on getting someone from the City and/or Parsons Brinckerhoff on a future show to balance out the conversation, if they are willing. Topics like these that have a history of politics, varied viewpoints and hidden agendas can be a power keg just waiting to explode. I think we just scratched the surface with this subject. In my previous post I explain how I met architect, Scott Wilson. Speaking on behalf of the American Institute of Architects
(AIA) he's been making the rounds, telling the story of light rail. Coincidentally, Ian Lind on the day of our show, posted a couple of entries
on the light rail topic in his blog, Ilind.net. After the show I got an email from Cliff Slater directing me to his site Honolulu Traffic
, for another perspective. This story is not finished and we hope to continue to provide our perspective into it.
Our news guest this week was Ted Peck from DBEDT to tell us about the upcoming Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit
. The Summit takes place from Monday, Aug 31st to Wednesday, Sept 2nd.
And now the news:
- Environmentalists have long denounced plastic as a long-lasting pollutant that doesn't break down. A new study indicates that plastic does decompose, at least in the ocean. But that's not a good thing, either. Katsuhiko Saido, a chemist at Nihon University in Japan, said, "Plastics in daily use are generally assumed to be quite stable. We found that plastic in the ocean actually decomposes as it is exposed to the rain and sun and other environmental conditions, giving rise to yet another source of global contamination that will continue into the future."
- The Maui High Performance Computing Center doubled its computing power last week thanks to "Mana." "Mana" is the name of a new, giant, parallel processing machine brought on line to replace its two-year-old predecessor, "Jaws." The specifications for "Mana" are impressive. It's based on Dell hardware incorporating over 1,100 nodes, each containing a pair of 2.8 GHz processors and 24GB of RAM. It has access to nearly 400 terabytes of data storage.
- A fleet of six double-hulled canoes will set sail from French Polynesia for Hawaii next year in the ancient wake of one of the world's greatest migrations. The 2,500 mile journey from the traditional heart of eastern Polynesia on Raiatea island aims to do more than recreate history. The project involves 16-member crews from six Polynesian islands, including New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, American Samoa, and Tahiti.
- Scientists are eager to explore and understand the structure and chemistry deep within our planet, and researchers here in Hawaii are on the cutting edge of using "geoneutrinos" to essentially look down into the Earth as we already do scanning deep space. First detected in a Japanese mine in 2005, "geoneutrinos" originate from the radioactive decay of uranium, thorium and potassium in the Earth’s crust and mantle. Scientists have largely focused their study on deep mines on land, but UH researchers are developing a mobile, submersible deep-ocean detector.
- Finally, a quick heads up on an upcoming opportunity to engage with the Centers for Disease Control on plans to initiate a fall vaccination program against the novel H1N1 pandemic influenza virus. The CDC has scheduled "public engagement web dialogues" where members of the public can join a two-day online conversation to discuss various aspects of vaccination.
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.
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.