Archive for March, 2006

my own research

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

See the beta version of my new content management system, which contains information about my and my team’s research.

see glaciers disappear before your eyes

Saturday, March 25th, 2006

New photos show that we don’t have to wait till some distant future to see the effects of climate change. Watch glaciers recede with your own eyes!

soaking up a bit of wi-fi could be illegal

Saturday, March 25th, 2006

An Illinois county decides that piggybacking up on someone’s elses wi-fi is against the law.

David M. Kauchak, 32, pleaded guilty this week in Winnebago County to remotely accessing someone else’s computer system without permission, the Rockford Register Star newspaper reported. A Winnebago County judge fined Kauchak $250 and sentenced him to one year of court supervision.

I suspect that there are few war chalkers anymore. However, there may be lots of individuals who free ride on their neighbour’s Internet. I find this criminalization of Internet “entrepreneurialism” a bit creepy. Exactly what offense is this, sucking up radio waves? Aren’t we supposed to be cheering on innovative uses of the Internet as part of the new economy? Not to mention, this search for minor offenders takes away from looking for serious criminals.

This reminds me of the filmV for Vendetta. Will we have surveillance trucks patrolling our streets looking for the minor infractions? Call me paranoid (okay, I have been thinking about the movie too much), but what else can they listen for?


Saturday, March 25th, 2006

Sorry for the site being down. I’m having my servers reconfigured. The site is likely to go down again as the database servers and the virtual machines get set up.

Now onto posting while we can!

Inside the volcano

Sunday, March 19th, 2006

If you’ve ever wanted to know how vulcanology works, visit the virtual Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO). Here you can see a history of the seismology, look at the web cams (even inside the volcano), and receive weekly reports on volcano conditions. You also can get information on how to collect an ash sample for AVO. This is a great use of the web for lay scientists and anyone who wants a user friendly introduction to the workings of a volcano.

ethics concern?

Saturday, March 4th, 2006

Scientists are devising technology to remote control sharks on the high seas (seen in New Scientist). The plan is to use sonar to manipulate the shark’s brain signals, controlling its movements and possibly decoding its feelings. This technology is cited as being useful for understanding shark behaviours as well as having potential use for treating paralysis in humans. However, it is also mentioned that the research is being funded by the us military, who have designs for using the sharks as undetectable spies across the oceans…which seems to me to be severely ethically problematic. The pentagon’s ideas for sharks as “stealth spies” are a little more emphasised in the BBC article covering the topic (interestingly, the BBC also just posted an article discussing the problem of the media’s sensationalising of scientific stories…)