Archive for April, 2006

coral reef bleaching on Google Earth

Saturday, April 8th, 2006

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has made its satellite images and environmental data on coral bleaching available on Google Earth. Now you can watch the coral reefs disappear on your laptop!

IM watching you

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

Today’s Washington Post reports on the use of instant messaging (IM) to keep tabs on friends and relatives without necessarily using it for two-way communication. I like the bit about the potential to make IM locationally aware and combine it with GIS technologies:

Over time, companies such as Microsoft say they expect to pair location information with instant messaging, making it ever more possible for buddies to pinpoint a person’s physical and technological accessibility. AOL LLC’s AIM system, for example, already shows whether a person is logged onto instant message on a mobile device. Skype users with Web cameras can post icons to alert other users of their ability to video conference.

Not only are you constantly connected but constantly located. Add to this the cellphone and we always know what you’re doing and where you are.

This use of IM has interesting implications for surveillance. Does this constant accessibility — read, visibility — open the door for greater acceptance of Big Brother? “If all my friends know where I am and what I’m doing then it’s no big deal that government and business knows this too.”

fetch me my martini before the ice melts

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

In the latest issue of Science, researchers have combined a global climate model, a dynamic ice sheet model, and paleoclimatic data to issue new dire predictions on the rapidity of ice melt and water rise.

According to the Times UK, this is the first study,

to combine computer models of rising temperatures with records of the ancient climate [which] has indicated that sea levels could rise by up to 20ft (6m) by 2100, placing millions of people at risk.

Take a look at the whole issue of Science, dedicated to ice and climate change.

culture jamming and climate change

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

Chevrolet and Donald Trump’s The Apprentice teamed up to produce a website so that anyone can create their own ad for Chevy’s new SUV, the Tahoe. According to Autoblog, readers are able to choose from varied backgrounds, video shots, and input text to create their very own ads. I guess because they’re offering prizes Chevy thought all the ads would be “pro” SUV. They were very wrong.

Check out the ads before they’re taken down (my favourites are #1 and #6). Feel free to make one of your own.