Thinking About The Search for Jim Gray
[update: there's a great new post on worldchanging.com about this. -cb ]
I spent some time today searching for sailboats in satellite imagery, looking for signs of computer scientist Jim Gray. The story is covered here.
The significance of using this technology to do this work is obvious. Using satellite imagery to find a particular lost person is a dramatic, symbolic moment indicating some maturation of the approach — I can only hope that it will be applied on a larger scale in the coming years.
Likewise I was so deeply impressed by the Katrina PeopleFinder project, and I am eager to see extensions of this type of "humanitarian-tech" project. It just seems that there are so many people who are willing to help do data entry or pattern recognition from their home as volunteers ... not to mention the 34,153 geek-brain-hours wasted on programming .ASP shopping carts or similar byte-drivel every day ...
And, without being critical of the people involved in setting this up (seriously, cheers to those involved in getting this going!) I think it is interesting to note that the person we are looking for is a famed computer scientist. Besides the contextual irony — he had a lot to do with making this search possible — we should be conscious of the need to broaden our collective altruism. There are so many people that right now could benefit from having a project dedicated to analyzing their needs from above. They just don't make the newspaper when they disappear.
PodcasterCon.org is coming up
Brian Russell of Audio Activism is putting together (along with a bunch of help, I'm sure he would modestly point out) the next Podcaster Conference in NC.
I missed it last year, but I love the idea of a unconference: "The event will not have traditional speakers, commercial product pitches, or bags full of conference swag. The event will have free food and drink, pre-organized sessions, and will be conducted in an unconference style."
If you want to learn about the wonderful world of grassroots audio production and how it's getting along, then check it out and come un-network.
Where: 116 Murphey Hall, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC When: Saturday, January 7, 2006 11am - 4pm Register/Info: PodcasterCon.org
French Police Fear That Blogs Have Helped Incite Rioting
"The banners and bullhorns of protest are being replaced in volatile French neighborhoods by cellphone messages and Skyblog."
Read it: French Police Fear That Blogs Have Helped Incite Rioting
(Found on:NYT > Technology.)
After getting back from a lecture at the most recent N-TEN Tech club meeting, I found myself enlightend as to the way of the podcast.
Brian Russell is a stand-up guy doing a lot of grunt work with the development of podcasting as a tool of activist. His website does a great job of explaining the current state of the field, and of course his podcast is great:
If you are completely new to podcasting, a quick shot in the arm: