Ken Novak's Weblog
Purpose of this blog: to retain annotated bookmarks for my future reference, and to offer others my filter technology and other news. Note that this blog is categorized. Use the category links to find items that match your interests.
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Ken Novak's Weblog


daily link  Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I present to you, VMware Server 1.0 beta 1:  Nice quick summary of the VMware server free release.
  2:05:09 PM  permalink  

Evangelical Leaders Join Global Warming Initiative:  Surprising to me, and hopeful. " [A] television spot links images of drought, starvation and Hurricane Katrina to global warming. In it, the Rev. Joel Hunter, pastor of a megachurch in Longwood, Fla., says: "As Christians, our faith in Jesus Christ compels us to love our neighbors and to be stewards of God's creation. The good news is that with God's help, we can stop global warming, for our kids, our world and for the Lord."  The advertisements are to be shown in Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia.

The Evangelical Climate Initiative, at a cost of several hundred thousand dollars, is being supported by individuals and foundations, including the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Hewlett Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation."

  10:51:45 AM  permalink  


daily link  Saturday, February 04, 2006


United States Ranks 28th on Environment:  Among other measures, the GHG per GDP was interesting:  "The study shows that annual carbon dioxide emissions, measured as metric tons per $1 million of gross domestic product, average about 363 tons. North Korea, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Mongolia rank at the bottom of the scale, with amounts ranging from Mongolia's 1,992 tons to North Korea's 4,859 tons.

Carbon dioxide emissions from nations with rapid economic expansion, like China and India, are more than double the world average (731 tons and 621 tons, respectively). The United States, at 171 tons per $1 million of gross domestic product, ranks well behind some other nations in the Group of 8, the major industrial powers - France (56), Japan (57), Germany (80) and Britain (118) - but close to Canada (168), ahead of Australia (209) and far ahead of Russia (914)."  At today's $10-30 per metric ton, the global average "GDP tax" for GHG offsets would be under 1%, and the US under .5%.

  3:41:19 PM  permalink  

'State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration':  Review of the Risen book by Walter Isaacson, that makes some larger points:  "Even those of us who like the idea of the intelligence agencies using data-mining and electronic surveillance to detect terrorist communications are uncomfortable with the possibility that future presidents, with murkier agendas, might secretly use such techniques, without any authorization, for any purpose they alone deem part of their war-making powers. In these cases, oversight is supposed to come from Congress, the special intelligence courts and the lawyers at the Justice Department, C.I.A. and White House. But in an administration that has little appreciation for Congressional authority or for meddling lawyers, and in a town where the president's party controls all branches of government, there were no such checks or balances.

Except the press. Whether on torture or wiretapping, the news media have become a de facto fourth branch that provides some small check on executive power. That is why so many concerned or disgruntled sources, especially from within the intelligence agencies, came forward to give Risen information. So what are we to believe in a book that relies heavily on leaks from disgruntled sources? We are in an age where the consumer of information has to make an educated guess about what percentage of assertions in books like this are true. My own guess is that Risen has earnest sources for everything he reports but that they don't all know the full story, thus resulting in a book that smells like it's 80 percent true. If that sounds deeply flawed, let me add that if he had relied on no anonymous sources and reported instead only the on-the-record line from official spinners, the result would very likely have been only half as true.

In fact, the new way we consume information provides a good argument for the role of an independent press that relies on leakers. Other journalists will and should build on, or debunk, the allegations reported by Risen. This will prompt many of the players to publish their own version of the facts. L. Paul Bremer, the American viceroy in Iraq after the invasion, has just come out with his book pointing fingers at the C.I.A. for giving him flawed intelligence and at Donald Rumsfeld for not giving him the troops he actually wanted. And Tenet, one hopes, will someday cash in on a hefty book contract by clamping cigar in mouth and pen in hand to give evidence that he was not the buffoonish toady Rumsfeld's aides portray him to be. Besides being fun to watch, this process is a boon for future historians.

So welcome to the new age of impressionistic history. Like an Impressionist painting, it relies on dots of varying hues and intensity. Some come from leakers like those who spoke to Risen. Other dots come from the memoirs and comments of the players. Eventually, a picture emerges, slowly getting clearer. It's up to us to connect the dots and find our own meanings in this landscape."
  10:25:28 AM  permalink  


daily link  Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Ech2o System:  Wireless soil moisture and micro-climate montoring system.  9:11:28 AM  permalink  

Jesse Sullivan, the World's First Bionic Man:  Groundbreaking use of nerves to control artificial limbs, so that thought controls the device. Amazing video. May be applications for other machine control.  "In May 2001, working as a high-power lineman 54 year old Jesse Sullivan was electrocuted so severely that both of his arms needed to be amputated. ..

Doctors take nerves that used to go to the arm and move those nerves onto chest muscles. The nerves grow into the chest muscles, so when the patient thinks “close hand,” a portion of his chest muscle contracts and electrodes that detect this muscle activity tell the computerized arm when to close the hand. Thus, the patient thinks “close hand” and his artificial hand closes. ..

While previously moving his artificial arms was slow and cumbersome, today he is able to do many of the routine tasks he took for granted before his accident, including putting on socks, shaving, eating dinner, taking out the garbage, carrying groceries and vacuuming."
  8:49:03 AM  permalink  

Algae to produce hydrogen:  Links to research in progress.  References and images of computer simulations of hydrogen and oxygen generation at very small scale.
  8:28:15 AM  permalink  

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Last update: 5/16/2006; 12:48:01 PM.
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