How to have your own Satellite TV Station with a $10 Wok

The New Zealand Herald gives us an incredible example of “Kiwi ingenuity”.  A volunteer, Ken Jones, for the station, 45 South (UHF channel 41), used a $10 (I presume this is 10 New Zealand Dollars) to create a satellite dish that would transmit the startup television station’s signal.  A commerical link would have cost $20,000.  The wok originally even had the handle still attached when it was first put up.

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Crowd Sourcing India Internet Mapping Mobile Web 2.0

Social Mobile Mapping (Mapiki)

With Google’s release of Google Maps for Australia, I am hoping Google Maps India isn’t going to be that far away. Being a complete outsider to Indian roads and traffic, it would be a very welcome addition to our list of expat related sites and tools that we’ll be relying on after we move to India.

I know the challenges of putting together Google Maps in a place like India. I’ve been to the tiny little alleys that are at least 400 or 500 years old. I’ve also been to what was farmland 6 months ago and today is a luxury residential development outside Bangalore. In a country where the streets are thousands of years old and where farmland and undeveloped land is changing so rapidly, it will be an immense task to keep the data updated. However, could this be the perfect place for an experiment in Social Mobile Mapping or Mapiki? This is the term that I’m going to use for what I think could be a tremendous addition to the social web.

Imagine an application that will redraw maps based on GPS transmitters and SMS text messages, submitted by none other than the users of the mapping application. In a place like India, a rikshaw driver can pull out his mobile and type in a message and sms it to a service that will instantly display on the map the changes reflected by the rikshaw driver. Of course, this can be gamed but so can Wikis. The question is, can the wisdom of crowds provide cleaner more accurate mapping information just like it has helped to create Wikipedia?

For now, however, at least I can get driving directions in New Delhi.


Do not pass go, do not collect $200, Go Directly to Jail!

Ban Proposed On Walking While Talking, Listening To iPod – News

A state senator from Brooklyn said on Tuesday he plans to introduce legislation that would ban people from using an MP3 player, cell phone, Blackberry or any other electronic device while crossing the street in either New York City or Buffalo.

I would think passing a  law prohibiting doing your make-up or reading while driving would be more important.  Perhaps, we should also sponsor a law that bans music in cars because it is a distraction, especially if it’s too loud.  We should probably look at eating while driving and walking as potential threats to personal safety as well.  Talking to another person while driving or crossing the street is also fairly dangerous because it draws attention away from the task at hand so perhaps State Senator Carl Kruger can examine these issues as well and include them in the proposed bill.


TED talks on Google Video

Google is making available video from the TED (Technology, Entertainment & Design) conferences. Among videos available are talks from former Vice President Al Gore, NYTimes Writer, David Pogue, and leadership trainer and motivational speaker, Tony Robbins. Some of the talks are funny, some thought provoking, and some just plain interesting. Check it out.

Official Google Blog: TED talks on Google Video

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment & Design. For more than 15 years TED has produced a conference notable for its eclectic and stimulating mix of thinkers, leaders and doer from many fields. Traditionally, about 1,000 TEDsters gather each February at an exclusive invitation-only program in Monterey, California. Until recently, most of us could only read about TED or these talks — but now talks are available online via Google Video, as well as at the TED site.

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Make me a good photographer

This technology might actually make me a good photographer or, at the very least, half-way decent. Now if the technology could be open sourced and plugged into Gimp, that would be great!

Researchers have unveiled an image-processing technique that shows promise for fixing images spoiled by camera shake.

Researchers take the blur out of shaky photos | CNET

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