Archived Posts from this Category

Celebrating the “Mother of all Demos”

Posted by on 09 Dec 2008 | Tagged as: events, media, personal comments

Doug Engelbart

I first visited San Francisco in 1985 on my way to Boston for MacWorld Expo. I returned a few months later for the west coast MacWorld. Little did I know that key pieces of the ‘revolutionary’ Mac technolgy were demonstrated in same convention center almost two decades earlier, on December 9th, 1968. It has since come to be known as the Mother of all Demos and today hundreds of tech luminaries gathered to honour the brilliant man behind that demo, Doug Englebart.

On December 9, 1968, Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart and the Augmentation Research Center (ARC) at Stanford Research Institute staged a 90-minute public multimedia demonstration at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco. It was the world debut of personal and interactive computing: for the first time, the public saw a computer mouse, which controlled a networked computer system to demonstrate hypertext linking, real-time text editing, multiple windows with flexible view control, cathode display tubes, and shared-screen teleconferencing.

It changed what is possible. The 1968 demo presaged many of the technologies we use today, from personal computing to social networking. The demo embodied Doug Engelbart’s vision of solving humanity’s most important problems by using computers to improve communication and collaboration.

Today was another great reminder of why I moved to San Francisco! 

Full coverage via Google News and Technorati, plus an interesting mindmap/timeline. (Unfortunately much of the coverage focuses on the mouse, but Doug the mouse was just a tiny piece of the puzzle he was solving.)

Hear the Change!

Posted by on 17 Mar 2008 | Tagged as: media, people

Every day…another doom and gloom report…you could be forgiven for thinking the problems facing humanity are insurmountable. What gives me hope is that so many smart folks from the hi-tech field are moving into the sustainability. Folks like old acquaintance Doug Kaye:

Check out Dougs Social Innovation Podcasting Channel, an initiative with the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

“Social Innovation Conversations’ mission is to expand the reach of important and valuable knowledge to people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to it by recording and sharing the spoken words of thought leaders in all sectors and disciplines and offering listeners a multi-stakeholder perspective on the world grand challenges and social issues.”

Join now – its free!

The Weekly Spin – Don’t be Taken for a Ride!

Posted by on 06 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: media, news

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

One of my favorite newsletters is “The Weekly Spin” from the nonprofit Center for Media and Democracy. They cover a couple of ‘green’ subjects each week with useful cross links. Here’s an example:

Green Ads Raise Red Flags Worldwide

Source: Wall Street Journal (sub req’d), January 30, 2008

Saab Australia ad, which has since been ruled misleading

An increase in “green” marketing has led to scrutiny by watchdogs around the world. Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority recently ruled that television ads from the Malaysian Palm Oil Council were “likely to mislead viewers as to the environmental benefits of oil-palm plantations.” The ads claimed that palm oil trees “give life and help our planet breathe,” but in reality many palm oil plantations are on illegally cleared rainforest land. In September 2007, Norwegian regulators “banned all cars ads from stating that their vehicles are ‘green,’ ‘clean’ or ‘environmentally friendly,'” since car production means more carbon emissions. In the U.S., the Council of Better Business Bureaus ruled that “a distributor of infant feeding bottles had to drop ads that claimed that the plastic used in a competitor’s bottles was unsafe for both the environment and kids.” The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is also planning to update its environmental advertising guidelines, which currently include standards for what can be marketed as “recyclable” or “biodegradable.” As mentioned in an earlier Spin, there are no FTC standards for “carbon neutral” or greenhouse gas emissions offset programs.

And here’s another:

Big Oil Tries to Inspire Warm Gooey Feelings

Source: Rebuilding Together press release, February 1, 2008

As ExxonMobil breaks its own record to post the largest annual profit by a U.S. company, the American Petroleum Institute (API) is trying to tap some goodwill. At the Super Bowl U.S. football championship game, API is sponsoring “Kickoff to Rebuild,” highlighting its work with Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit organization that promotes homeownership. API and Rebuilding Together are launching an “Energy Efficient Homes Initiative,” which aims “to incorporate energy-efficiency measures in the more than 9,000 homes revitalized each year by Rebuilding Together.” API has been battling the oil industry‘s negative public image for years, with increased outreach to journalists and bloggers. In related news, O’Dwyer’s reports that Saudi Arabia’s oil ministry paid the PR firm Hill & Knowlton $1 million, to promote OPEC‘s “message of hope and reassurance” around its November 2007 summit in Riyadh.

If you like to read the news behind the news, subscribe at

Organic Style Reborn

Posted by on 05 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: media


At last year’s LOHAS 11 Forum, Organic Bouquet announced their acquisition of the ‘Organic Style’ brand from organic market pioneers Rodale Inc. Their intention is to build an international eco-lifestyle company, offering flowers, gifts, and products across multiple categories.

Today they launched an all-digital Organic Style magazine to be published quarterly.

“In Organic Style magazine, you’ll meet growers, artisans, environmentalists, humanitarians and visionaries – people who are truly inspirational,” said Gerald Prolman, publisher and eco-entrepreneur. “It’s a window to our world, through which you’ll discover the intrinsic beauty at the heart of the environmental movement.” Full release at CSRwire.

Check it out at The original printed magazine was published from 2001-2005 pre-dating the current green wave. It will be interesting to see if it can reclaim its role as leading resource for sustainable living.