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Apple Aims to “reinvent the biology textbook”

Posted by on 19 Jan 2012 | Tagged as: biomimicry, personal comments

Apple's new digital textbook service called iBooks 2 has been released.

For 20+ years we’ve been talking about the role of computers in transforming education. Today’s iBooks announcement is another step in the right direction, especially when Apple launches with a biology book!

Schiller was particularly excited about announcing a partnership with the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, saying they aim to “reinvent the biology textbook”.The first E.O. Wilson title, Life on Earth, will be exclusive to iBooks. Continued at: and the google.

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.)

Timeline View of this Blog

Posted by on 04 Oct 2008 | Tagged as: personal comments

Bay Area Public Transport via Google Maps

Posted by on 24 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: personal comments, transport

If you live in the San Francisco bay area, check out a recent addition to Google Maps – bus times – right on the map. This is just the kind of innovation needed to move people from personal cars to public transport, and with record high gas prices the timing couldn’t be better. Spread the word!

Update: Google adding help for bikers and pedestrians, via BusinessWeek.

Post #100

Posted by on 26 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: personal comments

Twitcher awarded: Russ Watts was honoured for his work in  ecotourism and community awareness of native bird species

And now for something different: to celebrate reaching 100 posts over these past few months I’ll share the following letter from a friend downunder

Hello David in the USA

Thankyou for your congratulations. Eighty years old – bypass surgery twelve years ago and exercises at the Synergy gymnasium. that’s my answer to ageing and I hope my mind stays clear.
These days I describe myself as an environmentalist. This began after a revisit to southern New South Wales after an absence of 35 years.In the 1950’s and sixties I was a stock and station agent auctioneer based in that region.
The landscape appeared to be swept with a giant broom. Most notable was the absence of ground cover, shrubs, young trees. When you live in a rural area away from a city the day to day loss of habitat is not apparent.
This state has a network of Travelling Stock Routes. They are wide laneways alongside our roads. A generation ago they were used by drovers to move sheep and cattle to saleyards or to other properties. Road transport ended the day of the drovers’ easy going lifestyle.
Our government has decided many parts of these iconic routes will be leased to nearby neighbours. Grazing soon depletes the understory essential for native birds.
Parts of these routes contain valuable remnants of flora and fauna. We hope to retain some areas.
There are 2400 weeds in Australia. Our ranges in NSW and including our land of 20 hectares are becoming overtaken with with a non palatable grass from South Africa and tiger pear which is similar to the prickly pear which has been controlled biologically with the introduction of the cochineal beetle. Unfortunately the former does not respond to any treatment except spraying and removal by hand.
Then there is the Murray Darling River system in decline because of droughts and, can we be certain, global warming.
We are living in times of sudden change. Most people have little interest in the environment. “You see it on the TV mate – she’ll be right”.
For me it’s onwards ever onwards. Is there any other way.

best regards


Russell Watts was recently awarded an “Order of AustraliaFor service to conservation and the environment through advocacy roles for the preservation of endangered flora and fauna, particularly native bird species, and to the development of ecotourism initiatives.

Photo Credit: The Northern Daily Leader

Shift Happens – Australia Offers Apology to Aborigines

Posted by on 12 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: personal comments

While ‘environmentalism’ focused mostly on the natural environment of our planet, being ‘green’ places equal importance on people. So as an Australian I was pleased to read today’s news that our newly elected government offered a formal apology to to indigenous people for past treatment:

AP: CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Aborigines organized breakfast barbecues in the Outback, schools held assemblies and giant TV screens went up in state capitals as Australians watched a live broadcast of their government Wednesday apologizing for policies that degraded its indigenous people.

In a historic parliamentary vote that supporters said would open a new chapter in race relations, lawmakers unanimously adopted Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s motion on behalf of all Australians.

“We apologize for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians,” Rudd said in Parliament, reading from the motion.

WSJ: The apology places Australia among a handful of nations that have offered official apologies to oppressed minorities — including Canada’s 1998 apology to its native people, South Africa’s 1992 expression of regret for apartheid and the U.S. Congress’ 1988 law apologizing to Japanese-Americans for their internment during World War II.

A bright green future requires massive cultural shifts. Here’s to the rate of change accelerating!

More via Google News.

2007 was a tipping point year. Here’s to more change in 2008!

Posted by on 31 Dec 2007 | Tagged as: personal comments

The transition to the green economy is accelerating. I feel privileged to play a role. Happy new year!

What a way to say goodbye 2007…