Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Energy Literacy (Saul Griffith)

A really excellent talk explaining in detail the breakdown of planetary energy usage, what that means per person, and what we need to do in concrete terms to deal with planetary warming. An engineer's approach, you'll like this if you're sick of the intellectual vacuum in the global warming "debate", and want some cold hard facts.

If we are to make a big change in the way energy is produced and consumed we need an “Energy Literacy” that gives people a tangible sense of their energy consumption, and of what it takes to meet that. This talk aims to inspire people that the problem is solvable with rational, data-driven development of the appropriate technologies, both in clean energy generation and in energy conservation. It aims to inject a rational perspective on the energy debate by showing the real numbers and potential of various energy sources to contribute to a balanced future energy supply."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Taking the next giant leap in space (Peter Diamandis)

Let's go to space, and get all the gold, yeehaw! It's a cool talk. A bit too gung-ho-isn't-the-rich-poor-gap-awesome, but hey.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

All the Government's Information (Carl Malamud)

Totally back on topic. A talk by Carl Malamud.

"If you happen to be lucky (or unlucky) enough to live in Washington, D.C., and are appropriately credentialed or won the right lottery, you can choose from a couple of dozen places to go watch the workings of government in action. Congressional hearings and the White House briefing rooms are the best known of these official hotspots, but most agencies have their own hearing rooms for official actions, press conferences, and other public proceedings. Sometimes these official proceedings make themselves visible to the rest of us, usually through low-resolution streaming video using a proprietary format. A few hearings get archived, though the archives are rarely accessible. A new project aims to change that by streaming official proceedings out to the Internet as high resolution video and creating a permanent archive. It is our belief that the respective agencies have an obligation to create these feeds, since you can't really can't call a proceeding public if it isn't on the Internet. It is also our belief that permanent archives of these official records should be widely replicated throughout the Internet. Consequently, the aim of this project is to create the service and then put it self out of business in a few years by encouraging/cajoling the government to do the right thing. Technically, the project consists of gatewaying an existing video-over-fiber facility which transports 280 mbps uncompressed video into a series of 50-mbps MPEG-2 streams transported over an OC48 which backhauls the data into public peering facilities, where the streams are transcoded and made available without charge to service providers, such as Google Video and the Internet 2 backbone. Additional services envisioned include an "anybody can annotate" service which couples XMPP-based sessions (such as Google Talk services) to stored archives."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fascination with the Dodo Bird (Adam Savage)

Adam Savage of Mythbusters talks about his obsessions. He's a model maker, and oh my god, the stuff he does. What an incredible actualizer!

The Q&A gets a bit dull, but at around 46:00 he talks about why they wont ever be able to do a show about RFID, check it out.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lessig on McCain on Technology

This one is absolutely on-topic. From Lawrence Lessig's blog, it's "Me on McCain on Technology".

More quality from Lawrence Lessig. You keep shootin' 'em Larry, and I'll keep showin' 'em.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Parrots the Universe and Everything (Douglas Adams)

Look, I'm wandering further off topic. This is indeed a talk (about an hour and a half long), but it's not really about freedom or free culture. It's partly about endangered species and mostly about being damned funny.

My excuse is that it's Douglas Adams, of Hitchhikers Guide fame, and a very tenuous thread is that he was apparently good friends with Richard Dawkins. The world became a measurable poorer place on the day he died.

I'll be posting more by Adams in the near future (on topic this time), although I can't find a video, so I might have to read it myself, which should be jarring, I mean excellent.

The God Delusion #2 (Richard Dawkins)

Part 2 of Richard Dawkins talking about his book The God Delusion in Lynchburg, Virginia (in the U.S.A.).

70 minutes, so grab a coffee and kick back for this one.

Hang in there for the creationist pwnage as students from Liberty University try to catch Professor Dawkins out. Some nice discussion of that is here.