Neurosphere

The Human-Human Interface

Google Thinks Big


The World Right Now

Their market capitalization is around $100 billion, and their ambition is even bigger. You can already manually assemble links to various real-time space missions, but a Google interface can only help.

“Google and NASA share a common desire to bring the universe of information to people around the world,” said Eric Schmidt, the company’s chief executive officer, in a statement. “Imagine having a wide selection of images from the Apollo space mission at your fingertips whenever you want it.”

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/09/29/GOOGLE.TMP


The Thinking City


Wholeness and Virtual Communities

Here’s a nice example tying the most portable type of technology (most portable while still external to the body) transforming the user into a part of a whole that she can perceive as a whole. The graphics are stand-alone works of art in themselves as well.

“Using anonymous cellphone data provided by the leading cellphone operator in Austria, A1/Mobilkom, the researchers developed the Mobile Landscapes project, creating electronic maps of cellphone use in the metropolitan area of Graz, Austria, the country’s second-largest city…”For the first time ever we are able to visualize the full dynamics of a city in real time,” said project leader Carlo Ratti, an architect/engineer and head of the SENSEable City Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “This opens up new possibilities for urban studies and planning. The real-time city is now real: a system that is able to continuously sense its condition and can quickly react to its criticalities,” he added.”

http://senseable.mit.edu/projects/graz/graz.htm


Intelligent Buildings – Intelligent Inhabitants?


Network Infrastructure for the Neurosphere

One application of merged wireless sensors comes in the form of long-promised “intelligent buildings”.

“Next month, a host of new wireless gadgets designed to help make buildings and homes “smart” will debut at the ZigBee Open House and Exposition in Chicago. Among them will be a so-called domestic awareness system that warns you if the stove is left on or if the basement starts flooding. Another lets you network your home entertainment system with environmental controls such as light dimmers or a thermostat. The point of such a setup: to automatically set just the right mood when you’re watching DVDs or listening to music.”

http://www.caba.org/aboutus/ebulletin/issue48/ebulletin2.htm

Maybe we can find higher uses for evolving intelligence than setting the lighting for your next DVD experience. How about reducing our reliance on foreign oil?

“It is a little known fact that even on the annual peak day for electric use, the US needs only about 75% of its generating capacity. Without question there are many local areas that do not have enough generation, but of equal importance is the transmission and distribution grid. GridWise is focusing on both of these challenges by working to serve as the catalyst for developing the technology solutions that will make the grid self healing and improve reliability. 814 stimulated a substantial amount of investment in technology that notifies utilities of a fault in energy supply, and there have also been steps taken to improve intercommunication between utilities. In spite of all these efforts however, there is still no comprehensive intelligent system technology to optimize the performance of the grid. Think of an eBay style Internet Service that would allow utilities to not only wheel power between transmission and distribution systems, but more importantly would create an economic engine to allow energy trading between utilities and even energy users.”

http://www.automatedbuildings.com/


Zigbee !!


Network Infrastructure for the Neurosphere

The ZigBee Alliance. I mean, you gotta love that name. Networking for Joe Sixpack. It’s becoming automatic for connectivity to be built in to almost every electronic device.

“The goal of the ZigBee Alliance is to provide the consumer with ultimate flexibility, mobility, and ease of use by building wireless intelligence and capabilities into every day devices. ZigBee technology will be embedded in a wide range of products and applications across consumer, commercial, industrial and government markets worldwide. For the first time, companies will have a standards-based wireless platform optimized for the unique needs of remote monitoring and control applications, including simplicity, reliability, low-cost and low-power.”

http://www.zigbee.org/en/about/

There is also a convergence going on with the advent of cheap sensors (you know, like automatic doors at supermarkets) being built into the same computer chips with wireless interconnection capability. Pros and cons, per the exchange quoted below, but an inevitable impact on our way of life.

“Srini Krishnamurthy, vice president of business development for Airbee Wireless, outlined a wireless sensor mesh project under study for Ronald Reagan Airport in Washington, D.C. Every door in the airport could be outfitted with 900-MHz wireless sensors and automated locks, networked to a central point where rules could be set for when a door could be opened, by whom, by time of day, without the need for guards. This idea sparked a pragmatic response from Samuel Reed, an electrical engineer with Key Technologies of Baltimore: “Can a terrorist walk into the airport with a 900-MHz jammer and shut the whole place down?”:

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2005/100305-wireless-sensors.html?ts


Big Thinking


Network Infrastructure for the Neurosphere

Global nervous system, under construction, by some guys who are not shy about spending large amounts of money on big promises for the world of the future. This is the kind of centralized approach that was successful in creating the Internet (when it was DARPAnet). But it seems counter to the kind of organic approach consistent with an evolving Neurosphere the way I see it. As I say, nothing if not ambitious.

“GLIF, the Global Lambda Integrated Facility, is an international virtual organization that promotes the paradigm of lambda networking. GLIF provides lambdas internationally as an integrated facility to support data-intensive scientific research, and supports middleware development for lambda networking. It brings together some of the world’s premier networking engineers who are working together to develop an international infrastructure by identifying equipment, connection requirements, and necessary engineering functions and services.”

http://www.glif.is/publications/#maps

And what do you do with it?

“Real-time Applications provide “windows” into the worldwide LambdaGrid. Scientists who generate terabytes and petabytes of data on remote computers or instruments demonstrate how they use the LambdaGrid to interactively visualize, analyze, and correlate data from multiple sites; results are projected onto large visualization and/or virtual-reality displays. Applications in art, bioinformatics, chemistry, cosmology, cultural heritage, education, manufacturing, medicine, geoscience, neuroscience and physics are among those shown. A variety of Grid middleware developments, with emphasis on data management grids, data replication grids, visualization grids, data/visualization grids, computational grids, access grids, and grid portals are also featured, using a variety of computer-based technologies, including distributed computing, visualization and virtual reality, tele-science, data mining, remote instrumentation control, collaboration, high-definition media streaming, and human/computer interfaces.”

http://www.igrid2005.org/program/demos.html


Bandwidth All Around You


Personal Infrastructure

Among my favorite consumer electronics devices are those that do hardly anything. Sometimes that’s all you need.

“Consumers no longer have to boot up their laptops in order to search for nearby Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) service coverage, with the launch of IOGEAR’s new Wi-Fi Finder, a Wi-Fi location device. The easy-to-use product is a perfect tool for mobile workers, with a radio frequency range of 500 feet in open space. By clicking the ‘detect’ button, the device identifies nearby hotspots without interfering with 2.4GHz cordless telephones, A/V or Bluetooth devices. The Wi-Fi Finder also features four LEDs, which indicate WLAN coverage and signal strength.”

http://www.iogear.com/main.php

“The amazing Mini Bug Tracer RF detector is great for finding those hidden 2.4GHz wireless cameras. Outstanding performance in a small package. Keychain sized detector with telescopic antenna sniffs out hidden wireless cameras fast, assuring your privacy. Red light flashes faster as you get closer to the hidden camera. HI/LO buttons allow you to check out the entire room, then “home-in” on the bug.”

http://www.spycentre.com/bug_detectors.htm


Space Truckin


The World Right Now

When it comes to Astroblogging, turns out I spoke too soon.

Take a look around.

http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/postlist.php/Cat/0/Board/EarthTourism

Even the professionals running our space mission are doing it from the ‘hood.

http://www.honeybeerobotics.com/press.html

And then take a walk around. Global satellite networks can be accessed at any time from anywhere to tell you exactly where you are, and how to get anywhere else. Access starts around a hundred bucks.

http://www.magellangps.com/en/index.asp


Astroblogging?


The World Right Now

And the reach of our grasp of the world around us extends into outer space. The array of telescopes and satellites surveying the universe grows every year – the challenge is in personal access and understanding of all the data available to us. It may be a while, however, before there are many bloggers in space…

“Using AstroGrid an astronomer can request sets of observations of the same area of sky taken by several different telescopes and combine the data; perform the same analysis on all the data simply by setting up a set of commands in the AstroGrid system. Previously each data set would have to be processed individually, taking much longer to get results.”

http://www.astrogrid.org/


Geoblogging


The World Right Now

The world of mapmaking collides with the world of blogs. We increasingly have access to the world right now in more and more detail. Geoblogging adds pictures to maps, or is it adds maps to pictures. Either way, our ability to be aware of the world around us grows in the dimensions of both richness and geographical reach. The use of blogs adds distributed intelligence to the sensory data available to us.

“The group is for discussing tips and methods of adding “geotags” aka location metadata to flickr images, Discussing locations on the geobloggers map worth checking out, Discussing the Geobloggers.com website and features etc.?”

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ice5nake/48844998/in/pool-geotagging/


Self-Organizing Network Infrastructure


Network Infrastructure for the Neurosphere

The very name of this company recalls natural systems (phototropism in plants) and their technology “self-organizes” – according to biologists like Francisco Varela, one of the definining characteristics of living organisms.

“Tropos Networks is the proven market leader in delivering metro-scale Wi-Fi mesh network products and services, with more than 150 customers and 40 resellers in eight countries around the world at the end of 2004. Our solutions are the fastest, lowest cost and simplest way to deliver true wireless broadband (>1 Mbps) over large geographic areas using low-cost standard Wi-Fi clients. Our innovative and patented MetroMesh™ architecture provides maximizes throughput from client to server, eliminates the need for costly and complex per node wiring and automatically self-organizes as nodes are added or subtracted, backhaul supplied or removed, and interference comes and goes.”

http://www.tropos.com/company/about.html