The World Right Now

“What’s Going On?” – Marvin Gaye

Awareness of Growth, Growth in Awareness

The World Right Now

I have written about location-based technology for 911 on cellular telephony as an enabler of greater awareness of the world right now (companies like Intrado). Here’s a twist on the technology, targeted at the organic network growth of wi-fi. This is a powerful convergence of phenomena.

Bain Capital Ventures, which pools funds from major tech companies like Intel and Nokia, said Thursday it’s backing Skyhook Wireless in a $6.5-million first round of funding…The technology is seen by many as fundamental to enabling location-based services, like driving directions, targeted advertising, vehicle or asset tracking, as well as social networking applications that could communicate location information to a user’s friends and coworkers.

Skyhook Wireless provides a software-only positioning system that leverages a nationwide database of known Wi-Fi access points to calculate the precise location of any Wi-Fi enabled device.

The Internet’s Self Awareness

The World Right Now

The Internet tracking itself.

“The Internet Storm Center was created in 2001 following the successful detection, analysis, and widespread warning of the Li0n worm. Today, the ISC provides a free analysis and warning service to thousands of Internet users and organizations, and is actively working with Internet Service Providers to fight back against the most malicious attackers.”

“The CERT® Coordination Center is a center of Internet security expertise, located at the Software Engineering Institute, a federally funded research and development center operated by Carnegie Mellon University. It publishes daily advisories and incident notices concerning security bugs plus network security alerts.”

The Universe Right Now

The World Right Now

“Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.”

Subconscious of the Blogosphere

The World Right Now

Another glimpse of the global train of thought. A little skewed by the source being bloggers only – the number one ranking as I type this is a site about technical solutions for RSS feeds used by many blogs – but I suppose true for Google zeitgeist as much as any other – all of them a subset of a global mind, until one gets used by 100% of all the 6.5 billion users…

Tip of the NeuroHat to Ben Houston

the Neurophere Subconscious

The World Right Now

I always liked this feature from the Webcrawler web site. It used to be called the Webcrawler Subsconscious, which fits the Neurosphere profile more precisely. (If you look at the “unfiltered” version, it’s even more primal.)

“Ever wonder what the rest of the world is searching for?”


The World Right Now

At the other end of the demographic spectrum from Wyoming, New York City’s 311 government information hotline is not only a disseminator of information, but has learning feedback built in. Checkout the performance statistics for types of inquiries – the government affairs equivalent of Google Zeitgeist.

“Third, the government learns as much as the callers do. That’s the radical idea at the heart of the service: Every question or problem carries its own kind of data. Menchini’s system tracks all that information; just as the heralded CompStat system mapped problem crime areas with new precision, 311 automatically records the location of each incoming service request in a huge database that feeds info throughout New York City’s government. Think of 311 as a kind of massively distributed extension of the city’s perceptual systems, harnessing millions of ordinary eyes on the street to detect emerging problems or report unmet needs – like those worries about unrefrigerated insulin. (Bloomberg himself is notorious for calling in to report potholes.)”

Interfaces to the World

The World Right Now

Neurosphere periodically finds nuggets of interest from the email tracker FUTUREdition of The Arlington Institute. The Institute also has developed an explicitly noospheric “Vital Signs Monitor”, in conjunction with the Center for Human Emergence, as a tracking tool for business or governmental use. A near-term project for the Neurosphere Institute is to develop a better interface to The World Right Now as a consumer product.

“Vital Signs Monitors are the early critical warning indicators for understanding and communicating about the dynamics that work in complex social systems to generate levels of destructive violence and conflict, or act to create waves of peace and tranquility. We will be scanning for the Vital Signs that announce the onset of either conflict or peace, and reveal the contours of the deeper tectonic-like social plates that are rumbling beneath the surface.”

Faulkes Telescope Project

The World Right Now

Here’s a great example of students turning the eyes of the noosphere in the direction of their choice.

“The whole telescope system is designed to operate automatically so that the telescopes run as robots. All that is needed to control one of the telescope is a computer (Windows or Apple Macintosh) and an Internet connection. A control centre in the UK (and others in Hawaii and Australia) will send instructions from the user via the Internet on which observations are to be carried out…The robotic nature of the telescopes means that excellent images of stars and galaxies are sent within minutes to the classroom computer via the Internet.”

Disturbing the World Right Now

The World Right Now

The Webcam links in the The World Right Now section of the Neurosphere site provide an eye on the world. But additions to Webcam technology have started to add functionality to what the user can do with or get from the Webcams. You can’t operate the Mars Opportunity Rover yet, but some NASA hotshots get to do that today.

“Some cameras connect directly to a VCR and others record to your computer’s hard drive… You can also get cameras that send alerts when motion is detected or still shots at specific intervals. These are both handy features that offer you greater peace of mind. Likewise, the ability to pan the camera remotely is helpful. Use a Web camera that has a built-in microphone. They will capture audio in addition to video. And the two-way audio allows you to use the camera as an intercom. You can purchase sensors that monitor doors, windows and the temperature. They cost about $40 each. This is great if you’re leaving home for an extended period…The system offers e-mail alerts. It will also send text messages to your cell phone.”

Tip of the NeuroHat to Kim Komando.

Where In the World Right Now Are You?

The World Right Now

The FCC is just this year catching cellular phone service up to the emergency 911 requirements of traditional telephone networks.

“Under current FCC rules, VoIP providers have until Nov. 28 to be able to connect their subscribers to the enhanced 911 network, a next-generation system that can pinpoint the caller’s geographic location.”

The technology that makes this possible has repercussions far beyond 911 – all kinds of location-based applications are sure to follow, with each individual having as many degrees of freedom of behavior when they are on the road as when they are any place else. From life-saving behavior, as in this announcement, down to which McDonald’s am I closest to.

“Intrado Inc., a global provider of integrated data and telecommunications solutions, and MedicAlert, the market leader in healthcare infomatics, today announced an alliance to provide subscriber-specific medical information during 9-1-1 calls.”