Photography: Patrick Latter – Canadian Hiking

Moraine Lake - Patrick Latter Canadian HikingRising to a challenge from the Editor, I have to describe, adequately, some stunning photography that I ‘wowed’ over recently. This could take some work; I know nothing about photography other than ‘stand still and don’t put your finger over the lens.’ Until now.

Patrick Latter describes himself as “a programmer with a passion for all things photography and hiking,” indeed, his blog is entitled Canadian Hiking Photography (http://hikingphoto.com/), but I suspect there is a good deal more to him than that modest description.

The site contains some fantastic images in a diverse portfolio, with some fascinating technical commentary on how the shots were taken. I get it. Mostly. I am less of a photo ignoramous now. Continue reading

News: The Digital Human Series 2

Aleks Krotoski portrait by Kevin Meredith lomokev.comAleks Krotoski returns with a new series of explorations of our digital world.

Episode 1: Diaspora – In the first in the new series Aleks looks at how different cultures are preserving their identity in the face of the homogenising effects of technology.

This insightful series combines popular science and technology with some social anthropology in an easily digestable set of themed episodes. You don’t have to be a tech-junkie (but it helps) or a sociologist (just as well) in order to appreciate these gentle drop-in sessions on the wired world.

We liked series one, so, evidently, did Radio 4, since it’s back for another run of seven shows. Continue reading

Review: The Digital Human BBC Radio4

Aleks Krotoski portrait by Kevin Meredith lomokev.comAleks Krotoski explores the digital world, looking at the urge to capture every image, experience and feeling for on-line eternity and how technology touches everything people do, both on and off-line

I didn’t get time to post this over the Summer when it originally aired on BBC Radio 4 Monday afternoons, but this well thought out seven part series by the Guardian’s ‘digitial specialist’ bears seeking out on the BBC iPlayer where it is still available.

Krotoski asks “not just what technology can do for us but also what is it doing to us and the world we’re creating?” Continue reading

Review: BBC Review: Radio 4 Book of the Week – Tubes by Andrew Blum

Image credit: Book Photo by shutterhacks http://www.flickr.com/photos/shutterhacks/4474421855/ (Creative Commons)BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week Tubes: Behind the Scenes at the Internet
Written by Andrew Blum.

In April 2011, a seventy-five year old woman deprived Armenia of its Internet access when she sliced through a buried cable with her garden spade. That January, Egyptian authorities simply switched off 70% of the country’s Internet connections in an attempt to quell a revolution. In 2009, a squirrel chewed through a wire in Andrew Blum’s backyard, slowing his broadband to a trickle and catapulting him on a quest to find out what this so-called ‘Internet’ actually is.

This is the Internet as you’ve never seen it before. It’s not a concept. It’s not a culture. It’s most certainly not a cloud. It’s a mass of tubes. Continue reading

10 Ways to Save the World One Internet Connection at a Time (Guest Post)

10 Ways to Save the World One Internet Connection at a Time - Internet Service Providers .orgChristine at Internet Service Providers .org let us know about this one and we’re happy to re-post.

Evidence of the power of the Internet is everywhere. From the impact of social media to the outreach programs that have changed lives around the world, there has never been a more potent tool for global influence available to the common man. You don’t have to look far to find ways to save the world with the Internet. Here’s a list of ten of them:

  1. Human Rights Watch – HRW provides timely information about human rights crises and developments in 90 countries around the world. You can follow them here on Twitter.
  2. Save the Children – Save the Children is the leading independent organization creating lasting change for children who are in need, both in the United States and around the world. Working in more than 120 different countries, this organization also delivers assistance to parents, teachers and caregivers.
  3. DoSomething.org – A website whose stated purpose is: “Using the power of online to get teens to do good stuff offline.” From book drives to the bully project, Do Something offers venues through which teens can impact their world positively through doing something good.
  4. Change.org – The impetus behind Change.org is to establish an organizing platform from which people who want to affect change in their world, whether it’s locally or globally or both, can launch a campaign.
  5. World Food Programme – WFP is the food aid arm of the United Nations system. Their mission is to eradicate hunger and poverty around the world, and visitors are able to donate from their website here, or join an online community.
  6. Ashoka – Founded in 1980, this organization is rooted by a fundamental vision to empower individuals to address societal issues, innovate for change, and develop the confidence they need to see that they have the power to do so.
  7. Good – What is Good? We’ll let them explain: “We are people, businesses, moms, kids, artists, organizations, policymakers, students, teachers, and engineers. All united in one simple idea, each elevated by being connected. Let’s do what works and never default to what doesn’t. Join us, and together we’ll power what works.”
  8. Kiva – You can literally lend a hand here. Well, some money anyway. As little as $25 to help change the world for someone in need. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of micro-finance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend to help create opportunity around the world.
  9. Movements.org – A non-profit organization, they connect and support online activists to help them acquire the technology, media, and people to promote their missions. Grassroots activists are able to make real changes in their communities with their help.
  10. SocialEdge.org – A global online community that brings together social entrepreneurs and philanthropists in order to share resources, network, and motivate one another to affect change locally and globally.

Opinion: Has the Airport Experience Become Horrible?

Interior of main terminal at Dubai International Airport, Wikimedia Commons, 22 March 2011 by OrderinchaosHas the airport experience become horrible?

Yes.

Oh, you want more. Well, Vanessa Barford on the BBC News blog site asked this one a few weeks ago:

“Rarely a week passes without passport queue woes in the UK or tales of overzealous security staff in the US. So has going through an airport become a horrible experience? Airports were once an exciting window to the world. But with immigration services staff in the UK set to strike and passengers said to have waited for up to three hours for passport checks at Heathrow last week, for some the romance is over. Across the Atlantic, the American airport experience has also been generating ire.”

So what’s on my current ire list? Continue reading