PostArctica: Ellis D. Kropotechev and Zeus, This marvelous time-sharing system. 1967

Stumbled on to this interesting little 16mm film made by a couple of Standford grad students in 1967. Some computer history and plenty of innuendo. Enjoy!

Things Are Good: Even Massive Multinationals Support Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is what allows the internet to be what it is, and without it the internet would be pretty much useless. The Trump administration is presently trying to eliminate net neutrality to protect the profits of a very small group of companies. It’s worth noting that the Obama administration also tried this but didn’t ...

Things Are Good: Using a Blockchain to Rebuild Trust in Governments

Cryptocurrencies have popularized the use of a digital concept called a blockchain. These blockchains can be used to track transactions and increase accountability of shared networks. If this sounds familiar, a few months ago we looked at how blockchain technology can be used to track physical items. Citizens around the world have been losing trust ...

Things Are Good: Algae Used for Carbon Capture at Cement Plant

Every year cement production contributes about 5% of the global emissions generated by humans. Any improvement around cement production will have a good impact on lowering carbon entering our atmosphere. In Sweden there’s one company using algae to lower its emissions. The country has carbon emission rates that are likely increasing in the next few ...

Things Are Good: VLC Demonstrates the Awesomeness of the FOSS Movement

VLC plays anything you can throw at it as it’s an amazing piece of software. The application is focussed on doing one thing really well: playing media. It’s so good because of the philosophy behind it, known as Free and open-source software (FOSS). Meaning that anybody anywhere can contribute to the source code and make ...

Things Are Good: Prototype Parkinson’s Bracelet Stabilizes Hands

Parkinson’s negatively impacts millions of people around the world by making their muscles harder to control. Basically, in people with Parkinson’s the brain fires extra signals which can cause involuntary muscle movements like shaking. Think of it as your brain stuck in a feedback loop of excitement which it can’t escape – no matter how ...

Things Are Good: Blockchain Technology to Track Real Blocks

Blockchain technology is changing the world of commerce and law, now it can be used to track real world blocks instead of just digital blocks. The technology got attention thanks to the rise of Bitcoin, which is still going strong, and has been improved since then. More recent takes on the technology like Ethereum have ...

Things Are Good: An App That Rewards You for Riding a Bike

Biko rewards cyclists with free stuff just for riding their bike! Rewards include small things like coffee to very expensive consumer items. The idea of rewarding cyclist for not killing the environment using cars isn’t new, Stockholm basically pays cyclists. When it comes to using Biko please consider that they collect marketing data from your ...

Things Are Good: New bank Account Morally Monitors Your Purchases

money Aspiration financial firm is a B-corporatoin that wants to help people “vote with their wallets”. It’s incredibly hard for individuals to stay up to date on the damage that large organizations do despite that a lot of people care. Consumers want to punish companies for some of their actions from United kicking people off ...

Things Are Good: Treepedia Lets Cities See Where Trees are Needed

Treepedia is a new tool from MIT that uses Google street view to asses what the coverage of trees are in specific areas. It lets you know what your neighbourhood is like and doesn’t just bias cities with big inaccessible parks. This means that cities (and people!) can use this tool to find where trees ...

Scripturient: WiFi hysteria again

Every so often, old crackpot ideas, hoaxes, cons and plainly silly pseudoscience resurface online under the guise of Trump-like alternate fact. Scary stories about chemicals in your food, fake health tips, and Facebook-stealing-your-photos nonsense compete for attention with actual news and factual stories. The old bromide about wireless signals (WiFi) killing things is just one ...

Things Are Good: Be Safe Online

The American government recently repealed laws set to protect your privacy online, clearly the government doesn’t care about private communication. This impacts people around the world because a lot of internet traffic travels through the states via various online services. Safe and secure conversations are needed to keep a democracy running and we all deserve ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Heather Whiteside discusses how the privatization schemes being toyed with at all levels of government represent nothing more than reckless gambling with public money and goods: When a federal, provincial, or municipal government builds a bridge, a highway, a school, or a hospital, we know who owns ...

Things Are Good: It’s Fine to not Check Your Email

Stop compulsively checking your email. Frequent checking of one’s inbox will lead to stress for a few reasons so it’s best to schedule your email checking to every couple of hours or so (depending on your job). By limiting how often you look in your inbox you will be able to focus on other tasks ...

Things Are Good: What It’s Like to Use the Internet in Cuba

The internet is a great resource for connecting people to people and connecting people to services and new ideas. Cuba, like other developing nations, has had a hard time connecting to the internet because of the sheer cost (laying cables underwater isn’t cheap!); and for Cuba the costs are higher since they can’t connect to ...

Things Are Good: Amnesty International’s Guide to Safe Messaging

Thanks to the bravery of whistleblowers we know that the Five Eyes are monitoring all internet chatter regardless of who’s talking. This is a big concern for people who care about freedom and rights to have personal communication. As a result, Amnesty International put together a review of messaging apps so you can make an ...

Things Are Good: Capturing Animals in 3D for the Future

We are witnessing one of the largest extinction events in history because people deny that climate change is happening. Regardless of the deniers and the death of entire species we can do something that will help the future of humanity: getting as much information about those species as we can while they are alive. One ...

Things Are Good: Easily Browse Online Anonymously

In a world where our digital lives are tracked by democratic governments (Canada and the UK amongst them) we need to ensure that we can have private conversations online. Over at Digg they have collected a very easy to follow setup to get your protecting your privacy online in only an hour! Keep Your Private ...

eaves.ca: The Future of USDS: Trump, civic tech and the lesson of GDS

Across Washington, the country, and the world, the assumptions people have about various programs, policies and roles have been radically altered in the last 12 hours with the victory of President-Elect Trump. Many of my students and colleagues have asked me — what does this mean for the future of United States Digital Service and 18F? What ...

The Canadian Progressive: Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking

Google is the latest tech company to drop the longstanding wall between anonymous online ad tracking and user’s names. The post Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Things Are Good: Simulations Help Predict How People Panic

Sadly there are still incidents of death that are a result of people panicking while evacuating spaces. For decades engineers have looked into ways to make buildings easy to evacuate and have made a lot of headway, unfortunately there are still times when their efforts are for not. Today the work into dealing with evacuating ...

eaves.ca: Improvising a Digital Curriculum at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Since arriving as a Lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to integrate digital into the curriculum. I have a course on Digital Government and will be teaching modules next term on what we’ve learned from Digital Services (like USDS and GDS) as well as one ...

eaves.ca: The Empire Strikes Back: How the death of GDS puts all government innovators at risk

The UK Government Digital Service(GDS) is dead. I’m sure it will continue to exist in some form, but from what I’ve read it appears to have been gutted of its culture, power and mandate. As a innovator and force for pulling the UK government into the 21st century, it’s over. The UK government comms people, ...

Things Are Good: Solar Sales Soaring Sixfold

Bloomberg is reporting that they anticipate a sixfold increase in star capacity thanks to the efficiency of a having a naturally-occuring ball of fire in our solar system. The sun is an abundant resource which shines its rays on us and now we have the industrial means to convert the sun’s rays into a powerful ...

eaves.ca: Canada’s Draft Open Government Plan — The Promise and Problems Reviewed

Backdrop On Friday the Canadian Government released its draft national action plan. Although not mentioned overtly in the document, these plans are mandated by the Open Government Partnership (OGP), in which member countries must draft National Action Plans every two years where they lay out tangible goals. I’ve both written reviews about these plans before ...