Test Information Space

Journal of Tech, Testing and Trends

Posts Tagged ‘disaster’


Posted by cadsmith on February 28, 2011

Intel has BIOS implementation test suite. YouEye performs eye-tracking during tests. Aspiritech testers apply Asperger’s. Microsoft uses controlled experiments for business. Landing page tests listed.

Interactive Fabrication does realtime 3D. Hololabs has a 3D augmented reality editor. NMQ has 3D radar mosaic.

Robot subs used for longer term periods. Demolition robot slices concrete. Self-aware robot models body, thoughts and theory of mind. Stochastic robots put themselves together and take others apart. Cheetah-Bot made for pursuit. Robot marathon completed. Segway solowheel is self-balancing. Snakebot reaches heart.

Atomic antennae do quantum transmission on chip. Organic microprocessor announced. Phononic produces advanced thermoelectric devices. Millimeter-scale computer chips are prototyped.

OpenMesh provides internet-less routing. Brain-computer interface does multi-tasking. Swype eases mobile text input. OnSwipe self-publishes for tablets. HelloFax does transmits online. Batteries do self-repair. Solar caps put on landfills.

CapLinked has private investing platform. Seismic Warning Systems alert before earthquakes. Disaster relief model handles chaos. Video monitor automatically detects life jackets.

Book Reviews:

The End of Discovery, Russell Stannard, 2010

This book is about philosophy of science. The argument is that basic science has found things that are fundamentally unknowable. The description of the state-of-the-art is accompanied by questions that show the current limits. The nature of consciousness and free will is brought up initially. Others deal with what things are, their causes, proof, measurement, observations, past occurrences, and how to select between theories. Figures are used to understandably illustrate complex propositions and a few equations. There are thirteen chapters.

The End of the Long Summer, Dianne Dumanoski, 2009

This is a lyrical treatment of many environmental ideas. The basic thesis is that a future based on climate change and global warming cannot be avoided. The ozone hole was a demonstration of industrial civilization’s side-effects and the fact that nature is unpredictable. Humans have learned to dance to the music, however business cannot proceed as usual. Shift is volatile and rapid. The destiny is not set since there are choices. Technofix is a temptation, for example geoengineering, but the proper values include life, resiliency, diversity and survivability in contrast to survivalism. There can be overconnectedness as in hypercoherence. Humanities’ place is on Earth. Conservationists hope that people will be able to still enjoy animals several millennia from now. The best statement may be Carson’s Silent Spring. This is a Massachusetts author. There are nine chapters.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by cadsmith on January 23, 2011

Mobile is hot as Google’s priority this year, app market of 25B in several years, Bubbly has voice tweets, and PLX XWave is a brain monitor. Tablets replace Wintel. Travel includes an all-automated hotel. Vending machines recognize faces. Philosophy promotes testing. Accessibility can be validated using A-Prompt and Cynthia Says. TestFlight can be used for  IOS betas. Security has warnings about attack toolkits, non-Windows systems, printers, resumes, and smartphone seizure, though it may have over-hyped cyberwar. Remote guide dogs announced. Robotics features a comedian and window cleaner. DIY gets alerts from physical mailbox. Internet TV offered by Roku. 3D digitization is exploited for medical visualization. FEMA is looking to adapt to social media. Touch Press displays data dynamically in books. Qwiki searches for information experiences. Firefox 4 released in beta. There were 37 recent links.

Book Review:

Design Driven Testing: Test Smarter, Not Harder, Stephens and Rosenberg, 2010

DDT goals are to fulfill requirements, validate design and verify code. The tests are derived and refactored from the code. This is contrasted to test driven-design. The authors have implemented a process using UML dubbed ICONIX. A conceptual design is positioned midway between the use cases and detailed design. Ten-step lists are each outlined for TDD, DDT, unit, controller, scenarios, requirements, antipatterns, design, integration and algorithm testing. Sequence diagrams are shown throughout. Mock objects and services are used, and unit tests included in builds. There is some discussion of automation, but metrics are not detailed. The style of the book uses allegorical narratives based on satires of alice in wonderland and the temple of doom. This includes some poetry. There are twelve chapters and an appendix from original presentation on subject of use cases. Tips interspersed in the text, as well as inline notes or footnotes that link to other sources. Code samples demonstrate the techniques for a mobile Palm Pilot mapplet to do travel GIS hotel search for a web site.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Chance Favors

Posted by cadsmith on January 2, 2011

Besides augmented to sound, other accessibility tools like Thimble do text to Braille. Photogene provides mobile photo editor. Jama makes requirements management software. VizThink supports visualization. OpenInvo aggregates innovative opportunities. Living earth simulator announced. MSR makes AI Go. Opensource decreed for eastern Europe. There were ten recent links.

Book Review:

Advanced ICTs for Disaster Management and Threat Detection: Collaborative and Distributed Frameworks, EleanaNik AsimakopoulouBessis, 2010
Title is acronym for information and communication technologies. Editors emphasize natural and technical disaster types. There are three phases: preparation, situation, and analysis. Some recent advances include smart-web radio to translate text to voice for dissemination and radio telecontrol to use power distribution lines to network measurement, communication and switches. It also has scenario-based reasoning for conflicting objectives. Topics include crisis management, disaster risk reduction, systemic disaster management system, educational game, disaster media, rapid onset informatics, tool deployment, early warning, med info systems, social media, web2.0, 3d and virtual world models, mathematical models, sensors and computing, and personalized evacuation data. It cites a variety of blogs. If the reader is interested in environmental development as a prevention measure, then additional sources may be required.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pace Time

Posted by cadsmith on December 19, 2010

future of cities

Arbor graphs DDOS stats. The US is establishing an Internet Privacy Office. Supercomputer benchmark measures graph handling. CrisisCommons handles disaster data. List of computer mishaps. A simple site registration utility is provided by Facebook. S4 Momentum tracks social media. Social branding is marketed by Wildfire. Recommendations for Personal Media streaming. Spabba does bookmarking since delicious may be divested. SEO tips for ebooks. 750 Words has online writing editor. Video of Health 2.0 keynote by Tim O’Reilly. Contest offers health prize for in-patient predictions. Body Browser searches anatomy. Muro does browser-based art. Game development is free using UDK. Film-like mocap improves games. Cyborg beetles can fly. PR2 robots sold. Humanoid bot announced in France. Automated round vac prototyped. Startup tech trends listed in addition to Crowdfunding and Chile. Molten Salt stores energy. MapQuest has site in US. Thirty-one recent links added.

Books Reviews:

Intelligent User Interfaces: Adaptation and Personalization Systems and Technologies, Panagiotis and Germanakos, 2008

This book is about how to improve findability. Major sections include theory, content, process, applications and security. Personalization refers to an individual’s or group’s unique needs and preferences. Adaptive features fit to these, context, and structure. Some of the common topics are user profiles, recommendation, models, hypermedia and e-government. Seventeen studies by thirty-eight contributors discuss categories such as privacy-enhanced personalization, emotional intelligence, e-learning assistants, open learner modeling, digital memories, cognitive style, adaptive parallel media stream servers, web usage mining, visualization methods, ontology-based, semantically adaptive, intelligent information, middleware architecture, web-based instruction, access/navigation/search, and adaptive hypermedia.

Surviving Cyberwar, Stiennon 2010
This book details methods of cyber intelligence. Cyberwar is dated from 2008 since, though there were network attacks a decade before, they were not coordinated military offensives. The author proposes four essential pillars which drive the war: technology, logistics, command and intelligence. Cases of social media being used for this as geopolitical tools are shown. Trojans are effective. Denial of service, the classic internet asault, is currently defended in ad hoc fashion. The simple assumption by network and endpoint security are that eachother are hostile, similarly by data for the user. It looks at the level of preparedness of major states and explains the US CNCI. Counterespionage has entered a new age. Future government depends upon how network security and privacy develop. There are fifteen chapters. It was published before the wikileaks controversy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

To Be Is To Question

Posted by cadsmith on November 7, 2010

IBM personalizes internet. Australia has a digital city. Adobe adds cloud filesharing. Verify gets user feedback on screens. Impure visualizes data. A biological brain navigates a vehicle. In electric cars, a Chevy gets an IP address, and an Urbee is made on printer. Also in 3D, Janus does interactive scanning and holograms do displays. Invisible material disappears. Chip PC is in the plug. Blekko searches selected sites. Gdb does profiling. Sensors warn of landslides. Technoscience combines science and engineering.

Book reviews:

What Technology Wants, Kevin Kelly, 2010
The author seeks the essence of technology as a force the equal of nature. Technology has features such as evolution, complexity, specificity, diversity, and energy dependencies. He introduces the term technium as a form of civilization, an emergent system of accelerated life. Many advancements happen simultaneously in multiple places, e.g. the Axial Age. This is the result of new technologies increasing the odds of successors. There are four parts for fourteen chapters. It is written in an optimistic, mind-expanding style. He covers the ideas of many other authors such as Joel Garreau and W. Brian Arthur. There are twenty-books in the reading list including authors such as Ray Kurzweil and Steward Brand. Though not cited here, there have been efforts to formalize technology’s philosophical roots, theory, and predictions, reviewed earlier on this blog and google books.

Recent links (of about twenty-four):


YouTube – Tom Chatfield: 7 ways video games engage the brain
YouTube – Authors@Google: Alice Walker

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ghost Parking

Posted by cadsmith on October 24, 2010


Time to put those campfire stories to good use. If you’ve ever wondered what it all may lead to, see Cast Shadow.

Book reviews:

Design Informed: Driving Innovation with Evidence-Based Design, Brandt and others, 2010

This book is about architectural research methods which seek evidence to answer specific questions about cause-effect. In a series of a couple of dozen case studies and interviews, it characterizes the six quality attributes of hypothesis, epistemology, metrics, strength of evidence, external validation and transparency. It discusses the 2005 Latrobe hypothesis which has three parts for collaboration between architect and clients, use of both empiricism and induction, and metrics. A process of prototyping and testing is used to make buildings. Software is used for analysis and prediction. Computer models are used to find and demonstrate solutions. Compelling measurements from the realworld support the conclusions. The computer is then used to include these types of measurements in architectural designs. Actual designs are made which use the newer solution approaches. There are seven chapters.

The Artificial Ape: How Technology Changed the Course of Human Evolution, Timothy Taylor, 2010

The author questions how humans became intelligent and whether tools and therefore technology predated humans. He proposes a set of three levels, system 3, flint tool or artificial tech arising after system 1 inanimate natural pebble, and system 2 natural biological mollusk. His style mixes data and personal anecdotes from in the field. He updates the arguments of initially proposed by Darwin regarding trial and error with newer findings and inductive reasoning to demonstrate that technology enabled human biological evolution. The human brain is three to four times larger in size than a primate’s, but smaller than it was 150k years ago. The chart spans ten million years and shows an average increase and several dips. Much of the content has been externalized by technology so the modern head may be more efficient in the social context. This is similar to body mass and coordination which used to be required to get food. Civilizations may succumb to environmental disasters since some tend to worsen due to social practice. Competition between humans was a significant selector and technological advantage allowed symbolic development. Skeuomorphs mimic previous designs using new materials. Anti-science creationism may be an artifact of human models that led to questions of causality for the artists. Infant slings were an initial tool used upon walking upright and which also encouraged brain size. Groups have their own techno-culture and their tools may seem alien to others. This included cooking bowls which led to different diets and centralized preparation like the later fast foods. The first chipped stone tool found preceded homo sapiens by almost 200,000 years. Chimps, who probably were derived from the same ape as humans about seven million years ago, also use these types, as did Tasmanian aborigines isolated from the mainland. Otzi the ice man, from 5000 years ago on the high Alps, had more complex ones like from an early assembly line.

Telling Stories: A Short Path to Writing Better Software Requirements, Ben Rinzler, 2009

The thesis is that there is an analogy between writing requirements and a story. The book is concise and readable and formalizes a requirements method. The instructions show how to illustrate dataflow and UML. There are outlines and a document template. The outline formats differentiate an Agile version from more robust. Scenarios are used to show the success and exception results of each application process. The latter word is used in several contexts such as for the requirements themselves, for the system, and for the software elements. It assumes that the review considers feasibility.

This title is a happy medium as an anecdote, however the full length treatment is full of caveats. A story is a narrative, where the requirements are more of an agreement. There are a lot of differences. The audience of designers, for example, will have an expectation that there is enough detail for them to do specifications. System analysts and testers will seek to itemize features and constraints so that they can be tracked throughout the development and validation processes. Perhaps the story explains the why’s, the requirements the what’s, and the designs do the how’s. It does list usability testing and brings up availability, for example.

In summary, marketing presentations might lean more heavily on the story side, and software on objectives. Other approaches along these lines have included object-oriented parsing of text to objects. Scenarios and scenes are also used in test descriptions, e.g. use cases. Analogies are used in technical documentation. Complementary approaches might also include user actions as problem-solving or decision trees.

Recent links (about thirty-six):


Diminished Reality: Impressive Video Manipulation In Real-Time (Video)
YouTube – O’Reilly Webcast: The Myths of Innovation – Remixed and Remastered
YouTube – Heribert Watzke: The brain in your gut

ai Intellitar

browser First Alpha Of Opera 11 Released, Developers Can Now Build Extensions


Blotting Out Sun May Soon Be Banned : Discovery News
Flower Power: Genetic Modification Could Amply Boost Plants’ Carbon-Capture and Bioenergy Capacity: Scientific American

computer Researchers one step closer to ‘bootless’ computer – Computerworld

digital-libraries Technology Review: Blogs: Mims’s Bits: Why There Can Never Be A Competitor to Google Books


Layer 8: IBM says software helps predict natural disasters | Network World
Building a Giant Lab to Test Disasters – WSJ.com

ebooks eBook price comparisons for iBooks, Kindle and Nook – Leatherbound

holography This Rocking Lead Singer is a 3D Hologram (video) | Singularity Hub

journalism WikiLeaks Founder on the Run, Chased by Turmoil – NYTimes.com

mathematics Dr Dobbs – Linear Equation Breakthrough


Glasses With HUDs Just Became A Little More Affordable | Techi.com
What is Mobile Virtualization and Why is it Important? – ReadWriteCloud
picplz for iPhone & Android – See what’s happening now
Mitek Systems

music Google India Blog: Introducing Google Music Search (India) at Labs

payments Citibank First to Test Revolutionary Credit Card System, Card 2.0

physics Technology Review: Blogs: arXiv blog: Mass Can Be ‘Created’ Inside Graphene, Say Physicists

privacy Every email and website to be stored – Telegraph


BattleBricks: MakerLegoBot: The Lego Mindstorms NXT 3D Lego Printer
Buzzll.com: Singing Humanoids
IEEE Spectrum: Japanese Snake Robot Goes Where Humans Can’t


First All-Digital Science Textbook Will Be Free | Wired Science | Wired.com
publicscience.ca – Science that Protects You
E. O. Wilson, Harrison Ford Ask You to Give a Damn About Biodiversity

security Coder for CIA: Drone Targeting Software “Far From Ready”


NIST Lays Out Spec to Turn Power Grid to Network Grid | ITworld


Record-breaking galaxy found at the edge of the Universe | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine
NASA Ames’ Worden reveals DARPA-funded “Hundred Year Starship” program | KurzweilAI

spacecraft International Docking Standard

telescope Technology Review: Blogs: Mims’s Bits: How To Handle The World’s Largest Digital Images

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Point to Pole

Posted by cadsmith on October 10, 2010

The Pole

Political artifacts are sweeping much of the attention. Next generation designs consider networks, environment, globalization, and personalization. Architecture seems to be maintaining eyes and ears and administering disapproving dread on behalf of a someone or something in the central keep. Votes are predicted and ballots are built according to the pulse from purchases, product use and promotional responses for goodness’ sake. Some take the quest to the furthest outposts which then become the new melting pots. Others meld to media and march the machines in their stead. Statistics are a snapshot of what needs to be shaped next and there is a cloud of colors around the computation.

Recent links (about twenty-seven):

Book Reviews:

The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization’s Northern Future, Laurence C. Smith, 2010
The author is a professor of earth and atmospheric sciences. There are three parts for ten chapters. Each chapter provides trend data and describes what 2050 will be like. The forces are demographics, resource demand, globalization, climate change. These all include technology. Ground rules included no silver bullets or world war III or hidden genies, and the models are okay. There is a trend toward urbanization. Resource depletion is analyzed. Carbon-free energy sources include hydropower, wind and concentrated solar thermal power. Water is in contention between farmers and cities. Computer models indicate rising air temperatures in the north. Trade can increase around the north pole without need for major contention. There is a third wave of immigration to the northern rim and the arctic seabed. Ancestral traditions merge with modern business practices. Models of abrupt climate change indicate probability that northern fresh water will not be affected and it may redirect water to the south. The new north may be like the American West at the start of the nineteenth century.


YouTube – Hans Rosling: The good news of the decade?
YouTube – Digital Art@Google: James Tunick and Jack Toolin
YouTube – Barbara Block: Tagging tuna in the deep ocean
Tim Jackson’s economic reality check | Video on TED.com

application Ovi app wizard beta

censorship The .ly domain space to be considered unsafe | :Ben Metcalfe Blog

computation Technology Review: Blogs: arXiv blog: The Post-Singularity Future Of Astronomy

disaster A flood of toxic sludge – The Big Picture – Boston.com

ebooks Worldreader.org – Books for All


World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

government Tech CEOs tell US gov’t how to cut $1 trillion from deficit

ideas Kevin Kelly and Steven Johnson on Where Ideas Come From | Magazine

linkedin LinkedIn and PwC Launch Breakthrough Career Mapping Tool for College Students | LinkedIn – Public Relations

medical Berkeley Bionics

review ‘The Social Network’: A Review Of Aaron Sorkin’s Film About Facebook And Mark Zuckerberg | The New Republic


Boy of 15 fitted with robotic heart – Computer Chips & Hardware Technology | Geek.com
IEEE Spectrum: Humanoid Robots Rise. Now, Can They Walk?
IEEE Spectrum: Omniwheels Gaining Popularity in Robotics

security Collective Defense: Applying Public Health Models to the Internet (PDF)


Update: Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Makes First Glide Flight | Autopia | Wired.com
The Space Game

statistics Truthy

tags FollowYours

tv Quick Tour – Google TV

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Big Project

Posted by cadsmith on September 4, 2010


The border between environment and society is blurring. Natural scarcity may not be reflected in prices because of temporary subsidies, but economics is adjusting to new equations based on population, climate and urbanization. Science is directed to reveal all of the parameters and relationships. Development looks at reuse and hazard reduction. Biotech has a global market base. Computation puts the expanding data into perspective. Technological determinism adds network archaeology. Society learns how to respond constructively to challenging events.

Recent links (about 30):

academic Welcome | MIT150 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology 150th anniversary

biotech The BioBricks Foundation


The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing, Evan Marshall, 2001

Writing the Blockbuster Novel, Albert Zuckerman, 1994

Dynamic Characters, Nancy Kress, 1998

climate Climate Change: A Software Grand Challenge | Serendipity

computer Dr Dobbs – IBM Claims World’s Fastest Microprocessor

disaster World Natural Hazards Website | Natural Disaster Management | Disaster Agency Hawaii – PDC


Technology Review: Robotic Storm Tracker Gets a Big Test with Earl

Weather conditions tie fires in Russia to floods in Pakistan | Environment & Development | Deutsche Welle | 01.09.2010

The Deepening Crisis: Scientific American

Hurricane Earl Weakens to Category 3 Storm – WSJ.com

Environmental Hazards: Assessing Risk and Reducing Disaster, Keith Smith, 2004

YouTube – Johan Rockstrom: Let the environment guide our development

mathematics Impossible Soccer Kick Leads to New Physics Equation | Playbook

mobile Mobile App Helps Emergency Crews Assess Damage During Disasters

network Technology Review: Blogs: arXiv blog: The New Science of Network Archaeology


Subutai Corporation

Moving Tales – Bringing Stories to Life on your iPad


IEEE Spectrum: NASA Ready to Send Humanoid Robot to Space

Technology Review: Blogs: TR Editors’ blog: Robots Take Out the Trash

science ScienceDirect – Home

semantic The Semantic Puzzle | Why SKOS thesauri matter – the next generation of semantic technologies

sports IBM at the US Open – Analyzing Every Volley, Serve and Overhead Smash – ReadWriteCloud

statistics The Big Data Explosion and the Demand for the Statistical Tools to Analyze It – ReadWriteCloud

telepresence IEEE Spectrum: Telepresence: A Manifesto


How Can Los Angeles Adapt to Coming Climate Change?: Scientific American

Augmented Reality Coming to DC Bus Stops Today (Photo)

video New Microscope Enables Real-Time 3-D Movies of Developing Embryos [Slide Show]: Scientific American

Book review:

Biology Is Technology, Robert H. Carlson, 2010

This is a study of the economics of biology. It reviews the trajectory of technology, biotech, genetic engineering and industrial projections. Gene-sequencing already has international sites and a critical mass is evolving for a growth in synthetic parts exchange. Opensource is creating a participative market. Current applications include biobricks, iGEM, biofuels, and instant vaccines among many others. The turning point is that the human has become a product which redefines the producers and consumers themselves and increases the complexity of behaviors. Limits on innovation concerning rights and patents are discussed. There are risks of runaway effects which need to be better understood and monitored where possible. The opening questions about what biology is, and what biological engineering will be, are ongoing. Readers interested in bioinformatics would need additional sources.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by cadsmith on August 30, 2010


Sustainability issues grow as large urban centers add a million people, or or up to about 5%, per year. Social responses to acts of nature need to be tempered in order to prevent environmental disasters. Demand increases for tech solutions. Automation extends to robotics and space.

Recent links (about 23):

ai “The Age of Assistants”: The View From Inside SRI

augmented-reality “What Mountain is That?” New App Takes AR Outside the City Limits


Database | EM-DAT

International Strategy for Disaster Reduction

International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR)

Death to Humans! Visions of the Apocalypse in Movies and Literature: Scientific American

email HOW TO: Undo “Send” in Gmail

emotion EmoRate

events Online Event Registration – Sell Tickets Online with Eventbrite

robotics IEEE Spectrum: Cyborg Fly Pilots Robot Through Obstacle Course

security David Ignatius – Pentagon’s cybersecurity plans have a Cold War chill

smartgrid IEEE Spectrum: $25 Billion European Smart Grid Market by 2020

space BBC News – Alien hunters ‘should look for artificial intelligence’

ui Make: Online : Multitouch robot swarm controller


World’s Fastest-Growing Megalopolis Hides in Fog | Raw File

Reinventing the City to Combat Climate Change

visualization David McCandless: The beauty of data visualization | Video on TED.com

Book reviews:

Urban Risk Reduction: An Asian Perspective, Shaw et al, 2009

Urbanization is outpacing general population growth in Asia. Case studies are described for localities and types of environmental disaster. Urban issues range from household, community, city, region, to nation. Lifestyles create hazards which induce, or worsen natural, events. The culture can be built on safety and resilience. Action planning may require assistance of specialized agencies. Pilot cities demonstrate projects such as local resource organization, citizen empowerment, and smaller units and chain of command. Lessons are learned from disaster recovery. A management information system was useful in at least one case. The decision-making pyramid includes global, national, city, building, and individual. Environmental issues include air and water pollution, waste and sewage, noise, land use, drainage and transport congestion, slums, flood and other common issues such as disease, fire, or crime. Strategies are sensitive to survival, peace, innovation from tradition, and sustainability. The disaster management cycle has its own information and communication issues in each phase, non, before, during and after. Risk reduction involves knowledge, perception, deepening, preparedness and dissemination. Surveys measure public awareness. Frameworks are provided by Millennium Development Goal, Hyogo Framework for Action, and UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. There are eighteen chapters, two parts, twenty-four authors.

Disaster Risk Management Systems Analysis: A Guide Book, Baas, 2008

This book has a toolset for the characterization and strengthening of DRM at the international, national, province/district/municipality, community and institution layers. A framework enumerates initiatives for each of the periods for disaster risk reduction, response, and recovery. Preparedness links both development, through mitigation and prevention, and humanitarian assistance, through relief and recovery. Another framework for sustainable livelihoods indicates which households are most vulnerable. There is a list of key questions for leaders. A form is shown to document the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats across levels. There are six modules, two annexes and many figures, relational maps, and checklists. It can be downloaded as a PDF from the web.

Ecological Engineering: Principles and Practices, Patrick C. Kangas, 2004

Humans stress natural ecosystems through simplification of species and metabolic shifts. Research in emergent ecosystems includes agriculture, urban, and coastal or estuarine. Since prediction is limited, engineering epistemology requires building improvement based on design and test. Future directions include ecological nanotech, terraforming, biosensors, ecosensors, universal pollution treatment, and aquaculture. Technoecosystems maintain a balance between living and hardware systems. Since the laboratory includes the environment, the hacker code of ethics applies to ecological engineering. Treatment reduces costs of pollution. Ecological economics adds measures of emergy or embodied energy, natural capital, sustainability, carrying capacity and many types of ecosystem services to improve life-support value. Sold waste management discusses landfills, composting, and industrial ecology. The energy value of the waste is the same as that used to make the product. Wetlands are used for wastewater treatment by spiraling. An identical decay equation for decomposition evolved in parallel, linking design intuitions for both biodegradation in ecology and wastewater engineering. Restoration ecology connects to succession and is explained for salt marshes, artificial reefs, and educational exhibits. Microcosmology includes living models and replication issues. Soil bioengineering is shown for urban imperviousness, stormwater management bioretention and agricultural erosion control. This realm includes beavers, coastal vegetation and self-building machines. Biodiversity is increased by exotic species. The food web describes feeding interactions. The series of multiple states in catastrophe theory is used to explain invasion. Control theory ranges from machine analogies to biotech. Circuit symbols are used for ecosystem models. H T Odum coined a lot of the names of new ecosystems. Principles include energy signature, self-organization and preadaptation. There are nine chapters

Building Safer Cities: The Future of Disaster Risk, edited by Kreimer et al, 2003

Actual and new types of disasters are discussed, e.g. due to rapid urbanization or climate change. Impact and preparedness affect several geographic scales of security, environmental and human, including economics. politics, and society. There are several major worldviews. The main concerns are globalization, environment, social vulnerability, and protecting infrastructure. The various methods of balancing costs of risks include privatization, government taxation and globalization. Africa often suffers export losses, which leads to tens of thousands of youth mortalities, when other countries have disasters. Hazard reduction involves robust design, flexible and adaptable systems, reversal of vulnerability trends, and societal preparedness. Coastal zone classifications include protect, retreat and accommodate. Resilience measures how much disturbance can be absorbed, and the capability for self-reorganization. Regional analysis, management and action are required for flooding. Study approaches include scenarios and consequences. The fact that life support networks, e.g. utilities, affect eachother as external technological causes has not been taken into account traditionally. Critical infrastructure includes telecom, power, energy, storage, transportation, water, financial, emergency services, and government. Buildings can be retrofit using new tech for earthquakes risk. These were papers for a conference of international financial institutions. There are four parts, twenty chapters, twenty-six authors. They may develop literacy for the terminology. Most chapters have conclusions or recommendations. The web had PDFs and Google books has full content.

Counting Heads, David Marusek, 2005

This novel is a scifi cyberpunk mystery. There are three parts, forty-five chapters, and an epilogue. Chapters are numbered, e.g. up to 1.3 or 2.29. Part 3 adds days of the week to the titles up to Friday 3.13. It begins in first person for part 1 which was originally a short story. The year is 2092. There are a pair of main characters. Tech includes nanotech, clones, robotic insects, friendly AIs, wearable valet processors. holopresence conferences, and high velocity surface travel. HomCom is the initial antagonist. There is a realistic world. The rest of the parts are told in third person after forty years have passed. The point of view changes among several main characters. The antagonist may be an AI. A glossary would be appropriate. The title refers to heads for which the body can be replaced. A sequel was published, Mind Over Ship.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »