Daily archives: February 16, 2006

Increased CO2 may cause plant life to raise rivers

Plants around the world are requiring less water, another effect of the increased CO2 in the atmosphere. The higher concentrations mean plants can absorb the gas and convert it through photosynthesis more efficiently, meaning they need less water overall. This could be a good thing, as Gaia self regulates the CO2 out of the atmosphere, but it is also leading to an increase in water run off and greater risks of flooding.

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Eco-farming to bootstrap poor economies

A major study has shown that green farming methods such as crop rotation and organic farming increased crop yields by an average of 79%, without risking future harvests.

“Most people think it is bad news from the south,” Professor Pretty said, “but in many ways farmers in developing country are leading the way.”

The researchers found methods that did not have an adverse effect on local biodiversity allowed farmers to reap the rewards of growing crops in healthy soil.

“People are using a variety of integrated pest management techniques; making the best of biodiversity like predators, parasites and multiple cropping,” Professor Pretty told the BBC News website.

“In essence, it allows the ecosystem to deliver the pest management services.”

This approach paid dividends, he said, because it not only cut the use of pesticides but also resulted in farmers having to spend less of their income on chemicals.

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Sugar in the tank

They may not be popular with Tescopoly, but Tescos are doing some interesting things on the environmental front. They have started selling petrol with 5% bioethanol at their petrol stations.

According to the renewable transport fuels obligation, the details of which are to be described in this year’s budget expected in March, 5% of all motor fuel must come from renewable sources by 2010. Government figures suggest that if bioethanol replaced 5% of petrol in the UK, it would have the environmental impact of taking a million cars off the road.

Of course, we could take a million or so cars off the roads as well.

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Over here, the coders will be put in jail

Australia has effectively banned a computer game– Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure. The Classification Review Board refused to classify the game, meaning it cannot be sold, demonstrated, hired or imported.

From the Amazon manufacturer’s description-

In a world where graffiti has been banned and freedom of expression has been suppressed by a tyrannical city government, an unlikely hero rises to win back his neighbourhood and become an urban legend of the city of New Radius. In Mark Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure play as Trane, a toy (beginner) graffiti artist with the street-smarts, athletic prowess and vision necessary to become an All City King, the most reputable of all graffiti artists. In your quest to become a legendary graffiti artist, you realise that an oppressive Mayor has a stranglehold on the city of New Radius, and you must use all of your high-wire graffiti talents to expose him and set the city free.

via Slashdot

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The ones that got away

The Top Ten Sci-Fi movies never made.

Yes, The Matrix was always conceived as a trilogy. Specifically, the Wachowskis originally pitched a prequel (showing the machines’ war with humanity) and a sequel (showing the downfall of The Matrix).


Here’s the thing. The prequel, it’ll never happen. We’ll have to be happy with The Second Renaissance. But the sequel… I’m pretty sure if you give me Reloaded and Revolutions and a knife, I can cut you a lone, 100-minute Matrix sequel that would flatten your balls.

Maybe I’ll go do that now.

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He who treats the database as a flat-file repository of data is doomed to burn in Hell. It's true, I asked.

Things Everyone in IT Should Know. I really do some of these things, which is surprising because I sometimes think of myself as an amateur who’s just waiting to be found out. I really need to learn this one though-

If the Solution Seems Too Simple, Use It

All this eventually breaks down to a 0 or a 1, true/false, left/right, up/down, black/white, whatever/whatever else. Most basic fact in the universe: is or isn’t.
So why do so many technologists opt for the cool, complicated, “only 10 people in the world…” solution? Because they’re stupid and they’re scared. Too stupid to appreciate the sophistication of simplicity; too scared that, if it’s that simple, anyone can do it. Juniors go complicated, seniors go sophisticated.

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i really should be at home

Note This post was e-mailed from my phone at about half past three on Wednesday afternoon. The one below it was sent some time after that. Sometimes mobile e-mail is a little freaky like that.

I still haven’t been able to make changes to the database. It’s a ten minute job but i’ve now been waiting a day and a bit for people to get their arses in gear. I should be at home working on cool stuff.
For instance-
I’ve come up with an idea for a domestic rain water buffer. It would sit at the bottom of the downspout and hold water for its built in plant pot. The pots would reduce run off and improve air quality, and they could be made from mostly recycled items such as old car tires.
There are companies in the uk who will do 3d printing from supplied files. I need to look into this as a method for prototyping models and other stuff.