Posts Tagged ‘ future

Green : an idea suppressed by Your Country Your Call

I submitted a proposal to Your Country Your Call on February 18th entitled “Green” promoting a change in the way we view the Cannabis Sativa plant. It was not the only proposal I submitted, there were others, including “Bring Back Glass Bottle Deposits”. “Renegotiate The Corrib Gas Deal” and “Free Computing, It’s Easy” (open sourcing public sector computers). Unfortunately I can’t link to “Green”, well I am, but it will only take you to a page that reads; “You are not authorized to view this idea.”

When I put it up on the site it was hidden from the chronological page view within several minutes and also removed from search results and tags. But the page remained. A few similar ideas sprang up in the following days only to be removed. A couple remained, which dealt only with industrial hemp but of course there were comments about a broader use of the plant. I linked in interested people from those proposals and they supported mine and commented about the censorship of ideas. It was nearly there for two weeks, hidden in limbo within the walls of the call, before it was deleted completely. This type of innovation it would seem was not in line with the spirit of the site. So what is the “spirit” of the site? Well maybe I will leave that one for later. For now I will press on and show you my idea. It’s not new, it has been said time and time again, but the usual response to it is “sure it would never work in Ireland”.
But it could and it should and someday it will, but not until after a lot of damage is done to society as a whole.

Green : a proposal submitted to Your Country Your Call on 18th February 2010
My proposal is for a Green Ireland, a new tourism angle for us which also creates agricultural and processing industries around a plant which grows easily. The plant can be used in manufacturing of high quality textile products, it’s oil for cosmetic and culinary use and it’s common use as a relaxant, with medical benefits as well as being a spiritual and creative stimulant.
The idea requires an open mind and and to be tolerant about the vices of others. What’s right for one person may not be for another. We are living in the 21st Century where we can easily compare customs, habits. rituals from other cultures and accept them. The present approach of the “war on
drugs” does nothing but criminalise innocent people who are no harm to anyone but themselves, No more, “Down with this sort of thing” The bleating nay-sayers of this country have led the way for too long. What has developed is a sheepish mentality whereby issues are not looked at in all their detail and instead spun into a misconceived view of reality. The drugs issue is not all bad.
Pharmaceutical companies are allowed to sell us all types of harmful compounds which are an accepted part of our health system. But it is just one system. Alcohol is accepted as a dangerous drug which can be fatally harmful to our health, spurs aggression and violence and yet we happily pay unaffordable money for this pleasure. Because we enjoy it so much, it is worth taxing so much. So even as we drown our sorrows in our overpriced pints, paid for from welfare cheques, we can feel better knowing that we are contributing to the economy. What is needed is education on drug use and a way to ensure that recreational drugs are of good quality. We are now in a situation where drugs which are available legally in head shops are
potentially more dangerous than their Illegal counterparts.
We need to break this taboo
Free the weed.
(and tax it!)
So why was this pulled? Why is this discussion not allowed on the table? In the past few days another idea has been removed, one that had gotten over 8000 votes of support. This was “A Resourced Based Economy”, a proposal inspired by the idea behind the Venus Project for a sustainable economy heading toward utopia. This has been removed for what has been called “spamming”. It does seem apparent that there was a movement to get people onto the site to support it, a canvassing so to speak. Now while it does seem in this case that there was maybe something askew, it would not be the first proposal to employ this tactic, as the fifth most supported idea,“Talent Tank”, demonstrated. People who support the Venus Project have been bombarding YCYC’s Facebook page and the website itself with irate comments about the removal of the proposal. So while there may be some validity for the removal of that proposal, even if somewhat misguided, at least it was only removed after it became popular and garnered some attention.
My “Green” proposal however was obviously hidden, while a discussion probably took place about whether this sort of frank proposal could be tolerated. It wasn’t, it was removed, people might see it after all and that wasn’t an option.
“Down With This Sort Of Thing”

In the last two weeks another hemp proposal has gone up, “Grow hemp as our new raw material”, this time getting the support of the Venus Project troops and bringing in 111 votes of support at last count. I can’t be sure, but mine got around about 20 votes and it wasn’t even visible to all. It is kind of fitting that the most supported proposal is for a pharmaceutical drug, LDN, given that marijuana for medical use has proven benefits in the same areas
as this manufactured drug. So what do the people behind Your Country Your Call say about this then?
This was put up on their blog last week…
Inappropriate proposals
A core objective of YCYC is to create a platform that will enable the
presentation and development of ideas that can be put into action to
develop opportunities for investment, employment and consequently
prosperity in Ireland.
Unfortunately not all the proposals submitted to date are similarly
motivated. In particular, over the past few days the site has been
the subject of a sustained spamming exercise with multiple comments
from a small number of sources around a small number of proposals.
That activity has impacted negatively on genuine users of the site.
The source of those postings have their own agendas and are not
compatible with the objectives of Your Country, Your Call. On that
basis they are no longer posted.
Then there are five questions to ask yourself before submitting a proposal,
so I give you my answers…
Why you consider Ireland to be the ideal location for your proposal?
Because it is green by name and green by nature and could do with a new economy boost.
What you think Ireland has that could really make your proposal work?
At the heart of it, Ireland is a tolerant nation which has had to put up
with a lot of hassle. Apathy has crept in over the years and innovation
met naysayers standing in the way, talking about change but hesitant to
help any one but fein. The heart grow cold as it was swayed by greed. If we
can let go of the nosey neighbour psyche and seek community again,
we can really have a great and open future. Too much gets swept
under the carpet in this country.
How you think your proposal could create opportunities for employment
and prosperity in Ireland?
Employment with result first off by giving farmers a new (albeit
ancient) crop to grow, for industrial hemp processing and for
medicinal and recreation use. So there is employment gained in
agriculture, processing, retail, health and tourism industries. Yes
we would attract hoards of peaceful hungry people from all around
the world, no it would not be as bad as the drunks we like to think
the rest of the world thinks we are. Let’s get over stereotypes.
Recreational drug use is not underground, nor should it be. It needs
to be in the open, to be safe and to be tolerated.
Why you thinkthat the timing is right for your proposal?
What with the frenzy
over headshops at the moment we need to step back and look at the
bigger picture. People are resorting to headshop products in lieu of
an illegal safer alternative, namely Cannabis. There is a huge
demand and thus a need for supply. The popularity of the headshops
has only served to make this point crystal clear. There is a lot of
money to be made, would you rather it be made by criminal gangs who
contribute nothing to society but fear?
I will leave it at that for the moment…
So what do you think?

The iPad(lock) and throwing away the Key.

So Apple’s iPad has been unveiled.  I am somewhat disappointed by the first incarnation, cool and all as it is, it is not useful enough for me as it stands. No doubt it will improve over time and eventually there will be a version that has two tablets which fold together, cameras, projector and 3d hologram with an LED pen to sketch on one side while it live updates on the other. It would also allow conversion of handwriting to text on the fly giving an alternative to noting your thoughts as opposed to speaking them out loud with the auto dictate voice feature also included. While I wait for this reality I will go about using my own system and optimizing the organising of files.

The main problem I see with the iPad is it’s closed operating system following on from the iPhone. Everything goes through Apple’s iTunes store and must get their approval. The eco system is entirely Apple’s. This is a great thing for Apple but is it for the creative content market? Now books will go the same way as music in their digitisation. Apple and Amazon will have the market for their own proprietary devices (but how quick will the Kindle sink?) making moving your purchase to another device difficult or undoable. Apple’s patents on multitouch have put the fear in other technology makers that they will be sued if they go down that road, but this should not be the case. I’ve seen multitouch prototypes going back as for as Sonar 2003. Multitouch is the future (sure, it was in PK Dick’s “Minority Report”!) and it’s use in interface design should not be restricted. This technology alongside augmented reality will change how we interact with computers with extraordinary improvements. Combine Microsoft’s Project Natal, Vuzic iWear and multitouch devices and we bring the virtual world to life.

I welcome new operating systems which are designed from the ground up for multitouch. I don’t have a problem with the iPhone / iPad operating system, but I would like to have full control of it (without having to jailbreak it) and install apps from other vendors, as well as build my own personalized apps just for my own use. But most of all, I would like to see the continuation of OS X as a gesture controlled operating system which works on the iPad or using the iPad as an input device for another computer (a VNC client supporting multitouch?). As for other technology makers, I hope they push on with using multitouch on their own devices. We need open application development without gatekeepers.

We are at a time now in the development of our technology assisted future where we have reached a crossroads, whereby the openness of the Internet is at stake. This week, Sourceforge have blocked access to their site to IP addresses originating in China, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Sudan in response to Hillary Clinton’s “solution” to censorship, “more censorship”. Apparently this falls under trade embargoes with these countries under US law and Sourceforge have taken it upon themselves to block access to the site. The site hosts open source software and acts as a community for developers of such. The restriction of open source software flies in the face of the ideals of the open source movements. It flies in the face of the nature of the internet.

Every day brings new plans to restrict the flow of information online. Pay gates are going up everywhere and the net is being divided up geographically with geoblocking. This is largely due to the commercialisation of the internet and the turning it in to yet another distribution channel for multinationals. Big media wants a big slice of it and alternative strategies are swept under the carpet. The sharing is being removed. The copying forbidden. Tools to restrain the organic nature of the web are being implemented. It is becoming a sit-back (and shut up) medium. You may think this is very over the top, but this is the future if censorship sneaks in under the guise of “protecting creative works”. A trend has started and it is not a good trend.

So what is “the Key”? The key is to remove the gates. The access point to the web and it’s information needs to be the same all over the world and you need to know that you are not being excluded from any part of it. You also need to know when you are being spied on and when you are not. You connect to the web and the software you have installed to browse it tells you ; “Welcome to the Internet, your connection speed is 10Mbps, your IP address is Location Dublin, Ireland. >>>   Enter your personalised secured private network or go anywhere?”

Where do you want to go today?
Apple’s dominant side needs to be challenged. People pay good money for good technology and therefore should own that technology and be able to make it their “own”. There needs to be independent online stores offering “choice” in mobile applications at prices in competition with the iTunes App store. The same is true for music and movies and books and any content worth selling to a consumer. It worked for desktop computing, it worked for high street record buying. Digital offers a greater freedom than physical product, yet incompatibility is being built in. Where do you go to sell your used mp3s or books?! But seriously if you are reading a book in a digital format, you should be able to read it where you like, just like a paper one. What I see is a rush to charge for things you can already to for free… format conversion.

I hope software developers rise to Apple’s (reckoned) challenge and pave the way to have more stores that sell you different versions of the same app for different operating systems. Applications should not need approval by any one company. They should made available at any part of the internet. They can be flagged by the community if they are good or bad, the network effect.  Ideally applications would be developed in whatever packages and code the developer wants and then export compliant versions for each platform available. Of course to make this fair, a purchase of software would be a package with versions for all platforms to offer the consumer flexibility (as is often done with computer software).

Open source software is vital to innovation in technology fields it also offers ways to save money for companies and countries. We need to stop being sold to and instead find alternative solutions. The status quo is largely a waste of money. Not every company needs to spend thousands for licenses for word processing software etc when they can get it for free. Moreover access to the web should not be confined by borders. It is the world wide web afterall.

There does need to be a new ecosystem online where creative work is bought and sold. It needs to be organic and not monopolised. The first thing a band needs to do in this day and age is to have it’s music for sale by direct download from their site. 100% of the revenue is theirs (almost). They can sell it in stores such as iTunes, Rhapsody, 7digital, Zune, PlayNow, Napster or Amazon for a revenue split based in whether the service is just for hosting or for hosting and promotion. It would make sense too that the price is cheaper from the band’s website and that there is promotional offers and extras to bring traffic.

Innovation is accelerating, let’s not put the brakes on.

Wow Wii & Johnny Chung Lee

And now for a more in depth post. I was sent a link by Mr. Gudenfast to this really cool video on Youtube a few days ago. It’s about using the Nintento Wii for more innovative VR type purposes. I’m really interested in the Wii as a new type of interface and have been eager to try it out for a few things. The application I am beta testing for VJ-ing, VDMX has the functionality to control parameters using the Wii and also with bluetooth devices. I have controlled it using my K750i phone after a tipoff from Artificial Eyes and thought that was pretty cool until I seen what they were doing with the iPhone as an interface. So now I’m hungry for a Wii and an iPhone, although I would wait for Apple to implement 3G before I though about that and more to the point, would wait until I actually had some money in my pocket!

So anyway, back to the Wii and the cool video(s). Well this is amazing sock knocking off stuff, what you are about to see here… Johnny Chung Lee presents some of the really cool projects he is working on, first up, well, the title say it all….

Head Tracking for Desktop VR Displays using the WiiRemote

Makes you wanna Wii doesn’t it?!! Fair dues to him on this. EA have now picked this idea up for commercial release on a game. But he’s not getting paid for this, it is his passion he is about advancing technology and is happy to see his ideas implemented. He will go a long way.
So naturally after seeing this great work I had to see what else he was up to. Next up…

Automatic Projector Calibration with Embedded Light Sensors

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