Reuse Your Obsolete Technology

Old disks, keys from keyboards, and hard drives can all be used to make useful and fashionable things you can use! EcoGeek has the lowdown on a man who has created a business converting old geek trash into crafts that he sells locally. Ingenious!

There is no longer any use for a 3.5 inch floppy disk let alone a 5.25′. many a coastered CD never finds another home. And keyboard keys, well, they may be beautiful, but there’s nothing you can do with them after you (I) spilled that beer.

2006 A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium

“Why did the chicken cross the road? Because global warming shifted the climate and the only suitable habitat for chickens is up North.”

“We spent all this money developing tools to identify conservation areas, learning how to manage these areas and trying to acquire enough of them to have some sembelance of an ecosystem, and it was all for naught because of climate change.”

“How do you conserve a species, lets take a bird that eats caterpillars as an example, when climate change causes caterpillars to lay their eggs early and by the time the young birds hatch all the caterpillars are now butterflies?

These are just some of the questions I heard at the 2006 A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium. This year’s theme was – Creating a Climate for Change – refering to the actions that conservationists are taking in order to meet the challenges of climate change. A lot of really good discussion happened at this conference . Tough questions were asked and the people on the floor stood up to answer them. Canada might not have a government that is working against climate change, but it has at least one dedicated group doing it.

Twofer of Machine/Brain Interfaces

The ever quickening pace of technology is leading to more and more good news! The first bit is a great story from New Scientist.

cyborg illustration by Renegade Zen

A man named Matt Nagle controls a computer cursor by ‘thinking’ about it much like you would ‘think’ about moving your arm, despite being totally paralyzed. A brain implant the size of a pill with 96 electrodes allows the man to control the computer or a robotic arm through a system developed by the company Cyberkinetics.

The second bit of good neuroscience news comes from Wired magazine, and is all about a wild new DARPA project called the “cortically coupled computer vision system” or C3 Vision. The system uses an electrode cap to pick up the ‘aha!’ signal that your brain generates when it sees something interesting. As images flicker past the user, the ones that generate the ‘aha!’ signal are saved for later inspection by the user.

There are many commercial applications in military and law enforcement/security sectors, but one could imagine all sorts of other novel uses for the technology such as culling good designs from bad ones.

Readers of TAG will remember the story last month about Japan’s bionic hand

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