Angus Devenson is the organiser of RoboWars Sydney 2013. He spoke to me about the sport of building and battling robots, funded by the crowd. RoboWars Sydney 2013 will be on the 3rd and 4th of August, in Redfern.
Dr Sara Lal and PhD student Diarmuid Kavanagh spoke to me about their research into wiring up driver's brains to detect fatigue, and intervening before it causes accidents, at the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Technology, Sydney. This interview was recorded as part of the Science Communication Education Project.
The Fourth Dimension and How to Get There by Rudy Rucker
BBC Doctor Who Sound files
Carbon-Nanotube Optoacoustic Lens for Focused Ultrasound Generation and High-Precision Targeted Therapy
Guo Research Group
Super-fine sound beam could one day be an invisible scalpel
Mechanical Evidence of the Orbital Angular Momentum to Energy Ratio of Vortex Beams
Coke cans focus sound waves beyond the diffraction limit
Focus: Focusing Sound without a Lens
English: The current TARDIS seen at BBC TV Centre and taken by me Zir (talk) 23:04, 20 January 2009 (UTC) Please credit © zir.com if used outside of Wikipedia Category:Doctor Who images (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The academic paper on which I was a junior author has been made open access by UTS!
The research-teaching nexus as a driver for science communication skills enhancement (Bonfiglioli Catriona; Kirkup Leslie; Woolf Ian 2009)
An historical account of the `WearComp' and `WearCam' inventions developed for applications in `Personal Imaging'
rcomp.org/wearcompdef.html>Definition of "Wearable Computer" One on One: Steve Mann, Wearable Computing Pioneer
A GNU/Linux Wristwatch Videophone
Cyborg Luddite Steve Mann on Singularity 1 on 1: Technology That Masters Nature is Not Sustainable
Wearable Computers Are the Next Big Devices
Olympus and Apple Join Google With Wearable Computing
InterAxon thought controlled computing
Cyborg: Digital Destiny and Human Possibility in the Age of the Wearable Computer
Google Glass gets a sleeker, Japanese competitor
Google Glass tech specs revealed
The LifeBoat Foundation
Professor Mann's University of Toronto page
Steve Visual Filter for continuous live webcast as well as viewing (i.e. visual reality modification in realtime). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Diffusion science show has been cut by 2SER, to make room for new
shows by new volunteers.
After 19 years on air, and 15 years of contributions from me, it was the
final Diffusion Science Radio broadcast from 2SER last night.
Now you will only be able to hear the show by subscribing to the
podcast at www.diffusionradio.com, listening on one of the 14 stations
on the Community Radio Network that broadcast us around Australia, on
the National Science Foundation's Science360 internet radio station in
the USA, and on Astronomy.FM in the UK.
Diffusion has 700 weekly subscribers to the podcast, with 10 000
downloads every month.
Its the end of an era of funny, quirky, weird and wonderful science that
started in 1995. Over 50 volunteers have broadcast more than 180
interviews as captured by the podcast at www.diffusionradio.com, along
with well researched reports, panel discussions, book reviews, science
songs, trivia games and radio plays.
Diffusion has been an institution where volunteers were trained by
fellow volunteers to do all the jobs of producing a radio show, from
operating the panel, conducting interviews, presenting, script writing,
editing and producing.
In 2005 the Discovery show was asked by a cable Science network to
change its name, due to similarities.
In 2011 astronomer Matt Dawson named a planetoid "VictoriaBond". The
Minor Planet Ephemeris Service says:
"Victoria Bond is the name of the popular Australian science show
presenter of "Diffusion Science Radio". Her catchphrase "Planetoid! I
love that word!" and accurate astronomy coverage have endeared her to
listeners worldwide". Ironically, the voice saying the phrase in our
theme music actually belongs to Jacqui Hayes.
Later in 2011, Diffusion won the 2SER Best Talk Show award.
Then in 2012 Diffusion was granted $10 000 for content development from
the Community Broadcasting Foundation.
I'm now looking to find funding for professional recording gear, courses in marketing my journalism, while singing the words to Jonathan Coulton's "Still Alive".
Brain scanning technology is quickly approaching levels of detail that will have serious implications (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For Brain Awareness week 2013, the Museum of Human Disease held Get Into Your Head to help people experiment with their brains. I visited the Museum and spoke with Thomas Fath, Christine Froud, and Bridget Murphy about the experiments.
Joe Patkes, is Red blood cell serology manager for the Red Cross blood service for NSW. He's had 22 years experience in the blood transfusion business, 7 years with the Australian Red Cross, and before that, 14 years in the United States. He spoke with me about blood types and transfusions. Please excuse the occasional buzzing from the machines in the background.
Pareidolia normally makes you see faces, but I see a huge capital letter "A" in the sky. Can you see it, too?
Velvet Soldierbush / Heliotropium foertherianum / 紋羽の木(モンパノキ) (Photo credit: TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋))
structure of rosmarinic acid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As I wrote earlier, Heliotropium foertherianum or Octopus Bush is a traditional remedy for Ciguatera Fish Poisoning that was scientifically tested in assays last year as effective against the toxin. While it hasn't been through the clinical trials that would show that it was definitely effective, as a native Australian plant its listed as bush tucker, so its not toxic.
Given that its not toxic, I've discussed this with my doctor, and I'd like to try the remedy of Octopus bush leaves boiled up as a tea. I am concerned about what will happen in my body if the toxin is dislodged as described in the paper, but its the only treatment on offer. The researchers in France are interested that the active compound in Octopus bush is similar to rosmarinic acid which they know how to make, so they've patented the use of rosmarinic acid for treating Ciguatera Fish Poisoning. I'd like to interview them, I hope they speak English.
A fellow CFP sufferer on facebook is trying rosmarinic acid supplements that are extracted from Rosemary, because its available. My problem is that the amounts of rosmarinic acid in the supplements are tiny. I'm after a medically active dose.
So I'm looking for sources of Octopus Bush itself, as I'd rather try the remedy that was proved to work. In the best of all possible worlds I'd wait for the clinical trials to be initiated, funded and completed, and for all the medicinal interactions to be mapped. However I've been sick ten years, and I'm recovering from a really vicious relapse that's lasted 12 months.
I can't find any sales of this plant or its extracts after exhaustive searches, so I've written to the Royal Botannical Gardens and the CSIRO for help. They've directed me to the Australian Tropical Herbarium, and the Northern Territory Herbarium . I'll send my request, and keep eating the rosemary.
Mark Changizi's "The Vision REvolution" is about the latest research into the way humans see the world. Mark uses the metaphor of super-powers to entertainingly communicate how we see, and how our ancestors saw, and the special abilities we possess but take for granted, such as X-ray vision, and colour empathy.
Clostridium difficile (Photo credit: AJC1)
Professor Thomas Borody of the Center for Digestive Diseases is
researching which illnesses are caused by the bacteria in the bowel
going wrong, and developing bacterial therapies to restore health. In
1999 I spoke to him about how bowel flora affects the brain, and the
triple-S, sick flora syndrome.
Since that time research around the world has started to catch up, and for one illness at least, clostridium difficile infection, this poo transplant will become the standard treatment. Other illnesses may follow.
English: Tournefortia argentea (habit). Location: Kure Atoll, Near coast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A traditional herbal medicine based on the Octopus bush has been found effective against Ciguatera fish poisoning in bioassay tests. The active ingredient Rosmarinic acid has been patented. Clinical trials are yet to be done, but its the most hopeful news for Ciguatera Fish Poisoning sufferers I've seen in the ten years I've been poisoned. The active ingredient actually seems to work against the action of ciguatoxins and also act to remove them from the body.
Deutsch: Ciguatoxin CTX2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Protective effect of Heliotropium foertherianum (Boraginaceae) folk
remedy and its active compound, rosmarinic acid, against a Pacific
ciguatoxin - Journal of Ethnopharmocology
Highlights from the 100 minutes of Douglas Englebert's "Mother of all demos" from 1968 where he demonstrated the windowing and mouse graphical user interface, word processing, databases, computer networking, email, video phone calls and other modern marvels, 45 years ago. Why did take so long? How can we speed the process?
Earth (novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cover art of Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein (1973) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
code of the lifemaker (Photo credit: cdrummbks)
The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner
Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
Jagged Orbit by John Brunner
Shockwave Rider by John Brunner
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
The Star Fraction by Ken Macleod
The Stone Canal by Ken Macleod
The Cassini Division by Ken Macleod
Dark Light by Ken Macleod
The Night Sessions by Ken Macleod
Market Forces by Richard Morgan
Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan
Accelerando by Charles Stross
Singularity Sky by Charles Stross
Consider Phlebus by Iain M Banks
Permutation City by Greg Egan
Quarantine by Greg Egan
Schrodinger's Cat by Robert Anton Wilson
A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge
Rainbow's End by Vernor Vinge
True Names by Vernor Vinge
Across Realtime by Vernor Vinge
EarthGrip by Harry Turtledove
Norstrilia by Cordwainer Smith
The Instrumentality of Mankind by Cordwainer Smith
Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
Inherit the Sky by James P Hogan
Code of the Lifemaker by James P Hogan
Existence by David Brin
Earth by David Brin
Kiln People by David Brin
Sundiver by David Brin
Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein
Time Enough for Love by Robert Heinlein
The Door Into Summer by Robert Heinlein
The Past Through Tomorrow volumes 1 and 2 by Robert Heinlein
Cyteen by CJ Cherryh
Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold
Mindplayers by Pat Cadigan
Patterns by Pat Cadigan
The Mote In God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
Ringworld by Larry Niven
Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis
Dune by Frank Herbert
The Godmakers by Frank Herbert
Space Merchants by Frederick Pohl
Software by Rudy Rucker
The Hacker and the Ants by Rudy Rucker
For the Win by Cory Doctorow
Flicker by Theodore Roszak
Starfish by Peter Watts
BlindSight by Peter Watts
Bold As Love by Gwyneth Jones
At the Open Source Developer's Conference 2012, Gavin Smith gave a talk "How to make anything. Or: Robots, Paint, and Lasers". Gavin is from Robots and Dinosaurs, the Sydney Hackerspace http://robodino.org, where he can make anything using 3D printing, laser CNC and electronics.
This video was shot on my Looxcie Point Of View camera, mounted on my left ear. The advantage is that my head moves the camera. The disadvantage is that my head moves the camera. I tried the camera stabilisation on youtube, and it seemed wrong. Let me know if you can think of ways to improve the quality. The link up the top is to an OGV 100megabyte video file. The original MP4 is available on the Internet Archive but its over 400 Megabytes. Email me or leave a comment if you'd like the link.
I need that Arduino inventor kit, along with a 3D Printer, and to be able to make those amazing laser cut wooden boxes.
Below is the video Gavin showed of "My little piece of privacy"
At the MooresCloud product launch, inventor Mark Pesce spared 10 minutes in the stairwell to talk about his networked lamp platform. MooresCloud, is a playful lamp with a LAMP stack, which means it runs Linux, Apache web server, MySQL database and Python or Perl programming language -L.A.M.P. - it can talk to other networked things.
You can find out more at www.moorescloud.com, and support the project on Kickstarter
This is my first interview using my POV wearable Looxcie camera, and my apologies, but it wobbled a lot. I'm also new to video editing on linux, so I used Openshot until it failed, and then exported video to avidemux to edit the final version. Unfortunately I lost quality in the process. I'll put up a better edited version later. For future videos I'm looking at mounting the camera on my glasses instead of on my ear. It should wobble much less.
Youtube is taking longer to upload so this is hosted on the Internet Archive.
Inventor Mark Pesce has launched MooresCloud, a lamp with a LAMP stack,
which means it runs Linux, Apache web server, MySQL database and Python
or Perl programming language -L.A.M.P. Mark spoke to me in
the stairwell of the Fishburner's building in Sydney at his product launch, about
playful smart devices that talk with you.
My apologies for the squeaking stairwell door on the end of Mark Pesce's parting words: "You can have the smartest dishwasher in the world, but if it can't talk with anything, who cares?" You can find out more at www.moorescloud.com, and support the project on Kickstarter
I'll be posting the Point-Of-View Looxcie version of this interview soon.
Professor Gabriella Weaver from Purdue University gave the keynote speech at the Enhancing Learning in Science Through Inquiry and Technology Forum held last week at the University of Technology Sydney. She's designed and run a curriculum that engages first and second year science students in contributing to authentic scientific research. I spoke with her in the tea break.
You can find out more about the Center for Authentic Science Practice in Education CASPiE that allows first and second year science students to engage in ongoing, authentic scientific research at www.caspie.org.
Today I did a firmware update for my twin tuner DTV2000DS TV card, and was soon prompted for the latest Ubuntu 12.04LTS kernel firmware update. I updated, and rebooted. Now all my tuners work! MythTV sees 4 tuners, and Kaffeine sees 3 tuners. A test recording on MythTV was weirdly slow and wrong, so I might stay with Kaffeine for now.
Three TV tuners working, I just have to wait for something worth recording like Derren Brown Investigates next week on SBS1.
I bought a Leadtek Winfast DTV2000DS twin TV tuner DVB-T PCI card for $55 in August 2011, in order to make my desktop a Digital Video Recorder, or DVR. I'd researched online that it was supported by Ubuntu, and PCI seemed safer than USB. I figured a USB dongle could be knocked as it sticks out, whereas PCI is safely inside the case.
The LeadTek Winfast DTV2000DS twin tuner has the af9015 chipset, and worked really well.
MythTV is an all-singing, all-dancing, super-duper TV recording and playback centre, which has a backend that runs all the time, ready to record. It also has a frontend that only runs when you want to record stuff, or play video. Its supposedly like a free TiVo.
I followed the tutorials, and I made it work. The test was to run VLC, open a channels.conf file which had TV station frequencies for Sydney, and see TV show up on my PC. Then I just had to install MythTV, which was again, just following an online tutorial.
Then, after 2 weeks of DVR heaven, I got sick. While I was stuck in bed, I realized that MythTV can be set up as a network service, which would let me watch TV on my laptop, in bed. I changed one line in the configuration, and restarted it. MythTv refused to start up again. I changed everything back exactly as it was, but that didn't make it work. In fact it would never work again for over a year, but I'd get it out every now and again and tinker. I cleaned out the mysql database and tried weird advice from the forums, but it never worked.
I gave up, and tried other software. Kaffeine was the best. It doesn't have all the cleverness of MythTV, but it has a simple interface and just works. So I've been using it all the time, while occasionally taking a poke at solving my MythTV problems. I managed to get MythTV to see the TV guide from the shepherd utility, but no signals. I didn't mind, I had a $55 DVR, and I could save the recordings and edit them, delete them, transcode, archive, whatever I wanted.
I bought a USB digital TV tuner with an IT9135 from DealExtreme for $11.20, and then paid $5 on ebay for an aerial socket converter so I could connect it to an outside aerial. I bought this for my parents, but linux was too hard for them to use, no matter what the interface. I could get it working on my desktop as a 3rd tuner by following the tutorial.
Then the Ubuntu 12.04 update came out, and killed my device drivers. No TV recording has been possible since then. I've also been very ill for the last 4 months, so I haven't had resources to put into solving it.
I finally had the time and energy to attack the problem again last week, and I can get the USB IT9135 tuner working. Amazingly, not only does it now work with kaffeine, but MythTV now works. I can hardly believe it! Kaffeine sees a single tuner, but MythTV sees two tuners.
The DTV2000DS has the error message in /var/log/dmesg:
[ 11.257035] dvb-usb: found a 'Leadtek WinFast DTV2000DS' in cold state, will try to load a firmware
[ 11.268782] dvb-usb: downloading firmware from file 'dvb-usb-af9015.fw'
[ 13.380141] af9015: bulk message failed:-110 (63/0)
[ 13.380145] af9015: firmware download failed:-110
[ 13.380164] dvb_usb_af9015: probe of 3-1:1.0 failed with error -110
[ 13.380200] usbcore: registered new interface driver dvb_usb_af9015
I seem to have some kind of firmware problem, but I don't understand it yet. The firmware is the most recent, just downloaded last week with the firmware for the working IT9135 tuner.
Can anyone help me make my DTV2000DS work?
It might be good to get the whole media centre hived off onto a Raspberry Pi $35 computer, but that could be messy if I can get my PCI card going again.