Internet of Things and Kickstarter | Postscapes

$170,018 Raised

airquality-egg

AIR QUALITY EGG

#AirQualityEgg: A community-led air quality sensing network that gives people a way to participate in the conversation about air quality.


Current Status
: Shipping to backers (Expected by October 2012)

Price: $100 and up

1,040,000 Raised (and counting…)

smartthings

SMART THINGS


YOUR WORLD, SMARTER - SmartThings makes it easy to connect the things in your physical world to the Internet. You can monitor, control, automate, and have fun with them from anywhere - at home, office, or on the go.


Current Status
On Kickstater raising funds

Price: $174 and up

Spanish Government Deploys Robotic Fish to Monitor Maritime Pollution
Currently the port relies on divers to monitor water quality, which is a lengthy process costing €100,000 per year. The divers take water samples from hundreds of points in the port, then send them off for analysis, with the results taking weeks to return. By contrast, the SHOAL robots would continuously monitor the water, letting the port respond immediately to the causes of pollution, such as a leaking boat or industrial spillage, and work to mitigate its effects.
The SHOAL fish are one and a half metres long, comparable to the size and shape of a tuna, but their neon-yellow plastic shell means they are unlikely to be mistaken for the real thing. A range of onboard chemical sensors detect lead, copper and other pollutants, along with measuring water salinity.
They are driven by a dual-hinged tail capable of making tight turns that would be impossible with a propeller-driven robot. They are also less noisy, reducing the impact on marine life.
The robots are battery powered and capable of running for 8 hours between charges. At the moment the researchers have to recover them by boat, but their plan is that the fish will return to a charging station by themselves.
Working in a group, the fish can cover a 1 kilometre-square region of water, down to a depth of 30 metres. They communicate with each other and a nearby base-station using very low-frequency sound waves, which can penetrate the water more easily than radio waves. However, this means the fish have a low data transmission rate and can only send short, predefined messages. “It’s a good solution, but it requires thinking carefully about what data to transmit and how to use that data,” says Kristi Morgansen, a roboticist at the University of Washington, who was not involved in the research.
Robotic fish shoal sniffs out pollution in harbours - environment - 22 May 2012 - New Scientist
via joshbyard:

Spanish Government Deploys Robotic Fish to Monitor Maritime Pollution

Currently the port relies on divers to monitor water quality, which is a lengthy process costing €100,000 per year. The divers take water samples from hundreds of points in the port, then send them off for analysis, with the results taking weeks to return. By contrast, the SHOAL robots would continuously monitor the water, letting the port respond immediately to the causes of pollution, such as a leaking boat or industrial spillage, and work to mitigate its effects.

The SHOAL fish are one and a half metres long, comparable to the size and shape of a tuna, but their neon-yellow plastic shell means they are unlikely to be mistaken for the real thing. A range of onboard chemical sensors detect lead, copper and other pollutants, along with measuring water salinity.

They are driven by a dual-hinged tail capable of making tight turns that would be impossible with a propeller-driven robot. They are also less noisy, reducing the impact on marine life.

The robots are battery powered and capable of running for 8 hours between charges. At the moment the researchers have to recover them by boat, but their plan is that the fish will return to a charging station by themselves.

Working in a group, the fish can cover a 1 kilometre-square region of water, down to a depth of 30 metres. They communicate with each other and a nearby base-station using very low-frequency sound waves, which can penetrate the water more easily than radio waves. However, this means the fish have a low data transmission rate and can only send short, predefined messages. “It’s a good solution, but it requires thinking carefully about what data to transmit and how to use that data,” says Kristi Morgansen, a roboticist at the University of Washington, who was not involved in the research.

Robotic fish shoal sniffs out pollution in harbours - environment - 22 May 2012 - New Scientist

via joshbyard:

Your next mayor: a computer | KurzweilAI
In May 2009, some residents of Paris were given La Montre Verte (“The Green Watch”). The watch is actually a watch, and it also has two sensors to detect noise levels and ozone levels, a GPS chip, and a Bluetooth chip. As people went about their day, the watch recorded the noise and ozone in their environment. The data was transferred to a companion mobile phone application, regularly uploaded to a central server, and crunched into maps like this. (Credit: Fing)
“Almost anything — any person, any object, any process or any service, for any organization, large or small — can become digitally aware and networked,” said IBM Chairman Samuel J. Palmisano at the 2010 SmarterCities forum in Shanghai. “Think about the prospect of a trillion connected and instrumented things — cars, appliances, cameras, roadways, pipelines …”

Your next mayor: a computer | KurzweilAI

In May 2009, some residents of Paris were given La Montre Verte (“The Green Watch”). The watch is actually a watch, and it also has two sensors to detect noise levels and ozone levels, a GPS chip, and a Bluetooth chip. As people went about their day, the watch recorded the noise and ozone in their environment. The data was transferred to a companion mobile phone application, regularly uploaded to a central server, and crunched into maps like this. (Credit: Fing)

“Almost anything — any person, any object, any process or any service, for any organization, large or small — can become digitally aware and networked,” said IBM Chairman Samuel J. Palmisano at the 2010 SmarterCities forum in Shanghai. “Think about the prospect of a trillion connected and instrumented things — cars, appliances, cameras, roadways, pipelines …”

Seeing Cities as the Environmental Solution, Not The Problem | Sustainable Cities Collective
For a long time, America’s environmental community celebrated wilderness and the rural landscape while disdaining cities and towns.  Thoreau’s Walden Pond and John Muir’s Yosemite Valley were seen as the ideal, while cities were seen as sources of dirt and pollution, something to get away from.  If environmentalists were involved with cities at all, it was likely to be in efforts to oppose development, with the effect of making our built environment more spread out, and less urban.
We’ve come a long way since then, if still not far enough.  We were and remain right to uphold nature, wildlife and the rural landscape as places critical to celebrate and preserve.  But what we realize now, many of us anyway, is that cities and towns – the communities where for millennia people have aggregated in search of more efficient commerce and sharing of resources and social networks – are really the environmental solution, not the problem:  the best way to save wilderness that are more, not less, urban and do not encroach on places of significant natural value.  As my friend who works long and hard for a wildlife advocacy organization puts it, to save wildlife habitat we need people to stay in “people habitat.” is through strong, compact, beautiful communities

Seeing Cities as the Environmental Solution, Not The Problem | Sustainable Cities Collective

For a long time, America’s environmental community celebrated wilderness and the rural landscape while disdaining cities and towns.  Thoreau’s Walden Pond and John Muir’s Yosemite Valley were seen as the ideal, while cities were seen as sources of dirt and pollution, something to get away from.  If environmentalists were involved with cities at all, it was likely to be in efforts to oppose development, with the effect of making our built environment more spread out, and less urban.

We’ve come a long way since then, if still not far enough.  We were and remain right to uphold nature, wildlife and the rural landscape as places critical to celebrate and preserve.  But what we realize now, many of us anyway, is that cities and towns – the communities where for millennia people have aggregated in search of more efficient commerce and sharing of resources and social networks – are really the environmental solution, not the problem:  the best way to save wilderness that are more, not less, Arles, Provence, France (c2011 FK Benfield)urban and do not encroach on places of significant natural value.  As my friend who works long and hard for a wildlife advocacy organization puts it, to save wildlife habitat we need people to stay in “people habitat.” is through strong, compact, beautiful communities

 (Re)growing A Wood-Based Economy Could Slash Emissions | Fast Company
Cutting down forests sounds like a bad way to reduce CO2, but new information shows that—if done right—making wood our primary building material (instead of steel or concrete) would be a boon for the environment.

 (Re)growing A Wood-Based Economy Could Slash Emissions | Fast Company

Cutting down forests sounds like a bad way to reduce CO2, but new information shows that—if done right—making wood our primary building material (instead of steel or concrete) would be a boon for the environment.

FarmVille Inspires Real Life Farming Experiment
There’s already a FarmVille for Dummies, but now there’s FarmVille for Real.
My Farm Experiment (not affiliated with the Zynga game) in the UK lets players run an actual farm on the Wimpole Estate,  which is owned by the National Trust, a British charity. Some 10,000  people will help farm manager Richard Morris run things. Here’s the  catch, though: It’s not free. It costs £30 (about $49) to become a  virtual farmer. That payment goes to the National Trust.
Project manager John Alexander told The Guardian that FarmVille was an inspiration for the effort. Coincidentally, Zynga introduced an English Countyside extension of the game in March.
Source: Mashable

FarmVille Inspires Real Life Farming Experiment

There’s already a FarmVille for Dummies, but now there’s FarmVille for Real.

My Farm Experiment (not affiliated with the Zynga game) in the UK lets players run an actual farm on the Wimpole Estate, which is owned by the National Trust, a British charity. Some 10,000 people will help farm manager Richard Morris run things. Here’s the catch, though: It’s not free. It costs £30 (about $49) to become a virtual farmer. That payment goes to the National Trust.

Project manager John Alexander told The Guardian that FarmVille was an inspiration for the effort. Coincidentally, Zynga introduced an English Countyside extension of the game in March.

Source: Mashable

In three new studies published in the May issue of the journal Health Affairs, Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers reveal the staggering economic impact of toxic chemicals and air pollutants in the environment, and propose new legislation to mandate testing of new chemicals and also those already on the market.

Estimated costs of environmental disease in children at $76.6 billion per year

Source: Medical Xpress

(N.B. These economic “externalities” reveal the true cost of ineffective regulation or control of toxic chemicals and environmental pollution. While businesses may resist such requirements, the data reveals that society pays for the problem anyway.  Proper controls could be one of the least expensive ways to reduce the growth of healthcare costs in the U.S….the ultimate kind of preventative care.) 

Infographic: 10 Indicators of a Warming World
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) produced this great, simple infographic showing ten indicators of our warming and changing climate. Seven are increasing and three are decreasing.
Increasing  
- sea level 
- air temperature near surface (troposphere) 
- temperature over oceans  
- sea surface temperature
- ocean heat content
- temperature over land
- humidity
Decreasing
- sea ice
- glaciers
- snow cover
* You can read more on the warming indicators in the NOAA’s State of the Climate report.
via plantedcity:

Infographic: 10 Indicators of a Warming World

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) produced this great, simple infographic showing ten indicators of our warming and changing climate. Seven are increasing and three are decreasing.

Increasing 

- sea level

- air temperature near surface (troposphere)

- temperature over oceans 

- sea surface temperature

- ocean heat content

- temperature over land

- humidity

Decreasing

- sea ice

- glaciers

- snow cover

* You can read more on the warming indicators in the NOAA’s State of the Climate report.

via plantedcity:

How Dirt Can Be Used To Clean Water | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World
In Africa, Life and Water Development Cameroon has created a bio sand filter which provides clean drinking water. The filters will hopefully be implemented in six villages. Hopefully this innovation will help reduce illnesses and transform the way communities access clean water.

How Dirt Can Be Used To Clean Water | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

In Africa, Life and Water Development Cameroon has created a bio sand filter which provides clean drinking water. The filters will hopefully be implemented in six villages. Hopefully this innovation will help reduce illnesses and transform the way communities access clean water.

Global warming waning? Hardly. 2010 was tied as warmest year on record. - CSMonitor.com
2010 tied as warmest year ever, NOAA climatologists say. Year’s data are consistent with the notion that greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels are contributing to global warming. 

Global warming waning? Hardly. 2010 was tied as warmest year on record. - CSMonitor.com

2010 tied as warmest year ever, NOAA climatologists say. Year’s data are consistent with the notion that greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels are contributing to global warming. 

Reforesting the World | Sustainable Cities Collective
The Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration, World Resources Institute, South Dakota State University, and International Union for Conservation of Nature, just released a new map of global reforestation opportunities, arguing that 1.5 billion hectares of totally destroyed or degraded forests worldwide could be restored. Instead of the usual depressing map showing the rapid rate of global deforestation, this new visual could help local governments and community groups see how renewing their forest landscapes could create both local and global value. While the network’s new map doesn’t plot exact sites for restoration, it does indicate the wider “landscapes where restoration opportunities are more likely to be found.” In addition, the map isn’t prescriptive about the types of mixed-use forest and community opportunities of the reforestation tactics that could be used. Still, the team finds that the 1.5 billion hectares of deforested and degraded forest lands are “either wide-scale or mosaic type (an area almost equivalent to Russia). About two thirds of the potential is on deforested lands; the rest is in degraded forests and woodlands.” There are also additional opportunities in the world’s croplands.

Reforesting the World | Sustainable Cities Collective

The Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration, World Resources Institute, South Dakota State University, and International Union for Conservation of Nature, just released a new map of global reforestation opportunities, arguing that 1.5 billion hectares of totally destroyed or degraded forests worldwide could be restored. Instead of the usual depressing map showing the rapid rate of global deforestation, this new visual could help local governments and community groups see how renewing their forest landscapes could create both local and global value. While the network’s new map doesn’t plot exact sites for restoration, it does indicate the wider “landscapes where restoration opportunities are more likely to be found.” In addition, the map isn’t prescriptive about the types of mixed-use forest and community opportunities of the reforestation tactics that could be used. Still, the team finds that the 1.5 billion hectares of deforested and degraded forest lands are “either wide-scale or mosaic type (an area almost equivalent to Russia). About two thirds of the potential is on deforested lands; the rest is in degraded forests and woodlands.” There are also additional opportunities in the world’s croplands.