Homemade Spacecraft w/Camera + iPhone Attached Records Blackness of Space

Mobile, Offbeat Fun

The Brooklyn Space Program is a organization formed by a group of friends in New York City interested in scientific experiments, engineering, design and education.

See this video from a camera attached to a weather balloon that rose into the upper stratosphere and recorded the blackness of space.

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TED Video on “Connectivity=Productivity” Growth of Bangladesh Telecom to Allieviate Poverty

01 Poverty, Commerce, Mobile, Technologies, TED Videos, Videos/Movies/Documentaries

Iqbal Quadir Creates a Culture of Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh

Why does poverty exist? That’s no small question for an individual to ask, but in Iqbal Quadir’s homeland, Bangladesh, there may be no other question that matters more.

His answer is twofold: First, European prosperity resulted from the devolution of authorities and the empowerment of citizens, while Western aid to developing countries simply empowered authorities to marginalize the citizenry. Even looking at oil-rich countries, the autocratic regimes grew spectacularly wealthy, while poverty remained entrenched. “Economic development,” Quadir concludes, “is of, by and for the people.” Second, his life experience had demonstrated that connectivity is a powerful weapon against poverty. The ability to communicate eliminates massive and avoidable waste in productivity, which in turn  creates greater commerce and economies.

In Bangladesh 12 years ago, only one in 500 people had access to a telephone. “In whole areas where 100 million people lived, there were no telephones,” he says. “Vast amounts of wasted time results. The only way people can depend on each other is to connect to each other, which leads to productivity.” He decided to bring cell phones to them all–although not to each of them individually.

The New York-banker-turned-Bangladeshi-entrepreneur faced the hurdles you would imagine, the most prominent being that poor people could not afford cell phones. But in fine entrepreneurial fashion, Quadir contended, “If a cell phone creates productivity, why would you worry about [people’s ability to pay]?” With backing from microbank GrameenBank, Quadir started GrameenPhone, a locally based shared cell phone service. He approached a single woman entrepreneur in each village and provided her with a cell phone. The local woman would lease its access on a per-call basis, making cell phone communication available to more than 52,000 Bangladeshi villages and 80 million people. As for the women entrepreneurs, there are now 115,000 of them within GrameenPhone, each making a profit of $700 a year, far more than the average per capita income of the country.

Thanks to Entrepreneur.com for listing various TED videos

TED Video on “Recovering Plunderer” and “Greenest CEO” Ray Anderson & I = P x A / T2

03 Environmental Degradation, 05 Energy, 07 Health, 12 Water, Commerce, Corporations, Earth Intelligence, Peace Intelligence, TED Videos, Videos/Movies/Documentaries

The Magnitude of the Entrepreneurial Mission
Ray Anderson and the Business Logic of Sustainability

Thirty-six years ago, Ray Anderson bootstrapped a carpet company called Interface. He maneuvered it though the challenging years, and by the 1990s he was a major player, which also meant he was a preeminent contributor to the take/make/waste production system of the carpet industry. “We were digging up the earth and converting it to pollution,” he says.

Anderson devoted his company to “Mission Zero,” a vow that within five years it would “only take from the earth that which can be replenished by the earth, take not one fresh drop of oil in an oil-intensive industry, and do no harm.” The results: Greenhouse emissions declined 82 percent, fossil fuel use dropped 60 percent, water use declined 77 percent, while sales increased 66 percent and profits doubled. Interface realized $400 million in “avoided costs” in pursuit of zero emissions, which paid for the entire transformation.

Anderson’s green business model is classic: Costs come down as innovation–inspired with missionary zeal–goes up, products become better, talent is attracted to your company for its moral and emotional enterprise, and the marketplace perceives the good that you do as reflective of the goods that you make. Most important, Anderson’s real-life model presents an irrefutable challenge. As he says, “If something exists, it must be possible.”

I = P x A x T1 is Paul & Anne Erhlich’s  Environmental Impact Equation where Impact = Population multiplied by Affluence multiplied by Technology. The revised equation is I = P x A / T2.

Thanks to Entrepreneur.com for listing various TED videos

Comment: If you are a CEO, contact Ray Anderson for more information, advice, wisdom, etc.

Who’s Who in Collective Intelligence: Steven Aftergood

Alpha A-D, Collective Intelligence
Steven Aftergood

Steven Aftergood is a senior research analyst at the Federation of American Scientists. He directs the FAS Project on Government Secrecy, which works to reduce the scope of government secrecy and to promote reform of official secrecy practices.

He writes Secrecy News, an email newsletter (and blog) which reports on new developments in secrecy policy and provides direct public access to official records of policy value that have been suppressed, withdrawn or that are simply hard to find.

In 1997, Mr. Aftergood was the plaintiff in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency which led to the declassification and publication of the total intelligence budget ($26.6 billion in 1997) for the first time in fifty years. In 2006, he won a FOIA lawsuit against the National Reconnaissance Office for release of unclassified budget records.

Mr. Aftergood is an electrical engineer by training (B.Sc., UCLA, 1977) and has published research in solid state physics. He joined the FAS staff in 1989.

He has authored or co-authored papers and essays in Scientific American, Science, New Scientist, Journal of Geophysical Research, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, and Issues in Science and Technology, on topics including space nuclear power, atmospheric effects of launch vehicles, and government information policy.

For his work on confronting government secrecy, Mr. Aftergood has received the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award (2010), the James Madison Award from the American Library Association (2006), the Public Access to Government Information Award from the American Association of Law Libraries (2006), the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award from the Playboy Foundation (2004), and the Golden Candle Award from Open Source Solutions (1997).

The Federation of American Scientists, founded in 1945 by Manhattan Project scientists, is a non-profit national organization of scientists and engineers concerned with issues of science and national security policy.

Journal: If China Implodes, What Are the Implications?

02 China
Chuck Spinney Recommends...

… and destroy the Pentagon’s dream of finding a new peer competitor to replace the Soviet Union.

Can you give my son a job?

Slavoj Žižek

. . . . . . .

What we have in China isn’t simply a combination of a private capitalist economy and Communist political power. In one way or another, state and Party own the majority of China’s companies, especially the large ones: it is the Party itself which demands that they perform well in the market. To resolve this apparent contradiction, Deng concocted a unique dual system. ‘As an organisation, the Party sits outside, and above the law,’

. . . . . . .

Full Review

A true 20th-century Communist never fully accepts the state: he accepts the need for an agency, immune to the law, which has the power to supervise the state’s activities.

. . . . . . .

But China is no Singapore (neither, for that matter, is Singapore): it is not a stable country with an authoritarian regime that guarantees harmony and keeps capitalism under control. Every year, thousands of rebellions by workers, farmers and minorities have to be put down by the police and the army. No wonder official propaganda insists obsessively on the notion of the harmonious society: this very excess bears witness to the opposite, to the threat of chaos and disorder. One should bear in mind the basic rule of Stalinist hermeneutics: since the official media do not openly report trouble, the most reliable way to detect it is to look out for compensatory excesses in state propaganda: the more ‘harmony’ is celebrated, the more chaos and antagonism there is in reality. China is barely under control. It threatens to explode.

Phi Beta Iota: Emphasis added.  Losing China as a fraudulent “peer competitor” to justify an outrageously incoherent Pentagon budget that is 60% fraud, waste, and abuse is the least of our worries.  If China becomes “the perfect storm” of poverty, infectious disease, environmental degradation, and these spill over to accelerate the remainder of  the ten high level threats within and outside China, there are not enough dollars, or trained personnel, or weapons, or anything, to put Pandora back in the box.

Secrecy News Headlines: From Unconstitution to Cool



Phi Beta Iota: The Constitution is clear on the role of Congress, and the Executive does not get to pick and choose which of the activities funded by Congress on behalf of We the People will receive fiscal oversight.  The position of the Administration is unconstitutional.   The acceptance by Congress of this ridiculous claim can be connected to the role of Congress as a willing patsy in violation of Article 1 of the Constitution, and the mutual benefits that accrue to Members as well as the political “leaders” in the Administration from an out of control US Intelligence Community budget of $75 billion going on $90 billion–a budget that produces “at best” 4% of what the President or other major commanders need to know.   On the matter of “who benefits” from this state of affairs, the answer is clear: not the public.


Phi Beta Iota: Our heart-felt congratulations to Steven Aftergood for his recognition by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) this year.  He is a patriot who constantly demonstrates the value of INTEGRITY in the public interest.

Event: 5 Nov 2010, New York City, Columbia Univ, Mobile Money II

01 Poverty, 03 Economy, Academia, Civil Society, Commerce, Mobile, Technologies

Mobile Money II

Columbia Institute for Tele-Information

Columbia Business School

Uris Hall TBD

In April 2010 CITI held its first conference on “Mobile Money”, focusing on the macroeconomic aspects.  Since then, developments have accelerated.  Around the world, the rapid spread of mobile phones is being followed by their use as a tool for financial transactions.  The cell phone serves as a bank account, debit card, and money creator. Developing countries lack effective financial infrastructure.  The positive economic impact of the mobile telecommunications infrastructure has been demonstrated, as has been the ability of microfinance to stimulate economic activity.  Now a hybrid of the technologies has begun to emerge, enabling a mobile financial system.  A notable example is Kenya where the M-PESA system (‘m-money’ in Swahili) has transferred in its short history over $5.4 billion by 12 million customers. This conference addresses some of the following issues:

  • What are the economics of mobile money?
  • What policy issues does it raise?
  • Is m-money a threat to the traditional banking system?
  • How might it be regulated?
  • Security issues
  • Consumer protection perspectives
  • Investor perspectives
  • Indicators for demand
  • M-money and m-health
  • What are consumer and privacy protection issues?
  • Who will control the system—banks or telecom operators?
  • What are the emerging trends?
 Continue reading "Event: 5 Nov 2010, New York City, Columbia Univ, Mobile Money II"

Journal: US State Department Clueless on Afghanistan

04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, Corruption, Cultural Intelligence, Government, Officers Call
DefDog Recommends...

humanitarian news and analysis

a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Analysis: Peace moves in Afghanistan as fighting goes on


The Taliban have rejected formal contacts with Kabul and dubbed the process “futile propaganda”. They have repeatedly vowed not to engage in any negotiations until all foreign forces leave Afghanistan.

Ordinary Afghans are suffering the most. The conflict has killed and wounded thousands over the past few years, according to the UN.


Richard Barrett, coordinator of the UN al-Qaeda-Taliban monitoring team, however, believes the Taliban are “beginning to look at alternatives to fighting”.

The government has dropped the term “moderate Taliban” which it used in previous peace efforts: President Karzai has invited all Taliban, including their reclusive supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, to peace talks.

However, Washington has rejected a role for Mullah Omar in the peace process.

“I can’t imagine Mullah Omar playing a constructive role in Afghanistan… Our focus on Mullah Omar, from a US standpoint, is based on his complicity in support of al-Qaeda that led to the plot of 9/11,” Philip J. Crowley, assistant secretary in the US State Department, told reporters on 14 October.

Read full article…..

Phi Beta Iota: Over the past decade we have observed that at the political level, the US Department of State is next to worthless for two reasons: it does not know the truth of any matter, it simply parrots ideologically designed phrases; and it is consequently incapable of speaking truth to power.  The US Government is broken and bankrupt beyond imagination.