Category Archives: Self-help

Numbers with Meaning

The UIDAI publishes figures on how many characters are getting added to its database daily, and one of my less technologically challenged friends has worked out how to review those figures (on Twitter: @uidstatus). It makes for interesting reading, watching how many times that ‘mission-critical’ database link goes down, how days go by when it adds nobody (not counting fake IDs, about which the agency hasn’t a clue, apparently, putting it on par with all the other clueless adnumbering exercises that have plagued this country for years), and even the days the actual count goes down, as though people are vanishing like smoke.

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Filed under Communication, Community, Democracy, development, governance, Privacy, Security, Self-help, UID

Belling the Cat

New York. London. Belfast.

A random pick of three news items, each of which discusses the public availability of free wireless connectivity in mass transit systems. In London and New York, the service provider is a third-party private, for-profit, agency, while it is not mentioned in the article on northern Ireland, but seems to be the transit company itself.

Now, as many people would know, wifi is not currently the most protected and secure wireless connectivity option possible, but nearly all modern portable devices can connect to it ‘out of the box’. Continue reading

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Filed under Accessibility, Communication, Community, connectivity, Democracy, development, Radio, Self-help, Wi-Fi

Size matters

Not long ago, the nation of India decided it was mature enough to allow people to communicate with each other, even poor people (of which there are, as it happens, still a few). Not just talking, which is more or less a habit, but using high quality electronic telecommunications, of which the very cheapest is FM (frequency modulated radio broadcasting, using the medium wave band). Continue reading

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Filed under Accessibility, Broadcast, Communication, Community, Democracy, development, Media, Narrowcast, Radio, Security, Self-help

Wind Power Sails Ahead

(Based on an email posting by Ralph – figment at boone stop com – following an inspiration from Dr Win Wenger: design and development by Ralph, including linked drawings. Thanks to Prem Saran for the link.
Following an angry comment from a reader that the post is obscure and turgidly written, I have made an effort to edit and hopefully improve it. I have put my ‘comments’ as asides, however, both Ralph’s original post and my comments are in first person voice)

(This is a) design for a wind-powered energy system that can tap at least 60 times as much energy as the United States Renewable Energy Laboratories states is available in a square meter of wind. The system does this not by some magical process (it is extremely mundane) but apparently by tapping into very large volumes of moving air, as seen in the sails of large sailing ships. With it, you should be able to easily reach single-digits megawatt/hours of power in windspeeds as low as 10 statute-miles- per-hour, or drive a pump with thousands of horsepower of kinetic energy in those same winds. Continue reading

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Filed under Community, development, energy, Holistic, Recycle, Self-help, social processes, technology, Wind Power