It's hard to actually imagine how massive the paper industry is; its
impact on the environment, the carbon emissions, the waste, the trees
used. But I like paper. I specifically like words, which make me part
of my living and, as far as I'm concerned, make the world a much better
So I really really like words that don't have any paper. Like EcoGeek
. But, with a great deal of respect to
our physical forefathers, papers made of paper need to stop existing. Not 100% of them, and especially not the
dedicated people who make them. Just the paper needs to go, not the
So please pardon me while I report the following story with a
disrespectful amount of happiness: Circulation Plunges at Major
Newspapers. An audit of 770 major newspapers has shown that circulation
has dropped about three percent in the last six months, and much more
than that in large coastal areas where more people are finding their
While that's 3% less revenue for people who are much more talented and
dedicated to their noble profession than I, it is also 3% fewer trees
harvested, 3% fewer miles driven, 3% fewer loads taken, and 3% less
pollution from paper mills.
I sincerely hope that the newspaper industry manages to revolutionize
itself without a dangerous crash. But they will
absolutely be required to use less paper, and for that I am thankful.
Imagine an industry that
sells something inherently non-physical but makes 85% of its revenue
from selling physical goods. What is that industry to do? How about
embrace non-physical media, scale back production and move forward into
the next century. Well, no, they don't think they will.
"The CD, as it is right now, is dead."
That's blatant honesty
from Alain Levy, CEO of EMI. And, as far as we're concerned, very good
news. Less is more, right. If I can fit the entire works of the Beatles on
less than a square millimeter of my hard drive, then this is definitely
good news. No shipping, no plastic, just electrons being pushed around
for my listening pleasure.
I wish I could leave this story at that. "The CD is dead, EMI
isn't going to sell them anymore, and we're all just gonna have to
trade in our Discmen for iPods." But, no. Instead, Levy let us know
that the CD is dead, so they will be including more 'special features.'
Yes, he means more paper. More easily digitizable stuff to create, and
ship across the world.
EMI: Seeing the big picture... and then pretending it isn't there.
is releasing a new version of it's ultra-portable UX Vaio completely
without a traditional hard drive. Instead, this UX simply has 32 gigs
of solid state flash memory. I'm fairly certain that this marks the
occasion of the first commercial PC that uses only flash memory. Of
course, the UX is barely a PC, and the price is somewhat ridiculous at
But anything that brings solid state drives closer to market
is worth notice, as solid state drives boot windows as much as five
times faster and consume far less energy than traditional hard drives.
Deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon, 2.5 hours by motorized canoe from the nearest
small city, people are happily checking their email, conducting research for
school projects and taking hotel reservations.
The Foundation for Integrated Education and Development (FUNEDESIN)
uses a 3.5kw solar panel array to run the wireless mesh that distributes
broadband internet through their extensive site in Yachana located in the
Amazonian jungle. Designed and installed by Bruce Schulte, an American who has
been working on wireless networking projects in Ecuador for many years, the mesh
distributes broadband from a satellite link between the various sites on the
river up to 5km away.
Further connecting this corner of the world, VOIP (Voice Over IP) applications like
Skype run well on the network. The
foundation plans to set up their own VOIP server too which would allow them to link
into the cell phone network, currently only accessible from the foundation's
tower. In addition, this would allow incoming and outgoing calls via
An impressive bunch benefit from the network. The Yachana High School,
founded in 2005, offers a degree in Ecotourism and Sustainable Development. Being
online provides an incredible educational benefit for the students and teachers
in every subject and helps them to bridge the digital divide.
The Medical Clinic that FUNEDESIN, built in 1997, benefits as well. Through
Tele-Medicine, medical residents who spend a year doing rural service can now conduct
live consultations from this remote clinic with experts in the Metropolitano Hospital
in the capital city of Quito,
or anywhere in the world.
Guests who stay at the Yachana Lodge, an award winning eco-tourism
destination, can stay connected during their time in the hotel. Historically,
FUNEDESIN and Yachana have run an office in Quito to handle their administration,
bookings, accounts and other functions. Now that there is an internet
connection throughout the jungle site, all of these functions are moving from Quito to Yachana, saving
money, time and travel costs. Having universal internet access lets the
foundation run all of their office functions from Yachana.
Further down the river the Bio Science Field Station is run by Global Vision
International. Recently a new species of frog was discovered at the GVI Bio
Station. Being online allowed the centre to confirm their discovery and upload
photos to the internet whereas without being online these activities would have
Via Jon Anderson at Locust World
I'm probably abnormally excited about the Sony Reader. Possibly because I was so in love with my beloved, but now departed, Librie. So it is with considerable fanboyism that I present to you several sweet photos of the Reader from Gizmodo
, as well as some accessories that will accompany the release of the Sony Reader.
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