State Park Using Hashtags & Social Media to Create a Time-Lapse of Wildfire Recovery

Hashtags are nothing more than a novelty byproduct of the 21st century, right? Wrong. At least that’s the case in the minds of the scientists behind a new project that takes advantage of photography, hashtags and social media to help crowdsource a time-lapse documentation of fire damage recovery.

The initiative, known as #MorganFire02, uses signs with included brackets along the trails of Mount Diablo State Park. Said signs politely ask travelers to place their phone in the bracket, snap a photo and share the regrowth process of the land via Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Submarine Cable Map 2014

A map put together by TeleGeography displays where all the undersea fibre-optic telecommunication cables are and who they connect to … in other words, a map of the physical internet:

The map depicts routes of 263 in-service and 22 planned undersea cables. Each country is colored according to how many international submarine cable system links are connected there. Capital cities and the location and direction of 44 cable vessels (as of December 6, 2013) are also provided.

The map provides detailed information about cable landing stations in key regions including Hawaii, Southern Florida, New York, New Jersey, Cornwall, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Sydney.

The map is available for purchase at TeleGeography. You can find out more about the map here

An interactive version of the map to view and zoom in your browser can be found here

An interview with TeleGeography’s research director about the subject can be found at CNN here


These things get smaller every time I buy them.


There was a third founder of Apple, Ronald Wayne, who sold his shares of 10% for $800. Today they would be worth over $35 billion


Poor guy (literally too, from what I read he never made lots of money). 


The Navy’s Oldest and Oddest Research Vessel

Appropriately called FLIP (Floating Instrument Platform), the 355ft long spoon-shaped ship is the world’s only vessel that can operate both horizontally and vertically. The ship performs its 28 minute transformation when 700 tons of seawater are pumped into the ‘handle’ of the ship causing it to lower into the water and the bow to rise.

Why perform such a bizarre maneuver? FLIP was originally built in 1962 to perform research on wave height, acoustic signals, water temperature and density, and for collecting meteorological data. Once it has been transformed to vertical operation, it is incredibly stable. Even with 30ft waves passing by, the ship only moves 3ft vertically in the water.

“The last 15° of movement prior to arriving in the vertical happens quickly and is reasonably exciting as the exterior decks where everyone is positioned appear to be heading into the sea,” says Captain William A Gaines, assistant director of Marine Physical Laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

“The crew and riders remain on the external decks during the flipping evolution. The lowest exterior is about 15ft above the waterline when FLIP is in the vertical. There is lots of noise as the remaining air from the ballast tanks escapes from the vent lines located on the lowest external deck.”

As you can imagine, life aboard the ship is anything but ordinary. During transformation, walls become floors and floors become walls. Because of this, many surfaces inside the ship, like beds and shelves, rotate to the new orientation. Other less mobile fixtures, like sinks and showers, have duplicates that work in only one orientation. All this adds up to a ship that is quite cramped for its 16 member crew.

“It does take a special person to serve on FLIP,” says Gaines. “However, many scientists and science party members prefer conducting science from FLIP over being embarked in a conventional research ship because of the stability that FLIP offers. The small crew on FLIP creates a feeling of family and cohesiveness. The Officer in Charge of FLIP, Tom Golfinos, has been onboard for 17 years.”

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A cartoon by Joe Dator. For more cartoons from this week’s issue:


Andrea Urban: Leica X2 Gagosian Edition

Leica Camera recently announced its collaboration with Gagosian Gallery on the new, limited edition Leica X2 Gagosian Edition. The camera features all-metal construction and black paint splotches dot the camera’s high-grip white leather trim in an Expressionist style. Below, Andrea Urban, the Creative Director for the Gagosian Shop, explains the inspiration behind the camera and the relationship between Gagosian Gallery and Leica Camera.

All good till you check the price :/


Pixelstick, Light Painting Tool

Pixelstick is a new gadget for light paintings. Designed by Duncan Frazier and Steve McGuigan of Brookyln-based BitBanger Labs


“The great thing is, the sentence is really just a reminder to the listener to worry about whatever aspects of the technology they’re already feeling alarmist about, which in their mind gives you credit for addressing their biggest anxieties.”

(via xkcd: Insight)

oh but Google Glass doesn’t even need such deep thought criticism. I go with “It’s stupid and creepy”.

(via world-shaker-deactivated2013092)

Google Greece recently moved its offices from central Athens (and the tallest building in Greece which is not really that tall) to a new location in the northern suburbs (and very close to me).

Here are some official photos of the office spaces.

Digg Blog: We're Building A Reader


Like many of you, we were dismayed to learn that Google will be shutting down its much-loved, if under-appreciated, Google Reader on July 1st. Through its many incarnations, Google Reader has remained a solid and reliable tool for those who want to ensure they are getting the best from their…

Good news, good news.


Google Reader Alternatives

As Jim Aley writes over on Businessweek, RSS fans are going through the the seven stages of grief over yesterday’s announcement that Google is pulling the plug on Google Reader.

The move comes July 1, so between now and then, info junkies are on the hunt for new readers. Here are some to explore as you get started:

  • Feedly: Allows you to choose different types of layouts for your feeds (eg., magazine style) and then bubbles up content it thinks is most relevant to you. While created as a front-end that syncs with with Google Reader, the company announced that they’re in the process of cloning the Google API and all your feeds will seamlessly be transferred (and continue to work) as Google shuts down.
  • Waurb: Similar to Feedly, Waurb digests your feeds, presents it back to you in an elegant layout while also calculating “which articles are worth reading with our clever little algorithim.”
  • NetVibes: A honking “real-time monitoring” service (or dashboard) for feeds, social streams and more. Just make sure you chose the personal edition or you’ll be out $499 a month.
  • NewsBlur: Created by a one man startup in San Francisco, this personal reader lets you train it to give you more of the stories you want, less of what you don’t.
  • Tiny Tiny RSS: For those who want complete control and an open source solution installed on your own server.
  • The Old Reader: Basically a clone of the “old” Google Reader, back before the company removed some features that the community loved. Currently in beta.
  • Skimr: Available for the Web but optimized for mobile and tablets, Skimr is a very quick, text only feed app.
  • Still in invite only mode,’s premise is to shorten or lengthen your feed based on the amount of time you have at any given moment. Want things long, it will go long. Only have time for headlines and quick summaries, it can supposedly do that too.

Obviously, there are more. List your favorite alternatives in a reblog or drop us a note and we’ll add to this list.

Meanwhile, while panicky, there is a bright side to all this.

As Marco Arment points out, there’s been very little innovation in RSS desktop apps and sync platforms over the last ten years. There just wasn’t a sustainable model with Google becoming the de facto platform and giving it away for free. With Google Reader out of the way, and a niche but very deep audience for these apps and services, we may just see wonderful new innovations that have been a long time coming. — Michael

UPDATE: A ginormus list of readers, crowdsourced, Google spreadsheet style.

Image: Screenshot, Susie Cagle responds to me responding to Bitly’s Hilary Mason about the news that Google Reader is shutting down.

I’ve been using Netvibes (the free edition, not the 500$/month one) for the last 6 years. Very different from Google Reader and unfortunately very buggy. I’m still using it though as I haven’t found anything better as an alternative to Google Reader. 

Today I tried to use NewsBlur and The Old Reader without success. I think the best you can do is forget it for now and try again in a week or a month. Still, 122 days to go

I guess it wouldn’t make sense to google “Why do I feel so happy”

Was 2011 the year of being a loser?

How can I learn to do the splits, I guess.

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