Links for 11th October 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. More Water Out There, Ice Found on an Asteroid

    "The 160-kilometer wide asteroid averages a distance from the sun of about 3.2 times that of Earth’s. At that range, frozen water on the surface would readily vaporize, Campins said. That means the ice must be continually replenished, possibly by a reservoir of frozen water within the rock.

    One possibility is that ice lies buried several meters below the surface of 24 Themis, and when hit by space debris, the ice makes its way to the surface. If this is the case, it could confirm that some asteroids resemble comets, becoming active suddenly and venting material into space when pockets of ice vaporize, Campins said."

    Tagged with: spaceexplorationasteroidwaterspectography

  2. The kind of program a city is – Adam Greenfield

    "In the networked city, therefore, the truly pressing need is for translators: people capable of opening these occult systems up, demystifying them, explaining their implications to the people whose neighborhoods and choices and very lives are increasingly conditioned by them. This will be a primary occupation for urbanists and technologists both, for the foreseeable future, as will ensuring that the public’s right to benefit from the data they themselves generate is recognized in law. If we’re reaching the point where it makes sense to consider the city as a fabric of addressable, queryable, even scriptable objects and surfaces – to reimagine its pavements, building façades and parking meters as network resources – this raises an order of questions never before confronted, ethical as much as practical: who has the right of access to these resources, or the ability to set their permissions?"

    Tagged with: urbanismubicompnetworkstechnologyarchitectureeverywarecityfuturismAdam-Greenfield

  3. The new rules of news | Dan Gillmor

    "3. Transparency would be a core element of our journalism. One example of many: every print article would have an accompanying box called "Things We Don't Know," a list of questions our journalists couldn't answer in their reporting. TV and radio stories would mention the key unknowns. Whatever the medium, the organisation's website would include an invitation to the audience to help fill in the holes, which exist in every story.

    4. We would create a service to notify online readers, should they choose to sign up for it, of errors we've learned about in our journalism. Users of this service could choose to be notified of major errors only (in our judgment) or all errors, however insignificant we may believe them to be." Interesting stuff here.

    Tagged with: internetmediajournalismethicswritingculturecommunicationtransparency

  4. Pacific Ocean ‘dead zone’ in Northwest may be irreversible

    "Low-oxygen zones are created when large blooms of plankton form on the surface of the ocean, then decay and fall to the sea floor, where further decay eats up the oxygen in the water.

    "When oxygen gets too low in the ocean, it has a deleterious effect on organisms," Barth said. "They either have to flee the area, or they get stressed or even die off. Those die-off [areas] are dead zones."

    The affected waters of the continental shelf in Oregon and Washington for the most part are not inundated with polluted river runoff; the nutrients that feed the plankton blooms here come from natural sources, Barth said. And researchers believe a change in the flushing movement of water along the coastline may be responsible.

    The gradual warming of surface waters across the north Pacific, the report funded by the National Science Foundation said, has tended to isolate deep waters far below the surface — allowing less oxygen penetration."

    Tagged with: oceanenvironmentpollutionclimate-changehypoxicdead-zone

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