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Category: environment


Treehugger is a blog that reports on sustainability issues of all sorts: new alternate power sources, political actions, design-related issues, and more. A decent read if you’re interested in physical design and sustainability.

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Grameen Technology Fund

Grameen Bank started out as a micro-credit organization in Bangladesh, making small loans to poor women so that they could start businesses…. From their website:”Grameen Foundation USA is empowering the world’s poorest people to lift themselves out of poverty with dignity through access to financial services and to information.”The Grameen Technology Center is working to eliminate poverty by leveraging the power of microcredit and technology.”

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Citizen Participation and Urban Monitoring

Two projects on citizen participation in local government, monitoring and maintenance of urban spaces:Fund for the City of New York’s ComNet:”ComNET, a program created by the Fund’s Center on Municipal Government Performance (CMGP), introduces easily operated hand-held computers to community organizations so that troublesome street level conditions can be recorded and tabulated quickly, easily and accurately.”Then reports are produced electronically for the government agencies and other organizations that are responsible for correcting the problems. Community representatives track how conditions change over time.”And exactly the same project in Connecticut:CityScan”City Scan is a project using cutting-edge technology to empower and involve citizens, of all ages, in local government.”In City Scan projects, citizens prioritize desired improvements to the physical environment of their community and gather information on how well government services deliver results.”On city streets, residents—from youth to seniors—collect data about neighborhood conditions (e.g. graffiti, potholes) with handheld computers, custom-designed software, wireless modems, Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) receivers and digital cameras.”

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Smart Mobs

Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs blog dedicated to subjects stemming from his book of the same name. He and other bloggers report on various social/technology items here.

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E-Tech Notes 2004

He and his company are doing a “Wireless Roadshow to teach local technology NGOs how wireless technologies can be used to bring Internet and intranet connectivity to those parts of the world not included in the plans of the commercial telecommunications companies.”He also showed a nifty and very small wireless mesh router, a cube about 3 inches on a side…. Lili covered the history of the social computing group really well, and gave great context and setup for Wallop, an environment they’re working on which maps and organizes relationships between you and the people you care about, through emails, photos, shared work, and other documents.Rael Dornfest’s Mobile Hacks session was mighty geeky, and a lot of fun.

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Natalie Jeremijenko

I don’t even particularly like robots, but I love the way this project visualizes invisible information (concentrations of toxins on a given site) using a technology that has been domesticated from military and industrial use into a child’s toy.Howstuffismade. This assignment, given to her design students, has grown into an excellent source of information on how various products are made, including chemical, material, labor, and political issues involved.

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