This week, we speak with Anderson Le of the Hawaii International Film Festival about “Metal Samurai.” Then, we’re joined in the studio by Lisa Gibson and Mike Hamnett to discuss the state of the tech industry in Hawaii, as profiled in a comprehensive report just released by the Hawaii Science and Technology Council.
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- The Senate last month passed SB 1492 which would require the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to issue an annual report on the availability of broadband access across the U.S., instead of the current law, which requires the FCC to issue a report “regularly.”
- Hawaii’s emerging life-sciences industry received its first comprehensive check-up in a report released last week by the Hawaii Science & Technology Institute. The institute surveyed 10 tech-based sectors in the life sciences arena, finding them anchored in agriculture as well as in traditional drug discovery.
- Aqua Engineers, a Kauai company located in Kalaheo, has been awarded a $229-million contract to take over the government-owned sewer systems on U.S. Army bases on Oahu and run them for the next 50 years.
- A five-person startup here in Honolulu is looking to harness natural wind power to generate electricity — but not in the way you might expect. Humdinger Wind Energy is the brainchild of Shawn Frayne, who envisioned a new way to get power from wind after studying the famous collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940.
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This week after the news, we speak with Laurie Gerber, Board member of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas, who tells us about an upcoming Machine Translation conference. Then, we’re joined in the studio by Rob Farrow to discuss social networks, online identity, OpenID, and Chi.mp. This week’s song pick is inspired by Chi.mp: “Code Monkey” by Jonathan Coulton.
In the News…
- A team of astronomers has identified the least luminous galaxy known, but found it is surprisingly massive. Using the Keck Observatories up on Mauna Kea, Marla Geha, an assistant professor of astronomy at Yale University along with her colleague Josh Simon at the California Institute of Technology, has observed about half of the two dozen dwarf satellite galaxies that orbit the Milky Way.
- At the University of Hawaii, chemists traded their lab coats for surf shorts, breaking out of the lab to test their theories on the waves. UH chemistry professor Robert Liu and his colleagues found that local surf spots provided ideal conditions to study photochemical reactions, and by building a special boogie board with a test-tube mounted in it, they were able to use the sun’s rays to make variants of vitamin A.
- Dana Slaymaker of Resource Mapping Hawaii developed a camera system that can map thousands of acres by airplane with images so detailed that tree leaves can be identified. The development of this technology is expected to revolutionize conservation work in Hawaii and around the world.
- Increasing demand and a changing climate have led to the collapse of several once-rich fisheries around the world, and many are still in danger. Regional overfishing can lead to extinctions of native fish species, and in the long term, huge shortfalls in the food supply for millions. Around the world, policymakers, environmentalists, and fishermen have been searching for a solution. And a university of Hawaii economist — along with colleagues at the University of California at Santa Barbara — say one controversial solution may have merit.
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This week in the studio, we speak with Sid Savara who’s helping to organize “Startup In A Weekend.” Then, we discuss online health care with Fred Fortin, Senior Vice President who oversees strategic policy development, legal affairs, privacy and security at Hawaii Medical Service Association, Ido Schoenberg, Chief Executive Officer of American Well, and Nate McLemore, Senior Director of Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group, talks about Microsoft Health Vault.
In the News…
- At an IEEE meeting last week at the Hilton Waikaloa on the Big Island of Hawaii, the Very High Throughput study group put the final touches to a proposal calling for the creation of a task group to carry forward the work of crafting a new Giga Bit wireless LAN standard.
- A University of Hawaii physics professor has suggested that aliens could be sending signals by tweaking the brightness of stars. Professor John G. Learned proposed in the latest issue of New Scientist that “a sufficiently advanced civilization” may use “Cepheid variable” stars as beacons to transmit information throughout the galaxy and beyond.
- The Hawaii State Department of Agriculture was recognized as one of the winners in the second annual RFID Excellence in Business Awards. TechInsights and RFID Revolution announced the winners at a formal ceremony on the opening day of the RFID World 2008 event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas last week. The awards recognize companies and innovators whose products or implementations demonstrate the benefits of RFID or radio frequency identification technology.
- An Air Force crew has performed the first known after-dark landing in Antarctica using night vision goggles. The mission was part of Operation Deep Freeze, which is commanded by the U.S. Pacific Command’s “Joint Task Force Support Forces Antarctica” and headquartered at Hickam AFB. The massive plane landed in complete darkness, guided only by reflective cones seen through night-vision goggles, proving that the C-17 can access McMurdo Station, Antarctica during times of the year previously only flown for emergencies.
We close with our song pick of the week, the multi-talented Fred Fortin and his cover of a jazz classic “Coming Home Baby.”
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This week in the studio, we speak with Roz Savage, who is on her way to becoming the first woman to row, solo, across the Pacific Ocean. Then, Tiffany Tanaka of WeSellThings4U talks about building a business buying and selling on eBay for a living. She started with friends and family and grew the business to include individuals and corporations looking to sell goods on eBay.
In the News…
- Sorghum could be biofuel crop of the future: Sorghum – a genus of grasses, some raised for grain – could be part of the answer to fuel self-sufficiency for Hawaii. It is one of the crops that Hawaii BioEnergy will be exploring
- State tech tax credits increase 43 percent: The economy in Hawaii and across the country is slowing, with prices rising and visitor numbers falling. But Hawaii’s technology industry is showing encouraging signs of growth. According to a state report release last week, local high tech companies received over $300 million from investors last year, while the total amount of tax breaks they claimed hit $100 million in 2006.
- Hoku unit inks supply deal with Chinese company: Hawaii-based Hoku Scientific Inc. said late Thursday one of its units has signed a 10-year contract worth up to $455 million to supply polysilicon to a Chinese company. Hoku Materials Inc., which makes and sells polysilicon for the solar market, inked the deal with Solargiga Energy Holdings Ltd.
- IfA Maui to Hold Open House September 12: On Maui, the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy is celebrating it’s first birthday. The IFA will be holding an open house this Friday at the Maikalani Advanced Technology Research Center in Pukalani. The family-friendly event will include laboratory tours, demonstrations, stargazing through telescopes and talks about the latest astronomical discoveries from atop Haleakala and in astronomy research on Maui.
Our song pick of the week, courtesy the Podsafe Music Network, is “Bei eBay” by Ricky Ganz Allein.
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This week, we speak with Joel Paschal and Dr. Marcus Eriksen, who voyaged across the Pacific to Hawaii aboard the “JUNK raft. Then we discuss podcasting with Roxanne Darling and Todd Cochrane and talk to them about the upcoming PodCampHawaii.
- Honolulu Declaration Offers Ways to Curb Ocean Acidification: As the oceans absorb increasing amounts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, they are becoming increasingly acid, weakening the world’s coral reefs. Scientists aim to combat ocean acidification via limits on fossil fuel emissions, reduction of stress on reefs, and creation of marine protected areas.
- Magmatically Triggered Slow Earthquake Discovered At Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii: Slow earthquakes are a special type of earthquake where fault rupture occurs too slowly (over periods of days to months) to produce any felt shaking. Slow earthquakes of magnitude 5.5-5.7 have been previously found to periodically occur on the flanks of Kilauea.
- Hawaii’s Conversion of Coal Plant to Biomass Marks a New Trend: A coal-fired power plant in Pepeekeo, Hawaii, that formerly provided electricity to a sugar mill is now being converted into a 24-megawatt (MW) biomass power plant. MMA Renewable Ventures is financing the conversion and will operate the new plant, which will be called the Hū Honua Bioenergy Facility.
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On this episode we talk to Van Matsushige of Sopogy and Peter Rosegg of Hawaiian Electric Company. Both are involved with companies shaping Hawaii’s evolving energy landscape, one a solar energy provider and the other Hawaii’s primary electric utility.
In the News…
- Google has said it invested $10.25 million to develop geothermal-energy technology aimed at extracting steam deep inside the earth to generate more electricity. The search giant’s investment arm, Google.org, has committed $6.25 million to AltaRock Energy, $4 million to Potter Drilling and $489,521 to the Southern Methodist University Geothermal Lab.
- Students on Molokai have just received the first of 100 Apple laptops being distributed for “Project OHANA,”a program aimed at putting technology and connectivity into the hands and homes of students in rural communities in Maui county. Project OHANA — or Online Health and Academic Network Access — will ultimately distribute 100 laptops to students of Maui Community College, and it’s hoped that the computers will be used both by the students and their families.
- With all the stories about sea faring vessels making their way across the Pacific propelled by low-carbon footprint methods like wind and rowing here is a land vessel going in the opposite direction. Laurel White has left her home in Paia, Maui in order to stage a North American environmental green energy tour in what she is calling her EcoVan.
- Hollywood has built a fortune on the fear of meteors striking the Earth, wreaking “Armageddon” on the planet, but such disasters are not solely the realm of science fiction. There are scientists around the world dedicated to identifying “near Earth objects” or NEOs, and one of the most impressive efforts is being mounted here in Hawaii. It’s called the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System, or Pan-STARRS, and the first of four telescopes is already scanning the skies. But as it turns out, STORING the massive volume of data involved requires a serious database.
- Muxtape, the love-child of the Internet and 80s cassette mix tapes, has had its plug pulled by the Recording Industry Association of America. If you go to muxtape.com you will be greeted with a brief statement that Muxtape will be “unavailable for a brief period while we sort out a problem with the RIAA.”
- This week’s song pick come from Muxtape before getting shut down. Here’s We Were Promised Jetpacks and their song Moving Clocks Run Slow.
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Today we talk to Guy Kawasaki about entrepreneurship, evangelism and technology trends. Guy joins us from his home in the Bay Area, and in the studio we have his Chief Evangelist for Alltop.com, Neenz Faleafine.
- PICHTR (short for Pacific International Center for High Technology Research) recently received a $5 million grant-in-aid from the state to create a fund specifically for so-called dual-use companies in Hawaii. The money is administered through a program under PICHTR called the Hawaii Technology Development Venture.
- Geologists took the first direct measurements of volcanic gases at Kilauea this summer, floating meteorological baloons directly into the volcanic plume. Members of the geology faculty and staff at Michigan Technological University came to the Big Island, led by Adam Durant and Matt Watson.
- The Project Notification Review System Board for the pacific island state of American Samoa has approved a land use permit for a fibre optic communications cable that will link American Samoa to Hawaii. The $9 million Pacific Rim cable that currently links Hawaii and New Zealand will be spliced to take a spur to American Samoa.
- Sustainability, energy independence and food security were the top topics at the first “Island Sustainable Living Expo” held this past weekend at Maui Community College. The two-day event offered education, “edutainment,” local food and Hawaiian cultural presentation.
- On Thursday August 21st the House and Senate will be holding a day-long event called “Hawaii’s Aerospace Industry: The Next Frontier“. There will be a number of high level people coming in from NASA, The Space Foundation, the FAA and others. In the studio to tell us more is Elliot Pulham, President and CEO of the Space Foundation.
We talk about the future of broadband Internet in Hawaii. Should we be satisfied with the current speeds we’re offered? And are companies staying competitive? This week’s guests:
- Molly Holzschlag
- David Lassner, CIO of the Univ. of Hawaii
- Cliff Miyake, General Manager of TW Telecom
This week’s show topics:
- National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service, in partnership with top international scientists and the U.S. Navy, has just completed a pioneering research effort in Hawaii to measure the biology and behavior of some of the most poorly understood whales on Earth.
- Popular Hawaii artist Peggy Chun is still painting, despite being fully paralyzed, thanks to “brain painting,” made possible by a computer system developed with the help of a local technology company and a scientist the University of Virginia.
- Oceanit’s Nanoconcrete has won a spot on NASA’s 2008 Nanotech Briefs Nano 50, which recognizes the top 50 technologies, innovators, and products that have significantly impacted the development of nanotechnology.
- Scientists in Europe are about to fire up the biggest particle accelerator ever built. Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider, located over 300 feet underground near Geneva, Switzerland, announced this week that they’re going to start whipping particles around on September 10, less than a month from now.
- Molly E. Holzschlag — well-known Web standards advocate, instructor, and author — is returning to Honolulu this week to lead workshops for Pacific New Media.
- Hawaii Broadband Task Force was put together by the 2007 Legislature to look at what can be done to help Hawaii stay competitive with other states and countries with broadband Internet infrastructure. David Lassner chairs the task force.
- This week’s audio pick came from the Independent Online Distribution Alliance, here’s Blondfire and their song Pretty Young Thing.
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What’s all the Twitter about? Guests Ian Kitajima of Oceanit and Angela Keen of The Limtiaco Company talk about Twitter.
- This past week, Gov. Linda Lingle released $300,000 to the Maui Economic Development Board for the development of a new center aimed at encouraging careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
- At this very moment, there are two historic ocean expeditions making their way across the Pacific toward Hawaii. First, a vessel dubbed the JUNK is Hawaii-bound as its sponsors hope to raise awareness about the impact of marine debris. Meanwhile, a woman by the name of Roz Savage is well on her way to becoming the first woman to row, solo, across the Pacific.
- UHM Seed Academy — Classes start Aug. 11. “Hybrid” courses, which offer a blend of online and face-to-face instruction, have become increasingly popular in schools and colleges nationwide. Now, a new high school in Hawaii has taken the same concept and applied it to an entire school.
- The Wall Street Journal just ran a fascinating piece on ‘The Virtual Vacation Home,’ describing how vacation home owners are using webcams to keep an eye on their properties. A couple in California is keeping a careful eye on their vacation home on Maui.
- A Guam-based U.S. Navy nuclear submarine this summer may have leaked trace amounts of radiation at bases in Japan and in Guam, a Navy spokesman confirmed. The leak on the USS Houston was found on July 17 when the submarine was in dry dock in Hawaii.
- The dream of commercial space flight and exploration was dealt a blow this weekend when a rocket launched from Kwajalein Atoll, located about 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii, failed. The Falcon 1 rocket was launched by California-based SpaceX — short for Space Exploration Technologies.
- Upcoming Event: Tech Meetup for Content Hub Identity. Management Platform or chi.mp for short. Tuesday, Aug 12, 2008 at PF Chang from 5:30 to 7:30. Meet the tech people behind this innovative web project.
- Song pick of the week contributed by a faithful listener: Exit Clov and their song “For Abednego”: http://tinyurl.com/exitclov