Bytemarks Cafe – Episode 20 – Dec. 17, 2008

After the headlines, Russel Cheng from Oceanit will join us to tell us about a very cool iPhone app. Then, we’ll talk to Dan Zelikman and Sid Savara about privacy and transparency in the brave new world of social media.

In the News this week:

  • Puna Geothermal Ventures is celebrating it’s 15th anniversary, and Bytemarks Cafe got at chance to talk with Mike Kaleikini, the company’s general manager, about reaching the milestone. Kaleikini said, “it was a tough start in the beginning, but we’re still here after 15 years and needed now more than ever.”
  • In the search for extraterrestrial life, some astronomers are on the hunt for “Super-Earths,” and specifically, planets in other solar systems that may have liquid oceans.
  • The Air Force’s Pacific Air Command is getting into blogging, and is going outside conventional military channels to do it. Acknowledging that their audience no longer turns to mainstream media, officials at Hickam Air Force Base recently rolled out the PACAF Pixels blog.
  • Construction began in earnest last week on a 65-foot research vessel that will help a Hawaii-based ship design company develop and test new technologies for port security, including “unmanned surface vessels” or USVs.
  • Event update: The Pacific Telecommunications Council will be holding its 31st Annual International Conference from January 18th to the 21st at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

The song pick of the week is “I Love Nerdy Boys” by Emi Hart.

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Bytemarks Cafe – Episode 19 – Dec. 10, 2008 (Updated)

This week we’re joined by Sandy Park of the HTDC to talk about the Holiday Science and Tech Fair. Then, Ian Lind of iLind.net and Jerry Burris of The Honolulu Advertiser discuss blogging, citizen journalism, and “new media” in the face of industry cutbacks.

  • Governor Lingle Presents Innovation Awards: Governor Linda Lingle today recognized six recipients of the Governor’s Innovation Awards for their ingenuity and commitment to developing creative ways for Hawai‘i to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
  • Fish and Wildlife Service Designates Critical Habitat for Hawaii’s Endemic Picture-wing Flies: The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week announced habitat protections under the Endangered Species Act for 12 species of Hawaii’s endemic picture-wing flies — small insects in the Drosophilidae family known as the “birds of paradise” of the insect world.
  • Researchers begin Keahole offshore study: University of Hawaii is creating an underwater coastal observatory off Keahole Point, which will soon allow researchers to study the deep in ways unlike before.
  • First Hawaiian signs seawater air conditioning contract: First Hawaiian Bank will be the first customer to use a new seawater air-conditioning system. Hawaii’s largest bank announced Monday in a joint press release with Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning that it has signed a multiyear contract to use the new renewable energy system.

This weeks song pick of the week is “I Started a Blog” by Sprites.

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Bytemarks Cafe – Episode 18 – Dec. 3, 2008

This week we’re joined by Miraz Jordan, who tells us about her upcoming WordPress workshops. Then, Jerry Chun from Humdinger joins us to talk about wind power and the revolutionary new Wind Belt.

This week in the News:

  • Astronomers have successfully combined three telescopes located on Mauna Kea to create the largest “virtual telescope” for short wavelengths. The Extended SubMillimeter Array (eSMA) connects the signals of eight 6-meter dishes with those from the 15-meter James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) and the 10-meter Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO).
  • The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is taking a bold step in its battle against an invasive species… with another foreign species. Over the past few years, Hawaii’s endangered wiliwili trees have been under attack by “gall wasps.” Now, state scientists have released a different kind of wasp from Africa in the hopes of stopping the “gall wasp” infestation.
  • By using existing electric car technologies, coupled with an Internet-connected web of tens of thousands of recharging stations, Better Place L.L.C. of Palo Alto, Calif. believes it will make all-electric vehicles feasible.
  • The Big Island is the best place to base America’s future space projects, especially plans to settle the Moon and Mars. That’s the bold objective of the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems, or PISCES. And Director Frank Schowengerdt says PISCES has already been instrumental in bringing key NASA projects to Hawaii.

The song pick of the week is Porter Block with “Second Wind.”

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Bytemarks Cafe – Episode 17 – Nov. 26, 2008

After the headlines, we’re joined by Alex Ho from the Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism to talk about the upcoming VEX robotics competition. Then, we chat with Mary Hattori (Kapiolani Community College) and Jonathan Wong (Honolulu Community College) about virtual environments for education.

In the News this Week:

  • A new Hawai‘i-Taiwan joint partnership in undergraduate education, community outreach and astronomy research was announced last week by Governor Linda Lingle. The partnership stems from the Taiwan-American Occultation Survey (TAOS), and is between the Academia Sinica and the University of Hawai‘i – Hilo (UH Hilo).
  • Recently announced recommendations on the labeling requirements for “organic” seafood have been blasted by aquaculture companies for being too strict, yet at the same time criticized by environmentalists for being too broad. A committee of the National Organic Standards Board last week said it would recommend that the United States Department of Agriculture allow farmed fish to be labeled “organic” provided that wild fish and other feed that’s not “organic” don’t exceed more than 25 percent of its diet.
  • Last week in Hawaiian waters off the coast of Kauai, the Japanese navy ship J.S. Chokai failed to shoot down a mid-range ballistic missile target in a test firing. It was only the second time Japan had attempted to shoot down a ballistic missile from a ship at sea. The first attempt last year was successful.
  • A crater on the surface of the planet Mercury has been officially named in honor of a historic Hawaiian painter. Nawahi Crater, located in Mercury’s Calloris Basin, gets its name from native Hawaiian artist Joseph Kaho‘oluhi Nawahi-okalani-opu’u. It’s one of fifteen names announced last week by NASA’s Messenger mission, which marks the first visit to Mercury since Mariner 10 in 1974.

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Bytemarks Cafe – Episode 16 – Nov. 19, 2008

This week, as part of our tech news segment, HPR’s Kayla Rosenfeld tells us about the test run of NASA’s Lunar probe on Mauna Kea. Later, we’ll talk to Patrick Henry from Univ. of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy about Dark Matter.

News stories for the week…

  • Located approximately one mile off the coast of Kaneohe Bay in 100 feet of water, New Jersey company Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. installed one of its wave power generation units. The ocean buoys called PowerBuoy, harness the energy of ocean waves to generate electricity that is then sent back to shore via underwater cable.
  • As the prevalence of broadband internet access grows, its reliance on dial-up connections is dropping rapidly. According to the latest “State of the Internet” study from Akamai — the internet powerhouse with the Hawaiian name — dial-up, or “narrowband” connections, fell nearly 30 percent in the last quarter nationwide.
  • Last week Thursday, Hawaii County Council voted to uphold a ban on growing genetically modified taro and coffee on the island. The council voted 7-0 to override Mayor Harry Kim’s veto of the measure. Anyone caught violating it could face a $1,000 fine.
  • Observatories in Hawaii were able to use advanced optical technology to produce the first “visible light” photographs of a multi-planet solar system outside our own. Scientists were able to see, 130 light years away in the constellation Pegasus, three “gas giants” larger than Saturn and Jupiter orbiting the star called HR8799.

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Bytemarks Cafe – Episode 15 – Nov. 12, 2008

We are joined in the studio by Dr. Bee Leng Chua from HPU who tells us about the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Week. Then, we speak with Patrick Sullivan from Hoana Medical and Oceanit about Dual Use applications and converting projects to products.

News stories for the week…

  • Mauna Loa on Hawaii Island has been quiet for a long time and it’s been 25 years since it last erupted—but researchers warn that another eruption may be on the horizon. Even so, trying to determine the exact date when the mountain will blow is impossible.
  • Scientists have gotten the first clear picture of the feeding habits of Hawaii spinner dolphins, and they used high-tech acoustics to get it. Unlike other dolphins, Hawaii spinner dolphins are nocturnal and feed and night. Only by using underwater hydrophones were researchers able to “see” just how remarkable their rituals were.
  • The BYU Hawaii Campus Safety and Security department is implementing a new emergency system. The new system, similar to systems deployed at other Universities across the country, utilizes technology such as text messaging and e-mail in the attempt to inform students of danger in a timely and effective manner.
  • Going from YouTube to Hollywood seems an unlikely path for any budding filmmaker, let alone two high school kids from Hilo who had nothing better to do after school than pick up a camera. Now Ryan Higa and Sean Fujiyoshi are bonafide internet celebrities — and budding “real” celebrities — with the recent premiere of their feature film, “Ryan and Sean’s Not So Excellent Adventure.”

Song pick of the Week: U2 – Beautiful Day

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Bytemarks Cafe – Episode 14 – Nov. 5, 2008

This week, after the headlines, we’re joined in the studio by Ted Abe, who tells us about the upcoming Sony Expo. Then, we talk with Dr. Christine Sorensen from the UH College of Education and Mark Hines of the Mid-Pacific Institute about the transformation of the traditional classroom. You can learn more about the transformation of education in Hawaii at the Future Schools site.

News stories for the week…

  • 11,000 feet above sea level, climate scientists from the University of Colorado and the University of New Mexico studying the water cycle have successfully deployed a precision water isotope analyzer at a remote monitoring station near the top of Mauna Loa.
  • The Navy successfully intercepted one of two ballistic missiles this past weekend in the latest test of the nation’s missile defense system. The target missles were launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands on Kauai, and two Navy ships — the Aegis destroyer U.S.S. Paul Hamilton and the U.S.S. Hopper — took aim and fired their own missiles to intercept it.
  • Honolulu Community College and the Pacific Center for Advanced Technology Training or PCATT, accept a $327 million technology grant in the form of new software that will help students in Hawaii receive the latest training and gain a competitive edge in business.
  • The National Institutes of Health has awarded $1.31 million to help 6th, 7th and 8th graders in Hawai‘i and the Pacific Region learn about scientific research and possible careers in science. The funding is for the Pacific Education and Research for Leadership in Science (PEARLS) project, headed by Dr. Kelley Withy of the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

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Bytemarks Cafe – Episode 13 – Oct. 29, 2008

This week, after the headlines, we’re joined in the studio by mobile technology guru Todd Ogasawara of MobileAppsToday.com to talk about the new Google-powered mobile phone called the G-1. Then, we talk to Joel Matsunaga from Hawaii BioEnergy about converting crops to fuel.

But first the headlines…

  • Deep inside Diamond Head Crater, in a World War I bunker, is the home of the State’s emergency operations center. This facility is in need of a major face lift and the state wants to build a new $70 million emergency operations center on Diamond Head Road.
  • Molokai High School ushered in a new era of state-of-the-art science instruction yesterday, with the blessing of a mobile science lab.  The mobile lab will allow students at both Molokai High School and Molokai Intermediate School to have access to equipment, after a recent splitting of the once unified campus left the high school without laboratory access. The new mobile lab will allow a full range of chemistry, physics, and biology experiments to be performed in the high school’s current classroom, without requiring students to walk to and from the middle school campus.
  • Bill Spencer, CEO of Hawaii Oceanic Technologies, spent last week at the Dow Jones Alternative Energiy Innovation conference talking about Oceansphere, a huge aluminum and Kevlar sphere, measuring 162 feet in diameter. This new innovation could pave the way for a new generation of fish farms.
  • One of Hawaii’s newest charter schools is trying to make the most of the many resources now available online for virtual classrooms, from lesson plans to rewards for student performance.  Hawaii Technology Academy in Waipahu advocates “blended” instruction, or a hybrid model that includes face-to-face classroom instruction, activities and study time away from campus, and distance learning via videoconferences, online courses, e-mail and telephone.

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Bytemarks Cafe – Episode 12 – Oct. 22, 2008

This week Lorelle VanFossen will join us in the studio to tell us about her work with Word Press and a couple of upcoming events. And later, we’ll talk to Hunter Downs and Erin Nishimura from local tech company Archinoetics. We’ll talk about brain painting, brain to computer interfaces, and Project Niu.

The headlines:

  • Honeybee populations around the world have seen troubling decreases around the world, with scientists studying what they’re calling Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD. Now, a Hawaii company says its using nanotechnology to fight CCD, developing a protective hive coating that blocks potentially harmful particles from getting in, but still allows air to flow through.
  • Keeping kids safe online is a hot topic once again, with new laws at the federal level taking different approaches to protecting children on the Internet. Last week, President Bush signed the KIDS Act of 2008 — KIDS being an acronym for “Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators.” Among other things, the KIDS Act requires convicted sex offenders provide their email and instant messaging addresses as part of their registration with the National Sex Offender Registry.
  • North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH), a private community hospital in Waimea on the Big Island of Hawaii, has partnered with Phoenix Health Systems, a national healthcare information technology management, and consulting company, to provide IT related management and infrastructure services.
  • Hawaii will be one of ten states included in the Real World Design Challenge, a new annual competition for high school students organized by the U.S. Department of Energy.  The Design Challenge is described as one way to ensure America’s economic competitiveness and national security, inspiring today’s students to become tomorrow’s engineers. The theme for the first challenge is “Aviation and Fuel Consumption,” and will require students to redesign an existing aircraft to improve its fuel efficiency without drastically reducing its performance.

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Bytemarks Cafe – Episode 11 – Oct. 15, 2008

This week, Eugene Villaluz will join us in the studio to tell us about HMAUS Mactoberfest and later, we’ll talk to Shari Tamashiro, Cybrarian from Kapiolani Community College about Digital Storytelling, the Hawaii Nisei Story and Hawaii Memories.

It’s day 8 (don’t ask me why I say day 5 on the recording) of Celebration 2008 so if you enjoy Bytemarks Cafe and want to support tech reporting in Hawaii, please do consider making a donation online or by calling (808) 941-3689. Be sure to mention Bytemarks Cafe!

  • Mauna Kea will soon be the center of attention for NASA scientists when they test a robot designed for lunar prospecting. From  November 1st  through the 13th, the Big Island volcano will stand in for the moon so that the robot — called Scarab — can simulate a lunar mission to extract water, hydrogen, oxygen and other compounds that could potentially be mined for use by future lunar explorers.
  • Speaking of Mauna Kea, spectacular new photos of the planet Uranus taken from the Keck II Observatory were unveiled Monday at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences. Since Uranus takes 84 years to orbit the sun, suffice it to say space observation has evolved considerably since the last time astronomers got a good look at the icy blue planet.
  • With fluctuating oil prices and a challenging economy, both public and private sector organizations are turning to alternative work environments such as telecommuting, flex time, work at home and four-day workweeks to ease the pain to their bottom lines and their employees’ wallets. That includes the Hawaii state government, which is piloting a four-day work week. Information Technology, or IT, is key to making it work.

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