first_imgThe sheep on the Polestar Roundabout in Letterkenny today!It’s one of the busiest roundabouts in Donegal.So just how a flock of sheep made their way onto the Polestar Roundabout today makes it even more baffling!We know farmers are ba-ba-ba-batting for good grazing around the Cathedral Town. But somebody is obviously being fleeced judging by this photo.Many thanks to Ciara Leonard for the photo.WOOL EWE BELIEVE IT? FLOCK OF SHEEP SPOTTED ON BUSY LETTERKENNY ROUNDABOUT! was last modified: August 17th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalPolestar Roundaboutsheeplast_img read more

Let Fury Have the Hour: Online, Angry Youth Sweep Away Old Structures of Dissent

first_imgTwo recent groups of cheesed-off kids have used online tools to circumvent both those who put them down and the creaky old activists who they believe no less authoritarian. Gaza Youth Breaks Out, from Palestine, and the fenqing, or “angry youth” movement in China have rejected the whole lot of old farts who they believe are responsible for stranding them in the present. And they’re not being nice about it. Gaza Youth are a group from the Strip who have taken Facebook by storm, printing a manifesto that is so uncompromising and so full of rejection not just for Israeli occupiers but the bullies and schnorrers in their own communities that reading it is like coming up for air. GYBOHere’s an excerpt from their manifesto. If you’re of a sensitive disposition, well, you could probably insert your name in there somewhere. “Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community! We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference like the Israeli F16’s breaking the wall of sound; scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this fucking situation we live in; we are like lice between two nails living a nightmare inside a nightmare, no room for hope, no space for freedom. We are sick of being caught in this political struggle; sick of coal dark nights with airplanes circling above our homes; sick of innocent farmers getting shot in the buffer zone because they are taking care of their lands; sick of bearded guys walking around with their guns abusing their power, beating up or incarcerating young people demonstrating for what they believe in; sick of the wall of shame that separates us from the rest of our country and keeps us imprisoned in a stamp-sized piece of land; sick of being portrayed as terrorists, homemade fanatics with explosives in our pockets and evil in our eyes; sick of the indifference we meet from the international community, the so-called experts in expressing concerns and drafting resolutions but cowards in enforcing anything they agree on; we are sick and tired of living a shitty life, being kept in jail by Israel, beaten up by Hamas and completely ignored by the rest of the world.”These aren’t witless stone-throwers or kids who just want to rage. “We do not want to hate,” they say, “we do not want to feel all of this feelings, we do not want to be victims anymore. We want three things. We want to be free. We want to be able to live a normal life. We want peace. Is that too much to ask? ” They’re also smart about how they use social media to get their message out. (Their message, not the creaking, self-defeating message of their bankrupt elders.) Although they also have a blog, their primary online presence is their Facebook page, which is “liked” by almost 12,000 people so far.As of today, however, Facebook has blocked them from uploading anything more! (Anyone who thinks social media is free by its very nature needs to have their head examined.)“Pls consider supporting us by taking one or more of the following actions:1) Promoting our manifesto by sharing it on your profile on Facebook2) Sending an email to your friends asking them to like our page FB3) Translating the manifesto to your language and sending it to us (we have it in Arabic, Hebrew, French, Portuguese, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Greek, Chinese, Russian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, Estonian)4) Sending the manifesto to journalists in your country5) Making organizations in your countries that are concerned with the Palestinian issue and/or youth rights know about our existence6) Posting links about violation of youth’s rights in Gaza on our wall7) Suggesting us ideas for reaching out to a greater number of people” Angry YouthThe Brookings Institution describes this group: “These young men and women often use the Internet and other channels of political discourse to publicly express their critical views. Their hyper-nationalistic and often anti-American sentiments, which first emerged in the late 1990s and are widely disseminated today, stand in sharp contrast to a generation of Chinese youth just 20 years ago.”In his keynote to a Brookings conference on this topic, Kai-Fu Lee, founder of Microsoft Research Asia and founding president of Google China, described them much more completely. He has reservations about the term “angry” (as in “enraged”) and prefers to highlight their passionate engagement and impatience; he also credits them with patriotism but disagrees with characterizing them as “nationalistic.” “(W)hen we talk about angry youth, I think we’re talking about post- 80’s, people born after 1980, that they had access to the internet, and that they often use it to vent their frustrations and that frustration often comes from either their patriotism or their desire to seek which is righteous, fair, true, and transparent. They care about social issues. They’re concerned, and they feel they need to be outspoken to have their voices heard, and they often use the internet to gain knowledge and to have their voice heard.”What have angry youth done? Descried plagiarism among academics and set up a website to battle itCreated a help-and-resource platform to assist people and communities crushed by the Chengdu earthquakeCreated a site to list earthquake donor levels among China’s richBanded together against the high-powered manager of a multinational who abused his young secretary and got him firedThese were not all positive, as any anonymous group can do things that no sensible person would do in the light of day. They set up a website to help others harass a husband whose wife committed suicide, as well as his lover and their families. They also promoted the rumor that a chain of foreign stores, Carrefour, supported Tibetan independence. People boycotted and protested and the store had to shut down countrywide until the furor died down. Compare and ContrastAlthough China is huge and Palestine small and the fenqing less coherent as a group than GYBO, both share a number of things in common. Although they love their people and their country, they’re fed up with what’s been done to it. They’re not just at their wits end with “the enemy” but with those who have set themselves up as “the opposition.” They’re suspicious of authority in general. They’re devoted to the truth: finding it, embracing it and sharing it, largely online. They’re technically literate and impatient with common wisdom. They’re young, energetic and growing. Anyone who ignores or minimizes these groups does so at their peril. These kids are going to either rule the world or wind up in a host of unmarked graves. Anyone who believes in their right “to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield” will want to step up and get their backs. But the members of these groups also have a part to play in ensuring they go forward in a way that ensures they don’t self-destruct. The American writer Delmore Schwartz famously said, “in dreams begin responsibilities.” The responsibilities of the youth in these groups is to carry the reason, empathy and desire for truth forward, even as they are powered by their anger and impatience, to translate their vision to those who aren’t part of the digital world even as they acknowledge the social Web’s help in defining those ideas. (Lord, I’m André Gide over here.)These aren’t the only groups like this, of course. Nor are Palestine and China the only countries with such groups. So, if you’re a part of one, or know of one, in another place, speak up in the comments. Gaza photo by Free Gaza | China photo by Irish Typepad | Armendian photo from Wikimedia Commons | other sources: Barking Robot Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting curt hopkins Tags:#Government#international#politics#web last_img read more

How to Keep Garage Fumes Out of the House

first_img PODCAST: Understanding Indoor Air Quality Part 1 PODCAST: Understanding Indoor Air Quality Part 2 Consider occupant-sensing ventilationPeter Smith suggests Woolfe consider something called occupant-sensing ventilation, available through Conservation Technology. The company describes it as a “continuous, multiport, exhaust-only” system. An efficient exhaust fan is connected to bathrooms, laundry and kitchen with a trunk duct and motion-sensing exhaust grilles. When the rooms are unoccupied, airflow rates are modest. When a room gets too humid or is occupied, airflow rates jump sixfold. RELATED MULTIMEDIA John Klingel has two additional ideas: install a high-capacity fan that starts up whenever the garage door is opened and runs for 20 minutes. The system would have an inlet for fresh air specifically for the garage. And second, Klingel suggests, install the door between the house and the garage so it opens into the garage. That way, any negative pressure in the house will draw the door more tightly closed. Our expert’s opinionHere’s how Peter Yost, GBA’s technical director, views it:While the air-sealing details to isolate an attached garage are not easy, they work. For more, see How to Build an Energy Star Home: Building Plans for the Thermal Bypass Checklist. Diagnostic testing can confirm how effective this is.An excellent workshop by Keefe, Cox, and Williams on the principles, techniques, and procedures for isolating attached garages was presented at an Affordable Comfort conference: The Garage Connection: Solving Indoor Air Quality and Comfort Problems.I have to admit, I have been pretty dead-set against the idea of attached garages from an indoor air quality perspective, but the sheltering and material savings associated with an attached garage are compelling. If the garage is isolated outside the conditioned boundary, the door to the house is airtight and swings outward, and a dedicated exhaust fan on a trigger and timer is installed. Sure seems as though our GBA crew, collectively, has nailed this one. Is this any way to heat a garage?Woolfe may be a fan of green building, but what he’s really after is staying comfortable in his garage, not necessarily greening “the whole thing,” as Linck had suggested. “Green?” he asks. “Who’s talking green? I’m mostly interested in avoiding white — as in white fingers when working on my car in the winter!”James Morgan can sympathize, but adds this: “It doesn’t sound very smart or effective to rely on leakage from the house through an inadequately insulated common wall to heat your garage. It’s only leaky homes that have made attached garages an acceptable arrangement. Tight homes demand a different standard.”“James, I don’t plan to rely on heat leaking from the house to heat the garage,” Woolfe says. “The garage will be cold unless I specifically heat it, just not as cold as it would be with four walls exposed to the weather, instead of three walls. Likewise, one wall of the house will be warmer because it will be buffered by the garage.”Heat is definitely a factor. Holladay argued in a previous exchange that basements are far more useful than garages. “Garages freeze; basements don’t,” he wrote. “You can’t store a bucket of drywall mud in a garage.” CONSTRUCTION DETAILS Jack Woolfe wants to build a small, airtight house with an attached garage. The house will have an exhaust-only ventilation system, meaning the system will expel stale air from the house without providing a specific source for replacement air.That’s one of several options for whole-house ventilation, but Woolfe is weighing the possible risks.“I’m concerned that the negative pressure in the house may draw unwanted fumes in from the garage,” he writes in a post at GreenBuildingAdvisor’s Q&A forum. “Are there any recommendations for supplying makeup air to the house so that there isn’t negative pressure in the house, or perhaps a well-sealed door between the house and the garage? Any other ideas, besides a HRV system or a detached garage?”Woolfe’s question is the subject of this week’s Q&A Spotlight. RELATED ARTICLES Energy Star Air Sealing PackageMechanical Systems Basement Insulation Retrofit Or, make the garage a detached structure“If it’s not too late,” says GBA senior editor Martin Holladay, “consider a detached garage. Even a garage connected by a short breezeway is safer than an attached garage.”No doubt this is true. Given the variety and toxicity of stuff that often ends up in the garage, keeping the structure safely away from an airtight house sounds like good advice.Except that Woolfe is counting on it.“Martin, you must feel strongly in favor of a detached garage,” he says. “I really like the idea of the garage and the house sheltering and warming each other, and the sharing of the common wall means less foundation, framing, roofing and cladding. Sure would like to find a way to have my cake and eat it too.”John Linck agrees. “I built my home with a long tandem attached garage along nearly all the cold northern exposure, with attic above,” he says. “The savings in materials and energy help to green the whole, if having a garage at all can really be considered green. “I also turn off my Prius when it’s in the garage so any fumes are very temporary and certainly don’t approach dangerous levels. The garage is totally sealed from the living space, 5/8-inch fire-rated drywall, fireproof steel entry door, etc.”The Prius factor? Linck isn’t the only one to have a hybrid car. “I’ve found that with our hybrid car we can back out and close the overhead door before the gas engine ever kicks on,” writes Kevin Dickson.But not everyone owns an electric vehicle, and there also are the many solvents, fuels, adhesives, finishes and other potential sources of foul air in a garage. And, Linck adds, if you’re a fan of starting your car with a remote device, you’re probably better off with a carport.“If your memory is like mine, you might start it and forget it,” he says. “My CRS syndrome is getting worse every year.” Ventilation Choices: Three Ways to Keep Indoor Air FreshDesigning a Good Ventilation SystemExhaust VentilationMechanical Systems Overview Mechanical SystemsHVAC FansHVAC Air Cleaning Devices GREEN PRODUCT GUIDE last_img read more

Why Google Glass Will Crater

first_imgTags:#Google Glass brian ford Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologycenter_img What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Google Glass is now “unofficially officially” out in the wild, early reviews are in, and they’re not spectacular. I’ve been a Glass skeptic from the start, but now I’m just going to come right out and say it: If the developer version is at all an accurate representation of what Glass will look like as a finished product, it’s going to fail.Here’s why.No One Likes To Wear GlassesIf people liked wearing glasses, we wouldn’t live in a world where many people opt to wear contacts. I actually don’t like wearing contacts (my eyes are sensitive) and because my insurance covers the cost of buying glasses I dutifully trot in, excited by the prospect that this time, I’m going to find the perfect pair.(See also: Google Glass Unboxing Photo Gallery: Meet The Future Of Mobile)An unboxing and overview of what’s in the box with Google Glass, a moonshot project that might just be crazy enough to catch on. I speak from experience: No matter how well they’re fitted, glasses slip. They pinch. They’re easy to forget. They cause headaches. They’re inconvenient when they’re on and even more so when we need to take them off. Put simply, glasses are a hassle and despite my best intentions I give up on wearing them after only a couple months.No matter your level of respect for Google, it won’t have solved these problems. If anything, they’re only going to be exacerbated by the fact that Glass will need to fit perfectly in order to work perfectly. Also by the fact that people who like to wear glasses can’t currently wear Glass, because it doesn’t work with… glasses!(See also: Google Glass: What Do You Want To Know About Google’s Internet Eyewear?)Whether we like wearing glasses or not, we definitely don’t like wearing ugly glasses and Google Glass is nothing if not ugly. (Take a look at any picture that doesn’t feature a professional model at a professional photo shoot and tell me I’m wrong.)Those of us who are forced to wear corrective glasses are pretty particular about what we’ll wear, and Google says we can have any design we like as long as it’s ugly.Google Glass Is Already A Parody Of ItselfThe iPad elicited pre-release chuckles because we’re all children and we think feminine hygiene products are hilarious. Apple put an end to our juvenile japes by releasing a product that worked well. More important, perhaps, the iPad was announced and then it was released and reviewed as a finished product.As a result, we were able to walk into a store, buy one and draw our own conclusions. And we did. Millions of times, collectively.Not so with Google Glass. The devices are out there, yes, but most of us will never know someone who owns a pre-release pair. Many of us already understand that wearing prescription glasses kind of sucks, and even if we have no real idea what it’s like to meld a tiny screen to that experience, adding to bad doesn’t often make good.This means we’ll spend the next several months forming our opinions based on preconceived notions, reviews, word-of-mouth and, yes, Saturday Night Live skits.The Reviews Have Been TerribleWhether it’s battery life, how well they function, the price to value ratio, or build quality, no one seems to have much nice to say about Google Glass in its current form. (ReadWrite’s Taylor Hatmaker is one exception.) You might retort that it’s unfair to review a beta product, but Google could have released Glass alongside an NDA or an embargo, and it didn’t do that. It unconditionally put the “future of tech” in the hands of any journalist who was willing to shell out $1500 and hoped for the best.Is it possible that Google will completely overhaul their flagship next-generation mobile computer in an effort to address these issues? Sure it is. I think it’s unlikely, but it’s possible. Does it matter? Is “Joe Average” going to spend his money on a first-of-its-kind product that was savaged in early reviews? Not likely.Word-Of-Mouth Has Been TerribleGlasshole. It’s not terribly clever — okay, it’s actually sort of clever — but it caught on. And it makes a strong and succinct point that if you wear these, you’re kind of a dick. This isn’t a jab at the product, it’s a commentary about the person wearing the product. If you’re wearing them, that person is you.That’s the kiss of death for any device, let alone an expensive product that also happens to be getting so-so reviews at best. (Maybe Glass won’t be expensive once it’s actually released. But Google is cultivating the idea that the device will be expensive by keeping silent about the eventual price.)Live from New York: Google Glass Is Terrible!If Glass were well-reviewed, I’d leave this alone. The problem isn’t that Saturday Night Live is making fun of a new tech product; they do that all the time. The problem is that Saturday Night live is parodying a product and it’s hard to tell that it’s a parody. I’ve seen videos of people wearing Glass and they’re experiencing all the issues that Fred Armisen sends up in his sketch.The joke is that his character is going out of the way to seem enthusiastic about Glass despite all the glitches, and therein lies the difference between parody and reality: Most of the “real” reviewers seem to be just as confounded by things like poor speech recognition, but far from being enthusiastic, they seem mostly disappointed that “the future” is so wonky.Google needs an army of disciples who will evangelize despite flaws, and thus far, it seems like they’ve just got Robert Scoble. (This is a good time, I think, to bring up my point about professional models again.)Google needs to get out in front of the impression that Glass doesn’t work well, and it has yet to do so.Wear No EvilAdd to all that my ongoing concerns about wearer discomfort, the potential for long-term negative impacts on our vision, inevitable privacy issues, and the likelihood that businesses will ban the use of Google Glass outright.Maybe Google is giving us a preview of the future. Maybe we should all be excited that Google is willing push the envelope by trying something new.For now, though, maybe we should all come to terms with the idea that Google is facing a failure of epic proportions.Related stories10 Compelling Ways People Plan To Use Google Glass5 Socially Unacceptable Things You’ll Do With Google GlassGoogle Glass: Way Too Much Google For Its Own GoodWhy Google Glass Is Way More Important Than Any SmartwatchWhy Google Glass Needs A Style InfusionLead image via Taylor Hatmakerlast_img read more