Ming the Mechanic:
Wednesday, October 23, 2002

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Wednesday, October 23, 20022002-10-24 00:09
7 comments
pictureby Flemming Funch

  • Biomimicry is a fascinating subject. It is essentially that you look to nature for ways of building and manufacturing stuff more efficiently, from easily available materials, with no polluting byproducts. Nature is in no way primitive. Human engineering is a bit primitive. Even the smallest plants or animals can carry out manufacturing feats our most skilled engineers often can't accomplish. Look for example at one of our "advanced" high-tech materials, Kevlar, which is used for bulletproof vests. It is created from petroleum-derived molecules poured into pressurized vats of concentrated sulfuric acid, and boiled at several hundred degrees Fahrenheit, and the process wastes a lot of energy and produces toxic byproducts. Now hear what Janine Benyus says about nature:

    "Nature takes a different approach. Because an organism makes materials like bone or collagen or silk right in its own body, it doesn't make sense to "heat, beat, and treat." A spider, for instance, produces a waterproof silk that beats the pants off Kevlar for toughness and elasticity. Ounce for ounce, it's five times stronger than steel! But the spider manufactures it in water, at room temperature, using no high heats, chemicals, or pressures. Best of all, it doesn't need to drill offshore for petroleum; it takes flies and crickets at one end and produces this miracle material at the other. In a pinch, the spider can even eat part of its old web to make a new one."

  • Janis Ian: Music industry spins falsehood "On the first day I posted downloadable music, my merchandise sales tripled, and they have stayed that way ever since." ..."Many artists now benefit greatly from the free-download systems the RIAA seeks to destroy."

  • MySQL AB is a successful open source business. "In our business model, we have an ecosystem around MySQL, which is huge worldwide. As a company, we are very small in the middle of it. This is very different from the traditional proprietary model. In the past, if you had a fantastic product like Lotus did with Lotus Notes, then you owned or controlled as much as 60% of the surrounding ecosystem, including services, books and education, yourself. We donÂ’t mind that our ecosystem is 200 times larger than our company is. ThatÂ’s why our cost level is ridiculously low. When it looks like weÂ’ve done something, itÂ’s usually someone else who did it."

  • EContent Magazine: The Siren Song of Structure: Heeding the Call of Reusability "Fusion executive editor Adam Gaffin is clear about the value of breaking down news stories into their atomic bits and sending those elements out to different places. He says, "Granularity is good; it helps us auto-generate syndication feeds, wireless editions, and email newsletters with embedded headlines." Granularity also enables you to put different elements of a page into separate workflows."

  • American Conservative: Iraq: The Case Against Preemptive War. "Administration's claim of right to overthrow regimes it considers hostile is extraordinary -- one the world will soon find intolerable..."

  • U.S. Ranks 17th in Freedom of the Press, behind Slovenia and Costa Rica. Doesn't say anything about whether the press is speaking the truth, though.

    "You know, the press is free for those who own one." -- Lowell Bergman



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    7 comments

    24 Oct 2002 @ 05:38 by istvan : Biomimicry
    Thank you for presenting the work of Janine Benyus.Yes the work of people like her and their avakened consciousness to me means the essence of a New civilisation that we are here for.It would be well to invite her participation in our group.
    It is interesting to note that her life work began as an emotional reaction to the sadness of the destruction of the pond. perhaps our real connention to nature is more relevant than we currently realize.
    I higly recomment to embrace her idea of Biomimicry as one of the paths to new civilisatoions.  



    24 Oct 2002 @ 08:03 by istvan : MySQl
    Thank you for this entry also. How would thiscompanie's open minded approach and their software be useful for computer users?
    It is not always enough just to present a subject, especially in computing tech, it would be also useful to describe how we can bebefit from certain technologies.
    Also it is way past time to set up a tecnical help weblog on computing. Should i be a tech genie i would do it, but have enough knowledge to may be manage and update souch site.  



    24 Oct 2002 @ 13:25 by ming : MySQL
    Indeed, us techies might take certain things for granted. MySQL is the database that all of NCN runs on. It is what makes it possible to make all the pages be dynamic and "smart", remembering where you've been and stuff. MySQL is the most widely used database engine in the world. But it mostly makes sense on a server. It doesn't really have a user interface that would make it directly useful for regular people.  


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    Other stories in
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    2010-06-19 23:10: Conversations
    2009-10-28 12:31: Then a miracle occurs



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