Broadband 'can be an engine for economic growth in Europe'Sunday, Mar 4 2012 09:37
The event coincided with the decisions on roaming and data roaming charges in the European Parliament, considerations of the future investment in internet technologies and debates on the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), each with its own policy ramifications on the telecoms industry.
Despite the positive global trends linking broadband technology to GDP growth, speakers at the MWC pointed out that Europe remains the only continent where telecommunications business is running at a loss. The European Commission has dedicated €9.2 billion to co-finance transition from copper to fibre-based cable telecoms and internet networks in October 2011.
Indonesian Telecoms Minister Tifatul Sembiring stressed at the broadband forum organised by leading global information and communications technology solutions provider Huawei that growth in broadband was central to economic growth of 6.5% that the country experienced in the past year.
The importance of the broadband internet as an engine for the economic growth was pointed out by Huawei Vice Director Richard Brennan who told New Europe that the technology could improve various aspects of life, including education, healthcare and the way businesses operate.
One of the creative solutions presented at the eve of MWC is improvement in machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies presented by Huawei that allow both wireless and wired systems to communicate with other devices, providing an interface for consumers and developers to implement ideas and services as applications on the cloud rather without unnecessary worries about the infrastructure set-up and maintenance.
The future IPv6 technology, championed by Huawei, would allow for every appliance to be connected to the network, fetch data from it and report its position and other information. Application of such technology in healthcare could provide timely and accurate treatment while lowering costs.
Many companies around the globe already benefited from using Huawei's cloud technologies, but creation of a wider open-access data network, based on the fibre broadband which would serve as a backhaul available to users, could provide a boost to invention-based economy and creative businesses.
The World Bank estimates that a 10% increase in broadband penetration can potentially translate into 1.3% GDP growth, with comparative studies in countries which committed to national broadband commitments confirming this trend.
in New Europe
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.Sunday, Sep 25 2011 09:54
How To Create A Pop-Up Coworking SpaceWednesday, Aug 24 2011 02:53
The sharing economy is a new way of living in which access is valued over ownership, experience is valued over material possessions, and "mine" becomes “ours” so everyone's needs are met without waste.
This new paradigm means that spaces and services become more temporary: they "pop-up" to meet a need or facilitate a community, and fade away or change forms when the need has been filled.
We've already explored ways that the coworking movement has capitalized on the pop-up concept to introduce mobile professionals to this new style of collaborative work.
Now, here are some tips for creating your own pop-up coworking space!
Location, Location, Permission - The best pop-up spaces are those located in heavily trafficked areas or permanent spots that are ideal for members of the mobile workforce.
Past pop-up coworking spaces include museums, art galleries, parks, vacant store fronts, clothing stores, book stores, airports, conferences, farmers' markets, and even RVs. Just remember is that pop-up does not equal flash-mob.
Make sure you inform property owners of your desire to host a coworking gathering and get their express permission. Even if the space is public, like a park or city square, you probably still need permission to occupy it. Keep in mind that collaborating in this way is the first step toward building a permanent community!
Power/Internet/Furniture - Once you've got a space locked down, it's time to think about making it as comfortable as possible for those who participate. If you're working with a private space, ask the owner or landlord about using existing power supplies, internet, furniture and electronics.
If it's a vacant or outdoor space, you'll need to make sure power and Wifi is available. This can be achieved by pooling together personal hot spots, or asking a local internet provider to sponsor the event.
One you've got the necessary power and connectivity, think about visiting a local thrift store or browsing Craig's List for free tables and chairs. If you're confident in your core community, ask people to bring spare tables and chairs, or connect with a local business that might donate some furniture in exchange for a chance to increase awareness about their newest products.
Handle The Hype - OK, now you've got the space and something to sit on... It's time to focus on getting people interested! Pop-up stores are wildly successful because they represent a chance to interact with something brand new or exclusive. There are lots of ways to build hype about your pop-up coworking space, especially through social media.
Share tiny clues about the location each day leading up until the opening.
Make it an invite-only event.
Make it exclusive for freelancers for one or two industries.
Promise the presence of local celebrities.
Inform the press.
Offer coffee, beer, food or the chance to win something.
Emphasize the chance to meet, network, and collaborate with other local freelancers and small business owners.
What if your community already has coworking?
Pop-up coworking is a versitile event . It can be used to generate awareness in a community that lacks a coworking space, or to demonstrate the casual nature of coworking in a community that already has one or more spaces. Some have used a pop-up event to gague community interest in coworking before making plans to open a more permanent space, or as an overflow option when the current space is full.
How long should it last?
The beauty of pop-up spaces is that they don't have to last forever, and you shouldn't force them to become permanent. Best practices say that anything from a weekend to 2 weeks is plenty of time at a single location. Remember, the whole point is to leave them wanting more! If you're planning to pop-up again in a new location, make sure attendees know to watch for more clues about where and when it will be.
What if the pop-up coworking space is a big success?
If lots of people show up for your pop-up event and you get the feeling that they don't want it to go away, think about moving into the more structured but still-casual Jelly format.
Jose Antonio Abreu fala sobre a transformação dos jovens através da músicaFriday, Aug 5 2011 05:51
The shrinking city: Detroit considers concentrating growth, letting vacant areas go ruralTuesday, Oct 26 2010 06:24
Mayor Dave Bing launched a community outreach process in September that will probably result in a plan for returning parts of Detroit to almost rural conditions.
By some estimates, 40 square miles of the 139-square-mile Motor City currently lie vacant. Roughly 33,000 houses reportedly stand empty, and 91,000 residential lots are unoccupied. Once the nation’s fifth-largest city, home to 1,849,568 people at its peak in 1950, Detroit is now down, by one count, to fewer than 800,000 inhabitants.
With Michigan’s auto industry stripped of its former muscle, many believe Detroit must concentrate its resources and population in fewer, well-chosen places — and encourage some of the semi-abandoned areas to revert to farm fields or nature. The test of how far Detroit goes in that direction will be a new city vision — a strategy for “right-sizing” Detroit — scheduled to be released in December 2011.
In recent months, debate among those with extensive knowledge of Detroit’s situation has favored strengthening the urban qualities of downtown, Midtown — where institutions like the Detroit Institute of Art and Wayne State University are clustered — and other districts that have mostly remained stable.
Midtown, north of downtown, has experienced an influx of young people, artists, and others in recent years as old buildings have been converted to lofts, and other housing has been built from scratch. In all, 3,500 dwellings have been created in Midtown in the past decade, says Mark Nickita, principal of Archive Design Studio, a Detroit architecture and urban design firm. Restaurants, cafes, and music venues have flourished in part because Wayne State, with more than 30,000 students, functions as a permanent anchor, making Midtown one of the most stimulating sections of the city.
“Midtown is going to be a dense area, especially once we get light rail down Woodward Avenue,” says Samuel Butler, who co-chaired the Futures Task Force of Community Development Advocates of Detroit — a group that in late 2008 began devising ideas to “reinvent” the city.
Leaders in government and the private sector succeeded this year in winning a $25 million federal TIGER grant to build an initial 3.4-mile segment of the Woodward Light Rail Line. That sum, when combined with approximately $125 million already raised from philanthropic sources, should make it possible to begin construction within the next two to three years on the segment from the Detroit River through downtown and Midtown to West Grand Boulevard.
If additional funds are secured, a second phase, extending the line to Eight Mile Road (for a total length of 9.3 miles) could be operating by 2016. The full line is estimated to cost $450 to $500 million, much of which would have to come from the Federal Transit Administration.
Andre Brumfield, director of urban design and planning at the Chicago office of the design firm AECOM, led a team looking at how to transform the Northend neighborhood, a distressed area that would be served by the light-rail line. “The new neighborhood plan calls for high-density, mixed-use development oriented around [Northend’s] three transit stations,” Brumfield explained in Model D, a Detroit online periodical.
Northend’s housing would include townhouses and three-story walk-ups, which could have retail on the ground floor. “The area will also include new community parks, space for high-tech or light industrial businesses, and some land for urban agriculture,” said Brumfield. “It’s a big transformation for an area that was historically dominated by the single-family home.”
Nickita sees Eastern Market, a produce market whose historic sheds have been restored, as another focal point of Detroit’s future urban life, benefiting from the surge of interest in “Detroit-grown” agricultural products. Hundreds of community gardens have been established in the city in the past few years.
Dying neighborhoods, tomorrow’s farms?
There has been talk about offering incentives to entice the remaining residents of largely abandoned areas to move into denser neighborhoods, where they would enjoy access to a greater range of nearby services and might feel safer because of more neighbors and more eyes on the street.
It has been suggested that hold-outs might be forcibly relocated — an idea repeated many times by the news media. However, forcing people to leave their homes — except in the case of dangerous code violations — seems unlikely. Memories of the urban renewal’s dislocations remain too painful, especially in a city where at least 76 percent of the population is African-American.
Certainly some deteriorated neighborhoods will lose their last vestiges of urbanism. Mayor Bing has pledged to demolish 3,000 empty residential buildings by the end of this year and to raze a total of 10,000 over four years — a big jump from recent years.
Some of the cleared land could be turned into individual or community gardens, parks, recreation areas, or, in more extreme cases, assembled into tracts large enough for commercial farming.
Businessman John Hantz, who built up a financial holding company called Hantz Group, in nearby Southfield, has in the past two years established a company called Hantz Farms LLC with the intention of creating in Detroit “the largest urban farm in the world.”
Hantz says he will spend up to $30 million on his farming venture. He dismissed some competing ideas for the use of empty land, telling an interviewer, “If you turn it over to parks and recreation, you add costs to an overburdened city government that can’t afford to teach its children, police its streets, or maintain the infrastructure it already has.”
In late September, Michael Score, president of Hantz Farms, told an architects’ gathering that the company is working at assembling 120 acres — the size of tract the company believes is needed to make a farm profitable. Acquiring clear title to such a large contiguous expanse of urban land has proven to be a challenge, but Score said the farm can work around hold-out properties, just as farms in rural areas work around scattered buildings in the landscape.
The company is considering a variety of things to plant, including Christmas trees and an apple orchard. Score has said the company would deploy the latest in farm technology, such as compost-heated greenhouses and hydroponic and aeroponic growing systems.
It’s possible that farms and gardens will be merely a holding stage, until more lucrative or job-generating use of vacant land turns up — factories, for example.
“I don’t think urban agriculture is the silver bullet,” says Butler, who is now working with a committee that’s fleshing out Community Development Advocates’ vision of the future. Even if the persistent problem of pollution of the land is overcome — many urban gardens have to use raised beds filled with new soil — “urban agriculture isn’t going to produce the jobs,” Butler says. “I’m not convinced it’s going to give Detroit an economic advantage. We need to compete with other post-industrial cities around the nation, like Cleveland.”
Urban and community gardening seems mostly to excite educated white people, Butler observes, while African-Americans, many of whose grandparents were sharecroppers, are often not eager to get into farming.
Shrinking a city’s costs
A leading reason why cities talk about “shrinking” is that they can no longer afford all the things they’ve customarily paid for. If large areas become uninhabited or very lightly populated, a number of expenses can be reduced.
“A road that gets very little traffic doesn’t need the same kind of paving,” says Margaret Dewar, a University of Michigan planning professor. “It may not need curbs.”
Where residents are sparse, garbage collection could be done in one run — down just one side of the street, saving a trip, Dewar says. “Maybe you have to wheel your garbage to the end of your street,” where, she hypothesizes, the block’s garbage could be collected from a single location. If an area were largely emptied of residents, it might be possible to cut off water and sewer service — and have any stragglers convert to wells and septic tanks.
“It’s possible to scale down police, fire, garbage hauls,” says Hunter Morrison, longtime planning director for Cleveland before he accepted a position as Youngstown State University’s liaison to the City of Youngstown on development issues. Other operations are more difficult to reduce effectively. Open land requires basic maintenance “unless you plant wildflowers,” Morrison says.
“Some systems are not paid for by the city at all,” he points out. “The gas lines are operated by the gas company, so you’re not saving the city money” by having them removed.
With one-third of Detroit’s population living in poverty, quite a few residents don’t have cars. Partly because of that, Nickita’s firm produced a plan for a “nonmotorized transportation network” that bicyclists and others can use to get from place to place, separate from the streets.
A 1.35-mile segment of that network, the Dequindre Cut Greenway, opened in May 2009, featuring a 20-foot-wide paved pathway with separate lanes for cyclists and pedestrians. It runs below grade on the former right-of-way of the Grand Trunk Railroad. Splashed on some of the remaining structures along its route is graffiti, regarded by some as urban art. “All the overpasses are sort of ruined,” Nickita acknowledges. A shrinking city has its own aesthetic.
in New Urban Network
Business by the SeaSaturday, Oct 16 2010 09:51
Small Towns Take On the Energy GiantsSunday, Apr 25 2010 06:02 After selling off their electricity and gas networks to large energy corporations in the early 1990s, small towns in Germany are now banding together to buy back their energy infrastructure. Their bid to get into the energy market may provide opportunities to make money, but it also involves taking on the energy giants at their own game.
The small German towns of Olfen, Ascheberg, Havixbeck, Billerbeck, Nordkirchen, Senden, Rosendahl and Lüdinghausen rarely make it into the headlines. That will soon change, however. The eight towns, located close to the city of Münster in western Germany, want to wrest away control of the electricity power supply in their region from German energy giant RWE.
Last summer, the towns set up a joint publicly owned electric utility company. In 2013, the group, together with a partner, wants to take over the local power grid from RWE. It is a struggle that pits the municipalities, with their combined population of 115,000, against the mighty RWE, which employs 65,000 people.
That local example reflects a nationwide trend. Ever since a group of public utility companies purchased the private utility Thüga from the Düsseldorf-based energy giant E.on for €2.9 billion ($4 billion) last fall, municipalities all over Germany have wanted to get into the energy business. "Every local authority which wants to act responsibly is looking into this issue at the moment," says Christian Marthol, a lawyer and energy expert with the Nuremberg-based law firm Rödl & Partner.
Indeed, it has been a long time since the opportunities for getting into the energy business have been as favorable as they are at the moment. In the next two years alone, roughly 2,000 license agreements, with which many cities and municipalities put their energy and gas networks into the hands of private energy companies in the early 1990s, will expire. Back then, many municipalities, which had traditionally owned their own utilities, regarded managing their own energy supply to be too much work and too costly. Selling off their networks seemed like an attractive source of revenue.
Now, however, many towns and municipalities have changed their minds. Electricity is once again regarded as an attractive investment, and electricity networks are seen as infrastructure which towns can use to make good money. Profit margins are often around 6 - 7 percent.
Furthermore, buying back their energy networks offers towns and municipalities a chance to improve their carbon footprint. It allows them to buy environmentally friendly electricity on the open market, or produce it themselves, and then distribute it via their own power grids. "Many communities want to encourage the use of renewable energy and promote the construction of biogas facilities or solar energy plants," Marthol says. "Taking control of the energy network is just the first step. The second step often involves setting up a sales and marketing department and creating their own facilities for energy production."
Hamburg Energie, a public utility that was set up last year, is currently winning between 50 and 100 new customers each day. The energy it distributes comes from combined heat and power plants, hydroelectric power and its own wind- and solar-energy facilities. The utility might also take over the power grid when the concession contracts with Swedish energy company Vattenfall expire at the end of 2014. "The city is currently looking into that possibility," says Carsten Roth, a spokesman for Hamburg Energie.
Conflict between public utilities and private companies will be inevitable during the coming two years. It's likely that many municipalities will choose not to extend their license agreements with the energy giants. The energy companies are therefore trying to make a bit of extra money out of the grids before they lose control of them. During the period that the private sector has controlled municipalities' infrastructure, they have invested money to expand the distribution networks. Now they are asking the municipalities to pay a financial consideration in return.
Battle for Control
In the small town of Wolfhagen in the state of Hesse, negotiations between the municipal utility and E.on over repurchasing the grid have dragged on for more than five years. In Springe, near Hanover, E.on and the town fought in court over the value of the grid. On Lake Constance, where seven municipalities wanted to take over the power and gas networks from Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW), it took the intervention of the Federal Network Agency, the German electricity and gas regulator, to persuade the firm to hand back control.
The poker game with the energy behemoths is only one of many obstacles that municipalities have to negotiate on their way to becoming an energy provider. Nevertheless, many municipalities are determined to become players in the fiercely competitive market and are taking on the big guys, even though the energy giants have a massive headstart in terms of know-how.
The energy giants are fighting bitterly to win customers. There are also legal risks that municipalities need to take into account when taking control of networks: As yet, no legal precedent has been set regarding how to calculate the actual value of a power grid.
Complex and Costly
From a technical perspective too, taking over a network is no cinch. Separating the grids can be very complex and costly, explains says energy expert Christian Marthol. Additionally, municipalities often lack the necessary know-how to operate the power grid.
And they will face other significant challenges. For instance, the decentralized feeding-in of electricity from wind and solar facilities is rapidly increasing in Germany. This means that the energy supply becomes more erratic, and the grid has to be able to compensate for ever-increasing fluctuations. Upgrading to so-called "smart grids" that could deal with these kinds of challenges could cost billions of euros, however.
The energy giants are already warning their future competitors about the risks involved. "Municipalities that take over an electricity or gas network need to first of all pay the purchase price for the facilities," says RWE spokesman Wolfgang Schley. "They are taking on responsibility for a business that offers opportunities, but that also has technical and economic risks."
in Spiegel Online
Switch Conference, 15 e 16 de Maio em CoimbraTuesday, Apr 20 2010 10:25
The conference aim is to gather scientists, entrepreneurs, do-ers, thinkers, technologists and everyone in between to discuss the present and the future in a knowledge and idea sharing experience. It will be all about diversity (of ideas, people and themes) and will count on portuguese and international speakers.
Besides the conference itself taking place in the main room, there will be a startup competition (in Room 2) and stands & outside activities provided by our partners.
SWiTCH is a 2-day conference to be held in the University of Coimbra, Portugal , on the 15th and 16th of May, 2010. We do want, however, to make SWiTCH way more than a conference. We want to make it an authentic 2-day discovering experience. Attendees will get in touch with scientists, entrepreneurs, thinkers, do-er and everyone in between to share their knowledge, their experience and their ideias aiming to create awareness on scientific and technological matters, preparing us to a better defined future and a helthier society. We want and promote earth-shaking ideas, impossible breakthroughts and incredible life stories.
The conference will take place on a weekend to let those who are unable to leave work for the whole week to attend the conference sharing their experience and vision.
SWiTCH will have a main room where presentations will fully run from day 1 to day 2, a second room where the startup competition and deep discussions will take place and, finally, outside areas when all sort of fun activities will take place and where partners and sponsors stands will be located.
SWiTCH main theme will be “Web & Development” but our bet is on diversity. Diversity of cultures, ideas, discussions, persons and, of course, themes. You can find the full list of topics for this year’s conference here.
In the 2nd Room will take place the startup competition hosted by Webreakstuff. We want to act as a plattaform for networking, but also as as a way for you to meet with investors and to make your business project known by the crowd. The startup competition will sort out the best startups around and promote them with investors and media. Read more here.
We hope to host up to 400 persons in Coimbra to join this unique experience. The profile of our attendees, as the conference, is expected to be diverse. We will have entrepreneurs, scientists, thinkers, technologists among others.
Finally, all videos from SWiTCH presentations will be posted online so the wonderful insights our speakers will give you can also be shared with relatives, friends and everyone who opted to not join the SWiTCH experience.
Any other information may be requested to firstname.lastname@example.org
The brief in the post digital ageMonday, Apr 19 2010 02:40
Inovação AéreaThursday, Mar 4 2010 09:28
Tax People Back Into the CitiesWednesday, Jan 6 2010 06:44
For the first time in history, more than half the world's population live in cities: by 2030, three out of five people will be city dwellers. But the British are bucking this trend. The 2001 census revealed an "exodus from the cities". Since 1981, Greater London and the six former metropolitan counties of Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, West Midlands and West Yorkshire have lost some 2.25 million people in net migration exchanges with the rest of the UK; in recent years this trend has accelerated.
This is not sustainable. British people need to be cured of the insidious fantasy of leaving the city and owning a house in the country: their romantic dream will become a nightmare for people elsewhere on the planet.
The fact is that rural households have higher carbon dioxide emissions per person than those in the city, thanks to their generally larger, detached or semi-detached houses, multiple cars and long commutes (cars are responsible for 12 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe - 50 per cent in some parts of the US). The regions with the biggest carbon footprints in the UK are not the metropolises of Glasgow or London, but the largely rural northeast of England, as well as Yorkshire and the Humber. In fact, the per capita emissions of the Big Smoke - London - are the lowest of any part of the UK.
To create a low-carbon economy we need to become a nation of city dwellers. We tax cigarettes to reflect the harm they do to our health: we need to tax lifestyles that are damaging the health of the planet - and that means targeting people who choose to live in the countryside. We need a Rural Living Tax. Agricultural workers and others whose jobs require them to live outside cities would be exempt. The revenue raised could be used to build new, well-planned cities and to radically upgrade the infrastructure of existing cities.
We have an opportunity to create an urban renaissance, to make cities attractive places to live again - not just for young adults, but for families and retired people, the groups most likely to leave the city. Turning our old cities into "smart cities" won't be easy or cheap, but in a recession this investment in infrastructure will boost the economy. We need to learn to love our cities again, because they will help us to save the planet.
P. D. Smith is an honorary research associate in the Science and Technology Studies Department at University College London and author of Doomsday Men: The Real Dr Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon (2008). He is writing a cultural history of cities. www.peterdsmith.com
in WIRED, PD Smith
The Sustainable CityFriday, Sep 11 2009 11:49
The Original Video of Lilly: The World Map MasterSaturday, Feb 16 2008 02:16
Swinging Bach Live ConcertFriday, May 4 2007 03:49
A facilidade com que este tipo coloca a plateia a cantar é fabulosa!
...E para o público terá sido uma experiência inesquecivel: Foram os protagonistas daquele tema.
Did you know...?Tuesday, Mar 27 2007 06:14
Placing Innovation: A Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Approach to Identifying Emergent Technological ActivityTuesday, Dec 26 2006 01:59
by Philip E Auerswald, School of Public Policy, George Mason University, VA, USA
E. M. Forster revisitedSunday, Dec 3 2006 04:59
"One of the issues we worried about in our first test of telecommuting in 1973-74 was the impact of telecommuting on land use. In particular, we were concerned that the location independence feature of telework might induce people to move away from the cities to rural—and particularly to scenic—areas in such numbers as to destroy the primary reason for their move. That was more thirty years ago.(...)"
Versão integral do post de Jack Nilles
The art of startMonday, Nov 27 2006 08:44
Steve Jobs Stanford' Speech 2005Wednesday, Nov 15 2006 12:16
Um depoimento inspirador!