Links for January 8th to January 9th

These are my links for January 8th to January 9th:

  • BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Israeli envoy to Caracas expelled – Venezuela has ordered the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Caracas in protest at Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip. A number of diplomatic staff have been expelled along with Shlomo Cohen.
  • Factor E Farm Weblog » Blog Archive » Steam Age meets the Digital Age: Open Source Steam Engine – Adding it all up it seems the steam engine deserves a modern small-scale attempt. So one option to move forward with the project is to simply dig through some old engineering books and duplicate a simple steam engine for a solar thermal boiler tube or biomass-fired flash steam generator.

    After considering this option initially, I realized that there appears to be some mechanical baggage that we don’t need in the digital age. Control of yester-year’s steam engine was done mechanically with a variety of steam valves and a centrifugal governor. These parts make a simple steam engine much more complicated than just a simple cylinder with an oscillating piston. Given the availability of low cost, open source control boards, optical sensors, and solenoid steam valves – why not try to improve?

  • The Distributed Social Networking Puzzle: Putting The Pieces Together – ReadWriteWeb – Distributed social networking – where users can connect their profile, friends and other data across multiple sites – is still a relatively new concept and not fully developed. There are plenty of companies and projects vying to be a major piece of the distributed social networking puzzle. The big Internet companies have initiatives such as OpenSocial (Google), Facebook Connect, MySpace Data Availability, Yahoo! Open Strategy. There are also smaller company and open source projects such as DiSo and Noserub (we explain these below).
  • NYC Resistor » Electronics, Hacking, Classes, and Workspace. – NYC Resistor is a hacker collective with a shared space located in downtown Brooklyn. We meet regularly to share knowledge, hack on projects together, and build community.
  • THE LEGACY XXI INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL ACTION FILM FESTIVAL DAY – In February, 2009 in movie screening venues all around the globe, The First International Social Action Film Festival will be launched and celebrated. Coordinated to coincide worldwide, and organized locally within in each participating country, The International Social Action Film Festival will be a global opportunity to recognize the good thatis being done to serve and benefit others throughout the world.
  • Beginners permaculture garden – Appropedia: The sustainability wiki – This How To has more questions than answers. Please help to fill in the missing information. Here is the basic scenario. One or two people do not know much about permaculture. They know some of the basics about growing carrots, tomatoes, etc. They want to get started with a permaculture vegetable garden, but they don't want to spend a lot of time researching and studying up on it. Their set up budget is in the range of $200 to $1,000. They want some flexibility on what techniques to use to get started, and how much to spend. They are busy people, so they need a low effort solution. Preferably the set up can be done in one day with the help of a friend or two. They have already decided that they want a 4' x 8' plot and a raised bed. There is currently a grass lawn where the garden will go. They don't want to rototill. Instead, they want to put down cardboard and have soil delivered that will go over the cardboard.
  • Plangarden Vegetable Garden Software Online – Welcome to Plangarden, the Web-based software tool made exclusively for vegetable gardeners! Say goodbye to graph paper and colored pencils. With Plangarden, you can quickly lay out your “virtual” garden, know the right time to plant your veggies, and track gardening activities and harvests. Plangarden is fun to use and is also available as a “widget” to share with your friends on your blog or Web site!