Simon’s Backup Weblog


Soaring the edges

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on May 30, 2007

Soaring the edges

As something of a unicorn chaser to the last image, here’s a picture of a raptor skimming the edges of the peaks around Zion Canyon.

Zion, Utah
May 2007

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Only nazis can use the shower?

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on May 30, 2007

Only nazis can use the shower?
Originally uploaded by sbisson.

Inadvertently offensive iconography at a US national park campsite. Some one really needs to give this icon a redesign – or perhaps use one of the more acceptable alternatives in common use.

We had to laugh.

Bryce Canyon, Utah
May 2007

The strangest conference tat…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on May 29, 2007

Sometimes you get the oddest bits and pieces when you wander around the various stalls at a conference exhibition. However, I think one of today’s pieces may just win a no prize.

Where 2.0 is a conference about digital mapping and the neogeospatial movement. The conference’s sessions cover everything from using GPS fitted pigeons to map California’s smog, to building mashup ecosystems around Google’s and Microsoft’s mapping platforms. If it’s anything to do with maps and computers, it’s part of Where’s remit.

Why oh why oh why then, did I pick up a paper set of roadmaps of the continental US?

Actually they’ll come in useful nxt week in Florida, as our GPS only has west coast maps!

All FiRed up

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on May 25, 2007

and I have spent the last week in San Diego at one of our favourite conferences, FiRe.

Future In Review is an eclectic event, covering all sorts of issues, looking at the next 3 to 5 years. This year we’ve been looking at everything from new battery technologies to the economic effects of rapprochement between Japan and China. It’s been a fascinating few days, with a constant stream of half hour sessions – starting at what normally would be far too early in the morning.

Speakers have come from industry, and from finance, and from other, perhaps less obvious, backgrounds. Today’s sessions included David Brin with the CTOs of Adobe, EMC and IBM reinventing the mobile phone, Stewart Brand discussing genetic testing, an ex-Disnay Imagineer who joined the NSA on the future of intelligence and how understanding innovation is a key approach, and a fascinating interview of Kim Stanley Robinson on global warming. That’s just part of one morning – imagine another two and half days of it, and you’ll understand why FiRe is one of the highlights of our year. It’s all fascinating stuff, and leaving me much to think about for the next few months…

The location’s pretty good too — I was looking out our hotel room door yesterday evening and saw leaping dolphins out in the ocean. Even so, I haven’t minded being sat inside a dark conference room all day!

Back up to the Bay Area later today for Baycon.

From Tesla Coils to Tesla Cars

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on May 23, 2007

Tesla ZEV Roadster
Originally uploaded by sbisson.

I got to see one of the first of the new Tesla ZEV Roadsters here at FiRe 2007 in San Diego.

0-60 in 4 seconds, and 200 mile range.

Niiice. Now that’s what I call an electric car.

San Diego, California
May 2007

More pictures at this Flickr set

Tesla Lights

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on May 22, 2007

Tesla Lights
Originally uploaded by sbisson.

Maker Faire was a blast – and the massive Tesla coils in the main hall were one of the more thrilling exhibits. Massive bolts of lightning fly across the room to the sharp smell of ozone and the sound of deep throbbing hum…

Maker Faire, San Mateo, California
May 2007

Making Maker Faire

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on May 19, 2007

Well, we’re in the Bay area at last, and heading off to Maker Faire in the morning.

Ping us if you’re there and want to meet up. I’ll be wearing a Euro Foo t-shirt, and ‘s braids are distinctive…

Watching Mountains

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on May 17, 2007

Watching Mountains

Tall peaks loom over Springdale, the small town at the gateway to Zion Canyon.

Zion, Utah
May 2007 

Flattening the vistas

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on May 16, 2007

Santa Monica Mountains Evening

Sometimes the evening light flattens everything, layering grey upon grey upon blue.

Sometimes you have a camera with you when it happens.

Santa Monica Mountains, California
May 2007

Thunderbird One in disguise

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on May 16, 2007

Thunderbird One in disguise
Originally uploaded by sbisson.

Spotted in a Pasadena mall, a children’s ride that’s obviously an old Thunderbird One ride repainted as a sort-of NASA capsule. But us geeks know what it really is…

Pasadena, California
May 2007

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