Blogs

We knew about this already - Reuters is reporting yet another United Nations report that says global warming and population growth are increasing vulnerability to floods. This time they say there'll be 1 billion people exposed to the threat by 2050. I didn't go back and re-read before posting, but if I remember right that's much the same as what the Pew Oceans Commission said about coastal sprawl Opinion
Jun 14, 2004   By
San Francisco - The current issue of Science has an interesting Policy Forum laying out some of the challenges of building in earthquake country (fulltext here; pdf here). The salient point:...basic data and analysis are lacking for how buildings and structures perform under the extreme loads produced by earthquakes. Some experts think structural damage prediction models are based largely on opinion. Application of laboratory data is difficult because of soil- structure interactions and difficulties simulating excitations at high frequencies. Opinion
Jun 10, 2004   By
Kevin Leeson, Special Projects Coordinator and Chris Alvarado, Associate Senior Planner, setup and run the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission Weblog. As far as I know, this is the first public-sector planning blog in existence. The purpose of the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission Weblog primarily is to act as a news gathering and dissemination resource for the Greater Cleveland and Cuyahoga County planning community, which includes 59 communities, cities, villages and townships. Opinion
Jun 9, 2004   By Chris Steins
VisitorVille is a website log analysis program that uses an graphical urban metaphor to visualize website traffic flow."A company's entire Web presence is seen as an urban or suburban neighborhood, with each individual Web page presented as a building. The more visitors on a site, the taller the buildings, and the brighter the lights on each floor...each visitor is represented by a small avatar that, when clicked, presents a passport that offers several pieces of information about the user, such as her or his IP address, where that person came from and more. Opinion
Jun 9, 2004   By Abhijeet Chavan
The US Environmetal Protection Agency has launched their daily Ultra Violet Index website, where you can search for your zip code's daily UV Index rating. Tomorrow's Los Angeles UV Index rating is 9: "Try to avoid the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Otherwise, seek shade, cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses, and use sunscreen. " The UV Index is computed using forecasted ozone levels, a computer model that relates ozone levels to UV incidence (incoming radiation level) on the ground, forecasted cloud amounts, and the elevation of the forecast cities. Opinion
Jun 8, 2004   By Chris Steins
The Grants.gov initiative is seen as a model e-government project but it has had trouble attracting users according to an article in Government Computer News. The website enables citizens to apply for grants online. "[The Office of Management and Budget] officials are working to define utilization -- how e-government projects are used after they’ve been fully implemented -- and plan how the projects will reach the marks they set. Opinion
Jun 8, 2004   By Abhijeet Chavan
New York - An interesting observation about the impending demolition of Hollywood landmark restaurant Perino's here courtesy of the "LA Cowboy" blog. So, why don't they just move it? Opinion
Jun 6, 2004   By
New York - I'm in Manhattan, at a hotel in Times Square. It's been more than a year since I was here. And I'm struck by the increase in active signage, even here, the heart of inventive building-side ads. Just about every building here in Times Square is coated with multicolored, programmable screens. Some of them just do text; others are nearly as good as a television. So just an observation, but as flat-screen technology gets better, as LEDs get brighter, we're going to see a lot more TV-like screens replacing static billboards. Opinion
Jun 6, 2004   By
San Francisco - We've got a newish mayor here in SF, Gavin Newsom, who worried some of the town's liberal voting block when he beat a fellow county supervisor, Matt Gonzalez, to win the top spot. Gonzalez was a Green, way left; Newsom was perceived to be allied with the city's establishment, specifically the politically efficient machine built by former mayor Willie Brown (term-limited out) and a group always referred to in the press as "downtown developers." As far as I can tell, these are the people who want to build tall buildings. Opinion
Jun 2, 2004   By
Reason magazine did a very provocative this month – for each of their 40,000 subscribers they printed a customized cover including an aerial photo of their house. The magazine headline started with the homeowner's name in big orange letters followed by the subtitle "They Know Where Your Are!" Click here to see the cover of the issue mailed to my neighbor – my house is 2 houses to the right. On the inside cover, the Editor's Note includes several local facts embedded into the text "…as a telecommuter I don't envy your area's average commute of 27. Opinion
May 28, 2004   By Ken Snyder