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    NZ 1 million into the Natural Heritage Trust to run the project The Trust has one professional staff member responsible for collecting and collating information on local plants and animals Recognition It took many years of fieldwork but the database which is hosted at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu USA finally went online in 2003 and regularly receives 1 000 visitors a week mainly from people in developed countries The Trust also published the database on interactive CDs for schools in the Cook Islands which have limited or expensive web access The database presently records 4 500 species out of an estimated total of around 7 000 socially or biologically significant species in the country About 2 500 species 55 on the database have one or more images to aid recognition The main challenge is to identify and photograph species in the field which is where the public will encounter and hopefully recognise them The Trust s primary goal was to tabulate data on the social and biological significance of a species and then list key identification features along with a detailed image This data is reasonably comprehensive for the larger or otherwise conspicuous terrestrial species but the lack of available biologists to input data has meant that the detailed information is often inadequate for many groups There is still an immense amount of basic fieldwork required on Cook Islands biodiversity Although it is not the purpose of this database to record the location of all collected specimens it increasingly refers to a few specimens or photographs for each island to vouch for the claimed presence of a particular species In the future collection points will be geo referenced and displayed on active maps The database entry for each species includes an image to aid identification and where possible supporting secondary images videos and audio files The image files are as small as possible so that they load rapidly in a web browser but can still be viewed well on a screen and when printed to show the main species features Image credits ICT Update The database entry for each species includes an image to aid identification Database videos are also small under 20 seconds in duration to make it possible for users to download them on a dial up or slow broadband internet connection More input The database had the advantage of growing slowly which provided time to experiment with many data options and to develop the search menus for different user groups from taxonomists to biosecurity staff to home gardeners Over the last 20 years the Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust has learned some valuable lessons and discovered some important strengths and weakness in their biodiversity database Strengths all biological groups are available within a single database searches are available for Latin English and Maori names and names of higher taxa users can search for more than one species or taxa by name in one search users can search across taxa for socially and biologically significant groups such

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/small-nation-big-effort/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    1 and Thailand 75 70 64 12 A mobile gives you information when you want it where you want it It s with you Common use PCs are in common use facilities that have opening and closing efforts You have to make the effort to go to it Rohan Samarajiva Chair CEO of LIRNEasia told IANS here The mobile is becoming absolutely the predominant mode by which people at the bottom of the pyramid interact electronically he said In 2006 we had data which said that the largest proportion of Indians at the bottom of the pyramid were using public phones In 2008 the role of the public phone has been taken over by my own mobile he said However that doesn t mean to say that the ubiquitous public phone in India is going away Because in our qualitative research we found that Indian culture where the public phone has been around long now accomodates the public phone and has a special niche for it he said For instance women who live in their husband s house find it more useful to have conversations with parents and siblings via the public phone There s some privacy and separation in space Mr Samarajiva explained On the other hand a woman using a public phone in Pakistan or Bangladesh gets sneered at But women in India were very clear that there s no pressure against them using public phones Mr Samarajiva pointed to the work done by Microsoft India on Warana Wired and Warana Unwired one of the earliest e development projects providing information to farmers in Warananagar Maharashtra They found this was a project which was about to collapse Because the PCs were not in use they were not being repaired they were costly Now they have developed a model

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/phones-outnumber-radios-among-south-asias-poor/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    of beats reported one of the researchers If there is lots of variability that patient is in bad shape The team then applied their algorithm to a second set of electrocardiogram recordings and found that patients with the highest morphological variability were six to eight times more likely to die from a heart attack than those with low variability They concluded that it consistently predicted as well or better than the indicators commonly used by physicians In the same week researchers at the Sanger Institute in Cambridge revealed that they had reconstructed the biological history of two types of cancer in a piece of research that according to the Guardian report promises to transform medical treatment of the disease Image credits Steve Gschmeissner BBC The research exposed every genetic mutation the patients have acquired over their lifetimes including the ones that eventually caused healthy cells in their bodies to turn into tumours One of the diseases studied was lung cancer The research revealed 23 000 mutations that were exclusive to the diseased cells Almost all were caused by the 60 or so chemicals in cigarette smoke that stick to DNA and deform it We can say that one mutation is fixed in the genome for every 15 cigarettes smoked said Peter Campbell the scientist who led the lung cancer part of the study That is frightening because many people smoke a packet of 20 a day Although these stories are reports about medical research they are really about computing in the sense that neither would have been possible without the application of serious computer power to masses of data In that way they reflect a new but so far unacknowledged reality that in many important fields leading edge scientific research cannot be done without access to vast computational and data

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/comments/computers-powering-medical-research/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    The 30 thoughtful essays expand on the vision of pioneering computer scientist Jim Gray for a new fourth paradigm of discovery based on data intensive science and offers insights into how it can be fully realised Microsoft Research Cover page of the publication Four areas were central to Jim Gray s vision environment health scientific infrastructure and scholarly communication It presents the first broad look at the rapidly emerging field of data intensive science with the goal of influencing the worldwide scientific and computing research communities and inspiring the next generation of scientists Increasingly scientific breakthroughs will be powered by advanced computing capabilities The speed at which any given scientific discipline advances will depend on how well its researchers collaborate with one another and with technologists in areas of eScience such as databases workflow management visualisation and cloud computing technologies This book should be required reading for every policymaker responsible for science and technology to remind them that we now have to provide the resources to fund the IT infrastructure If we don t give them these tools then we cannot expect them to finish the job In the articles in this book the reader is invited to consider the

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/feature/computing-is-transforming-science/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    so they can analyse it quickly and make the best decisions for the communities they serve They tool is described in an article published this month in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer magazine Gaetano Borriello UW professor of computer science and engineering and Adam Lerer a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are co authors Researchers have harnessed individual cell phone models to collect data in the field But when the phone gets outdated so does the software In the past some researchers have harnessed individual cell phone models to collect data in the field But when the phone gets outdated so does the software Instead of creating a tool for a single phone or even a single purpose the UW team built something that would provide a reusable platform to collect all types of mobile data We found a lot of organisations were building a lot of one off tools that were very similar Hartung said We re trying to make ours as compatible and flexible as possible Open Data Kit s versatile suite of tools can collect data store view and export data on remote servers and manage devices in the field from a central office The output is compatible with emerging data standards such as the Open Medical Records System which aims to coordinate health records in the developing world Many organisations are using Open Data Kit but the biggest project so far is a major effort to track and treat HIV patients in Kenya Led by the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare a US Agency for International Development funded partnership between Indiana University and Kenya s Moi University it is one of the most comprehensive HIV treatment programs in sub Saharan Africa AMPATH trains Kenyan community health workers who conduct door to door testing in rural areas for HIV tuberculosis and malaria and offer ongoing personalised health counselling It s a pretty amazing experience to be sitting in a mud hut seeing someone get counselled maybe for the first time on HIV Hartung and Anokwa travelled to Kenya this summer to meet with AMPATH s community health workers and do a trial run with 10 phones They spent two weeks working with Kenyan collaborators then accompanied community health workers on home visits to see the phone being used in the field It s a pretty amazing experience to be sitting in a mud hut seeing someone get counselled maybe for the first time on HIV and the counsellor is using your tool to record information Hartung said It gives a whole new perspective on the need for reliable software For the past two years AMPATH workers have conducted field visits using a Palm Pilot and separate GPS unit This required workers to key in a 10 digit identifier for each patient stand outside and wait up to two minutes to get location coordinates and at the end of each day return to the main office to upload their information to

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/mobile-tools-boosting-development-activities/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    by Professor Tadahiro Kuroda of Tokyo s Keio University has proposed storing data on semiconductor memory chips made of what he describes as the most stable material on the Earth silicon Tightly sealed powered and read wirelessly such a device he claims would yield its digital secrets even after 1000 years making any stored information as resilient as it were set in stone itself It s a realisation that moved the researchers to name the disc like 15in 38cm wide device the Digital Rosetta Stone after the revolutionary 2 200 year old Egyptian original unearthed by Napoleon s army Archiving the mountains of digitalized cultural heritage we have amassed for the future is paramount says Professor Kuroda One project The World Digital Library WDLP has its sights on such a device WDLP aims to provide online access to significant cultural material from around the world for free According to Professor Kuroda the project needs a device that can last at least 1 000 years more than a terabyte of storage and real time accessibility We believe our sealed permanent memory system the Digital Rosetta Stone will satisfy these demands Work on this silicon lifebelt is still at an experimental stage but Professor Kuroda hopes to have something ready for practical use in ten years So far his team has managed to read and write more digitised data onto the stone than found in the vast British Library collection The process starts by etching bits and bytes by laser onto silicon wafers the ultrapure materials from which computer chips are made Crucially the nature of these digital markings will be determined by a universal agreement on a common storage language that will hopefully last thousands of years That is yet to come says Kuroda These are stacked on top of one another to form a 10cm 4in high disk which is sealed between layers of another type of near impregnable silicon to keep out oxygen and moisture According to the professor these are the two culprits that will render seemingly durable CDs and DVDs into unreadable ornaments in the next 30 to 100 years Set in stone There is some debate about just how long these forms of plastic disc storage can last But a recent study by the Optical Storage Technology Association OSTA which spent two years testing DVD and CD discs to evaluate their life expectancies found that both DVD R and CD R could maintain data for tens of years at most CDs had a life expectancy of only around 15 years whilst DVDs fared even worse with a lifespan of around 10 years It s such a poor rate when you consider books can last hundreds of years says Professor Kuroda Other common storage devices also perform poorly in terms of longevity and universal readability In the case of magnetic hard drives those commonly found in PCs data could be lost in four to 40 years owing to the influence of magnetic fields But with semiconductor devices

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/preserving-our-digitised-heritage/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    modular services accessed over the internet One service might obtain some data another might plot a map graph or chart and another might process the data in some way The SANY Sensor Service Architecture SensorSA allows everybody who makes environmental observations to advertise them over standardised service interfaces Havlik explains Anybody who needs environmental data can go and search for it or look in a catalogue and retrieve it using standardised methods Market for environmental data It doesn t matter where the data comes from how it was obtained or what form it is in The SANY system transforms all data to a standard format set out by the Open Geospatial Consortium OGC and can handle all kinds of sensor data both raw and processed The SANY proposal has significant business consequences If you are a small company and you believe for example that you can predict episodes of air pollution much better than anybody else then it s easy for you to put your service on the market Havlik says This is not just about allowing small companies to access markets that have traditionally been dominated by big public bodies Today many companies still try to do everything on their own The new market paradigm envisaged by SANY will allow all involved parties to concentrate on their own strengths and purchase the missing data and services on an open marketplace To demonstrate the potential of the SANY approach the project has been running pilots in the monitoring of air water and land One air quality pilot spans the border between France and Belgium to demonstrate the feasibility of seamless presentation of data from independent monitoring networks A second air quality pilot demonstrates automatic generation of air quality reports data fusion aided quality assurance and real time environmental impact modelling for major industrial sites in Linz Austria The SANY air quality pilots also demonstrate the use of SANY and SensorSA as a possible technical basis for the INSPIRE Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community directive Bathing water forecasts Meanwhile a pilot in Gdansk Poland demonstrates the feasibility of automatic monitoring and forecasting of the bathing water quality at local beaches At the moment water quality is checked by taking infrequent samples which need 24 hours to be analysed That means bathing can only be restricted long after a pollution incident has taken place and some incidents may be missed altogether The SANY bathing water pilot proposes a different approach SANY data fusion services can use simple measurements taken in real time with automatic equipment to generate indicators for things which are quite difficult to measure like the bacteriological quality of the water The system delivers 24 hour predictions and continuously improves by comparing a posteriori the indicators with laboratory measurements says Havlik A similar pilot is being run in Cornwall UK where SANY is being used to forecast incidents of microbial contamination of shellfish beds The third area being piloted is geo hazards associated with the security of

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/getting-access-to-environmental-data/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    People across European Union will now be able to check the quality of air with the new online pollution tracker Launched this week it will provide data on Related topics regions EU Emissions Internet Getting access to environmental data An EU funded project called Sensors Anywhere SANY has created a new platform that allows free exchange and use of environmental data regardless of its Related topics regions EU Environment Access

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/search?Subject%3Alist=EU (2016-02-17)
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