Posts Tagged ‘Honolulu’

Honolulu Tops 2011 Digital Cities Survey

November 3rd, 2011 11:01 admin View Comments


First time accepted submitter folsomfella writes “The 11th annual survey spotlights the municipalities that best show how information and communication technology are used to enhance public service. The top 10 cities are selected in four different population categories and judged on the criteria of enterprise applicability or impact across multiple program areas, measurable progress from the prior year, hard dollar savings or soft dollar benefits as a result of technology use, innovation and a demonstration of effective collaboration.”

Source: Honolulu Tops 2011 Digital Cities Survey

Sports Bars Changing Channels For Video Gamers

August 24th, 2011 08:00 admin View Comments

Real Time Strategy (Games)

dtmos wrote in to say that “This summer, StarCraft II has become the newest bar room spectator sport. Fans organize so-called Barcraft events, taking over pubs and bistros from Honolulu to Florida and switching big-screen TV sets to Internet broadcasts of professional game matches. As they root for their on-screen superstars, StarCraft enthusiasts can sow confusion among regular patrons… But for sports-bar owners, StarCraft viewers represent a key new source of revenue from a demographic—self-described geeks—they hadn’t attracted before.”

Source: Sports Bars Changing Channels For Video Gamers

Hotel Tracks Towels With RFID Chips

April 29th, 2011 04:30 admin View Comments


nonprofiteer writes “An unnamed hotel is now putting RFID tags in their towels: ‘The Honolulu hotel (the hotels have asked to remain anonymous, just to keep you guessing) says it was taking a bath to the tune of 4,000 pool towels per month, a number that it has reduced to just 750 (a savings of $16,000 per month). And that’s just at the pool.’ It’s unclear what they do if the towel flies to the Midwest.”

Source: Hotel Tracks Towels With RFID Chips

Mystery ‘Missile’ Identified As US Airways Flight 808

November 11th, 2010 11:50 admin View Comments

sean.peters writes “The mystery missile discussed on Slashdot Tuesday? It was US Airways 808 from Honolulu to Phoenix. An amateur sleuth checked the time against airline schedules, then the following day, checked out a webcam that was trained in the appropriate direction. He found the exact same contrail at the time AWE808 was coming over. The author deals persuasively with a number of objections to his argument.”

Source: Mystery ‘Missile’ Identified As US Airways Flight 808

First Amphibious Insect Found Cruising Around Hawaii’s Streams and Shores

March 23rd, 2010 03:17 admin View Comments

HawaiiCaterpillarAs if living in Hawaii weren’t a great enough life, scientists have found a kind of caterpillar there that lives the best of both worlds—in water and on land. In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Daniel Rubinoff’s team found that 12 species in the Hawaiian moth genus Hyposmocoma are amphibious in their caterpillar stage, the first amphibious insects ever found.

While most caterpillars are terrestrial (living on land), there are a few—0.5 percent—that are aquatic. However, all of the caterpillars seen before preferred either one or the other. Even classical amphibians, like the toad, often live mainly in one environment and seldom return to the other, perhaps just to lay eggs. But the Hyposmocoma caterpillars seem to have adopted a chilled-out Hawaiian way of life, comfortable with whatever environment they might be in. “They can stay underwater for an indeterminate period of time, or out of the water,” said Rubinoff, an entomologist. “There’s no other animal that I’m aware of that can do that” [Honolulu Advertiser].

Rubinoff was actually studying the moth because of a different quirk: In its caterpillar stage, the insect builds a sort of container for itself from silk and whatever base material might happen to be lying around. Researchers have also found cases in the shapes of cigars, candy wrappers, oyster shells, dog bones and bowties. “We’re running out of names to describe them,” Rubinoff says [Science News]. During an excursion to document this weirdness, a surprise shoved him in a different direction: Rubinoff saw caterpillars he previously thought to be landlubbers living happily in water.

So he brought a bunch of specimens to the lab, first testing how they took to water. When the insects flourished, he stranded them in petri dishes with only a bit of carrot and no water. The caterpillars seemed equally at ease in both situations. Whether they’re under water or without a drop of moisture for the duration of their adolescence, “these guys don’t care,” says Rubinoff [ScienceNOW]. They do have a preference for faster-moving water rather than still pools, however. Rubinoff says the caterpillars don’t have gills, but rather breathe through their skins while underwater. Thus, a rushing, oxygen-laden stream in their best friend, and their strong silk anchors them against the current.

You can always count on the isolation of islands to spur weird and cool examples of evolution. Hyposmocoma doesn’t disappoint. Rubinoff guesses from his genetic analysis that they’ve been evolving in Hawaii for 20 million years, and he guesses there are actually twice as many species as the 400 already discovered. In 2005, Rubinoff described a caterpillar that hunts down and eats snails. Other caterpillars in this genus feed mostly on rotting wood in the manner of termites, which are relative newcomers to Hawaii [Science News].

Image: Patrick Schmitz and Daniel Rubinoff

Source: First Amphibious Insect Found Cruising Around Hawaii’s Streams and Shores

Global Warming Could Make the Ocean a Noisier Place to Live

December 28th, 2009 12:00 admin View Comments

dolphinsChalk up another unexpected consequence of pumping too much carbon dioxide into the air: According to a new study, the excess CO2 that ends up in seawater is gradually making the oceans noisier.

The changing chemistry of the ocean is one of the major impacts of CO2 emissions. The dissolved gas is changing the pH of the water by making it more acidic, which makes life harder for corals and marine critters with calcium carbonate shells that are corroded by the acidic water. But the new study, published in Nature Geoscience, found that changing the pH of the oceans also reduces the levels of chemicals that absorb sound, like magnesium sulphate and boric acid.

Low-frequency sound in the ocean is produced by natural phenomena such as rain, waves and marine life, and by human activities such as sonar systems, shipping and construction. The sound is absorbed mainly through the viscosity of the water and the presence of certain dissolved chemicals…. But the concentration of chemicals that absorb sound in the oceans has declined as a result of ocean acidification [AFP]. The study found that sound absorption could fall by some 60 percent in high latitudes and deep waters by 2100.

The pH change is only affecting sounds in the lower frequency range, and it’s not yet clear how that will impact marine mammals like dolphins and whales that use acoustics to find food and mates. Says study coauthor Richard Zeebe: “If the noise level increases, it can distract species,” he said. “If they’re trying to identify certain sounds in the ocean important for them for reproduction, feeding or something, and if the background noise is increasing, it could essentially cover certain sounds they depend on. This is a possibility” [Honolulu Star-Bulletin].

Image: flickr / jurvetson

Source: Global Warming Could Make the Ocean a Noisier Place to Live