A quantum city?

Light pipes for photons, in triangles and loops (in the photo opposite, the oblongs are loops of fibre to create delays and the lines all fibre optics) About 18 months ago (thanks to Libby) I attended a discussion about some of the most advanced quantum computing research in the world. At the time I thought this…

Adventures in acoustic cosmology

ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY PRESS RELEASE Adventures in acoustic cosmology RAS PR 17/30 (NAM 13) 3rd July 2017 A project that explores whether there is a musical equivalent to the curvature of spacetime will be presented on Thursday 6th July by Gavin Starks at the National Astronomy Meeting at the University of Hull. Starks, who has…

Data is not the new oil. Data > Oil

“The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data” says The Economist “Data is the new oil”, said Clive Humby and many others Some people have described why it is and that it’ll be a new currency. 2014 Wired said it was and that “data infrastructure should become a profit centre” In 2012 Forbes asked “Is…

The AMEE story (part one)

The AMEE story In 2005, I was working with climate change charity Global Cool, and global hedge fund Man Group (in my spare time) to try and create a global movement around climate change awareness and action. While chairing the working group that created the “Global Cool Tonne” (which became one of the UK Government’s Gold…

Data as culture – summary

In October 2012, as CEO of the newly-created Open Data Institute, the first work I commissioned was … art. Why art? For me, artists help to shape questions before we’ve worked out that questions are needed. They might not be able to articulate a precise question, but often indicate a shape of something emergent. Over…

Arctic continues to lose oldest and thickest ice

[via NSIDC] After a quick initial freeze-up during the second half of September, ice growth slowed substantially during early October. On October 20, 2016, Arctic sea ice extent began to set new daily record lows for this time of year. After mid-October, ice growth returned to near-average rates, but extent remained at record low levels…

The tweetable scientific method

Reposting from my tweet: ■ Observe→Question→Hypothesise→Create tests →Test→Adapt→More tests→Generalise→Repeat↺ [The Tweetable Scientific Method]  

The porous city

This is not a thought piece, it’s a call to action. We have failed to create smart cities. We have failed to create truly scalable and sustainable mechanisms to enable our cities and countries to benefit from the internet age. We are not addressing the challenges we face, from housing to healthcare, from taxation to…

some themes emerging

Thinking about the sea http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/02/sunday-review/protecting-the-untamed-seas.html and webcasting http://www.dgen.net/blog/ms-hans and music http://rinse.fm http://store.darkclover.ro/album/sabo http://tidal.lurk.org http://lysuc888.blogspot.co.uk http://www.aec.at/aeblog/en/2015/08/03/rhythmus-als-dna-der-musik and long playing things http://longplayer.org/about/ and cosmology/topology http://www.binarydust.org/2012/09/21/evolving-language http://www.nersc.gov/news-publications/nersc-news/science-news/2014/simulations-reveal-unusual-death-for-ancient-stars and data http://theodi.org/who-owns-our-data-infrastructure Some interesting Venn diagrams emerging.

Welcome back Philae!

To celebrate the news: Click the green flag and press S to start …. then press space bar to launch Philae. Arrow keys for left and right. Up arrow for thrust. If it all goes weird, hit R to reset. Hit the red landing site to get points, but not too fast or you’ll pop! You…

Maxipok Zero – a quadrillion lives are in your hands

A quadrillion lives are in your hands. We often hear people talk of “protecting future generations”,and there is certainly a lot of value in thinking of your children and grandchildren when thinking about the future – it makes it personal. But there is an additional way of thinking about this, which carries equal moral authority…

RIP Patrick Moore

Very few public figures have influenced me over the years – Patrick Moore was an exception. As a friend of my aunt, he wrote to me when I was 8, sending letters and copies of his books. Being on Arran, the skies were dark, and even the Milky Way visible on a clear night. Fast-forward…

AMEE at Strata – talk slides

My slides from O’Reilly’s Strata conference “Making Data Work” today. I described some of AMEE’s journey: through open data aggregation and distribution, accessibility, provenance,  and structure. But better data isn’t enough – no one (well, a few) really cares about the science or the technology. We need to engage with stakeholders to provide meaningful insight…

New role at the Open Data Institute

During the Olympics Opening Ceremony, the creator of the web tweeted “This is for everyone” to millions of people around the world. Decades since their invention, we are still discovering and unlocking value from the innovations catalysed by the open web, open internet, and open source. The Open Data Institute‘s mission is to demonstrate and…

New record low for Arctic sea ice melt

I’ve been tracking Arctic sea ice melt for over 5 years – we now seem to have broken the 2007 record. There are a few week left in the melt season, so this isn’t the minimum yet…. More from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Earth Observation Research Center More from the USA National Snow and Ice Data…

NPG expands Linked Data Platform to over a quarter billion triples

This is good news: “Nature Publishing Group’s (NPG) Linked Data Platform now hosts more than 270 million Resource Description Framework (RDF) statements….The data is now being updated in real-time and new triples are being dynamically added to the datasets as articles are published on nature.com. Available at http://data.nature.com, the platform now contains bibliographic metadata for…

ISEA 2012

I’ll be speaking at the Eighteenth International Symposium on Electronic Art, ISEA2012 Albuquerque. Machine Wilderness is a symposium and series of events exploring the discourse of global proportions on the subject of art, technology and nature. The ISEA symposium is held every year in a different location around the world, and has a 30-year history…

Occupy & Climate Change: Hansen, Buffet, Chomsky

Two pieces really struck me today. I think we can expect to see this form of direct action increasing. The issues (control of resource, environmental sustainability, and social sustainability) are intrinsically linked, but the shift that appears to be happening is of awareness, urgency, and engagement in direct action. Chomsky’s piece in the Guardian is…

Listen to the colliding “Antennae Galaxies”

A sneak preview of some of the work I’ll be presenting on Sunday. Below is a radio-image taken by ALMA of the “Antennae Galaxies” colliding. We have transformed the image-cube data, in which each pixel represents an electromagnetic radio spectrum, into a sonic spectrum. By clicking the image and moving your cursor around you can…

The utterance of a cosmological model?

“On 12 April 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first human in outer space and the first to orbit the Earth. 2011 sees the fiftieth anniversary of that event…” As part of my ongoing work on Binary Dust, I am speaking at Heavenly Discourses on Sunday 16th October 16:45 – 18:00. PANEL: Music I’ll be presenting…

Those are my stars…

Calling Virgin Galactic: “if we could get our political leaders to have a summit meeting in space, life on Earth would be markedly different” Alex Evans reflects “during a break in an all-day meeting of senior policymakers at the United Nations, on the subject of ‘global sustainability’. Know what? The room had no windows”   On…

Binary Dust …

Well, it’s taken a little while to pull together, but Binary Dust is now live. Hope you enjoy.

RIP Dr David Fleming

A tragic and untimely loss. David is still a huge inspiration, his thinking, consideration and actions have touched so many people. I am glad we had the opportunity to share ideas, conversation, and a beer. Cheers to you David, and thank you. For those who didn’t know him, I strongly recommend reading and distributing his…

Data is not binary

Science, data, internet, ontology, work and non-work themes converging – my post on O’Reilly Radar, reposted below Why open data requires credibility and transparency. by Gavin Starks | June 30, 2010 Guest blogger Gavin Starks is founder and CEO of AMEE, a neutral aggregation platform designed to measure and track all the energy data in…

A Climate of Polarisation

(copy of my post on the O’Reilly Radar) We’re all aware of the emotive language used to polarize the climate change debate. There are, however, deeper patterns which are repeated across science as it interfaces with politics and media. These patterns have always bothered me, but they’ve never been as “important” as now. We are…

Fundamental UK science under threat

The Science and Technology Facilities Council in the UK has managed to create a terrible situation which could destroy fundamental research across the country. This would have a devastating impact on not just the lives of people who have dedicated themselves to their fields, and not just to the UK’s reputation, but would be a…

Remarkable insights

The Long Now essay by Daniel Hillis on “Richard Feynman and The Connection Machine” contains some fantastic, inspiring nuggets, which I couldn’t resist quoting from … they really remind me of conversations at Jodrell Bank. “… we planned to connect the processors in a 20-dimensional hypercube …” “In retrospect, if we had had any understanding…

Sea ice – how well is it recovering?

We’re losing 44,000 square kilometers (17,000 square miles) of ice per year in winter (March-to-March). Last year, we watched the lowest ever sea ice measurement unfold. It wasn’t happy viewing. Here’s the graph just after the low point – as of October 16, the extent was 3.20 million square kilometers (1.23 million square miles) below…

Jodrell Bank, 50 years on …

This year is the 50th anniversary of Jodrell Bank. Today is also a landmark day for Jodrell Bank – the whole science team are moving from on-site, to Manchester University. While this is probably very practical, I can’t help feeling sad that this unique and historic research establishment is dramatically shifting its identity. I worked…

Dorkbot presents…

DORKBOT: People doing strange things with electricity – London (UK) Talked: Music and Astronomy Played: ds2 series1

ICMC presentation (3D-sound)

Part of the results of my Masters Degree in Computer-Music from Glasgow University. Amongst other things, we “streamed” uncompressed WAV files between Glasgow and Edinburgh, because we could. I went on to build a 3-site, 48 NeXT machine network to do audio research at the University. Starks, G.R. & Linton, K.N. (Sept. 1994). “sndSpace: A…