Son of Five Rivers Blog

For the advancement of Entrepreneurship, Sustainability & the Ecology of Everyday Life

This Site has Moved to SonOfFiveRivers.com

Click Here to Vist NEW Site: www.SonOfFiveRivers.com

I’ve been blogging for several months now and I’m glad to have recieved the feedback I have.  I’ve enjoyed the experince and for that reason I’ve decided to take blogging to another level.  I’ll be self hosting my blog and that means you’ll see a lot more creativity in the design, functionality and layout of the new blog.

Check it out: www.SONofFIVErivers.com

Cheers

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January 22, 2010 Posted by | 1, A Thought, Ads, Agriculture, Art, Blogging, Books, Brochure, Business, Business Cards, Business Development, Business Model, Carbon Credits, Clean Energy, Co-op, Community Economic Development (CED), Computer Networking, Construction, Creativity, Data Recovery, Definitions, Earth, Economics, Education, Electric Cars, Email, Entrepreneurship, Family, Finance, Geothermal, Government, Grants, Great Ideas, Green Roofs, Human Resources, Information Technology (I.T.), Inspiration, Investment, LEED, Life, Marketing, Micro Credit, Not for Profit, Open Source, Packaging, PDA's, Philanthropy, Photography, Politics, Power Piont, Products, Project Management, Quotes, Sales, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Services, Social Enterprise, Social Media, Solar, Sustainability, Sustainable Community Development, Taxes, Venture Capital, Videos, War, Waste, Water, Website | Leave a comment

Cyber Attacks on Google form China over Human Rights Activists Gmail Accounts!

Below is a  rare and transparent statement that was just released by Google  David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer about the most recent cyber attack to hack human rights activist email accounts.  Most organizations would cover this up so nobody would know they have vulnerabilities but looks like Google is trying to makeup for previous mistakes in China rethinking their overall strategy in China.

Previously Google had caved to the pressure of the Chinese Government by launching a localised version of its website (www.google.cn) that self-censors information deemed “subversive” by the Communist authorities.  Shocking sin’t it and even more so when we Googles unofficial motto is “Do No Evil?”  The search engine has engineered its search facilities to restrict 110 million online users from searching for information on Tibetan independence or the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

In order to operate from China, we have removed some content from the search results available on Google.cn, in response to local law, regulation or policy,” Google Statement

I’m sure they know they were going to be criticized over this but the company’s motivation is partly a need to restore its declining market share in China and partly a hope that providing a restricted service will help to unleash information in the country in the future.

The Statement:

“Like many other well-known organizations, we face cyber attacks of varying degrees on a regular basis. In mid-December, we detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google. However, it soon became clear that what at first appeared to be solely a security incident–albeit a significant one–was something quite different.

First, this attack was not just on Google. As part of our investigation we have discovered that at least twenty other large companies from a wide range of businesses–including the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors–have been similarly targeted. We are currently in the process of notifying those companies, and we are also working with the relevant U.S. authorities.

Second, we have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. Based on our investigation to date we believe their attack did not achieve that objective. Only two Gmail accounts appear to have been accessed, and that activity was limited to account information (such as the date the account was created) and subject line, rather than the content of emails themselves.

Third, as part of this investigation but independent of the attack on Google, we have discovered that the accounts of dozens of U.S.-, China- and Europe-based Gmail users who are advocates of human rights in China appear to have been routinely accessed by third parties. These accounts have not been accessed through any security breach at Google, but most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on the users’ computers.

We have already used information gained from this attack to make infrastructure and architectural improvements that enhance security for Google and for our users. In terms of individual users, we would advise people to deploy reputable anti-virus and anti-spyware programs on their computers, to install patches for their operating systems and to update their web browsers. Always be cautious when clicking on links appearing in instant messages and emails, or when asked to share personal information like passwords online. You can read more here about our cyber-security recommendations. People wanting to learn more about these kinds of attacks can read this U.S. government report (PDF), Nart Villeneuve’s blog andthis presentation on the GhostNet spying incident.

We have taken the unusual step of sharing information about these attacks with a broad audience not just because of the security and human rights implications of what we have unearthed, but also because this information goes to the heart of a much bigger global debate about freedom of speech. In the last two decades, China’s economic reform programs and its citizens’ entrepreneurial flair have lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese people out of poverty. Indeed, this great nation is at the heart of much economic progress and development in the world today.

We launched Google.cn in January 2006 in the belief that the benefits of increased access to information for people in China and a more open Internet outweighed our discomfort in agreeing to censor some results. At the time we made clear that “we will carefully monitor conditions in China, including new laws and other restrictions on our services. If we determine that we are unable to achieve the objectives outlined we will not hesitate to reconsider our approach to China.”

These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered–combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web–have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.

The decision to review our business operations in China has been incredibly hard, and we know that it will have potentially far-reaching consequences. We want to make clear that this move was driven by our executives in the United States, without the knowledge or involvement of our employees in China who have worked incredibly hard to make Google.cn the success it is today. We are committed to working responsibly to resolve the very difficult issues raised.”

January 12, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , | 1 Comment

They went to Jail, I wrote a Letter!

So here’s the story, at the UN Climate Summit last month in Copenhagen.  A group of four managed to get into a dinner party where world leaders were dining with the Queen of Denmark and they held up a banner demanding they take action against global warming.  I’m a Greenpeace member, so I while these people went to jail I sent the letter below when the Executive Director Kumi Naidoo reached out and asked its members.

To:
Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
Barack Obama, President of the United States
Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
Faced with the unique opportunity to stop climate change in Copenhagen, world leaders offered instead an historic failure.  In sharp contrast, we and the world’s environment, hunger, and justice groups are mobilizing the largest movement civil society has ever witnessed, to demand a fair, ambitious, legally binding climate treaty.
I stand in solidarity with those who have taken non-violent direct action or committed peaceful acts of civil disobedience to demand climate justice. That includes the four Greenpeace activists who were detained without trial in Denmark for holding up banners at a head of state dinner. I have contributed to their action by supporting Greenpeace — financially, morally, or in my day to day life.  If the response of governments to the threat of climate change is going to be preventive detention of those likely to support or commit acts of civil disobedience, count me among the 15 million people you may need to round up.
I urge you to recognise that civil disobedience to demand action against so grave a threat is an act of community service.
Yours faithfully,
*********

Update:

The four activists have been released.

January 12, 2010 Posted by | Carbon Credits, Clean Energy, Community Economic Development (CED), Government, Great Ideas, Inspiration, Life, Politics, Social Media, Sustainability, War | , , | Leave a comment

The USA now has a Social Innovation Office

It’s now official: Sonal Shah, former head of global development at Google.org, the search-engine company’s philanthropic arm, is head of the new White House Office of Social Innovation.

The Office of Social Innovation is under the  Domestic Policy Council.

It’ll be interesting to see what comes out of here in the coming years…

September 4, 2009 Posted by | Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Inspiration, Life, Social Enterprise, Sustainable Community Development | , , | 2 Comments

20/20 vision for 1 billion by the year 2020

Atomic physicist Joshua Silver invented liquid-filled optical lenses to produce low-cost, adjustable glasses, giving sight to millions without access to an optometrist.

This is an amazing vision for someone to have….

Let me introduce you to the man himself.  His name is Josh Silver and he’s going to delivers his brilliantly simple solution for correcting vision at the lowest cost possible — adjustable, liquid-filled lenses.

More than 30,000 of his lenses have been distributed in 15 countries, and a new model will scale that number up to millions.

http://www.vdw.ox.ac.uk/

September 4, 2009 Posted by | Community Economic Development (CED), Life, Philanthropy, Videos | , , , | Leave a comment

Rare Tiger Dismembered at Zoo

This is shocking to me…. but I know it shouldn’t… its a sign of the times we live in…

It reminds me of a great quote:

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.

Mahatma Gandhi

rare-sumatran-tiger-killed photo

Photo via My Opera

Well, it might be, but this is pretty despicable, too: just over 5 years ago, the Zoological Society of London had used this particular tiger to help train Indonesian veterinarians and zoologists. And one of those very veterinarians may be responsible for killing it, skinning it, dismembering it, and putting it up for sale on the black market.

According to Bloomberg:

The female Sumatran tiger, which ZSL used in 2003 to train Indonesians in veterinary care, was drugged and skinned at a zoo in Sumatra … The body parts were likely sold on the black market as there is “high demand for their use in Chinese medicine,” the London zoo said.

And while police are currently investigating a veterinarian and 5 workers at the zoo where the tiger was killed, the entire tragic episode points to the fact that the illegal trade in “wildlife parts” should see tougher enforcement, according to the Zoological Society of London. From Bloomberg:

September 4, 2009 Posted by | Earth, Economics, Education, Life, Quotes | , , , | Leave a comment

Sustainable Living
Leadership Program

Live • Learn • Lead

Experience the Fraser River
“The World’s Greatest Salmon River”

August 6th to 30th, 2009

Follow this year’s trip down the Fraser on Granville Online.

Journey by canoe, raft and on foot 1,400 km down the Fraser River from Mount Robson to the Pacific Ocean. Participants take in breathtaking scenery along the way, from ancient rainforests to grasslands, sage brush and floodplain.

The program covers key sustainability concepts such as food security, voluntary simplicity, stewardship and green economics. Students learn how to lower their ecological footprint and design a project to take back to their community or stewardship group.

Geared to those interested in fisheries, environmental education, outdoor adventure tourism or project planning, the SLLP includes team building exercises, conflict resolution, communication skills and critical thinking. Camping along the banks of the Fraser, students study the fauna and flora, watersheds, ecosystems, the water cycle, resource management and what a truly sustainable fishery would look like. They meet with the RSBC’s extensive network of First Nation and Non-Native Fraser River community stewards as they pass through their communities.

http://www.youtube.com/user/RIVERSHEDSOCIETY

http://www.rivershed.com/

August 29, 2009 Posted by | Community Economic Development (CED), Creativity, Earth, Life, Sustainability, Videos, Water | , , , , | Leave a comment

The mindset of India (Then & Now)

The Political Mindset of India then:

Roti, Cupra and Makan

Translation: Food, Clothing & Shelter

The Political Mindset of India Now:

Bigili , Sark and pani

Transaltion: Electricity, Roads & Water

August 28, 2009 Posted by | Government, Inspiration, Life, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saving The Bee’s Project

Most of the world’s crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, “man would have only four years of life left”.

“This newly created hive of bees was overwhelmed by a wasp attack … every single bee was killed … all the eggs and larvae were eaten … all the honey was stolen by the wasps … I found a large pile of dead bees on the mesh floor … no living bees in the hive at all … hundreds of bee-wings scattered … I could see legs, heads, thoraxes by the hundreds … I didn’t realize that wasps physically dismember bees, biting off wings, legs and heads … possibly they do this to carry away the bees’ abdomens, which they may use to feed their own larvae … I made six new wasp traps today and placed them around the hives … there were dozens of wasps inside the traps within 15 minutes … so the local wasp population evidently is really high this year …”

The predatory nature of wasps actually helps balance things in certain ecological systems.  Their action against harmful caterpillars, for example, can be useful in the Sierra foothills in California.

But more than half of fruit and vegetable crops may be pollinated by honey bees. They are honored by many entomologists, in fact, as among the most beneficial of insect species – and that’s before they produce 200 million pounds of honey annually.

Wasps are not the only threat to bees. The so called Colony collapse disorder (CCD), is a relatively new phenomenon, which causes whole colonies of bees to disappear. CCD is believed to pose a serious threat to pollination in the future and stresses why we have to protect bees.

When wasps raid beehives, it never goes well for the bees. They’re no match for the larger, more powerful wasps. A single attack normally takes out an entire hive, as is described in the August 2008 account excerpted above, from California.

The significance of the design name “6.40mm,” then becomes quickly evident. The girth of the average bee is only 6.40 millimeters, a third of what a wasp’s may be. And by creating cell-shaped holes big enough for bees to enter a modern hive, but too small for wasps to follow them in, a group of designers from Seoul and Hong Kong believe they are able to make an effective intervention in this cycle of destruction.

“The new beehive we designed is totally similar to others at first glance,” the team writes in its documentation.” But in addition to the smaller hole, the new hive is made of six wooden boards. The top cover contains a steel piece to hold the body of the box together. The bottom has two legs for air flow. An instruction manual is engraved on the interior. And the “queen excluder” – which keeps the queen bee safely in the “brood chamber” – is positioned under the storage area for honey.

“Through a little change of thinking,” the team writes, “we can change big.”

no bee’s no pollen,
no pollen no plants,
no plants no animals,
no animals no food.

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Creativity, Great Ideas, Life, Packaging, Products, Sustainability | , , , , | 1 Comment

Transforming the Water Barrel

The practical and durable design of the Hippo Water Roller enables more water to be transported more efficiently than traditional methods.  The Hippo, with it’s large drum capacity of 90 litres / 24 gallons, frees women and children from having to spend a large portion of every day dedicated to collecting water for their households

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Community Economic Development (CED), Creativity, Great Ideas, Life, Not for Profit, Philanthropy, Photography, Products, Sustainability, Sustainable Community Development, Water | , | Leave a comment