Photography from the deep past

The most recent Long Now Seminar in San Francisco sounds like it was brilliant. Frans Lanting set out to take photographs of places where the conditions resemble those from key moments in the distant past of the evolution of planet Earth.

From Stewart’s email summary:

On a live volcano in Hawaii he found the naked planet of 4.3 billion years ago — — molten rock flowing, zero life. “Your boots melt. You smell early Earth.” On the western coast of Australia he shot a rare surviving living reef of stromatolites, made of the cyanobacteria who three billion years ago transformed the Earth by filling the atmosphere with oxygen. Lanting took pains to photograph without blue sky in the background, because the sky was not blue until the cyanobacteria had generated a planet’s worth of oxygen.

The photos are absolutely stunning. You can find them here.

Instruction manuals — pah!

Nokia 6300

So I’ve got a new phone with which I am very pleased. It’s a Nokia 6300 and looks and feels lovely. Nice stainless steel covers, bright screen, easy to use menu system. No complaints at all so far.

The interesting thing for me has been how I’ve been getting it to work better than any phone I’ve had before by connecting it to my mac with bluetooth. It didn’t work at all to start with but a little hack from Koos Kaspers managed to get iSync to work. And then when I couldn’t get iCal synchronisation to happen another bit of advice from SwimGeek did the job.

The opening bid

For the slightly geeky machinery of government people out there, this is really interesting. David Wilcox and friends have decided to do an open source bid for a tender announced by the Office of the Third Sector for an Innovation Exchange.

I’ve long thought that government tendering processes were one of the big barriers to change in the public sector. My feeling was that change needed to happen on the government side of the equation but maybe I was wrong…