The things you can do and learn online for General Paper (and Project Work).

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Cycling safety statistics

Cycling Oxford

Since I moved to Sydney, I’ve basically stopped cycling, barring a few rides, and only one of those on a road bike.

I found the following statistics and posted them on Facebook, but I thought maybe some of you might want to have a look and do some analysis of the figures as well. What do the figures mean? Which city/state/country is the safest?

London: Population 8M, 407 cyclist deaths and serious injuries 1st 9 months of 2011

Singapore: Population 5M, 500 cyclist casualties (including 15 fatalities) in 2011

NSW: Population 7M, 52 fatal pedestrian crashes, no separate category for cyclists among vehicles (?) at

Australia: 22M, 26 to 46 cyclist deaths per year, 2000 to 2005. “More meaningful Australian data on cycling crashes is difficult to access due the lack of exposure data for cycling, differences in police and hospital data records, lack of data retained by road traffic authorities and the fact that many cycling accidents occur off-road”

The Story of Electronics


Social Media

Take these statistics with a pinch of salt – It’d be good to track down the sources at and evaluate their reliability, if you can find them…

Fact of the day

Boil your kettle 17½ times to generate as much greenhouse gases as you would by sending one e-mail attachment of 4.7MB

– Matthew Yeager, person in charge of data storage for Computacenter, Europe’s largest IT infrastructure company, via the BBC

Statistic of the day

94% of all commerce depends on two types of engine — the turbine engine and the diesel engine.

John Hofmeister
Founder and CEO Citizens for Affordable Energy and
Former President of Shell Oil
in an interview on BBC GlobalNews


Emerging City Innovation

Did You Know 4.0 – Shift Happens

Obama reverses Bush policy on stem cell science

The Prado Museum’s Masterpieces in ultra high resolution

Experience some of the most important Masterpieces from the Prado Museum. In the next two weeks, you will be able to access a new painting every day on Google Maps.
To see them all together in full screen, use Google Earth.

Quote of the day

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

– Arthur C. Clarke, British science fiction writer, inventor and futurist

For more quotes from Arther C. Clarke, go to this page on

Facts from the UN’s HDR 2007/2008

The following are ‘Global Political, Economic, and Social Facts’ extracted from the UN’s Human Development Report 2007/2008 by the Infoplease website.

  • In the last two decades, political and civil rights have improved substantially throughout the world: since 1980, 81 countries have taken significant steps in democratization, with 33 military regimes replaced by civilian governments. But of these fledgling democracies, only 47 are considered full democracies today.
  • Only 82 countries, representing 57% of the world’s population, are fully democratic.
  • Multiparty elections are now held in 140 of the world’s 193 countries.
  • Coups overthrew 46 elected governments in the second half of the twentieth century.
  • The proportion of the world’s extremely poor fell from 29% in 1990 to 23% in 1999.
  • In 1999, 2.8 billion people lived on less than $2 a day, with 1.2 billion of them surviving on the margins of subsistence with less than $1 a day.
  • In 2000, 1.1 billion people lacked access to safe water, and 2.4 billion did not have access to any form of improved sanitation services.
  • Between 1970 and 2000 the under-5 mortality rate worldwide fell from 96 to 56 per 1,000 live births.
  • Just 125 countries, with 62% of the world’s population, have a free or partly free press.
  • In 2001, 37 journalists died in the line of duty. Another 118 were imprisoned. Worldwide, more than 600 journalists or their news organizations were intimidated or physically attacked.
  • In 103 countries the proportion of women in parliament increased between 1995 and 2000, but around the world it still averages just 14%.
  • Of the world’s estimated 854 million illiterate adults, 544 million are women.
  • Armed conflict continues to blight the lives of millions: since 1990, 3.6 million people have died as a result of civil wars and ethnic violence, more than 16 times the number killed in wars between states.
  • Civilians have accounted for more than 90% of the casualties—either injured or killed—in post-cold war conflicts.
  • Ninety countries are affected by landmines and unexploded ordinance, with rough estimates of 15,000 to 20,000 mine victims each year.
  • Greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are accruing at a record rate. In 2007, there were 380 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which exceeds the natural range of the past 650,000 years.
  • The United States has a carbon footprint five times that of China, and over 15 times that of India.
  • The 23 million residents of the US state of Texas emit more carbon dioxide than the entire population of sub-Saharan Africa, which is 720 million people.

What is the significance of each of these facts?

Read the selection of significant events from 1997 to the present here.

Fair Use & Copyright

Intellectual Property laws are among the most complicated ideas out there, or so I remember hearing the Chief Technology Officer for Linden Lab telling us in the audience at NTU last year. So, here’s some comprehensible information every blogger should know? Or worry about?

Copyright Explained: I may copy, right? – Clear and concise, with links to other pages on the site for further information

Copyright, Fair Use, Blogging & Other Items – A third-person account of a blogger’s brush with copyright law

The Fair Use News blog offers news and occasional analysis of court cases, legislation, and incidents affecting the fair use of copyrighted and trademarked information.’

Fair Use Network has a range of informational guides and resources.

The Davos Question 08

‘What one thing do you think countries, companies or individuals must do to make the world a better placed in 2008?’ – on YouTube

Paulo Coelho’s Video Appeal for the Davos Question:

A response from

Find out more and check out the other responses on YouTube. ‘The highest-rated videos will be screened in Davos (January 23-27), where world leaders will watch your videos and make responses of their own.’

One Laptop Per Child

One Laptop Per Child

“It’s an education project, not a laptop project.”

— Nicholas Negroponte, architect and computer scientist, best known as the founder and Chairman Emeritus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab; the founder of The One Laptop per Child association

‘Web 2.0 in under 5 minutes’

Online Survey Services

I’m looking to use an online survey service to collect information on my students.

Wikipedia has an article on online questionnaires

Free services and some of their limitations


  • Limited to 100 responses per survey
  • Maximum 30 questions per survey
  • See survey responses for 10 days
  • Tried to create a survey based on the demographic template but hit a bug while trying to delete a question with skip logic


  • Maximum 18 questions per survey

  • Limited to 100 responses per survey
  • Maximum 10 questions per survey
  • Easy to use
  • Examples provided for each question type

A more extensive discussion on online surveys can be found here.

Notes from research on Innovation: Nokia and Mini

Took a couple of hours to search for stuff on the Web to use in the Innovation and Enterprise course for the IP1 students next week. Here’s what I found:

Did You Know 2.0 YouTube video

This page on the wiki promoted in the above presentation links to other similar presentations.

Comments related to innovation here


The Story of Stuff

This website was made known to me by Mr James Ho.

3 teaser videos:

You can download the whole video (about 20 minutes) to view offline, but you’d lose the interactive features that you get when you view the video on the website itself.

Good Oral Presentation model too, by the way. (But the tone will probably need to be adjusted for a different audience.)

But is it alarmist? Accurate? Reliable? Balanced?

Innovation, Technology and Philanthropy

Heard of the One Laptop Per Child project? And its cool Give a Laptop and Get One idea?

Or World Challenge, an annual global competition that seeks out projects and businesses that not only make a profit, but also put something back into the community.

And the INDEX prize:


Got any more to add?