March 4, 2009

Bionic eye helps U.K. man see

Per BBC, a 73-year-old man who has been blind for 30 years can now see with the help of a bionic eye. The eye, known as the Argus II, was implanted through an experimental surgery seven months ago at London’s Moorfield’s eye hospital. The technology has made it possible for the man to see flashes of light, enabling him to see lines on a road and even sort socks.

The bionic eye was developed by U.S. company Second Sight and uses wireless technology to send captured images to the retina, which are ultimately processed by the brain. Currently, 18 patients across the world have been fitted with the Argus II, according to the article.

Both Brits and Americans tweeted about the story:

microedge (Liverpool, U.K.): Bionic eye gives blind man sight. Now this is what technology should be used for!

dslatter (Dallas, Texas): This is so awesome what technology can do today to change peoples lives- 'Bionic eye gives blind man sight'

britesprite (U.K.): Excited yet concerned about bionic eye:

Some more humorous tweets:

ThinkTone (Redmond, Wash.): Bionic eye. Very interesting and cool. Needs live internet connection as well so he can see his tweets.

modernemama (Huntington, N.Y.): Bionic eye allows blind husband to sort washing. And for the rest of us?


Arrest warrant issued for Sudan's president

Per the Sudan Tribune, Laurence Blairon, spokesperson for the International Criminal Court (ICC), announced today that Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir would be formally charged on war crimes in Darfur, but not genocide.

A warrant was issued for President Bahsir on "seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur."

These are some of the first Twitter responses to the announcement.

@binmugahid (Sudan) ICS presses official charges against the president of Sudan. Our responce as Sudanese. YOU WANT OUR PRESIDENT.... COME AND GET HIM.

@ suren_g (Shanghai, China) Whoa. ICC nails Sudanese President for war crimes. A good day for all those refugees who fled the violence

@goldlis (San Antonio, Texas) Why water down the indictment...why can't it give the full punch against genocide?

@21lara(Singapore) Sudanese president issued with warrant. Late, but never too late.

The ICC trial had been on Sudanese minds in recent days.

@MagicalMalik (Khartoum, Sudan): No school thurs due to the fact ICC will announce their decision about whether or not Sudan's pres will be charged for genocide.

@miraclessudan (Sudan): I really need a hug today! worried about disision of ICC on Omer Al-Bashir tomorow, wish to give everyone in Sudan a hug 4 peace

The blog Save Darfur has posted updates in light of the news.

UPDATE: Sudanese president rejects ICC arrest warrant. Read more here.


A day in Brisbane

While half the world was still asleep, there was breaking news of a bomb alert at a shopping mall in the Australian city of Brisbane on Wednesday, March 4.

Aussie Twitter news feeds followed developments in that story, while Brisbane Twitter users also spent their evening eating dinner, taking pictures, complaining about train schedules, musing on nightclubs, laughing at lizards and preparing to set their clocks back an hour for daylight savings:

@abcnews Bomb threat at shopping centre north of Brisbane: Queensland Police have cordoned off a shopping centre just nor..

@612brisbane (Brisbane, Australia) Morayfield explosives eyewitness Louise says owners of cars abandoned at the shopping centre have been told it's okay to go back to collect

@cmail_qld (Brisbane, Australia) Four-car crash on freeway: TRAFFIC problems threaten peak hour Brisbane commuters because of a four-vehicle traf..

@andyley (Brisbane, Australia) In Brisbane about to go to the Melbourne hotel for some beer and steak... Yummo

@kaceeey (Gold Coast, Australia) wondering if it's labour or liberal trying to enforce daylight savings in brisbane. I'll be voting against in this coming election.

@gazboomer (Brisbane, Australia) Brisbane trains are hopeless - major delays at 8am this morning southbound at Roma street - remember Mussolini!

@Michael_Sheil (Brisbane, Australia) Just heard an Ad on B105 radio for the Squeeze Club, Alex Hills Hotel. It advertised that it was Brisbane's best Nightclub! How wrong!

@condamns (Brisbane, Australia) there's a gecko somewhere in my kitchen, its driving my cat crazy lol

@dannybrkic (Queensland, Australia) Having dinner with Mark & Kate at a nice little a Italian place called Avanti

@ohhearts (Brisbane, Australia) today I haven eaten: chocolate and a glass of milk for breakfast, 2 donuts, and a massive banana milkshake. Wow, how do I be so healthy?

@dale__wood (Australia) - Absolutely gaping at sunset over Brisbane Water, pic is only a sampling of how great it is..

And here is @dale__wood's picture:


Kindle application launched for iPhone

Per Mashable, "Proving that Kindle is just a part of a larger digital e-book delivery plan, Amazon has launched a Kindle application for the iPhone and iPod Touch."

The news broke just a few hours ago, and it quickly jumped to the No. 1 trend on Twitter. There have been more than 1,500 Kindle tweets in the last three hours.

Here's some of the initial reaction from the Twitterverse, mostly from those on the West coast of the U.S. due to the time.

@Jesse (Salt Lake City, Utah): Sending e-mails to my publishers right now to get my books Kindle-formatted. This is game-changing.

@murraystokely (San Francisco, Calif.): Impressed with new Kindle for iPhone web app. Syncs all of my books and keeps track of my place for those sad times when I'm sans Kindle2.

@loic (San Francisco, Calif.): Amazed to follow the Kindle on iphone release buzz on Twitter

@jschuur (Santa Ana, Calif.): The downside to un-following a bunch of people on twitter is that it takes TWO WHOLE HOURS to find out about Amazon Kindle for the iPhone.

@DeadAlive55 (Seattle, Wash.): Just downloaded Kindle for iPhone...all I can say is sweet!

But not all were happy with the news.

@DTraub (Plochingen, Baden-Wuerttemberg): Kindle for iPhone not available for German customers :-(

@MarcPJW (London, U.K.): I see amazon released kindle app for iPhone. You guessed it U.S. only! /-:<

@hereandthere (Auckland, New Zealand): Grrr - geographical restrictions on iPhone kindle app, might try a few other things!


China increases military spending

Per the China Daily, "China plans to increase its defense budget by 14.9 percent in 2009, a parliament spokesman said in Beijing on Wednesday."

The Twitterverse was relatively quiet about the news, with only a few scattered tweets referring to it as of this post.

One man currently living in Beijing, originally from the United Kingdom per his blog, tweeted out the development.

@dlmarr (Beijing): China says it will increase military spending by a "modest" 14.9% this year to 480.6bn yuan ($70.2bn; £50bn).

A Daily Telegraph correspondent in Beijing had a few questions as the news was announced.

@RichardJSpencer (Beijing): Why does the NPC press conference reveal the Chinese military budget every year but not the total budget?

@RichardJSpencer (Beijing): Why do I always think these press conferences might be interesting even after so many of them?

News of the budget increase came shortly after China handed control of its space station project over to its military.

@brettkopf (East Lansing, Mich.): China send military to space. Scary?


Featured TwitPic: Flying dolphin in Japan

"Dolphins have terrifying powers." Taken at the Churami Aquarium in Motobu-cho, Okinawa, Japan. (Posted by @ontheborderland, Okinawa, Japan, March 4, 2009)