OrchGard – a community digital orchard/garden funded by @natyouthagency

This month, The Environment Now, managed by the National Youth Agency, gave a total of £70,000 worth of funding to green tech projects. They’re all very interesting – check them out – but OrchGard especially caught my eye because it chimes with the growing interest in bringing nature and technology closer together.

Developed by Joshua Dean, OrchGard will be a community digital orchard/garden that will use the latest technology to keep the fully automated orchard as productive as possible. The project will be based at the YMCA Humber in Grimsby.  It aims to increase social cohesion as well as create awareness for the environment through shared medium of digital technologies. No more details as yet but follow  @YMCAHumber for news.

I love this idea and wish it well on its growing journey!

 

Podcast: Find Your Tech-Nature Balance with Sue Thomas, hosted by Lisette Sutherland

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST  ‘Find Your Tech-Nature Balance’

In May this year, Lisette Sutherland asked to interview me for her website Collaboration Superpowers. Lisette and her colleagues run workshops and offer advice on how to be location independent; how to feel comfortable working from anywhere and, importantly, how to build camaraderie on your remote team. Their podcasts tell the stories of remote teams  and how they work together online.

The people who listen and contribute to this great series of podcasts work in all kinds of situations – home alone, moving around nomadically in different places and countries, or in collaborative workplaces. What they all have in common is the flexibility to design and create their own workspace and lifestyle, and that is where technobiophilia comes in.

When you work online for many hours a day, it’s easy to get stuck sitting indoors at a desk, but it doesn’t have to be like that.   In this podcast, Lisette and I discuss ways to bring your digital life closer to nature, and talk about the practical tips in my new Kindle book ‘Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age’ (which now, by the way, has a new and rather lovely cover photo. I took it myself on a beach in Dorset, close to my home.)

I hope you enjoy our conversation!

Thousands of ‘Second Life’ Bunnies Are Going to Starve to Death This Saturday – Waypoint

Here’s a grim little curiosity for you; a story about what can happen at the intersection of DRM and virtual pets, straight from the reaches of Second Life.

One of the biggest markets in this unfairly sensationalized virtual world is in so-called “breedables.” These scripted, modeled and animated objects take countless forms—from cats to chickens to dragons to shoes to flowers— with the general premise being that someone buys them blindly (usually in egg or nest form) with certain odds of getting rare versus common varieties.

As their name might imply, breedables can be raised and “bred” with each other, which created a thriving niche of individuals breeding their virtual pets for resale. Beyond that, the features vary from brand to brand. Some breedables can play with toys and interact with their owners, some produce items as part of larger systems, some are more or less just decoration. Most need to eat, as a way to ensure their creators still get a cut of the action while their original product propagates without them. Most need to communicate regularly (if not constantly) with a database, to prevent any tampering.

Maybe you can see where this is going.

Read the whole sorry saga at  Thousands of ‘Second Life’ Bunnies Are Going to Starve to Death This Saturday – Waypoint

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