Week 10: thoughts on air travel

This week was more reading from my ever growing reference list. I’ve now organized my list of possible things to read by sections since it was getting pretty cluttered. It comes at the end of my Related Work chapter. I’m finding that a LaTeX document isn’t the greatest place to collect links, but it’s workable.

I came across this somewhat depressing article on how green consumers tend to be major carbon emitters. People who were most environmentally conscious (recycling, reducing car usage, etc) were also the one’s most likely to take long airplane flights, which wipes out any savings made in the home. I have to track down the actual paper, but it sounds like the environmentally conscious folks were the wealthiest, thus giving them the ability to take long flights. I hope that having a unified interface such as the one proposed in PET would help people to see the whole picture of their environmental impact.

If airplane flights really are the dominating factor in carbon emissions for most middle-class people, then that has a particularly nasty impact for Hawaii residents, since we live 2000 miles away from almost everything. Other than flights to neighbor islands, all flights are long flights and there is no practical alternative to flying. However, if flights are the biggest problem, then that could provide renewed focus on ways to avoid air travel. While it’s hard to imagine a realistic IT-based alternative for vacations, advances in telepresence could conceiveably make flying away for business meetings unnecessary.

My love affair with BibDesk continues. This past week I discovered the web import functionality. BibDesk provides an embedded WebKit browser that you can use to search a website like the ACM Portal for papers. When you find one that you are interested in, BibDesk can import the bibliographic data with one click. Nice.

Per discussion with Philip, need to read 3 papers a week to stay on target for literature review. At the end of the semester, I’m going to take a snapshot of the literature review chapter and turn that into a separate tech report that I’ll turn in as the document for ICS 699 and as a portion of my research portfolio.

Planned items from last week:

  • Read 4 new papers from literature review list
    • [NOT DONE] Learning Transportation Mode from Raw GPS Data for Geographic Applications on the Web
    • [DONE] Energy efficiency: rebounding to a sound analytical perspective
    • [NOT DONE] New Ways to Promote Proenvironmental Behavior: Expanding and Evaluating Motives for Environmentally Responsible Behavior
    • [NOT DONE] A Definition of ‘Carbon Footprint’
  • [NOT DONE] Add more sensors to list
  • Write up notes from papers read during PET paper lit review
    • [DONE] EcoIsland: A System For Persuading Users To Reduce CO2 Emissions
    • [DONE] Taking the Guesswork out of Environmentally Sustainable Lifestyles

Other accomplishments this week:

  • Emailed author of Understanding Mobility Based On GPS Data

Hours worked: 12 (target: 15 hr)

Plans for coming week:

  • Read 3 new papers from literature review list
    • Learning Transportation Mode from Raw GPS Data for Geographic Applications on the Web
    • New Ways to Promote Proenvironmental Behavior: Expanding and Evaluating Motives for Environmentally Responsible Behavior
    • A Definition of ‘Carbon Footprint’
  • Check out Dopplr’s carbon tracking for travel
  • Write up notes from papers read during PET paper lit review
    • Motivating Environmentally Sustainable Behavior Changes with a Virtual Polar Bear
  • Start list of carbon footprint calculators, shown in table form in proposal document

Pointers to work products:

Cool links:

  • Checks are now (apparently) the most dangerous way to give someone money. Every check has both the bank routing number and your account number, and with that information a criminal can pull money out of your bank account with far fewer protections than if they were stealing your credit card number.
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