March 25, 2013

FIREFOX TO CEASE PRODUCTION OF THEIR BROWSER: Or at least they should, if they actually believe that the environment is so bad, and/or the world’s energy prospects are so grim that they must encourage their users to celebrate “Earth Hour.”

Fortunately, Viacom provided a modicum of comic relief at the end of the grim, anti-progress hour with this promotional stunt, promoting their next Star Trek movie:

We’ve seen LED quadrotor displays before, and there’s no denying that lighting up the night sky with small flying machines has enormous potential.

Ars Electronica Futurelab, the same outfit that illuminated the skies over Linz, Austria, last year, launched 30 quadrotors near London’s Tower Bridge and flew in a formation that any Trekkie would salute.

The 30 LED-equipped AscTec Hummingbird quadcopters from Munich’s Ascending Technologies hovered about 118 feet to 426 feet above Potters Fields Park and formed a Star Trek insignia to coincide with Earth Hour.

The batteries that powered the micro UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) were charged on the Austrian renewable energy grid, according to event sponsor Paramount Pictures.

To mark Earth Hour, the LEDs went dim along with the lights on Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament, and the London Eye, then winked on 60 minutes later [forming the shape of the famous Enterprise arrowhead-shaped shirt logo].

Or as someone Tweeted on Saturday, “Earth Hour, when we switch off all the electric things to save the earth (except laptops, routers, & data centres so we can tweet during it).”

Similarly, Wells Fargo bank promotes Earth Hour — but curiously, they keep the electricity still flowing to the alarm systems in their branches during the hour.

In contrast, Tim Blair’s readers prefer a more diversified response.