JimPinto.com - Connections for Growth & Success™
No. 13 : August 21, 2000


  • Legalized Human Embryo Cloning
  • Wearable Computers
  • The Wireless Web
  • Rapidly Changing Face of Computing
  • Glen Harvey's ISA Productivity Dialog
  • eFeedback

Britain urged to OK Human Embryo Cloning

This year, it was announced that a map of the Human Genome had been completed. However, this incredible feat of science and super-computing means little by itself - only about 3% of the 3-billion letters that make up our DNA code actually form the genes that give us life. Determining where the critical genes are buried, what they do and how they do it will lead to a medical and scientific revolution that is vastly different, yet even more significant than all the advances in computing and communications. A wealth of new discoveries and drugs will result. But beyond that, the new BioTech century will raise social ethical questions in totally different dimensions. Here is just one example - not a direct result of Genomics, but important nevertheless.

The British government on Wednesday accepted a recommendation to allow the cloning of human embryos for medical research. Britain's chief medical officer recommended allowing "therapeutic cloning" of human embryos to produce "master" cells that generate new tissues for transplant. These master cells, called embryonic stem cells in a human embryo, can develop into virtually any tissue, including muscle, bone, nerves, and blood. Scientists hope they can learn how to instruct those stem cells to develop liver tissue, neurons in case of Parkinson's patients, skin tissue, and more. Current law prohibits scientists from creating the embryos by cloning. However, the final approval will be a free vote that does not force legislators to cast their ballots along party lines. If approved, Britain would become the first in the world to allow the cloning of human embryos.

Click Read the story in The Washington Post

Click Britain has granted 4 patents on embryo-cloning

You can read about these technologies in The Biotech Century - Harnessing the Gene & Remaking the World By : Jeremy Rifkin.

The BioTech Century Follow this URL to find reviews and perhaps buy the book online

Wearable Computers

What you wear is no longer just about how you look, but how you interact. Dressing smartly has an entirely new meaning. Wearable computers are creeping into the mainstream and will be necessary for those wanting to remain competitive. Take a look at the futuristic devices that will one day be as common as the cell phone.

Click Take a look at the Wearable Computers story

The Wireless Web - mCommerce

There have been a lot of forecasts of explosive growth of wireless internet access. When I'm moving around, my Palm V PDA is connected to the web via an Omnisky modem, which allows me to check my email (not the attachments) and respond immediately, check the news headlines, the stock market, and even get directions to the address where I am heading. Yes, but am I just a techophobe? How many people will really want to move around with an internet connection in their pocket?

According to IDC, 47.1 million mCommerce (Mobile eCommerce) subscribers will generate $37.6 b in mCommerce revenues in Europe in 2004. In that same timeframe, the U.S. will have 29 million mCommerce subscribers doing business worth $20.8 b. In fact, IDC forecasts that within two years, the number of Internet-capable pocket devices will exceed the number of land-line connected Internet devices

Click Read IDC's The Future of Mobile Commerce

Click Forrester Research article on mCommerce

Click Look at Gurley's Making Sense of the Wireless Internet

Ford and Qualcomm have just announced that they will build the wireless "Wingcast" service into more than a million new cars and trucks by the end of 2002 - and into all of Ford's vehicles during 2004! GM expects to extend its OnStar service into 1 million cars by the end of this year.

Click Read the Ford & Qualcomm story

An insurance company in Texas is now offering to install a "black box" called "Autograph," which contains a GPS receiver and a mobile phone which monitors, and records, when, where, and how fast you drive. Periodically, this will zap the information it's been collecting, to help the insurance company analyze your driving habits and alter your monthly bill based on your actual, rather than your statistically possible, risk. They estimate that this may save you between 25% and 50% off your premium. Of course, pretty soon your cell phone will also be providing similar tracking of your movements.

Click Read : Drive Safely, Pay Less

Which brings me to RCFoC, where this kind of advanced technical news is discussed every week.

Rapidly Changing Face of Computing

Written by Jeffrey R. Harrow of Compaq, Rapidly Changing Face of Computing is a weekly technology journal providing insight, analysis and commentary on contemporary computing and the technologies that drive them. You can read it as an email, listen to it as a real-audio broadcast on the web (spoken by Jeff Harrow himself), have it downloaded to your PDA, or just be notified via email, so that you can read it or listen to it when you're ready. RCFoC has quickly become a weekly MUST for me! I started by reading my email, but quickly switched to listening - takes about a half-hour. Lots of stimulating and thought-provoking ideas and commentary!

Click Read RCFoC on the Web

Click Or subscribe on the web

Or, subscribe (free!) by sending an e-mail with a BLANK subject line.
In the BODY of the message (on a single line), enter:
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ISA - Productivity Dialog

Glen Harvey, formerly Executive Director of ISA, now doing valuable consulting for ISA in the productivity arena, writes:
    "If Your Career Path or Net Worth is tied to a Small Instrument Company - You Lose!"

    After a visit to a hundred or more key people in the instrumentation business in the past year, Glen says, "Sorry to be so blunt, but here is what they're saying out there:

    • Cost is king, and even the biggest competitors are losing money.
    • Software is queen - namely, a close second.
    • No one will give me 10 minutes anymore to describe my product's features.
    • Companies want fewer vendors, not more.
    • Solutions, solutions, solutions - no one has money to buy instruments, but they can buy productivity improvement.
    • Our customers laid off their process experts and expect us to do their engineering.
    • It can take over a year and mega-bucks to get a product approved either for hazardous applications or for export.
    • Our instrument bid was 10% of the control package, but the customer asked us to buy and integrate the other 90%.

    This is the harsh environment for small instrument companies. Many niche vendors have become hanging-by-the-fingernail businesses."

Few people in the industrial automation business are outspoken about the sea-changes that are occurring.

Click Take a look at Glen Harvey's regular insightful commentary


Anthony Kerstens, Zarpac Inc. in Ontario, Canada e-wrote about Nanotechnology and DNA manipulation:
    "The idea of being able to modify DNA is a little frightening, especially considering that, being human and a programmer, I know how easy it is to slip a digit or edit the wrong register value. I'm more comfortable with the technology being used to make miniature Babbage machines. That would be way cool."

Colin Kerr from the UK brought up this unconfirmed news:

    "Qualified source has confirmed that Endress & Hauser have purchased Honeywell's field transmitter division within the last few days. Check out your contact states side to confirm."
Does anyone have direct news? Or, shall we wait for a press-release?

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