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
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
Read the story in The Washington Post
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.
Follow this URL to find reviews and perhaps buy the book online
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.
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
Read IDC's The Future of Mobile Commerce
Forrester Research article on mCommerce
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.
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
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!
Read RCFoC on the Web
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:
Subscribe rapidly-changing-face-of-computing YourEmailAddress
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
- 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.
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:
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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