JimPinto.com - Connections for Growth & Success
No. 110 : January 31, 2003
Keeping an eye on technology futures.
Business commentary - no hidden agendas.
New attitudes, no platitudes.
- War - the spectrum of opinion
- Internet security 2003 - look for viruses, spams and scams
- Future vision - A day at the office in 2013
- Recession clears out competitors
- Weblogs: The virtual soapbox
- War - how do you stop a bully?
- Dick Morley on technology trends
- Cloning and the progress of society
War - the spectrum of opinion
My editorial comments: World conscience awakens brought a flurry
of feedback - from all segments of the spectrum. Some wondered why
I would want to mix my automation news and technology-trends with
political commentary. To those I respond: I cannot "fiddle while
Rome is burning". I would feel I was asleep if I was commenting
about mergers and marketing, without voicing my own concern about
real-time, important events. Hey! If you don't want to read my
comments, simply scroll down to the next item.....
Some people protested that I was a 'bleeding liberal'. They felt
that the anti-war demonstrators were not the 'world conscience'
but only rabble-rousers and America-haters. Actually, I researched
the mix: sure, there were many troublemakers; but the overwhelming
majority was everyday people, just like you and I. And there were
many who were vocal on the point that Saddam Hussein should be
removed, but by other means than war.
Others echoed with my fears that the Iraqi conflict would escalate
into a worldwide conflagration and an even more rampant terrorist
backlash. And yet others (many from other countries) were surprised
that there was a 'pacifist' side to the American culture.
Let me share these thoughts with you:
I find it interesting that many of us instantly fall (place ourselves)
into a specific segment. The far right instantly brings up comparisons
of Saddam with Hitler and Pol Pot, and demands to know why anyone
would wish to allow their brutal regimes to remain in power. Dissent
is labeled as un-patriotic and naive.
At the other extreme are the anti-war advocates - a flashback to
the '60's! I must point out that I am not a pacifist; I do indeed
recognize that force is sometimes necessary to remove brutal
dictatorships. One hopes that the world community, though the UN,
will act quickly and sensibly.
In an unstable world, America is clearly the strongest world power.
If we go to war unilaterally, many will perceive us as a bully, with
just support of a few 'allies' who fall in line to gain the bully's
brownie points. Our power must be used wisely.
There were too many responses for me to even try to summarize here.
But, I have responded to each message individually, with appreciation
that each point of view made me reflect on my own position, and
change it - even if ever so slightly.
I ask you to think about this: How do you make up your mind? And,
do you sometimes CHANGE your mind? How does change happen? Are you
thinking for yourself? Or, are you simply too busy to think about
these things? So then, who does your thinking for you?
For me, these are though-currents facilitated by email and the
Internet, strengthening the winds of change, perhaps sowing the
seeds of solutions that may quell the gathering storm.
War on Iraq - the gathering storm
Transition to a very different future
Uneasy Thanksgiving in a precarious world
Internet security 2003
2003 is just a month old and already there has been yet another major
virus-attack (the SQL virus) that shut down a lot of major banking and
business systems worldwide. Security administrators have to stave off
a continuous stream of virus threats such as the Sobig worm, the Lirva
worm, and remnants of the Yaha virus. Malicious code attacks are
expected to run rampant in 2003, with the problem getting ever worse.
Some viruses have staying power: the Klez virus began in April 2002
and is still causing trouble. It has easily topped the charts as the
number one virus of the past year. New versions are still emerging,
trying to outsmart antivirus software.
One in every 200 e-mails sent last year contained a computer virus,
and one in 3 e-mails was unsolicited spam. The most worrying trend
is spam e-mails combined with viruses, making spam more difficult
to detect and more dangerous.
The virus-to-e-mail ratio is growing worse, mainly because many users
don't keep their security up to date. Popular viruses include copying
your e-mail address as the "sender" and deleting installed desktop
And there are scam-spams, like the by-now well-known Nigerian scam
that has spread to all parts of the world. A senior Nigerian
"official" asks your help to transfer millions of dollars. Nigerian
scam operations employ thousands of people, and will gross over
$2b in 2003.
These software and email vulnerabilities will force ever-greater
counter measures in coming years. On a personal level, my suggestion
is to stick with the major anti-virus software standards: Norton or
MacAfee. Get regular upgrades and automatic daily updates to assure
that you are as well protected as possible. And hey! Don't mess with
Security predictions 2003: Future not so bright
Spam, and blended spam/virus are top e-mail dangers
A day at the office in 2013
Here is a vision of your day at the office a decade from now - 2013.
(summarized from the article by Dan Farber, ZDNET link below).
It's 7:00 am and you park your car in the company garage. An embedded
sensor confirms that you have arrived and are parked in your assigned
spot. As you reach the lobby, the door opens automatically as your
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag and facial patterns are
You move to the cafeteria to get your coffee - the coffee maker knows
your preferences (again from your RFID) and starts making your special
blend. The fee for the coffee is automatically charged to your
account. As you walk to your office, you scan your wrist-PDA for your
latest messages - sensors in your eyeglasses allow scrolling without
pushing any buttons.
The door to your office opens on your voice command. Your office has
large, wall-mounted displays; one recognizes you and brings up your
portal, showing the latest business intelligence, task lists, and
calendar for the day. Your hardware and software configuration has
already been checked for synchronization and vulnerabilities against
the latest viruses.
You review a report that shows your performance against budget for
various activities. You are also informed that in the last 30 days
you spent 6% of your time browsing non-authorized Web locations,
23% in videoconferences, 1.3% in the lavatory, and 6% in the
cafeteria. Your budget is metered by the minute.
You are reminded that the spam-removal system has removed 42.3 GB
of spam from your inbox, but that 23 messages are still in an
auto-deletion holding pattern, awaiting your review. You have also
broken security policy by taking 11 classified documents from your
office to your home. All of this is communicated to your manager.
You then click into a videoconference with your team, scattered
around the globe, to get a status report on your most important
projects. You click into a hard day's work....
In a similar vein, you might like to visit "Cooltown" -
Hewlett-Packard Lab's vision of a technology future where everyone
and everything is connected to the Web through wired or wireless
links. Humans are mobile, appliances are connected, services are
everywhere and everything has a Web page.
In Cooltown, technology transforms human experience from consumer
lifestyles to business processes that enable mobility. Cooltown is
infused with the energy of the online world. Web-based appliances
and e-services give you everything you need when and where you need
it - for work, play, life.
Cooltown is a responsive world of mobile services with clear,
creative thinking about technology. This gives insight into the
future of mobility, how technology will be used to transform
business and stimulate opportunities.
BBC News - Digital Lifestyle on Display
A day at the office in 2013
Recession clears out competitors
If you're a Marketing maven and have not read Geoffrey Moore's
books, then go read - I mean NOW!
Moore's "chasm" theory describes how high-tech products initially sell
well, mainly to visionaries and early adopters, but then hit a lull as
they try to cross the chasm to mainstream buyers. Moore describes how
to move slowly through the gulf, by focusing on specific segments of
the market rather than trying to waste time and money by jumping right
into the mainstream. This updated edition of the 1991 classic is a
MUST-READ for all Marketing people.
In a recent RedHerring article (summarized here), Geoffrey Moore
points out the good things about a downturn:
Companies that are surviving have redefined themselves to provide
specific answers customer problems. Even well established Agilent
Technologies (previously the non-computer part of Hewlett-Packard)
has refocused its business. Instead of emphasizing fancy new
optical-networking technologies, it is concentrating on areas where
money can be made: helping telecom companies upgrade their wireless
networks to third-generation wireless technology. It's all about
focus, but the customer's fingers are twisting the lens.
- It teaches us who we really are.
- The actual takes precedence over the possible.
- We find all kinds of opportunities we never saw before.
Downturns also teach us a whole different way to approach competition.
During a boom, many successful companies navigate primarily by
watching their competitors and then heading off their attacks. But
in a downturn, you watch your customers and create value for them.
Consider Cisco Systems. At the height of the boom, for a short time,
its market capitalization topped $600 billion, making it the most
highly valued company in the world. At that time its market cap was
equal to the sum of its top 4 competitors. In 2001, its market cap had
been cut in half, but was equal to the sum of its top 10 competitors.
Today CISCO's market cap has been halved again, but is still equal to
5 times the sum of its top 10 competitors.
All Cisco had to do was let the technology recession clear the field
of competition. Of course, the competition may turn around when the
boom arrives - but that is another story.
So, Moore says, that's the ultimate lesson of a downturn - let your
customer value define your company!
RedHerring: Geoffrey Moore on 'Busting out':
Geoffrey Moore's Book: Crossing the Chasm
Weblogs - the virtual soapbox
Weblogs, or "blogs" are spreading like wildfire across the Internet.
They provide a soapbox on which to sound off on whatever bothers you,
or excites you. Most people agree that these regularly updated online
diaries are having major impact.
"Bloggers" (the people who post blogs), write frequently on specific
topics, logged along with comments from others on those same topics.
Blogs tend to be highly personal, running the gamut from short
musings to complaints and suggestions. Commentary boards on Yahoo
and other places on the web are not quite the same. Weblogs are
reviewed (for appropriate content) by one or more moderators.
Many people think that weblogs caused majority leader Trent Lott
to lose his job. The media largely ignored Lott's remarks at Strom
Thurmond's birthday party. But the weblogs, both liberal and
conservative, talked up the incident and kept it alive.
The JimPinto.com website includes several popular weblogs on
different topics (see Index link below). The weblogs on major
companies are unique to the automation business; traffic has grown
to thousands of page-views per day. These weblogs are read and
updated regularly by lots of people - employees (current, ex- and
prospective), managers, executives, competitors, industry analysts,
recruiters, press people, marketers.
The blogs for some of the companies under fire (Rockwell and Invensys,
for example) tend to be the most active. News about the acquisition of
Rockwell Automation by Eaton is eagerly awaited; perhaps the only
place where you can find the latest updates (from insiders, employees,
distributors, financial analysts) is the JimPinto.com Rockwell weblog.
The Invensys weblog seems to be the best place where employees can
sound off, and that weblog is always one of the most active.
Please note that we do NOT simply log every message that arrives -
content is monitored carefully. Personal comments, pure gossip or
hearsay are excluded. The names of bloggers are not published (to
avoid punitive action) unless specifically authorized. To stop the
weblogs from becoming primarily a complaint channel, we have tried
hard (with judicious editorials) to stimulate positive responses from
motivated employees and managers. Let me encourage more senior people
to take that bold step; I assure you that your employees will
appreciate your message.
I understand from insiders that executives and HR people in all the
major automation companies monitor JimPinto.com weblogs regularly.
If the top people are not reading the blogs, they should!
Blog trend provides virtual soapbox
JimPinto.com weblog index
On the issue of war with Iraq, David E. Rapley [email@example.com]
"Jim, I really enjoy your articles but a recent statement worries me.
'Peace is the natural and sincere wish of every normal man and woman.'
There are hundreds of thousands who don't share our idea of what
constitutes 'normal'. Their avowed intent is the destruction of the
US and our allies. They don't share our values. Their primary wish
is certainly NOT peace on earth.
Regarding technology trends, Dick Morley wrote:
"How do you reason with someone who delights in hurting you?
I remember the school bully who delighted in picking on me. No
amount of reasoning made any difference, in fact he saw it as a
sign of weakness. When my older brother discovered what was going
on, he grabbed the bully by the scruff of the neck and told him
to stop. He never bothered me again. Are there times when you have
to meet violence with violence? Hitler couldn't be swayed by words
"I will pray with you that we don't have to go to war to solve
"Many times we pick the technologies that are mechanically oriented,
i.e., those things which we can couple to with common sense. Quantum
cryptography is one of the few that is not along those lines.
We can't touch it - it's high-tech but not high-touch.
On the subject of cloning and the progress of society, Ralph
Mackiewicz [firstname.lastname@example.org] commented on some of the recent
"Recently on the Learning Channel, their Top 10 included super
airplanes, super bridges, robots that walk (like the Honda robot),
etc. There were very few software technologies, or modeling
technologies or intellectual or science technologies. Kind of a pity.
"I have found that in predicting technology, two sources are reliable:
Popular Science and science fiction. When I was a child, I could not
believe they would have highways in the sky - elevated highways going
through the cities. The ideas of synchronous satellites and submarines
and moon shots all came from science fiction.
"Science fiction has the advantage that is does not change the
landscape to fit around today's technology; rather it modifies
the technology to fit into the future landscape."
"It seems clear that the real driving force behind human cloning
is affluent society pushing for a solution to otherwise intractable
fertility problems, not some gruesome desire to grow body parts.
Both current and common law is pretty clear about this facet of
life: a person that emerges from the womb is a person, regardless
of the source of their DNA. There is no way that anybody, clone
or not, could be legally deprived of their organs without a major
rewrite of the law.
"An objective observation of the evolution of society from its
primitive feudal beginnings - witch doctors, kings, barons, and
lords - to modern societies that exist across the globe today,
indicates a clear trend away from an elitist-controlled world
to one where the power rests in the individual. There is a lot
farther to go and the challenges are plenty. But, the path has
been towards individual liberty. There are millions upon millions
of people that don't enjoy the blessings of liberty, and as a result
live in poverty, disease, and famine. Instead of trying to stop the
technological progress that God gave us the power to achieve,
because of fictional paranoid sci-fi scenarios, we should be trying
to free these millions of people that are forced to live in poverty,
disease and famine, by evil tyrants and dictators."
JimPinto.com eNews - on the web
If you've missed a couple of issues of eNews, or wish to refer to earlier items,
please note : You can see ALL past issues online at :
Index of ALL past JimPinto.com eNews
eSpeak to me
If smell something fishy in your pond, please e-let me know and I'll check it out.
Please send your tips and alerts, your news, views and stews. I'd like to e-hear from you.
If you have comments or suggestions for Growth & Success News, please contact me directly at :
Subscribe or Unsubscribe
If you got this eNews through someone else, you might like to subscribe for a regular free copy,
direct to your own email. Just click your mouse on :
Or, if you're lazy (you may miss some privileges) simply send a blank email message to :
with subject line :
"sign me up for JimPinto.com E-mail news".
To be removed send a blank email message to
eRemove@JimPinto.com with subject line "Remove".
Stay in e-touch!