JimPinto.com - Connections for Growth & Success™
No. 51 : July 9, 2001

Business commentary - no hidden agendas.
New attitudes, no platitudes.
Keeping an eye on technology futures.
Stay e-tuned....

  • A.I. (the movie) - Robot Love
  • Honeywell & GE - after word
  • Invensys: Yurko prepares for October exit
  • Pharmacogenomics - Custom drugs, medication match
  • Terabytes, Petabytes, Exabytes - how many LOCs?
  • eFeedback
    • Rockwell clarifications
    • Suggested name for a Honeywell/Rockwell merger - WellWell
    • Comments on Charity

A.I.: the movie - robot love

Spielberg's latest movie: A.I. was released recently (June 29, 2001) was about robot love - creation of a robot in the form of a young boy for a childless couple. The mother is warned that once she programs the robot child (with a sequence of key-words) his love for her could never be erased. After some qualms, she proceeds, and becomes the object of his intense and indestructible love. But then her real son (who had been ill) recovers, and there is an interesting interchange between the two boys - human and robot-brother.

Technical question: is it possible to create a self-aware and reasoning entity that does NOT have the capacity for love and all the other (good and bad) qualities we ascribe to human beings? Moral question: if we create something that loves us, do we have a responsibility to love it in return? These moral and technical questions are inextricably intertwined - if humans are unable or unwilling to reciprocate robot-love, then this would indeed be what we consider "inhuman"....

Ray Kurzweil was at the Extropy Conference (June 15, 2001) in San Jose, discussing his book "The Age of Spiritual Machines" and his forthcoming "The Singularity is Near". Spielberg consulted Ray Kurzweil on some of the technical details, and Ray had just recently previewed the movie - so he gave us some of his own perspectives and feedback.

Of course, A.I. is just a movie - but then, it's making generated intense thinking on all kinds of questions relating to robots and synthetic intelligence, as a precursor of what Kurzweil and others think will inevitably happen in the next several decades of the new millennium.

Click Watch clips and read reviews of A.I.

Click Ray Kurzweil's book: The Age of Spiritual Machines

Click A précis of Kurzweil's The Singularity is Near

GE/Honywell - after word

I had a tremendous response to our coverage of the GE-HONEYWELL fiasco. Apparently, no one seems to tell the underlying details.

As predicted, the Honeywell board has booted Bonsignore. My question is: if Bonsignore was responsible for a lot of the trouble, why does he deserve a "golden parachute"?

Larry Bossidy, CEO of Allied-Signal before the merger, is now ensconced as the turn-around manager. His stated goal of keeping Honeywell independent for about a year, fixing it up and putting it up for sale again, will drive both employees and customers crazy!

A Honeywell employee, not wishing to be named because "mavericks are not cultivated here", sent this :

    "With Mike getting the axe, but not falling on his sword, the question becomes: does Allied Signal know how to run Honeywell?

    "At Honeywell, some of us think of a management change as: same circus, different clown. The last few years have not been directed to maintaining the internal strengths of manufacturing. The recent emphasis has been on creating a model of GE management. Not all of the changes seem well thought out. The losses of key skills and company-ethos reflect this decline.

    "Top management tells us that the plan for the year is 20% growth, because Wall Street expects it. What ever happened to reality? Does Allied-Signal management have the knowledge and the culture necessary to continue the success of various Honeywell segments? At least the GE wait is over."

If you recall, we brought up the possibility that GE under-bid the EC demands simply because it was an easy out. Well, now Honeywell is considering taking legal action and has retained attorney David Boies, well-known for representing the U.S. government in its case against Microsoft, to explore whether Honeywell has a case against GE for failing to undertake "reasonable best efforts" to win antitrust approval of the deal as required by the merger agreement.

Larry Bossidy, himself ex-GE and a good friend of Jack Welch, said he had a "general conversation" with the GE Chairman on Tuesday morning, but he didn't provide specifics. It is unclear whether Bossidy's close ties to Jack Welch would reduce the chances of Honeywell filing that lawsuit. Stay tuned...

Click Honeywell's Bonsignore quits, Bossidy returns

Click GE, Honeywell CEOs Take Heat for Lost Deal

Click Bossidy, Honeywell's New Chief, Faces GE Fallout, Lower Earnings

Invensys : Yurko prepares for October exit

The UK Guardian (Friday July 6, 2001) had this story:

Allen Yurko, the embattled chief executive of Invensys, appears to be preparing the way for a smooth, lucrative departure from the troubled engineering group. According to the latest annual report and accounts, Yurko's retirement package was "sweetened" this year to provide him with a potential $7.5m pay-off through his pension deal alone.

Yurko is now able to take the contributions totaling almost $450,000 a year which the company would have made into his pension fund in a single cash payment should he leave after the age of 50. The Invensys website lists his birth date as 25 Sep 1951. So, he should be able to exit on, or any time after, that date.

The sudden change in the small print of his contract increased speculation that he was prepared to take the blame for the 20% slump in share price to 120.75p yesterday (Thursday 5 June 2001). The stock price was over three times that before the big decline, with a 52-week high of 277.50p and low of 106.5. Early today (Monday 9 July '01), Invensys stock hit a low of 116.75p.

The sale of Yurko's $6m home in the Surrey stockbroker belt on the edge of the celebrity-packed Wentworth Estate in Virginia Water added to the speculation last night. The sale is said to be merely because Yurko is tired of commuting (from the home that was close to the old Siebe office in Windsor) and is moving his family to the similarly up-market Kensington area of west London.

An Invensys insider provided this not-surprising insight: "If Allen Yurko left, Invensys would collapse in short order - there is no internal succession."

Concurrently, 2 separate sources reported that Kathleen O'Donovan (Invensys CFO, who came with the BTR merger) is also looking for an exit. With the recent pay-cut and pay-freeze, and all options massively underwater, friends report that she wants a quieter life.

Click Read the Guardian story

On the Invensys website, you'll find an excellent video interview with Allen Yurko: a controlled, yet arrogant response to questioning about the ugly preliminary 2001 results. Judge for yourself.

Click Yurko Interview

Pharmacogenomics: custom drugs - medication-match

The biggest problem with many significant medications today is side effects on some people. TV advertising lauds the benefits, and then quickly (double-speed talk) warns of the side-effects - the primary reason that doctor-supervision is required.

Pharmacogenomics is the study of how an individual's genetic inheritance affects the body's response to drugs. The term comes from the words pharmacology and genomics and is the intersection of pharmaceuticals and genetics.

Pharmacogenomics holds the promise that drugs might soon be tailor-made for individuals and adapted to each person's own genetic makeup. Environment, diet, age, lifestyle, and state of health can all influence a person's response to medicines. But, understanding an individual's genetic makeup is the key to creating personalized drugs with greater efficacy and safety. New technology will allow doctors to separate people into different treatment groups based solely on variations in DNA sequences and then to develop the targeted drugs most likely to work for them.

The huge volume of data from the Human Genome Project is bringing a startling transformation in drug science. The old, problematic one-drug-fits-all approach may soon be as outdated as one-color automobile manufacturing; mass drugs will give way to miracle drugs tailored to fit the individual patient's DNA profile.

Click Good, easy-to-read article: Your DNA or your Life?

Click Benefits of Pharmacogenomics

Terabytes, petabytes, exabytes - how many LOC?

In his latest Technology Report (June 2001) George Gilder describes the "exaflood" of data on the Internet as best measured in LOCs - 20 terabytes (20 million megabytes) equivalent roughly to the contents of the Library of Congress translated into digital form.

A megabyte sums up to around a 400-page book, and so an LOC is about 20 million big books. An exabyte is 50,000 LOCs, which comes to a trillion big books. 15 exabytes of Internet traffic means more than 15 trillion big books....

In the new age, it may be best to get your lingo straight. Stop thinking about mere megabytes and gigabytes. Start brushing up on terabytes, petabytes, exabytes, zettabytes and zottabytes - each 1,000 times more than the previous.

Click Bits & Bytes unplugged - good review of definitions

Click Interesting estimates of data contained in various media


Regarding our coverage of the Rockwell "boondoggle" Ryder cup golf-tour, Joe Lupone [jalupone@ra.rockwell.com] wrote:

    "I am the currently the Sales Director for Rockwell Automation UK. I have been an avid reader of your newsletter each month since I arrived in the UK.

    "I know you want your letter to be accurate. So let me comment on 2 areas, which you reported on (eNews No. 50-July 3, 2001) that were inaccurate and misleading.

    "Inaccuracy #1: 2 senior people left the Rockwell Automation UK organisation to join ABB.

    "The Facts: No senior people left Rockwell Automation to join ABB. One Sales Manager did leave us to join ABB - no other people left the organisation to join ABB."

Pinto postscript : I just heard that Joe Lupone himself has recently resigned from Rockwell UK to join an un-related US-based company. Perhaps he himself was the other "senior" person, confused as leaving to join ABB?

Joe Lupone continues:

    "Inaccuracy #2: $300k is being spent to send Don Davis, senior executives and their families to the Ryder Cup.

    "The Facts: Rockwell Automation participation in the Ryder Cup is solely for the purpose of building business relationships with customers. The families of Rockwell Automation Senior Executives are not attending the Ryder Cup. 70% of the attendees paid for by Rockwell Automation are UK customers -the rest are local UK Rockwell Automation employees and 2 Senior Executives. By the way, our total cost for participation in this event, executive travel and all is less than half of what you quoted (Maybe the strength of the dollar!). And you are right that, except for travel, everything was paid for in last year's budget.

    "My compliments to you on an insightful newsletter & thank you for clarifying the mis-information from eNews No. 50."

Robert D. Wagner [RDWagner@ix.netcom.com] suggested another name for a possible Honeywell & Rockwell merger:

    "Instead of HoneyRock perhaps another possibility would be WellWell !"

In response to my web-article on Charity, JW in Ohio wrote this:

    "Jim, I have read and enjoyed your viewpoints on a variety of topics for quite some time now, but I think you've missed a major point in the topic of charity, even accounting for the satirical tone of the piece.

    "While I certainly agree that many well-intentioned but misguided believers and some organizations preach the tenet above as you've stated it, it is certainly not a principle supported by the doctrines of most Protestant Christian denominations, our nation's most visible religious group. Charity is indeed an obligation of the believer but not, as you suggest, an investment plan with heavenly returns based on the degree of your earthly works.

    "Instead, charity is an acknowledgement that all things are a gift from God and a means to share in one's personal blessings. There is no guilt or strictly legal requirement involved - the Biblical tithe suggests 10% but believers are instructed throughout the Bible to give according to their means.

    "Charity is not about assuaging personal guilt, earning a better place in heaven, or avoiding eternal damnation - it's an opportunity to give, as you suggest, "without personal gain" to provide someone else with a better life and a chance to enjoy the blessings that you've received."

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 :

Click Click here to see the 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 : Click Jim@JimPinto.com

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 :
Sign up for regular hot news, views and stews

Or, if you're lazy, simply send a blank email message to :
Click Sign-up@JimPinto.com
with subject line : "sign me up for JimPinto.com E-mail news".

To be removed send a blank email message to
Click eRemove@JimPinto.com with subject line "Remove".

Stay in e-touch!


Return to eNews Index Return to eNews Index

Return to Jimpinto.com Homepage Return to JimPinto.com HomePage

If you have ideas or suggestions to improve this site, contact: webmaster@jimpinto.com
Copyright 2000 : Jim Pinto, San Diego, CA, USA