JimPinto.com - Connections for Growth & Success
No. 35 : March 2, 2001
Business, marketing & futures commentary.
New attitudes, no platitudes.
- Tech Review : Data Mining, Knowledge Discovery
- Fabber - the 3-dimensional copier or fax
- Software - Buy or Rent ?
- Claude Shannon Dies at 84
- Extropy 5 Conference - July 2001
- Bertelsmann Testing Napster Clone
- Distributed Computing
- More on GAAP-goop
Tech Review: Data Mining - Knowledge Discovery
The Jan/Feb 2001 MIT Review Technology Trends listed their
selection of the 10 most important technology trends:
MIT Tech Review 10
When you sign on to Amazon.com, you usually see some recommendations for
books or other items they think you'd like. Welcome to data mining, also
known as knowledge discovery in databases (KDD): the rapidly emerging
technology that lies behind the personalized Web. Data mining technology is
used to develop algorithms that search very large databases. There are
surprisingly broad applications : automatically determining which of some
two billion observed celestial objects are stars and which are galaxies;
finding volcanoes on Venus from the huge number of radar images being
transmitted from space probes; automatic searches of medical radiology
images. With the Internet gushing information onto everyone's desktop, the
urgency for data mining is evident.
One very hot area is "text data mining": extracting unexpected
relationships from huge collections of free-form text documents, using
natural-language processing, statistical word counts and other techniques.
At Berkeley, data mining has already been used to help geneticists search
the biomedical literature and produce reasonable hypotheses for the
functions of newly discovered genes. Another hot area is "video mining":
using a combination of speech recognition, image understanding and
natural-language processing techniques to open up the world's vast video
archives to efficient computer searching.
The techniques of data mining are quickly becoming integrated into standard
database systems. New companies like Digimine uncover valuable business
intelligence and enable immediate action to be taken by delivering advanced
analytics and personalization tools. They provide intuitive reports that
have key metrics on customer behavior, site performance, product sales,
content consumption, marketing campaign effectiveness, browser to buyer
conversion, customer segment identification and more. Data mining services
deliver predictive applications that give the ability to personalize web
content, cross-sell and up-sell. Which is how Amazon does it.
MIT-tech Review item on Data Mining :
Visit San Diego, CA. based Mohomine
Good Knowledge Discovery, Data Mining, Web Mining website
The Fabber - 3-D Copier
A fabber (short for "digital fabricator") is a "factory in a box" that
makes things automatically from digital data. Fabbers generate
three-dimensional, solid objects you can hold in your hands, submit to
testing, or assemble into working mechanisms. They are used by
manufacturers around the world for low-volume production, prototyping, and
mold mastering. They are also used by scientists and surgeons for solid
imaging, and by a few modern artists for innovative computerized sculpture.
Manufacturers report enormous productivity gains from using fabbers.
Some people have described fabber machines as 3-dimensional Xerox machines,
or 3-D faxes. Indeed, both duplication and remote transmission of
3-dimensional geometries have been demonstrated using currently available
The applications of fabbers fall into five basic categories:
3-D printers, or Fabbers - first glimpse
- Direct, low-volume production of products or parts;
- Industrial models and prototypes;
- Copy tooling, such as molds and mold patterns;
- Imaging of scientific, statistical, medical and other 3-D data;
- Computer sculpture
Go to the Fabber website
Review the uses of Fabbers
Software - buy or rent?
Do you buy your software in a shrink-wrapped package? And then, when
upgrades and changes inevitably come up, do you simply hold out as long as
possible, and then eventually relent and buy the next package? Do you want
to own your software or pay-as-you-go?
There have been a lot of big moves recently towards "software as a
service". Just last week Sun Microsystems announced its Sun ONE plan, on
the heels of Microsoft's .Net initiative and Oracle's "Dynamic Web
Services" scheme. This week Hewlett-Packard is slated to join the pack with
its own software-as-a-service vision. And there are lots of other companies
moving in the same direction.
There are two, somewhat similar, moves afoot : sell access to software as a
service; or sell software as an annual subscription. Both are intended to
give software companies what they want most -predictable and ongoing
Renting hardware and software powered the IBM colossus in the 1960s and
'70s. Mainframe software is still sold this way, with a mandatory annual
fee for service, support, and upgrades. By contrast, desktop and small
business software still tends to be sold on a per-product or per-user
The Internet presents a chance for software makers to change this. While
we've become familiar with online delivery of downloadable applications,
Internet providers and software companies also want to get into the
application hosting business. With this, all your software - database,
e-mail server, accounting packages etc. - are all remote, and accessed over
the Internet. The service-provided maintains and customizes the
application, plus houses and backs up your data. This will allow some
companies to dramatically reduce the size of their corporate IS
Bye-bye, buying. Why you'll 'rent' your software soon
Microsoft details software-for-rent strategy
Software for rent
Claude Shannon dies at 84
Claude Shannon died last weekend (23 Feb. 2001) at the age of 84. More than
50 years ago, he had an idea that changed the world forever. In 1948 he
outlined a series of mathematical formulas to reduce communication
processes to binary code-known as "bits". He calculated ways to send the
maximum number of bits through phone lines, or other modes of
It wasn't until the invention of integrated circuits years later that his
formulas could be put to use. Now, they're at the core of the commonplace
technologies as diverse as modems, magnetic storage, the Internet and
satellite transmissions. Other impressive contributions in mathematics and
A half-century before Deep Blue beat Russian master Garry Kasparov, Claude
Shannon described how to build a chess-playing computer. A distant relative
of Thomas Edison, he was perhaps best remembered within the scientific
community for his wacky inventions, such as the rocket-powered Frisbee,
motorized pogo sticks and a mechanical mouse-in-a-maze. His freewheeling
antics included riding his unicycle while juggling.
Claude Shannon was a true original !
Biography of Claude Elwood Shannon
Collected Papers of Claude Shannon
The C-NET story on the passing of Claude Shannon
Extropy-5 Conference - Shaping Things to Come
Many JimPinto.com friends have expressed interest, and even excitement,
about Extropy (positive Entropy) - the growth of harmony and order.
Since the first Extropy conference in 1994, there has been tremendous
progress in many areas of science and technology. Many of the views of the
future that seemed outlandish to some back then now look highly plausible
and in some cases imminent. Biotechnology has exploded, with stem cells,
telomerase, nuclear transfer, cloning technology and tissue engineering
making numerous breakthroughs. Massive areas of the economy are being
transformed by information technology.
These changes offer a multitude of benefits. Yet amidst all this we see a
growing swell of opposition and fear, calling for restraints on research
and open discussion, and promoting a philosophy of pessimism, cynicism and
relinquishment. Some of this results from lack of knowledge of the benefits
which will be brought about by biotechnologies and information technology
in predominantly free market economies. The Extropy Institute promotes the
values of progress, reason, science, and practical optimism for the new
technologies that that could revitalize and extend lives, and rejuvenate
The Extro-5 Conference, subtitled "Shaping Things to Come," will take place
from June 15th to 17th at the San Jose Hilton and Towers in San Jose,
California. As well as having the usual mix of some of the nation's leading
scientists, business executives, creative thinkers, and futurists, Extro-5
will also feature extensive discussion time, heightened interaction between
attendees and speakers.
There will be 4 main themes :
Visit the EXTRO-5 CONFERENCE website
- Machine Intelligence-Threat or Opportunity?
- Thriving in the Information Economy
- Super longevity and Augmentation: Overcoming Resistance
- Mastering the Information Explosion
Go to the Extropy Institute Website
I've had lots of feedback on Napster's possible demise. Now it seems that
Bertelsmann (the Publishing Giant and primary owner of Barnes & Noble) is
secretly developing software that could be used as a backup, if partner
Napster is ordered to shut down. The program, dubbed Snoopstar, is an
easy-to-use interface that allows users to search for music, videos and
other files downloaded from various file-sharing services that include
Napster, Gnutella and iMesh.
The irrepressible Willy Smith [email@example.com] sent me this link :
Bertelsmann testing secret Napster clone
Regarding distributed computing, Jeff Dean [firstname.lastname@example.org] e-wrote on
the Automation List :
"Russ Kinner [Russ.Kinner@avcacorp.com] asked about a business plan that
would make money from highly distributed computing (similar to
distributed.net or setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu).
"Data Synapse (www.datasynapse.com) is a company that thinks they have a
working model. Like distributed.net, you sign up for it, download their
software, and run it all the time. They will send "work" for your computer
to do every now and then and actually pay you (in some odd scheme) for the
work that was done. The work they dole out will come from both non-profits
and for-profit customers (though I have not yet learned of them getting any
"I ran it for about a week, but then went back to seti@home. I'd much rather
find E.T. than help someone with their accounting system."
Andrew Bond [email@example.com] (publisher of the UK-based
Industrial Automation Insider) e-asked for more information on US GAAP
(Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and why European companies like
ABB and Siemens would stumble into "gaap-goop".
My response :
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the United States
"Explaining US GAAP is simply beyond my comprehensive
capabilities. Here are some weblinks that will give you a taste of what
GAAP is all about -
The World according to US GAAP
"Why will Siemens and ABB fall into "GAAP-goop" ? Because their European
systems for accounting for things like accruals and writing off profits and
losses are deeply embedded within their companies, and cannot suddenly be
re-done to comply with US GAAP. The US stock market analysts are very
tuned to GAAP mis-steps and will be merciless with changeovers to US
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 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 :
Subscribe or Unsubscribe
To subscribe to the E-news list just click here :
Note : Your information will never be used for anything else, or sent to anyone.
To be removed send a blank email message to
eRemove@JimPinto.com with subject line "Remove".
Stay in e-touch!