JimPinto.com - Connections for Growth & Success
No. 36 : March 10, 2001
Business, marketing & futures commentary.
New attitudes, no platitudes.
- The Cluetrain Manifesto
- Tech Review: Microphotonics
- Ginger - Dean Kamen Latest
- The Digital Wallet
- Print your personal newspaper
- Jim Pinto - Action exit
- Renting Software
- Fearing Technology
- Thoughts on Claude Shannon
The Cluetrain Manifesto
Here is an introduction to this significant book - which I wish I had
introduced to JimPinto.com eNews a long time ago. Indeed, in future enews,
I'll feature more Cluetrain ideas, thoughts and extracts, which I am sure
A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are
discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with
blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter - and
getting smarter faster than most companies.
These markets are conversations. Their members communicate in language that
is natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking. Whether
explaining or complaining, joking or serious, the human voice is
unmistakably genuine. It can't be faked.
Most corporations, on the other hand, only know how to talk in the
soothing, humorless monotone of the mission statement, marketing brochure,
and your-call-is-important-to-us busy signal. Same old tone, same old lies.
No wonder networked markets have no respect for companies unable or
unwilling to speak as they do.
But learning to speak in a human voice is not some trick, nor will
corporations convince us they are human with lip service about "listening
to customers." They will only sound human when they empower real human
beings to speak on their behalf.
This is what my e-friend Tom Petzinger says in his introduction:
"Someone in an email urged me to check out www.cluetrain.com. I did - and was
dumbstruck! There in a few pages I read a concise summary of everything
I'd seen in 20 years as a reporter, editor, bureau-chief and columnist for
my newspaper (WSJ)."
Read The ClueTrain Manifesto on the web
Or, go buy the book
Tech Review : Microphotonics
The Jan/Feb 2001 MIT Review Technology Trends listed their
selection of the 10 most important technology trends:
MIT Tech Review 10
Here we'll review Microphotonics : directing light on a microscopic scale,
a technology that will make a major impact by breaking the logjam caused at
the interface between fiber optics and electronic switching in the
telecommunications backbone. Light going through the optical core of the
network must be slowed down significantly to be handled by conventional
electronic switches and routers. To keep up with the Internet's exploding
need for bandwidth, electronic switches must be replaced with faster,
miniature optical devices.
Photonic crystals are ultra thin layers of non-conducting material that
reflect various wavelengths of light almost perfectly. Innovations include
tiny micro mirrors, silicon wave guides, even microscopic bubbles to better
direct light. This is the technology that George Gilder often waxes
Read the MIT-Review article on Microphotonics
Dean Kamen Latest
It's been a couple of months since we mentioned "Ginger", Dean Kamen's
super-secret project that had attracted major venture capital funding and
was supposed to be bigger than the Internet. Since then, Kamen has been
featured on CBS 60 Minutes, and speculation continues.
Now we have news about what Ginger really is: a scooter - not just any
scooter, but one powered by hot air (not just hype). Dean Kamen has long
been fascinated with the Stirling engine and he says that he has solved the
problems that have limited commercialization up to now.
Here are some new hotlinks to Kamen and his Ginger.
ZDNET story : The latest Kamen speculation
Boston Globe story : The "ideal engine" is near
The digital wallet
You probably have a digital camera which quickly runs out of memory, and
you have to download all your pictures to your PC before you can take more
photos. Or, perhaps you'd like to have a convenient way to store all those
3,000 MP3 songs you've downloaded before Napster goes offline? Or, perhaps
you wish you could carry around some video files and PowerPoint
presentations, without having to lug around your laptop.
Well, you need a "digital wallet" - a portable, smart storage device that
goes beyond conventional storage by adding mobility and versatility. This
sleek, lightweight gadget has its own microprocessor and operating system,
a 2.5" hard drive and rechargeable batteries. You can use it with or
without your PC or Mac. It lets you upload and download multiple file
formats, audio and video to its 6GB storage capacity through PCMCIA and USB
Take a look at The Digital Wallet
Printing your personal newspaper
This new public-access vending machine makes available the latest editions
from the world’s most influential newspapers at the touch of a button.
International travelers can now select their preferred newspaper at any
location in world. An interactive user-friendly interface guides customers
through a simple, electronic kiosk type, video touch screen selection menu.
After you make your selection and pay with your credit-card, your selected
newspaper is printed with high quality notebook-size paper, in black and
white, 20 pages duplex, stapled, unedited and up-to-date. Simply put it in
your briefcase, along with your other files, to read on the 'plane, or at
Interesting side-line advertising : While you're waiting for your
newspaper to print, you're entertained with commercial videos and general
How you can print your own newspaper anywhere
Jim Pinto - Action Exit
After 30 years at Action Instruments, I've made my formal exit.
I started Action Instruments in 1971 making Action Pak modules -
several million sold over the years. Action has since become the
leading manufacturer of signal-conditioning instruments in the USA.
After becoming part of Eurotherm and then Invensys in 1998,
Chessell (Recorders) USA was moved to San Diego and Action
continues on a path of growth and success. Action still retains
many long-term employees and senior management. I am proud
of them, as I am of the Action success story.
To stay in touch, you might wish to visit my website:
www.JimPinto.com .You'll find links to my articles, poems, musings
Or, send me email at :
Commenting on software-for-rent, Joe Jansen [JoeJansen@kemet.com]
On the subject of emerging technologies, Lou Heavner [Lou.Heavner@frco.com]
provides this e-insight:
"You're kidding, right? This is an idea that will fall on it's face. Who
among us is going to trust our plant operations to a software vendor?
Where is their accountability? You can guarantee that the 'Terms of
Service' are going to be pretty heavy in the vendors favor. If the
Applications Service Provider (ASP) goes down, I now have no access to my
data. My plant grinds to a halt, and I sit and wait for the ASP to fix
their problem. I don't think so.
"Also, your data will also reside at the other end. Are you going to put
your money in a bank that has all of its financial records hosted by an
unknown entity? Talk about a hacker’s paradise!! Rather than hacking into
each bank individually, we will just find the ASP that hosts several, and
crack into that. Skim a bit from each one, and you are rich! And bottom
line, banks already prefer to take a loss rather than report security
breaches. Do you think the ASP's will be any different? You won't find
out about their security record until it is too late for you.
"Bottom line: I will flat out refuse to move any of my data/software to a
"In response to people fearing new technology, I ask, "Who can stop it?" If
it is unstoppable, then shouldn't we embrace it and bring it into the
bright lights rather than push it underground where who knows who will do
what with it? Then we can all exploit it rather than be exploited by it."
David Bell [email@example.com] e-remembers Claude Shannon with
"Claude Shannon's 1948 book "A Mathematical Theory of Communication" - is
generally regarded as the birth of modern information theory. One of its
beautifully simple dictums was that "information" could be defined as the
reception of data that couldn't otherwise be predicted. Even today,
Shannon's definition of information is regarded as incontestable, because
it captured in a brilliantly simple way, the imagery of learning that's
been promoted by industrialization for 300 years - that "learning" is the
acquisition of information."
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