JimPinto.com - Connections for Growth & Success™
No. 36 : March 10, 2001

Business, marketing & futures commentary.
New attitudes, no platitudes.
Stay e-tuned....

  • The Cluetrain Manifesto
  • Tech Review: Microphotonics
  • Ginger - Dean Kamen Latest
  • The Digital Wallet
  • Print your personal newspaper
  • Jim Pinto - Action exit
  • eFeedback
    • 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 you'll enjoy.

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)."

Click Read The ClueTrain Manifesto on the web

Click 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:

Click 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 eloquent about.

Click 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.

Click ZDNET story : The latest Kamen speculation

Click 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 ports.

Click 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 your leisure.

Interesting side-line advertising : While you're waiting for your newspaper to print, you're entertained with commercial videos and general local information.

Click 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 and predictions.
Or, send me email at : Send email Jim@JimPinto.com


Commenting on software-for-rent, Joe Jansen [JoeJansen@kemet.com] e-protested:

    "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 hosted platform!"

On the subject of emerging technologies, Lou Heavner [Lou.Heavner@frco.com] provides this e-insight:
    "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 [dbell.blueskies@home.com] e-remembers Claude Shannon with reverence:

    "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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