JimPinto.com - Connections for Growth & Success™
No. 24 : November 17, 2000


A new-age newsletter, published irreverently and irregularly by Jim Pinto.
Business, marketing & futures commentary.
New attitudes, no platitudes.
Stay e-tuned....

Contents:
  • Fortune - Future of the Internet
  • Old Models don't explain the new Economy
  • Telecommuting
  • Wearing a Computer Shirt
  • Digital Cameras - Which one to buy?
  • Monopoly Dotcom Edition
  • Negroponte's Book : Being Digital
  • Yesbutters and Whynotters
  • eFeedback - Ending Wars

Fortune - Future of the Internet

Few dispute that we are now in the throes of a revolution the like of which has happened only a few times in the past 10,000 years. Think of the things that have produced a profound transformation in human society - movement from the stone-age to metals; and then the emergence of new technologies - the industrial age and then the information age. Railroads and then airplanes made the world smaller. Computers extended intelligence and microprocessors allowed that intelligence to be put almost anywhere.

Now, we have arrived in the Internet age - a network that allows people anywhere on the planet to communicate as quickly and effortlessly as if they were in the same office. And knowledge, found only by referring to large tomes in imposing libraries, can be tapped instantly by anyone using a search-engine.

The real spread of this new revolution is still to come. Fortune Magazine's Future of the Internet - is a full issue devoted to this topic. It includes an excellent introduction, with sections on business, finance, entertainment and the impact of exploding communications bandwidth.

Click Spend some time on this significant Fortune presentation

Old models can't explain the new economy

The three largest segments - high-tech (semiconductors, computers, internet), telecommunications and health - have soared since the 1970s to encompass 33 percent of US economic output and growth will continue in this direction. While new economic forces are "destroying" 43,000 jobs a month, the same forces are "producing" 136,000 new high-tech jobs every month. Old economic theories fail to explain the new realities of the Information Age. The challenge lies in adjusting our thinking to the new realities.

Michael Cox, the chief economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas was in San Diego, CA. (my home town) recently at the Gartner Group Semiconductors 2000 Conference. He presented a macroeconomic look at how the microprocessor and related technologies continue to expand productivity, while keeping unemployment at bay.

Click Read a summary of this thought-provoking speech

Telecommuting

Today, about 8 million people telecommute full time in the United States, a figure that's expected to grow to about 13.5 million within the next two years. More robust networks and increased bandwidth, with a whole new generation of software tools, are helping workers stay connected and still be very productive at home. Wireless connectivity will allow more devices to communicate with one another without cables and regardless of location. Cell phones and personal digital assistants with bigger screens are making it easier to do a lot of work - from anywhere. Why come into the office to fill out your expense report, when you can do it right on your PDA as you travel, and download it when you're web-connected? The ability to telecommute provides significant advantages - and saving money - for individuals and companies.

Click Take a look at this eWeek story on Telecommuting

Wearing a computer shirt

A new computerized shirt collects data from sensors built-in to the shirt's grid, monitors environmental data, heart and breathing rate, ECG signals, position etc. and routes the information to a remote computer to aid in rapid medical diagnosis and response. The Sensatex shirt combines several technologies: proprietary textiles, sensor measurement, data acquisition, wireless communications. This provides a framework for biomedical monitoring - but also perhaps (as this type of wearable computer becomes more common) for many other interesting applications.

Click Take a look at the Sensatex shirt

Digital Cameras - which one to buy?

So, do you have a digital camera? Or, are you still using film, and going (after you use the entire roll) to develop it at the 1-hour-photo place? Actually, while I am on my fourth digital (a better one comes along every couple of months) I still carry my clam-shell Olympus Stylus - it's small, quick and effective and I don't have to mess around with my computer. And, I scan the prints I like to send off to friends and relatives via email. Hey, a good scanner costs about $90 these days....

What type of camera user are you? Do you need a digital camera? If you would like some help to make your decision, check out PC Magazine's summary.

Click Review the the current crop of digitals

Monopoly - dotcom edition

In days gone by, as I traveled the world, I collected Monopoly boards from different countries, in different languages with different currencies. It's interesting to play with Indian Rupees to buy Byculla and Bandra in Bombay; and to pay francs for the Eiffel Tower and The Louvre. Of course, Jail is still Jail in any country - and you still have to pay to get out immediately, or rot in there for three turns.

Now, the dotcom edition of Monopoly is available. As you travel the board, you'll buy and sell today's hottest Websites to build your personal empire of virtual real estate. You're after the top Net companies - the portals, search engines, news, information, entertainment, shopping, business, ISP and connectivity providers that are now household names. You can own Yahoo, Amazon, eBay or Nokia - and all the other majors. Which properties replace Park Place and Boardwalk?

Click Go take a look at the Dotcom Monopoly board

Being Digital

While driving to Los Angeles recently, I took along an audio tape from my collection : "Being Digital" by Nicholas Negroponte. I was amazed at how many of the ideas that Negroponte expressed about 5 or 6 years ago are even more applicable today!

The book is an edited version of the 18 articles that Negroponte, the founder of MIT's Media Lab, wrote for Wired magazine. He describes the evolution of CD-ROMs, multimedia, hypermedia, HDTV (high-definition television) and more. The section on interfaces is informative, offering an up-to-date history on visual interfaces, graphics, virtual reality (VR), holograms, teleconferencing hardware, the mouse and touch-sensitive interfaces, and speech recognition. In the last chapter and the epilogue, Negroponte offers visionary insight on what "being digital" means for our future. Overall, this book provides an informative history of the rise of technology and some interesting predictions for its future.

Click You can read most of the book online

Click Follow this link to Amazon.com, to get the book or the audio tape :

Thinkaboutit....

Rob Henley of Action Instruments gave me this today :
    The next time youíre in a meeting, look around and identify the yesbutters, the notnowers and the whynotters.

    Yesbutters have all the answers - the wrong answers.

    • Yesbut, we're different.
    • Yesbut, we can't afford it.
    • Yesbut, our business doesn't need it.
    • Yesbut, we couldn't sell it to our work force.
    • Yesbut, we can't explain it to the shareholders.
    • Yesbut, letís wait and see.
    Yesbutters don't just kill ideas, they kill companies, even entire industries.

    Whynotters move companies ! They dare to dream. And to act.
    By acting, they achieve what others see as unachievable.
    Why not, indeed?

eFeedback

I had several interesting comments regarding the item in my last eNews (No. 23 - November 9, 2000) "Ending Ward - A Trend Analysis".

My brother, Jude Pinto [Jupin@bom2.vsnl.net.in] an economist and research analyst from Bombay, India, provided a different perspective :

    " Will war go away? Are developing countries graying? As long as there's poverty, there will be overpopulation, and incentive for war. In any case, do wars need lots of people now? With software, bigger wars can be fought with less people. Yes, the mix of wars is changing. Perhaps more of them could be fought over the Internet."

Lou Heavner [Lou.Heavner@frco.com] e-wrote:

    "Your comments on the end of war were interesting and scary. I believe the best way to reduce oppression is to encourage trade with oppressed countries. What destroyed communist USSR as much as anything was the increasing difficulty of the government to fool the people that they were as well or better off than people in the free west. "

John Carrigg [john.carrigg@simoneinc.com] e-commented:

    "Global Governance? In some hybrid advisory form perhaps, but I can't see nation-states giving over their sovereignty to insulated global bureaucrats. It's hard enough to get our federal bureaucrats to be responsive. Can you imagine how responsive the global regulators would be? Also, there would be inexorable pressure to shift wealth from the have nations to the have-nots. The more prosperous nations have typically accumulated wealth because they created it with their sweat and ingenuity. I don't think they'll be a willing partner is such a transfer."

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