JimPinto.com - Connections for Growth & Success
No. 22 : November 2, 2000
JimPinto.com eNews is a new-age newsletter, published irreverently and
irregularly by Jim Pinto.
Business, marketing & futures commentary. New attitudes and no platitudes. We tell it like we see it. Stay e-tuned....
- Peer-to-peer computing - Napster's Legacy
- MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS)
- Kurzweil's Future Forecast
- George Gilder's new book: Telecosm
- Evolution of the TechnoHuman
- Fertility Time
- Honeywell Turmoil
- Morley Clarifies Modicon & Bedford Connections
- Computers in the Attic
The decision by Napster (the start-up that started on-line computer
sharing) to partner with Bertelsmann, seems like the best bet for a
company plagued by record industry lawsuits and anxious to legitimize
its business model. But, Napster's concept may be an idea whose time
has come - it could change the basic way that we work as more and more
people go to file and resource sharing on the web.
Read the UPSIDE magazine article on the new relationship between
Napster and Bertelsmann, and how it affects the music industry.
Upside story on Napster & Bertelsmann
But, Napster is not dead! Its legacy is peer-to-peer (P2P) computing,
which is essentially what the Internet means, and what will become
reality as more people work and interact on the web. Why not allow
your Customers to share files (information) that would make them your
partner? Why not allow your friend's computer (that happens to be idle
right now, as your friend sleeps, to provide you with additional
processing power? Why not join several computers, working together, to
solve problems that would previously take a massive main-frame or
super-computer? Welcome to the future of internet computing!
This is what Dick Morley and others have been preaching at the Chaos
Conferences at Santa Fe. Complexity Science will bring about a
revolution, as P2P becomes not only popular, but the way to work.
Useful ZDNET article with several good hot links
Micro Electro Mechanical Systems - MEMS
In recent eNews, I have been discussing Nanotechnology - a significant
technology revolution that is still in the experimental stage. Some
eNews friends have mentioned products that are already available with
a new technology that is yielding significant results today - MEMS,
MicroElectroMechanicalSystems or micromachining.
MEMS is clearly the next step in integrated circuits, the revolution
that allowed millions of transistors to be "grown" on one "chip".
MEMS is a relatively new technology which utilizes silicon to create
complex mechanical systems (machines) with micron geometry. MEMS can
have many functions, including sensors (measuring physical variables)
and actuators (causing movement). And, of course, on the same chip,
in similar geometry, one can build processing power and memory, giving
the MEMS "intelligence". As this new technology comes into play,
there are thousands of applications in commercial and defense systems.
Recent studies have estimated the market for intelligent micromachines
to be around $100 Billion/year.
Sandia Labs Intelligent Micromachine Initiative
Excellent tutorial on MEMS
Kurzweil's Future Forecast
(email@example.com) author of the book: "The Age
of Spiritual Machines - When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence" has
been a seminal influence on my own thinking. Ray was the principal
developer of the first omni-font optical character recognition device,
the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first CCD
flatbed scanner, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music
synthesizer capable of recreating the sounds of the grand piano as
well as other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially
marketed large vocabulary speech-recognition device.
In a new article entitled Dear PC - R.I.P - Ray Kurzweil says :
"Many long-range forecasts of technical feasibility dramatically
underestimate the power of future technology. It is not the case that
we will experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century; rather
we will witness on the order of 20,000 years of progress (at today's
rate of progress, that is). By 2009, computers will disappear. Visual
information will be written directly onto our retinas by devices in
our eyeglasses and contact lenses. In addition to high resolution
virtual monitors appearing to hover in space, these intimate displays
will provide full-immersion visual virtual reality."
This stimulating article was in the September issue of Business 2.0 -
and you can read it on the web:
Read Kurzweil's article at Business 2.0
Get Ray Kurzweil's book The Age of the Spiritual Machine
George Gilder's new book : Telecosm
"Telecosm - How infinite bandwidth will revolutionize our world." This
new (Sept. 2000) long-awaited book is a bible of the new age of
communications. To seek the key to the future, look to communication
power, or bandwidth, which is exploding; its abundance is the most
important fact of our time. One of the great technological visionaries
of this age, George Gilder's track record of futurist predictions is
one of the best. Equal parts science story, business history, social
analysis and prediction, this book makes sense of the titanic changes
underway. It is difficult to read - but read it!
*spark-online* - Evolution of the Techno-Human
*spark-online* is a popular monthly "webzine" that sets out to explore
electronic consciousness - technology, media, politics, business &
culture. The November issue has my latest article:
Evolution of the TechnoHuman - read it on the web, and see
if you like the content of *spark*.
*spark-online* November '00
Synopsis of my article : Is technology changing humans? Will the rapid advances in technology
in the coming century cause, or allow, a different type of human to
evolve? Will the span of human life extend beyond 150-200 years? Will
synthetic life develop and evolve? Significant philosophical, ethical,
moral, legal and sociological questions must be answered, as we move
forward in a new century and millennium.
Read Evolution of the Techno-human
I am a techno-geek - I buy all the latest gadgets and services. But,
I've got to admit that perhaps our digital, connected world is
offering some strange connections. Several European websites called
"Zappybaby” allow a woman to type in her fertility cycle, and the site
will then send a text message to her (or to her partner's) cell phone
when the time is right!
This internet service started in Germany, but
is also well established in the UK and several other European
Take a look at these websites (various European languages). Let me know if
you can find the equivalent in English.
I had a lot of eFeedback on my Honeywell-sold-to-GE story. Apparently
no one really tells-it-like-it is, and many people appreciate the "no
platitudes attitude". Here is a sample of my email, from a long-time
"It was with great interest that I read your article. It was sent to
me by my former boss who left Honeywell last year. I'm still there
and I have to comment that the division management is downsizing,
outsourcing, and adding middle managers like crazy. The knowledge
infrastructure is rapidly being driven from the company. New products
are slow to market and managers routinely lie to employees. It has
become a very strange place to work. I really couldn't recommend it
to anyone seeking employment."
In a previous eNews, I mentioned that Dick Morley, the inventor of the
PLC, was a founder of Modicon. Dick e-wrote with this interesting
correction about his development incubator, Bedford Associates and its
relationship with Modicon, now part of Groupe Schneider :
"Bedford Associates did not change into Modicon. Bedford was founded
in 1964 and one of its projects was Modicon, which became a separate
corporation and started in '68."
After I disclosed proudly that I had an old 286 PC in my attic, I got
a barrage of one-up - er one-downsmanship email :
(firstname.lastname@example.org) e-wrote :
"I still have my very FIRST Zenith PC that I built from a kit. The
thing was SUPER ROBUST! I had sparks fly out of it more than once
while trying to figure out the pin-out to make my own A2D, D2A and
wiring up a 9513 clock chip. It has Digital Research "Concurrent PC
DOS" that still does a better job of full concurrency than Windows!
I'll bet some folks still have their old Altair! And that's gotta be
(email@example.com) e-boasted, all the way from his
hideaway in Costa Rica:
"I'll tell you a secret. I've still got my Apple ][, Commodore 64, and
a TI 99 in my shop attic, as well as an original IBM PC with 4.77 MHz
clock, 64K RAM, and a cassette interface!"
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