Friday, April 29, 2005

Privacy, Nanotechnology and Google Maps

  • States Scramble To Protect Data
    Legislatures in more than two dozen states are considering ways to give consumers more control over personal information that is collected and sold by private firms, but many of the proposals are drawing fire from financial services companies.

  • About time, it is a shame millions of people, every year, suffer due to delays in inacting sensible laws and weak enforcement of the existing laws. If citizens don't make it known that failure to enact laws to protect individuals will not be ignored the special interest groups will likely succeed in having legislators (that they give money to) stop effective laws from being inacted. Also see, Private Consumer Information Stolen from ChoicePoint post and information on identity theft.

  • Nano-Probes Allow an Inside Look at Cell Nuclei
    They have already visualized the dots’ journey from the area surrounding the nucleus to inside the nucleus, a feat that opens the door for real-time observations of nuclear trafficking mechanisms. They also hope to target other cellular organelles besides the nucleus, such as mitochondria and Golgi bodies. And because quantum dots emit different colors of light based on their size, they can be used to observe the transfer of material between cells.

  • Make your own annotated multimedia Google map

    We’ll walk you through the steps we took to generate an annotated map of a walk we took recently through our hometown

Monday, April 25, 2005

China, Engineering Education and Good Looks

  • China 1Q GDP surges,

    China's economy expanded a faster-than-expected 9.5 percent in the year through the first quarter, putting fresh pressure on Beijing to rein in growth.

  • Cisco CEO on U.S. Education: We're Losing the Battle, David Kirkpatrick, Fortune

    When he looks at China and India, Chambers sees two countries—each with more than a billion people—that are methodically focusing their efforts on improving the math and science skills of their top students. For every new engineering graduate in the U.S., which has a much smaller population to begin with, there are five in China, he says. “In China and India, they clearly understand that if they get the engineers, then they get the managers, then they get the companies, then they get the innovation."

  • So Much for That Merit Raise: The Link between Wages and Appearance

    Hamermesh and Biddle found that the “plainness penalty” is 9 percent and that the “beauty premium” is 5 percent after controlling for other variables, such as education and experience. In other words, a person with below-average looks tended to earn 9 percent less per hour, and an above-average person tended to earn 5 percent more per hour than an average-looking person.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Patents, Outsourcing and Executive Pay

Widenius: [Patents] just stall innovation. Look at an extension of patents. I don't see any difference in a software program and a recipe in a book. It's the same thing to me as a programmer. It's them saying, "You're not allowed to write the sentence you're writing right now because somebody patented it."

Deloitte is not the only consultancy to take this stance. Gartner last month issued multiple studies on outsourcing that said customer service outsourcing is destined to fail, demand will increase for business process outsourcing, and that outsourcing could cost as much as one-third more than controlling the task in-house.

  • Carl Icahn Sees Red Over Blockbuster Chief's Pay
    In 2002 he received no bonus at a time when net income was negative $1.6 billion. Yet in 2004, when net income was negative $1.2 billion, the second-worst performance since 1997, Antioco's
    bonus rose to $5 million. Reducing a loss to $1.2 billion from $1.6 billion seems to be cause for celebration in Blockbuster's boardroom, yet in 2003 when the loss was $979 million, Antioco's bonus was $5.3 million.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Google, microbes and customer service

  • Google Patent application - Information retrieval based on historical data
  • Microbe has become invulnerable to the most commonly used antibiotics - A dangerous germ easily mistaken for an innocuous one has become alarmingly common around the United States. More links to the consequences of the overuse of antibiotics.
  • An Evergreen Brink's Heist - "Thereafter, this agreement will automatically continue for successive one year renewal terms unless you or Brinks give written notice of cancellation to the other at least 60 days before the initial or renewal term ends." These types of clauses sure don't seem customer focused to me. Hopefully the internet can help shine the spotlight on such anti customer practices and lead to better customer service. I believe people will make rational choices when given accurate information but most customer decision are based on very incomplete information. I know I can't research every clause related to everything I buy. I believe increasing the information available to consumers will lead them to choose to buy from companies that proivde good customer service instead of trying to find legal tricks to get the most from those who buy things from them.
  • Google Maps new satelite views are very cool - Central Park