Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Yahoo's Yang Tell Rice It's Her Job to Get Dissidents Released

Article from, By Peter Varhol
In a response that has irony written all over it, Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang said in a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that it was the State Department's job to pursue the release of two journalists being held in a Chinese prison for allegedly leaking state secrets and political writings. The irony is that it was information provided to the Chinese government by Yahoo that led to these arrests and imprisonments.

Yang claims that the information Yahoo provided was released against company values, and the company has settled a lawsuit by the families involved and established a human rights fund after the fact. However, after a Yahoo official was caught in the act of misleading Congress about the affair, California Rep. Tom Lantos responded, "While technologically and financially you are giants, morally you are pygmies."

It sounds like a cop-out by Yahoo to me. Does no one there recall the courage and conviction of H. Ross Perot as chronicled in "On Wings of Eagles"? Yang wouldn't do that; it's all about dollars and cents to him.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nokia Shows Nano Technology in its concept MORPH Mobile Phone

Article from
Featured in The Museum of Modern Art “Design and The Elastic Mind” exhibition, Nokia's Morph concept device is a bridge between highly advanced technologies and their potential benefits to end-users. This device concept showcases some revolutionary leaps being explored by Nokia Research Center (NRC) in collaboration with the Cambridge Nanoscience Centre (UK) – nanoscale technologies that will potentially create a world of radically different devices that open up an entirely new spectrum of possibilities. Morph concept technologies might create fantastic opportunities for mobile devices:
  • Newly-enabled flexible and transparent materials blend more seamlessly with the way we live
  • Devices become self-cleaning and self-preserving
  • Transparent electronics offering an entirely new aesthetic dimension
  • Built-in solar absorption might charge a device, whilst batteries become smaller, longer lasting and faster to charge
  • Integrated sensors might allow us to learn more about the environment around us, empowering us to make better choices
In addition to the advances above, the integrated electronics shown in the Morph concept could cost less and include more functionality in a much smaller space, even as interfaces are simplified and usability is enhanced. All of these new capabilities will unleash new applications and services that will allow us to communicate and interact in unprecedented ways.

Flexible & Changing Design
Nanotechnology enables materials and components that are flexible, stretchable, transparent and remarkably strong. Fibril proteins are woven into a three dimensional mesh that reinforces thin elastic structures. Using the same principle behind spider silk, this elasticity enables the device to literally change shapes and configure itself to adapt to the task at hand. A folded design would fit easily in a pocket and could lend itself ergonomically to being used as a traditional handset. An unfolded larger design could display more detailed information, and incorporate input devices such as keyboards and touch pads. Even integrated electronics, from interconnects to sensors, could share these flexible properties. Further, utilization of biodegradable materials might make production and recycling of devices easier and ecologically friendly.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Technology History: Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft Corporation's IPO opened on the stock market on February 14, 1986. The asking price of the IPO was $21.00 per share. At that time, Gates, Ballmer and the gang were making much of the company's revenue on Macintosh software, BASIC language interpreters, and the PC operating system MS-DOS.
After the IPO, Microsoft began a tremendous run -- earning large increases in revenue over the next two decades. By 2003 (a mere 13 yrs later), a $2,100 investment at the 1986 IPO offering price was worth $1.5 million. Sadly, while Microsoft has posted excellent dividends over the last 21 years, their share price has fallen by more than half from it's peak around the time of the dot com bubble.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Technology History: The Apple iPod

Seven years ago... Apple Computer hired Tony Fadell in early 2001 and assigns him a team of designers, programmers and hardware engineers to develop a new music player called the iPod. Fadell's business idea is to take an MP3 player, build a music sale service to complement it, and build a company around it. Apple CEO Steve Jobs was highly involved with the project since its inception and molded the device's shape, feel and design. The rest, as they say... is history.