Diamandis and O’Reilly On Innovation

15 November 2009

Entrepreneur.com had an article in which Peter Diamandis and Tim O’Reilly talked about innovation.

I agree with Peter Diamandis when he said, “I fear that we have become very risk-averse in our society.” My take: It’s tough to innovate when failure is a kiss of death.

Tim O’Reilly believes too many people erroneously consider themselves innovators. O’Reilly used a lyric from a Buffalo Springfield song: “There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.” I like to use the following Bob Dylan lyric: “And you know something is happening, but you don’t know what it is… Do you Mr. Jones?” My take: Too many self proclaimed innovators are Mr. Jones.

Something to ponder… Innovation as an increasing function of fun?

Tim O’Reilly says, “We find innovation where people are having fun.


Berlin wall replica in Dixon, Illinois

9 November 2009

9 November 1989… I was 32 years of age and the falling of the Berlin Wall meant nothing to me. In the fall of ’89 I was helping raise two kids (ages almost 8 and 6) and working full time as a computer programmer. I’m not sure I spent much time paying attention as to what was happening in the world. The Internet existed, but I didn’t have access to it (and the World Wide Web was in the process of being invented/created).

I remember during the earlier 1990s a co-worker going to Germany on a vacation. Upon their return, they gifted me with a small piece of the Berlin Wall, but I ended up losing it.

In 2004, I visited Dixon, Illinois, which was he boyhood home of Ronald Reagan, has the Wings Of Peace And Freedom Park. The park includes a full replica of a section of the Berlin wall. The following pictures were taken in Dixon, Illinois.

Dixon Illinois014_DixonWall015_DixonPlaque

Why yottagoo?

8 November 2009

I named this blog Yottagoo because I’m hoping to post a lot of stuff to it over the remaining nine decades of the 21st century. [yotta- is a lot and goo is stuff]

During the early part of the 21st century I started using the handle nanofoo.

Nano- is an SI prefix representing one-billionth of something. For example, one nano-second is one-billionth of a second (i.e. one second is one billion nano-seconds).

Foo is frequently used when something needs to be given a name, but the name doesn’t matter. Sometimes I use foo when I use a profanity (e.g. WTF is What The Foo!)

I initially wanted to connect the 20th century with the 21st century using foonano, but SI prefixes come first so I picked nanofoo instead. [Note: Nanotechnology was born in the 20th century, but molecular nanotechnology is a child of the 21st century.]

Yotta- is a SI prefix representing a factor of one septillion (i.e. 10^24). For example, one yotta-second is one septillion seconds (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 seconds). I picked the yotta- SI prefix because we’re living in an era of large numbers.

Goo has numerous definitions, but in the yottagoo context it’s 21st century form of foo. [Note: ‘g’ comes after ‘f’] In the science fiction realm, via the Wikipedia, goo is a “large mass of replicating nanomachines.”

In a nutshell, yottagoo is a lotta 21st century foo.

New term: Geekification

7 November 2009

SourceForge Inc. has changed its name to Geeknet Inc. The company changed its name to better “articulate” its business: serving the wants and needs of the expanding world-wide geekdom.

The following quote is from Scott Kauffman, CEO of Geeknet.

The geek demographic is bigger than most people realize,
and it is growing every day in both scope and influence.
Its product appeal extends beyond servers and slide rules
to include video games, soft drinks, automobiles, fast food,
fashion, entertainment, consumer electronics and other goods.
We call this phenomenon the ‘geekification‘ of the world, and we believe that our network provides the best platform
for advertisers to reach this highly coveted audience.

Geeknet “communities” consist of Slashdot, SourceForge.net,
ThinkGeek, Freshmeat, and Ohloh. In addition, they handle advertising for the Linux Foundation’s Linux.com. According to Geeknet, the company serves more than 40 million tech-savvy geeks each month,

Given I’m a shareholder in Geeknet Inc. (nasdaq: LNUX), I hope the company plays a key role in the geekification of the world.

New term: Informavore

6 November 2009

I like reading the informative stuff at Edge.org. The other day Edge.org had the headline “The Age of the Informavore: A Talk With Frank Schirrmacher.”

Edge.org defined informavore as follows: “The term informavore characterizes an organism that consumes information. It is meant to be a description of human behavior in modern information society, in comparison to omnivore, as a description of humans consuming food.”

For the last few years I’ve written a lot about 21st century Informatics*. In a nutshell, informatics feeds the informavores.

* 21st century Informatics is data/information processing supported by a cyber-infrastructure of high-performance computing systems.

Edge.org::The Age of the Informavore

Voter apathy in Tempe, Arizona?

5 November 2009

Tempe, Arizona, voters voted YES for the $77 million Tempe Elementary Schools bond. This came as no surprise, but I was surprised that less than 8000 Tempeans voted. I admit I was going to blow off voting, but I didn’t.

5359 Tempeans voted YES for the schools bond, but it would have taken only 2496 YES votes for passage. I have no data to support this claim, but I suspect a large percentage of the 5359 YES votes were from education workers (teachers, administrators, etc.).

7854 Tempeans voted on 3 November 02009. Tempe’s population (02006 est.): 169,712. Approximately 20% of Tempeans are under 18, which implies about 135,769 Tempeans are of voting age. I don’t know how many Tempeans are eligible voters; however, whatever the number is, it does appear as if voter apathy is alive and well in Tempe, Arizona.

The power of twitter

4 November 2009

I was reading what some psychologist had to say about Facebook and Twitter and the following quote caught my attention.

“On Twitter you receive an endless stream of information, but it’s also very succinct,” Dr Alloway said. “You don’t have to process that information. Your attention span is being reduced and you’re not engaging your brain and improving nerve connections.” (via news.com.au)

I understand Dr. Alloway to an extent; however, tweets can contain hyperlinks that in turn, if clicked, take us to a constantly growing world wide web of information. In other words, tweets can exploit the power of the hyperlink.

I think of tweets as expanded headlines/titles/subject-lines and the effective use of these communication objects can be a powerful tool.

In a nutshell, for me right now, the power of Twitter is in who I follow.