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Sunday, 17 January 2010

Interesting Links

ten worst tech forecasts of all time

Sir Alan Sugar gets a mention here for predicting that the iPod wont make it to the next Christmas. I can remember attending a conference in 1988 -I think- when he was sharing the platform with a very young Michael Dell. A journalist asked Sugar if he thought that direct sales of PCs was the way forward. No chance, said Sugar. I can’t remember what Dell’s reaction was but he has been laughing all the way to the bank ever since. 

The last lecture

Were you lucky enough to see the great Dennis Potter’s last interview  before he died in 1975?  Didn’t he burn, didn’t he glow, life was intense, just as it was for Blake’s tiger. In a similar vein, here is the last lecture given by a brilliant young scientist called Randy Pautsch. There is something about proximate death that brings out the lyrical. It will probably be one of the most uplifting things that you will see this year. Pautsch, who died of liver cancer shortly after, is in fine form and rather disconcertingly, he looks amazingly well. There is one lovely Geek joke too: “Yes, I have to confess to a death bed confession, I’ve just bought my first Mac.”

Below is a link to a fascinating lecture give by VS Ramachandran, a leading neuroscientist that looks at the synapses that might create culture and the global mind. This is followed by a link to a McKinsey paper on the dollar's prospects

This is a link to a design house that has created a mock-up of an electronic magazine. It is the most convincing demonstration I have yet seen of the potential of electronic publishing

What is to be done?
The excellent James Falllows, writing in the Atlantic, after having returned form a long stint in China, looks at the state of America. 

A heart felt plea from a venture capitalist who bemoans the fact that a third of his portfolio appears to be in breach of patent laws. I dare say that the ancient Babylonians didn't plan to wreck their civilisation by over irrigating their fields. Patent laws might by our version of the Babylonian dilemma. We are slowly being strangled by patent laws that are being applied to software.

Net Neutrality
Interesting piece from an economic prospective that argues that net neutrality makes sense.

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