Government spending and bicycles.

Government spending has all sorts of unintended consequences, some good, some not so good.  Without DARPA we would probably not have an Internet, and the Valley south of San Francisco would still be famous for oranges.

I was in Dubai last week. That too, is an example of Government intervention. It is a spectacular if sometimes gaudy example of the state and capitalism working together. I’m guessing Keynes and Hicks would have been impressed.  It reminded me of Vegas, but much more imposing.

And speaking of Las Vegas,  some very clever fellows at Lew design and build the carbon composite bits of the some rather mean looking aircraft. 

“Welded Wing was designed to deliver STUAVs deep into denied territories. The full Welded Wing configuration will allow a total mission range of over 1,100nm and provide up to five separate missions at time of separation. The S-Class (Mothership) will provide GIG/SATCOM relay and a non-GPS reliant communications network will control the UAVs. Onboard mission computers and real time C2 will allow mission parameters to be changed in theatre.”

More acronyms and euphemisms  than an enterprise software brochure. 

But these same fellows turned their attention to the bicycle wheel and came up with this wheel. Swords and plowshares 2.0.

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They can  cost  up to 15,000 US dollars for a custom wheelset. But they weigh just over 700 grammes for the pair.  Gosh. 

It is a sad reflection on our global  society that these are a byproduct of unmanned weapon delivery.

Instead of ogling insanely expensive carbon wheels I should really get on my bike and ride up a hill or two.

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Social media and malaria……..

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Photo from the cc flickrstream of tanakawho

Via Yahoo news I read that

The British entrepreneur who sold a football Web site at the age of 17 for $40 million (20 million pounds) has switched his attention to help launch a social networking site on Sunday designed to fight malaria

“Travelling across Africa and seeing the devastation caused by malaria made me realise there was more to life than putting up soccer scores,” said Hadfield.

“Everyone I met at an aid project making mosquito nets in Zambia had either lost a child to malaria or knew someone who had.”

… Hadfield co-founded the site with health professors Peter A. Singer and Abdallah S. Daar at Canada’s McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health at University Health Network as well as the University of Toronto

Malaria is a largely preventable disease, yet it kills millions of people.

 

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MalariaEngage impresses me for two reasons.

1. Social media platforms like this enable charities and researchers  to build compelling online presence and interaction at a price point that would have been inconceivable even a couple years ago.

“It’s about more than about giving money — it’s about creating connections. By encouraging individual participation and involvement, we will create international communities of common interest. This is the essence of social networking.”

2. By linking donations to local research, it boosts local skills and research, and explores new avenues for practical cures and preventions. Strengthening African research is goodness. Malaria impacts those least able to pay for medicine,  so it is a tragic example of market failure. The global pharma industry has not really addressed the challenge of malaria, so perhaps local research is the answer. 

 

We feel young African scientists have very good ideas that end up in the dustbin,” said Singer. “This is about helping committed young researchers with good ideas to help themselves create a better future.”

Well done to Hadfield, Singer and Daar.

 

On the look out for HR technology innovation.

(photo of the view-master reel from excellent flickr stream of cgines, thanks)

I’m starting to get settled into my new job here at Gartner,  researching the HR-HCM technology space.  The support and peer network has been brilliant, the job is everything I’d hoped for.  I’m having fun. I’m learning every day.  Jim is keeping  me busy.

I’m conscious that most of my working career has been SAP and SAP ecosystem focused, and so I need to broaden my perspectives.  Step out from my SAP comfort zone.   

I hoping that my readers can help.  Point me to HR and HCM stuff you think I should be researching.  I’ll be heading to some HR-HCM related conferences, and some enterprise 2.0 events here in Europe.  Let me know the ones you think I should attend. (They can be in English or German) 

thomasdototteratgartnerdotcom  or please  leave me a comment here.

I plan to be over in the  Bay Area on the US west coast for the last week of April,  so if you are based there, let’s try to meet up.  Over the course of the year I’ll be in a number of European cities, and I even have a trip down to South Africa planned. 

A lot of my time in this job needs to be spent listening.

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