Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Wednesday, December 6, 2006day link 

 Clone yourself
picture picture picture
Bert Simons is an artist, and being in a bit of a midlife crisis, worried that he wasn't leaving enough of himself behind in the world, he decide to clone himself. By computer-generating a model of his head, and producing it in paper strips that can be assempled into a close likeness of himself. And after that, he started working on the perfect cardboard woman.
[ | 2006-12-06 21:51 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 40% efficiency in solar cells
US Dept. of Energy:
...with DOE funding, a concentrator solar cell produced by Boeing-Spectrolab has recently achieved a world-record conversion efficiency of 40.7 percent, establishing a new milestone in sunlight-to-electricity performance. This breakthrough may lead to systems with an installation cost of only $3 per watt, producing electricity at a cost of 8-10 cents per kilowatt/hour, making solar electricity a more cost-competitive and integral part of our nation’s energy mix.
That's very good news. But there's something kind of perverted about converting it to a cost per kWh, as if that makes it an even comparison with pumping oil out of the ground and burning it. Anyway, as somebody on Slashdot calculates, that should mean that a square 265 miles on a side in the American southwest could handle the whole world's energy needs.
[ | 2006-12-06 22:04 | 9 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Nice place you have here
I haven't used Microsoft SharePoint, but Euan's Commentary on why he doesn't like it applies more widely:
If social computing is going to be effective in the workplace things have to be different - fundamentally.

When we started building this stuff at the BBC we were consciously trying to build the online equivalent of a collection of Cotswold villages with lots of footpaths between them. You know where the pub and church are, you’re comfortable in the environment and you can locate yourself. Corporate systems tend to be more like Milton Keynes. On the surface they’re efficient with lots of straight lines and signposting, but you get lost because everything looks the same.

Using a new tool really does feel like walking into a room and working out what the atmosphere is like, what the other people are like, whether they feel like people I could get on with and whether we will be allowed to take our time to form a relationship and begin to get things done. Dave Snowden was right when he said that you can’t manage knowledge but you can create a knowledge ecology.

I can't put my finger in what it is - the graphics, the language used or the intentions behind the software but I rarely get this feeling from Microsoft stuff especially not SharePoint. They are too good at creating sterile environments run by control freaks who hate messiness, consider conversations unprofessional and rarely understand the true pulse of their organisations.

This stuff may be seen as "business-like" at the moment but I don't believe it will be what business is like in the future.
I hope not. Here's to human business networks.
[ | 2006-12-06 22:22 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

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