Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Viral innovation: PC flu.

The first PC virus, called Brain, was discovered in 1986; it was made in Pakistan, of all places, and caused no harm.
Fizzer, the first virus designed to make money, was released in 2003. It spread itself as an e-mail attachment and forced infected machines to send out spam.

Brain, circa 1986, also had commercial value because it demonstrated its authors' software skills and could get them new customers. In essence, it was a demo-based ad. In contrast, Fizzer, circa 2003, provided ad opportunities to third parties. Its "value proposition" targeted a new market: networked computers with internet commerce capabilities. In some ways, that was the first viral marketing application.


tags: distribution, business, model, dynamic, payload, push, control, evolution

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Beauty as Truth

Murray Gell-Mann, a Nobel Laureate in Physics, tells us in his TED lecture that in theoretical physics beautiful ideas turn out to be true. The more beautiful, the truer.

He also talks about the heretical nature of scientific beauty. For example, Isaac Newton's ideas that we now take for granted could be considered quite crazy at his time.

"This principle of nature being very remote from the conceptions of Philosophers, I forbore to describe it in that book, least I should be accounted an extravagant freak and so prejudice my Readers against all those things which were the main designe of the book."

Isaac Newton (Opticks: Or a Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections & Colours of Light-Based on the Fourth Edition London, 1730

tags: science, theory, quote,  system, recursive

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New times, new crimes

Certain criminal practices are also subject to technology disruptions.

In a 2001 story, the New York Times reported that there were 23,068 reported pickpocketing incidents in the city in 1990, amounting to nearly $10 million in losses. Five years later, the number of reported incidents had fallen by half, and by the turn of the millennium, there were less than 5,000. Today, the NYPD doesn't even maintain individual numbers on pickpocketing. "It's hardly a problem anymore," says a department spokesperson.

Check forgers and horse thieves are gone too.

tags: technology, evolution, d, disruption, 4q diagram

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Random Act of Creativity

I stole this picture from the cloud.

tags: creativity, picture, art

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A glass 5% full

In 2008, US companies spent $2.5 billion out of their total $219.6 billion R&D investment at US colleges, universities, representing 5% of university R&D spending.

Source: Managing University Intellectual Property in the Public Interest (2010), The National Academy of Sciences.

So much for the Open Innovation concept. On the other hand, there's huge total R&D available market that universities or university-affiliated organizations could tap in.

tags: research, innovation, education,  market

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Innovation in higher education.

BBC reports that psychology professor Michael Bailey at the Northwestern allowed a demonstration of a motorized sex toy during his lecture:

On 21 February, psychology professor Michael Bailey held a lecture on sexual arousal, with a focus on certain aspects of female physiology, according to a statement he released on Wednesday.

"Student feedback for this event was uniformly positive," Prof Bailey said.

The demonstrator, Faith Kroll, told the Chicago Tribune she enjoyed the attention.

Everybody seemed to be happy, except The Northwestern's president, who said he was "disturbed" by the event.

tags: innovation, education, risk, information, technology, biology