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Steve Jobs Legacy for me – what’s important to you?

October 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm PST

This is a tough blog post for me. Like many folks in the US and around the world I too believe we have lost a genius. From a consumer products perspective Jobs disrupted the animation industry, disrupted the music industry, disrupted the phone industry and disrupted the laptop industry. Disruption for the last  three meant big wins for Apple -- big profits and big market share numbers.

We’re all wondering what was planned next and, despite assurances that Apple will continue to produce innovation and that innovation is in safe hands with the existing management, I have a feeling that the ‘Jobs spark’ will be hard to replicate in the future. I do have confidence that someone or ‘ones’ will appear in the future to continue the innovation the US has been famous for.

Steve Jobs  ‘Righting the Ship’ after he takes the Helm. He’s talking about his predecessor’s approach, not his! That’s why Gates etc. are laughing.

As Managing Editor of the Manufacturing Industry Blog I am allowed the occasional ‘Editorial’ only slightly related to the industry (well, that’s what I’ve decided, anyway!). So this blog is tough because I’m not going to address the innovation issue. I’m not going to address the need for improved education or more engineers or more math students (though they are sadly needed).

No, this blog is about priorities in life. I’ve learned, as many of us have, that Jobs allegedly  delayed getting surgery for his pancreatic cancer by three-quarters of a year, or thereabouts. It is reported that the new biography that’s due out on Monday has some of the details. Now I make no judgment on his choices, I’ll leave that to you as reader, but a “60 minutes” interview that airs on Sunday with biographer Walter Isaacson apparently confirms details that had been speculated upon or widely reported, including that Jobs might have been cured of his “slow-growing” cancer had he sought professional treatment sooner, rather than resorting to unconventional means.

Please don’t judge Steve Jobs, or me. But here’s a similar learning from both of us. I passed a certain age a while ago where I should have had my first colonoscopy. I delayed it. Too busy; not high enough priority; low risk factors; you name the excuses. Four years after that time, in 2010, my wife Julie forced me to have it done. We had a 6 year old and she had just given birth to our second child – a beautiful baby girl.

Unfortunately for me, It was bad news…

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Using Twitter for real-time, personalized marketing

October 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm PST

Now here is an interesting example of using social media to deliver personalized marketing. KLM airlines, which has made the claim that they “will answer every tweet in person within the hour day and night,” created this viral video to demonstrate their commitment to this effort. Read More »

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Crowdsourcing and Manufacturing

October 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm PST

The challenges facing the US manufacturing industry are varied and well-known: foreign competition, regulatory and environmental concerns, and a decline in STEM education, to name a few.

Most of what we hear in the news is a continual stream of reminders of these challenges from politicians, pundits, etc. Everyone seems to acknowledge this is a problem, but what are we going to do about it?

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Continue driving the Internet of Things

So, in my last blog, I pointed out that Manufacturers, and particularly car makers, will be driving the Internet of Things (IoT) by incorporating standard networks into their machines.   I also indicated that evolving the standards is going to be critical to that adoption.

Applying standard networks (by that I mean Ethernet, IP, TCP/UDP, 802.11/WiFi, etc.) machines is going to be a distinctly different than the networking of computers, phones and the plethora of tablets and handheld devices that has driven the Internet and standard networks to date. Read More »

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Einstein 1, Neutrinos 0

October 17, 2011 at 9:53 am PST

Faster than the speed of light?

The biggest news to hit the world of physics recently was that neutrinos – “ethereal particles which pervade the universe but rarely interact with anything while they are doing so” – were shown in an experiment to have traveled faster than the speed of light. According to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, this is impossible.

The experiment was conducted at CERN in September. Researchers shot neutrinos from Switzerland to Italy and measured the time it took for the neutrinos to arrive. The results showed they were arriving 60 nanoseconds earlier than light would have taken.

Is Einstein wrong? Are the laws of theoretical physics about to come crashing down around us? Um, not so fast (pun intended). Read More »

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