In other words, you are what you eat. (Or will be what you eat.)
Now here's an innovation: "music on demand," in the truest sense of the meaning. Radiohead, the juggernauts of intelligentsia rock, announced that they will give away their new album "In Rainbows" as a download for whatever price consumers are willing to pay. The band is free to sell the new album directly from the official website because it is no longer tied to a record label. So far, the album is only available to pre-order, but it can be downloaded when released on October 10.
It's not the first time that an artist or … Read more
Management's focus on innovation comes and goes in cycles. Right now, it is all the rage again (although it remains to be seen if that's still the case as innovation budgets may be cut when the looming recession hits the US), and the business press is covering it all across the board. Managing innovation is one of the most critical tasks companies face, and yet it remains one of the biggest challenges. Not only do companies need to come up with new ideas, but they also need to nurture a culture that consistently encourages and rewards innovation. If … Read more
HP Labs got a makeover recently when it installed Prith Banerjee as the new director of the storied research facility. After a month on the job, he sat down with CNET News.com to talk about what he has in store for the future and how he plans to rejuvenate the heart of the company that birthed Silicon Valley.
First selected for the post in May, Banerjee comes to Hewlett-Packard after eight years as the head of the electrical engineering department at Northwestern University and three years as dean of the College of Engineering at University of Illinois-Chicago. He says … Read more
I bought a book for my wife yesterday at Foyles in London, which I couldn't manage to stop reading once I had started. It's a new Bill Bryson book called Shakespeare: The World as Stage and parses the research around Shakespeare the person and his writing, without ever becoming tedious. It's an excellent read.
What struck me most, however, was just how much Shakespeare borrowed from other writers, and how accepted this was in his day.
[Shakespeare's] success was not...without its shortcuts. Shakespeare didn't scruple to steal plots, dialogue, names and titles - whatever suited his purpose. To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, Shakespeare was a wonderful teller of stories so long as someone else had told them first....… Read more
According to a McKinsey & Company study of US economic activity, "Raising the productivity of employees whose jobs can't be automated is the next big performance challenge." The study argues that "as more companies come to specialize in core activities and outsource the rest, they have greater need for workers who can interact with co-workers, partners, and vendors," supported by highly personalized organizing and communication tools. 40 percent of labor activity, says McKinsey, comes not from making things or from traditional transactions but from what the consultancy calls the "Interaction Economy," which it … Read more
I stumbled across this excellent commentary from Stephen Baker in BusinessWeek on "good enough" technology. It's actually a great foil to an earlier post I wrote on software as a service (SaaS).
Baker asks, "Are we helped or hindered by imperfect technology that is merely 'good enough'?" He comes down squarely on the "helped" side, and with interesting reasons:… Read more
In response to my post on the XenSource acquisition, a friend made this comment, which I think is dead-on:What this also says is that it isn't about the revenue. It is about having new technology in the arsenal to go after older competitors that have not revamped their technology. The lack of investment in technology by both start-ups and the established players in the early part of the decade is now catching up with them by making them exposed to new, open source entrants that were able to survive in the shadows of the dinosaurs. There is sales capacity and existing brand equity that can take these technologies and the new business model and make more out of it quickly.
As his email came in, I was on the phone with the CTO of a multi-billion dollar enterprise.… Read more
Hynix is shaking things up in the memory market with its decision to license Innovative Silicon's Z-RAM technology.
The two companies jointly announced the agreement on Monday.
Z-RAM is a twist on the traditional makeup of a memory cell. Almost all PCs use DRAM to temporarily store information while the system is running, to avoid delays accessing that data from the hard drive every time it is needed. And each DRAM cell needs a transistor and a capacitor, which stores electrical charge, to represent a bit of data. But Innovative Silicon figured out a way to take advantage of … Read more
IBM intends to undertake a massive server consolidation in an effort to make its data centers more "green."
The computing giant on Wednesday said it will transfer the computing load now on 3,900 servers onto about 30 System z mainframes running Linux.
That transfer will reduce power consumption at IBM's 8 million square feet of data centers by 80 percent over the next five years.
Data centers represent large consumers of … Read more