Failures and breakthroughs – exposed, reflected, considered

Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

apple and judiciary of cool

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It was perceivable that “to Google” became a verb synonymous with “to search;” but it might’ve been difficult to forecast a judiciary ruling on the concept of coolness.

This happened unsurprisingly in a judgment involving Apple, which brought the case alleging Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10 infringed its iPad design. British Judge Birss disagreed saying Apple’s designs weren’t being infringed because Samsung’s product was not as “cool” as the iPad.

This can be watershed in jurisprudence.

Originally, in a 1997 article, Gladwell wrote about the group of people he called coolhunters who scoured American cities to find out what cool kids thought about sneakers.


Written by Hayk

July 14, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Posted in business, innovation, technology

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is democracy bad for growth?

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Why did China outperform India?

“Shanghai Theory of Economic Growth”

  • Infrastructures
  • Strong government
  • State capitalism and government ownership
  • Democracy is a hindrance to growth

It is neither infrastructure (Soviet Union vs China before 1989) nor strong government (Pakistan vs India by 2008) nor state capitalism (success of Korea, Singapore vs failures Burma and DPRK).

So why did China so systematically outperform India even during its Cultural Revolution?

China’s greatest advantage over India was basic education (literacy rate – to read/write 1500 Chinese characters vs write your name in any Indian language you happen to speak) whereas India focused heavily on tertiary education instead.

Written by Hayk

October 11, 2011 at 8:20 am

hedge funds and twitter – glimpses of future?

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Since creation of the first hedge fund in 1949, 10.000 funds and $2 trillion past, there is a change under way.

Derwent Capital, with its initial $39 million, is Europe’s first “social media-based hedge fund” founded on findings of this paper, which asserts that Twitter can:

predict daily moves in the Dow Jones … change in emotions expressed online would be followed between two and six days later by a move in the index… predict its movements with 87.6% accuracy.

Still small compared to standard ones, the fund analyzes thousands of tweets for words “happy,” “sad,” “angry,” etc. to determine public sentiment/mood.

Written by Hayk

September 30, 2011 at 6:50 am

gamers find HIV enzyme structure

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FoldIt is a fun-for-purpose video game developed in 2008 by Uni Washington. In it gamers divide into competing groups and try to solve scientific puzzles using online tools.

They figured out the 3D structure of a monomeric protease enzyme, an essential protein in construction/replication of retroviruses, a family that includes HIV. Finding 3D structures of proteins allows to understand causes and potential cures of viruses.

Foldit creator Seth Cooper explained the success of gamers by saying:

People have spatial reasoning skills, something computers are not yet good at.

Until then only a 2D structure was known using microscopes.

Written by Hayk

September 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Posted in health, science, technology

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gaming can save the world

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  • 3 billion hours/week playing online games (21 billion to save the world).
  • In games we become best versions of ourselves.
  • World of Warcraft (second biggest wiki worldwide; 5 million people playt it every month) is an ideal game world simulating reality.
  • WoW-players have collectively spent 5.93 million years solving virtual world problems.
  • Unlimited satisfaction from feeling of being on verge of epic-win makes us spend much time playing.
  • A youth in a game-culture country spends on average 10.000 hours gaming by 21.
  • >500 million gamers spend >1hour a day playing games.
  • games give us: urgent optimism + social fabric + blissful productivity + epic-winning = super-empowered hopeful individuals.

Written by Hayk

September 16, 2011 at 6:44 am

Posted in society, technology

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what breeds ideas and innovations

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Where good ideas come from claims innovation originates in seven realms:

  1. Adjacent possibilities.Use existing components. Gutenberg used wine press for his printing press.
  2. Liquid networks. 21st-century cities and the Internet make it possible for informal networks to form, enabling idea cross-pollination/inventions.
  3. Slow hunch. It takes years for a hunch to evolve into an invention.
  4. Serendipity. LSDTeflonViagra.
  5. (Unplanned/unexpected) errors. de Forest‘s development of audion diode/triode resulted from erroneous thinking.
  6. ExaptionVacuum tubes were developed for long-distance telephone/radio transmission and later used in computers.
  7. Platforms. Development of TRANSIT, a precursor of GPS by Applied Physics Laboratory.

Written by Hayk

September 11, 2011 at 8:51 am

gandhi, world blunders and google’s idea of 21st century

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Mohandas Gandhi gave to his grandson Arun Gandhi a piece of paper on their final day together, shortly before his assassination, which had a title “Seven Blunders of the World”:

  1. Wealth without work.
  2. Pleasure without conscience.
  3. Knowledge without character.
  4. Commerce without morality.
  5. Science without humanity.
  6. Worship without sacrifice.
  7. Politics without principle.

Doesn’t sounds like a value-based 21st century vision, does it?

Google search for “21st century vision” gives more than 55 million results. Google Trends would only take “21st century.” The result: Philippines and Tagalog language have more trending of “21st century” than America and English.

Written by Hayk

September 10, 2011 at 7:44 am