Towards 2020 Science

The Economist writes:

Some 34 of the world’s leading biologists, physicists, chemists, Earth scientists and computer scientists, led by Stephen Emmott, of Microsoft Research in Cambridge, Britain, have spent the past eight months trying to understand how future developments in computing science might influence science as a whole. They have concluded, in a report called Towards 2020 Science, that computing no longer merely helps scientists with their work. Instead, its concepts, tools and theorems have become integrated into the fabric of science itself. Indeed, computer science produces an orderly, formal framework and exploratory apparatus for other sciences, according to George Djorgovski, an astrophysicist at the California Institute of Technology.

More details are available here.

Idea Markets

The New York Times writes:

At Rite-Solutions, the architecture of participation is both businesslike and playful. Fifty-five stocks are listed on the company’s internal market, which is called Mutual Fun. Each stock comes with a detailed description called an expect-us, as opposed to a prospectus and begins trading at a price of $10. Every employee gets $10,000 in “opinion money” to allocate among the offerings, and employees signal their enthusiasm by investing in a stock and, better yet, volunteering to work on the project. Volunteers share in the proceeds, in the form of real money, if the stock becomes a product or delivers savings.

Mr. Marino, 57, president of Rite-Solutions, says the market, which began in January 2005, has already paid big dividends. One of the earliest stocks (ticker symbol: VIEW) was a proposal to apply three-dimensional visualization technology, akin to video games, to help sailors and domestic-security personnel practice making decisions in emergency situations. Initially, Mr. Marino was unenthusiastic about the idea “I’m not a joystick jockey” but support among employees was overwhelming. Today, that product line, called Rite-View, accounts for 30 percent of total sales.

TV Everywhere via Slingbox

The New York Times writes:

Last year, a strange-looking gadget called the Slingbox ($250) began offering that possibility. It’s designed to let you, a traveler on the road, watch what’s on TV back at your house, or what’s been recorded by a video recorder like a TiVo. The requirements are high-speed Internet connections at both ends, a home network and a Windows computer usually a laptop to watch on. (A Mac version is due by midyear.)

Today is another milestone in society’s great march toward anytime, anywhere TV. Starting today, Slingbox owners can install new player software on Windows Mobile palmtops and cellphones, thereby eliminating even the laptop requirement.

On cellphones with high-speed Internet connections, the requirement of a wireless Internet hot spot goes away, too. Now you can watch your home TV anywhere you can make phone calls a statement that’s never appeared in print before today (at least not accurately).


Hollywood Reporter writes:

In a few short months, the Web site has emerged from the obscure ranks of dozens of online viral-video outposts to dominate even giant portals in the category, including Yahoo! and Google.

But its astonishing growth — streaming 30 million videos a day — also has put old-guard media empires on the defensive. NBC Universal and CBS Corp. are just a few of the power players who have clamped down on YouTube recently for hosting copyright-infringing clips snatched from broadcast airwaves.

YouTube is not a peer-to-peer service like Napster, but its video-hosting capabilities allow Internet surfers to stream videos easily from a Web page. Also unlike Napster, most of the video available is not entire TV episodes or movies but short clips no longer than three minutes.

That makes YouTube and its ilk ideal for showcasing homemade video of everything from baby’s first steps to frat-house pranks.

Interviews for Recruiting

Guy Kawasaki has a guest post by Craig James:

Interviewing is a highly-specialized skill, and some people are MUCH better at it than others. Identify the good interviewers, the ones who seem to have a second sense, and intuition, about others. Make a team of these people, and have them do ALL of your interviewing.

In your book, you discuss what you’re trying to learn, but not HOW to go about learning it. That’s the real art of recruiting. We treated the interview like any other project. There was a team leader, and each person specialized in a particular task. Every interview followed the same project plan.

TECH TALK: Let’s Build a Business: 1. Healthcare

From time to time, we get ideas. Ideas to build new businesses, new worlds. Ideas to create breakthrough technologies. Ideas to build tomorrow’s blockbusters. In this week’s Tech Talk, I will outline a few such ideas that I have been thinking with friends and colleagues, and where we’d like to see entrepreneurial-minded people step up and pick up the gauntlet to build these businesses.

For each of these ideas described, the seed capital to get the business started is available. What we are looking for are people to lead the venture and be part of the senior management team. We believe that each of these ventures has the ability to not only grow big in the years to come, but also transform India. So, if you are interested in any of these ventures, email me at or fill out this feedback form with a brief profile of yourself, your thoughts on the ideas presented, and your thinking about the role that you’d like to play in the venture.

The ideas for the healthcare venture are from Dr. Aniruddha Malpani.

The healthcare industry is ailing.

The commonest complaints patients have today are:

  • Doctors are too busy they make me wait too long
  • I dont understand what they say they dont have time to explain their jargon
  • They dont share information or respect my preferences
  • Care is fragmented amongst specialists
  • Doctors are not transparent or accountable
  • How do I know his advise is reliable and trustworthy ?

    Doctors are unhappy too.

  • They are stressed out, because of the large number of patients they need to see, and feel that patients expect too much from them.
  • The feel that patients unfairly blame doctors for all bad outcomes.
  • They also feel that many patients waste their valuable time by asking stupid and irrelevant questions; because they are too disorganized; and dont bother to educate themselves or do their homework.

    Todays problems in healthcare are because:

  • Everything is doctor-centric – the doctor is the center of the medical care system
  • Healthcare is therefore fragmented and disorganised
  • Too many specialists , most of whom have tunnel vision

    We need to reform the healthcare ecosystem by putting patients at the center patients are the largest untapped healthcare resource !

    Patients ( or their relatives and friends) are intelligent and capable; and because they have a lot at stake , they are motivated to get good health care, and will be willing to invest time and energy if given the right tools to ensure a good outcome.

    We need to provide the tools directly to patients !

    Patient centered healthcare involves:

  • Self-care
  • Personalization
  • Transparency
  • Quality
  • Control

    To the Tax Department, you are your tax return. For the Bank, you are your bank statement. For the Healthcare system, you are your medical record .

    At present, this is on paper, fragmented , all over the place (in hospitals and clinics) and incomplete. Today, the modern version is the EMR or electronic medical record). The medical record is a representation of the patients story as seen from a medical perspective. (This is a fallback of the old-fashioned biomedical viewpoint of the medical establishment, which treated all patients as cases).

    However, ideally the health record should be the patients story from the patients point of view! A patient-owned health record. The PHR (Patient Health Record), which includes the patients personal views and social background as well, can enable a true partnership and collaboration between patient and doctor.

    Unfortunately, for most of us, our financial records are in better shape than our health records! This is a sad state of affairs, and we can correct this by using technology intelligently to help patients to store their medical records on their personal website.

    PHR = organised medical information = improved medical care.

    Information is shared amongst all the specialists who participate in your care; instantly available on your mobile, wherever you are; available during emergencies; available to your spouse; and always updated. In addition, it ensures you dont forget allergies and drug reactions; and also provides automated reminders (for example, for checkups ).

    Patients will own this information. Part can be secure, private, and confidential; part can be public; and by allowing varying levels of access , portions can be shared with whomever they choose. This will allow patient-to-patient networking, so they can provide support and help to each other.

    Interested in leading or being part of this venture? Email me at or fill out this feedback form with a brief profile of yourself, your thoughts on the ideas presented, and your thinking about the role that you’d like to play in the venture.

    Tomorrow: Education