Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Dead gecko

You prowl the dwelling,
Seeking sustenance in the niches of our home,
Your success is your size - a giant of gecko!
The perfect eco insect repellent.

Your skin adapting to adobe walls, your patient stillness in the doorjamb,
Unseen
By all including me as I close the door.

The crunch of tiny bone sickens as much as your fall to the floor,
floundering, flailing,
As I reach for something to end it,
You gasp, defiant dragon, your adaptive, diligent resilience snuffed by an oaf with a shoe.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Big church = big abuse. So lets socialise rather than institutionalise

When I read articles like this...
http://feeds.slate.com/click.phdo?i=2db4346fb4f046232a2ea7db782473f9
... it panders to my suspicion that religion is (forgive the apparent paradox) God's cruel joke. After all,what place does old fashioned church have in the age of information?  Surely we should focus on exploring the unknowns rather than writing them off to divine providence; minimize uncertainty rather than prey on it.

It seems that all religion really provides, in this day and age, is an excuse for irrational behaviour or reasoning, and/or the opportunity to exploit that trait in an institutionalised way.  Evidently faith-based institutions are fertile ground for trust abusers: a surfeit of trust is bound to attract abuse.  Yet it's interesting to note that the more sceptical/questioning/'protesting' flavour of Christianity, Protestantism, seems to have far fewer cases of child abuse.  It does suggest a direct correlation between religion (in the sense of the degree of institutionalisation of faith) and sexual abuse. Or in plainer terms: the bigger the church, the bigger the abuse.

I actually believe in the power of faith. Any competitor knows (be it sport or combat) that having faith can give you a psychological advantage, just as anyone who has experienced a trauma can appreciate the comfort of faith. But in this age of global social networks, does it really need to be institutionalised? Why not belief clubs?

Checking the internet, many are already there: Jedis, trekkies... they appear to be cod-religious nouveau entities, but their zealots are no less faithful. They may lack the gravitas (and body count!) of a centuries-old institution, but I suspect they are also more honest, earnest and less prone to abuse.

Monday, 8 March 2010

R&D: Apple vs Microsoft vs Sony [Graphs]

Some interesting research here. Key takeaway for me: Sony spend on avg $11.5m per product; Apple $78.5m. Microsoft spend $9bn a year on R&D! What the heck are they up to??

Research and Development: Apple vs Microsoft vs Sony [Graphs]: "

The core of any long-standing technology company is research and development. Here's how Apple, Microsoft and Sony's last decade of spending stack up.

Note that the first graph shows research and development as a percentage of revenue (to scale the spending by company, since revenues differ so greatly). This next graphic can help you conceptualize the revenue and R&D gap:


A Few Interesting Notes:

• Now, Microsoft spends about 17% of their revenue on R&D. Sony spends about 8%. Apple spends less than 4%.

• If you were to break down the amount of R&D that goes purely to physical (non-software) products sold by Apple and Sony, Sony would spend about $11.5 million per product while Apple would spend about $78.5 million per product. (Of course, that's rolling the cost OS X and iPhone OS development into Macs and the iPhone, which could be seen as inflating their per product spending.)

• Microsoft just spends a lot of money in R&D, period—about $9 billion this year. In terms of percentage growth over the last decade, Apple's R&D has grown the most (nearly quadrupled) while Sony's has grown the least (not quite doubled).

In light of these bare numbers, is it any surprise that Sony is struggling the most to capture the hearts and minds of a public hungry for gadgets?

Research by David Chaid