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Small Business Opportunities Of The 21st Century

The Entrepreneurial Mind has posted this interesting list of the top 10 forecasts for 2008 and beyond. I can’t say that I agree 100% with the points listed there but it makes for really interesting reading.

One of the most interesting point, in my opinion, would be that fashion will go wired as technologies and tastes converge to revolutionize the textile industry. It’s interesting because I see the textile industry to be one of the most technology-averse. Just check out the clothes you wear, or for argument’s sake, those that are being paraded on catwalks all over the world.

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Microsoft’s OOXML Rejected By ISO

The votes have been tallied and Microsoft’s broken Office Open XML draft standard has been rejected in the process (emphasis mine):

Approval requires at least 2/3 (i.e. 66.66%) of the votes cast by national bodies participating in ISO/IEC JTC 1 to be positive; and no more than 1/4 (i.e. 25%) of the total number of national body votes cast negative. Neither of these criteria were achieved, with 53% of votes cast by national bodies participating in ISO/IEC JTC 1 being positive and 26% of national votes cast being negative.

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An Inconvenient Truth: My Inconvenient Death By Powerpoint

First off, I do take the issue of global warming very seriously. The signs are real. The impact can be felt now. I’d imagine that it’ll get worse from now on.

That is why I’m highly disappointed after watching An Inconvenient Truth. Here’s a man who described himself as “the former next president of the United States” when introducing himself in the film. A very witty way to introduce Al Gore.

My initial amusement was shortlived though. An Inconvenient Truth was almost unbearable to watch mostly due to Mr. Gore’s interminable effort to put the audience to death by Powerpoint.

Every 10 to 20 minutes or so of the film; Mr. Gore is either:

  • Shown composing his presentation on powerpoint (on a Mac notebook at that)
  • Actually presenting the powerpoint slides
  • Having flashbacks of certain events that has nothing to do with global warming

My opinion on the film? An attempt at delivering a serious message by someone that I find hard to take seriously who’s way too serious about Powerpoint. Too much seriousness? You bet! But at all the wrong areas.

Want the no-spin, factual account of global warming? You’re way better off watching productions from National Geographic or Discovery Channel which cover the topic with less political aftertastes.

Genetically Engineered Malaria Resistant Mosquitoes

Malaria Spreads Through Mosquitoes

Every year, malaria infects around 400 million people. To make it worse, similar with HIV AIDS, there’s currently no vaccine for malaria. Malaria spreads through mosquito bites, specifically from the Anopheles species.

In what could be deemed as progress in the fight against malaria, researchers from the John Hopkins University have genetically engineered malaria resistant mosquitoes. Interesting excerpt from the article:

Starting with the same number of resistant and nonresistant mosquitoes, they found that after nine generations the resistant type made up 70 percent of the population – raising the possibility of replacing regular mosquitoes with resistant ones that don’t spread disease.

I find that this method of combating the disease to be an interesting approach towards rectifying the problem. So far, mainstream R&D on malaria are focused more towards developing vaccines and other form of treatment. By shifting the focus to the vector agents themselves, this research might provide the breakthrough malaria sufferers have been hoping for.

More Feels That The US Is A Negative Global Influence

As reported by BBC News, the view of the US’s role in the world has became significantly worse both internationally and domestically. Quoted from the article (emphasis mine):

When asked about US military presence in the Middle East, an average of 68% of respondents across the 25 countries answered that it “provokes more conflict than it prevents”.

Wow… more than two-thirds of the respondents feel that US presence in the Middle East cocks things up rather than fix anything. Why am I not surprised 😉