Sunday, September 25, 2011


haven't heard much from him lately - guess he is too busy making wine but he's alwaays been one of my favorite directors. I'm one of the few who did not like Godfather 2 as much as the first.

just walking the streets in San Fran last week and ran across this building. Alas he was not at home.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

high tech, high touch, high value

What do you get when you combine AEDs, smart phones, 911 and a heart attack victim? Quite possibly a life saved.

At a conference loaded with tech people (in San Fran) and heard of an amazing example of how some very high tech can save lives.

Newer AEDs are apparently idiot-proof. They audibly talk the user through the process, know exactly how much and when to give electrical shocks and even if the person shouldn't get a shock.

So where's the weak link? Many people don't know what AEDs are and even those who do may not know where they are or how to find them in various locations. I guess many public places are now required to have them.

How do these (AEDs, smart phones, 911 and a heart attack victim) get connected again?

911 gets call about possible heart attack. 911 of course dispatches emergency personnel. But what about the intervening 5 - 7 minutes (average response time)? 911 pushes out an alert to anyone with a smart phone that can be geo-located nearby the victim. In that alert is information to help locate the victim and the nearest AED.

The receiver needs the app for the service to work. I heard not too long ago about concerns over the geo-locating capabilities of the iPhone raising some privacy concerns from users. I guess people would have to put those concerns aside in order for this new tech to work.

This is not pie-in-the-sky. A CA Fire Dept. & County are already using it.

I'm not a smart phone user (yet) but I'd sure buy this app if it were available in my area. Things like this move so fast it likely won't be long.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Libya and the U.N.

Listening to the radio Friday and heard that the United Nations had given Libya's seat in the U.N. to the National Transition Council (or something like that), the group of rebels who have overthrown Ghadaffi.

First, I think what has happened in Libya will turn out to be a good thing in the long run. As I hope most of the Arab Spring rebellions/revolts also turn out to be.

But I question the awarding of the Libyan seat. Who knows who's going to be running Libya in three months? One year? Seems like this group should prove themselves as adept at governing, keeping lights on and water running etc., before someone starts recognizing them as the representative of the Libyan govt. They have done what few others could have - got rid of a dictator. But as noted so far they haven't governed and no elections have put anybody in any sort of power there.

Seems like the U.N could certainly and fairly "strip" Libya of its U.N. position - not sure how it got there in the first place. Hold things in abeyance until the dust settles, Libya has elected people in place - then consider letting the new folks re-join the U.N.

This also got me to thinking about something. In 1971 - the U.N. decided that the PRC or People's Republic of China aka the place run then by Chairman Mao, should have a place in the U.N. Looking back, maybe that was a good decision at the time. Like it or not they had been running the bigger part of China since 1949.

But what happened to Taiwan? They have no representation in the U.N. Again by all rights this has been a pretty stable and usually thriving place since not too long after 1949. But for whatever reason - well actually the reason is the PRC doesn't want to allow Taiwan to have anything in the U.N. and China is big enough in the world to call some of those shots. So it's doubtful Taiwan will ever be recognized in the U.N.

Just seems odd.