Friday, March 22, 2013

My very own website - thanks to Tyler Moore


I finally built and launched my website thanks to Tyler Moore.

I’d built all the content last year, but was struggling with how to proceed.

After much research on various approaches - for non techos like me -  I selected WordPress as a hopefully, easy starting point.

I’ve generally found YouTube a great resource for how-to-do-it demos and I wasn’t disappointed this time.

The second YouTube I found was perfect.

Prolific 'YouTuber', Mr Tyler Moore has created an excellent step-by-step guide (about 60 minutes) for Wordpress newbies. It was exactly what I was after. Two days later and I am up and running.

Have a look at my new website here www.markfowler.co.nz

Tyler Moore’s YouTube is here



Thank you Tyler

Monday, September 20, 2010

Survey: Who has bought something from Apple in last 12 months?

I was facilitating a discussion on emerging trends last week in New Zealand. The audience of 35 was a 50/50 mix of Gen-Xers and Baby-Boomers working in the public sector, with a focus on Information Technology roles.


I asked for a show of hands to the question:

"Who has bought something from Apple for themselves in the last 12 months?"

About 20 hands shot up - that's almost 60%!

That was a significant revelation.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tech Company Market Caps: major movements


I have been hearing lots of media noise and excitement about:

  • double digit global smartphone growth,
  • the incredible uptake of the Apple iPad tablet,
  • the accelerating importance of Google's Android OS for smartphones.
Have we reached the tipping point cusp of the mobility revolution, a year or two early?

To explore this idea I did a quick market cap shift analysis some selected information technology companies. Here are the results. Pretty amazing! What do you think?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Exciting new book - Solar Trillions

Dear readers,

Exciting news! Serial entrepreneur, author and Stanford professor Tony Seba has just published his second book:

“Solar Trillions - 7 Market and Investment Opportunities in the Emerging Clean-Energy Economy”

I had the honour of reviewing the book prior to publication. It is a stunner. In plan English, and backed with buckets of supporting information and statistics, Tony lifts the lid on the incredible emerging global spectrum of solar energy investment opportunities.

Plus key covers off the relative merits and potentials of other renewable energy systems including:
  • “Green” Nuclear,
  • Wind Energy,
  • Geothermal,
  • Hydro power,
  • Bioenergy,
  • “Clean” Coal.
I strongly recommend this book to you and your colleagues.

The book can be ordered from lulu.com. Link here to order the book:
http://www.lulu.com/content/7982558

Declaration of interest: I have neither any financial interest in this book, nor am receiving any incentive for promoting it. I have had to order my own copy.

KEYWORDS: Renewable Energy, Solar, Investment


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Brain industries, not dairy and tourism are the way forward for New Zealand

Yesterday in Wellington I attended a keynote speech by a Dr Paul Callaghan, the Alan MacDiarmid Professor of Physical Sciences at Victoria University. The presentation was titled “Beyond the Farm and the Theme Park: transforming New Zealand's culture and economy.”

Dr Callaghan delivered fascinating insights into the economics of New Zealand’s future wealth creation possibilities and challenges. Of particular interest was his contention – that if New Zealand aspires to grow its way back to GDP per capita parity with Australia – it will not be through dairy or tourism. It would have to be through high revenue per employee “brain” (high tech) businesses. Below I attach some relevant quotes from a Herald article Dr Callaghan wrote back in February. This article, titled after his book “Wool to Weta” fully articulates the arguments from his keynote yesterday.

“New Zealand exports commodities, but the long-term trend for commodities - as graphed by The Economist - shows localised peaks when times are good, but the overall trend is relentlessly down.

“To match Australia's per-capita prosperity, we would need to lift our GDP by US$30 billion a year. Where might we earn that money?

“Adding US$30 billion per year would mean, on the face of it, multiplying our dairy exports by five, or our tourism by four. . And even if we could increase dairying or tourism, there are problems.

“I doubt that it would be feasible to double Fonterra's production, let alone increase it by a factor of five, and I doubt whether we would want to quadruple the numbers of tourists visiting New Zealand each year, from 2.5 million to 10 million.

“I want to suggest another model for New Zealand export business, and one that has few downsides. looking at largely brain-based business, it does seem, overall, that high-technology companies come out quite well. They consume little energy. They do not emit significant greenhouse gases or dump nitrates in our lakes. The Resource Management Act is no bother to them at all, and, as their products are valuable, they are perfectly happy with a high New Zealand dollar value. And these businesses reside in perfectly attractive buildings and surroundings. In short, they are sustainable, environmentally and socially benign and there is no limit to the numbers of such companies which we might enjoy, except to the degree that our brains and enterprise make such businesses possible.

"Clearly New Zealand would benefit if many more such "knowledge businesses" were to form, but what can we do to seed that process?

THOUGHTS: Dr Callaghan’s logic puts an end to the mantra that the dairy industry and tourism industries are where the weight of R&D investments should go to secure New Zealand’s future prosperity.

KEYWORDS: New Zealand, Growth, Agriculture, Tourism, High-Technolohy, Sustainability

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Shrinks & climate change: driving the sense of urgency for action

I have closely followed the published climate change scientific research over the last seven years. It is clear that the planet and its inhabitants are at the cusp of experiencing dramatic climate change, which has been caused by human activity over the last hundred years.

Failure to act with a sense of urgency – at global, national, community and personal level – invites disaster.

Looking back – it seems that 2006 was the year that individuals, consumers and citizens finally got it – that climate change is real and dangerous. This was the year of Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” and the release of the “The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change”...

...yet despite the growing consensus of concern and the experience of climate change symptoms - sea level rise, floods, droughts, floods, water scarcity, famine, disease, economic volatility…

…why do we as a species seemed unable to act? It’s as if we will really live out the boiling frog fable.

But wait – from an unexpected source - yet obvious in hindsight - has come a very powerful insight, which offers the pathway to building effective global consensus and action…. Read on...

Psychology is to blame for humans not acting on climate change
The American Psychological Association (APA) Task Force on the Interface Between Psychology and Global Climate Change has just reported its findings.

The taskforce examined decades of psychological research and practice that have been specifically applied and tested in the arena of climate change. The task force's report offers a detailed look at the connection between psychology and global climate change and makes policy recommendations for psychological science.

"What is unique about current global climate change is the role of human behavior," said task force chair Janet Swim, PhD, of Pennsylvania State University. "We must look at the reasons people are not acting in order to understand how to get people to act."

The report cites a national Pew Research Center poll in which 75 percent to 80 percent of respondents said that climate change is an important issue. But respondents ranked it last in a list of 20 compelling issues, such as the economy or terrorism. Despite warnings from scientists and environmental experts that limiting the effects of climate change means humans need to make some severe changes now, people don't feel a sense of urgency.

The task force said numerous psychological barriers are to blame, including:
  • Uncertainty – Research has shown that uncertainty over climate change reduces the frequency of "green" behavior.
  • Mistrust – Evidence shows that most people don't believe the risk messages of scientists or government officials.
  • Denial – A substantial minority of people believe climate change is not occurring or that human activity has little or nothing to do with it, according to various polls.
  • Undervaluing Risks – A study of more than 3,000 people in 18 countries showed that many people believe environmental conditions will worsen in 25 years. While this may be true, this thinking could lead people to believe that changes can be made later.
  • Lack of Control – People believe their actions would be too small to make a difference and choose to do nothing.
  • Habit – Ingrained behaviors are extremely resistant to permanent change while others change slowly. Habit is the most important obstacle to pro-environment behavior, according to the report.
The LA Times adds: The report also gets into useful specifics. It draws on past studies on people's behaviour in disaster situations. It examines what science knows about how you can get people to alter their behavior and what doesn't seem to work at all, no matter how fine and dandy an idea may sound. One example: People are more likely to use energy-efficient devices if they're given feedback, right then and there, about how much energy/money they're saving, rather than if they have to wait until they get their power bill.

THOUGHTS: Thank you shrinks. You have given us some powerful insights, from which we could build the much needed tools to rapidly acheive a global consensus on the sense of urgency and action on climate change. Is it now or never - literally?

SOURCES:
The full report:
"Psychology and Global Climate Change: Addressing a Multi-faceted Phenomenon and Set of Challenges" – American Psychological Association – August 2009
http://www.apa.org/releases/climate-change.pdf

The APA press release
"Psychological factors help explain slow reaction to global warming, says APA Task Force" - American Psychological Association – 5 August 2009
http://www.apa.org/releases/climate-change.html?imw=Y

From the LA Times
Psychology is to blame for humans not acting on climate change, psychologists say – Los Angeles Times – 5 August 2009
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2009/08/no-duh-human-behavior-is-to-blame-for-failing-to-act-on-climate-change-psychologists-say.html

From The New York Times
Is the Climate Problem in Our Heads by Andrew C. Revkin – The New York Times/Dot Earth blog – 5 August 2009
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/05/is-the-climate-problem-in-our-heads/


KEYWORDS: Psychology, Climate Change, Strategy, Sense -of-urgency

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Robotic warfare expert sees robots as lowering barriers to war

(CNN) U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wants more unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Already he has said that the next generation of fighter planes -- the F-35 that took decades to develop at a cost of more than half-a-billion dollars each -- will be the last manned fighter aircraft.

The drones are dramatically tilting the war [in Afghanistan] in favour of the United States. Predators, for example, played a key role in killing al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi in 2006. UAVs are credited with killing more than half al Qaeda's top 20 leaders.

Lt. Gen. David Deptula, USAF, explains that the next phase will enable a single drone to provide as many as 60 simultaneous live video feeds directly to combat troops. Some new drones will be as small as flies, others walk -- all appear destined to work with decreasing human input.

“The future of how you use these un-manned systems or remotely piloted systems is really unlimited," says Deptula, based at the Pentagon and racing to keep pace with battlefield needs as well as Gates's demands. "We need to open our minds and think more about capability and impact we are going to achieve as opposed to how we've done business in the past.”


Robotic warfare expert Peter Singer, who advised President Barack Obama's campaign team and has authored “Wired for War” says that remote warfare is changing mankind's monopoly on how conflict is fought for the first time in 5,000 years. All that limits its advance is its application, not the technology. "The barriers of war in our society are already lowering," he says. "This tech may allow them to lower to the ground. And we might already be seeing this in the strikes being carried out on Pakistan.”

THOUGHTS: Again...the trouble is I don't see citizens in any country having the opportunity to be part of this ethical debate.

KEYWORDS: Robot, Robot, War, Defence, Conflict, Ethics, Debate, Humanity

Source: "How robot drones revolutionized the face of warfare" - CNN - 24 July 2009
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/07/23/wus.warfare.remote.uav/index.html

Share it