Filtered by author: John Menasce

Revolutionary evolution in the work place.
Posted: 24 April 2014

It's not before time that people become self employed. The best service that I get either in my personal or business life is from owner businesses not corporates.
The challenge to all of us is that we need to be 'foxy" as Clem Sunter puts it, and many of us have not developed this trait in business. It's been too easy to rely on the boss to take the risks.
Outcomes based work is nothing ...

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MindBullet logo REVOLUTIONARY EVOLUTION IN THE UK WORKPLACE
10m small businesses but 5m have no employees
Dateline: 12 January 2019
The UK has developed into an increasingly polarized workplace. Unemployment has fallen and formal employment has grown, but conversely there has been an absolute boom in a new kind of work. The number of sole traders have exploded and 'zero-hour' contracts has boomed. The fact that the number of small UK firms has now reached 10m, from just 4.9m five years ago is testimony to the success of ...
Not so fast
Posted: 10 October 2012 6 Comments

When I read "Automotive Engineering" [ the monthly journal of Society of Automotive Engineers, USA] a very large part of this journal has been devoted to electric car technology in the last year or two. All the big names are there with various technologies from new generation battery systems to high efficiency electric motor drives in wheel hubs. All product development costs ...

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MindBullet logo WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR?
Despite the hype, the electric car has failed, again, to be a commercial success. Who is to blame?
Dateline: 8 July 2014
Remember the very first electric car, the EV1? They made a movie about its demise, and blamed the oil companies. Well, it's happened again. The electric car is a dud. The few models that made it onto the market are fighting for survival and the only successful 'electric' cars are actually hybrids, like the Prius. GM put a lot of faith, hope and money behind the Volt, but couldn't convince ...
Retirement? Forget it
Posted: 16 August 2007

There are few competent technical resources in the age group 30 to 45.Companies that persist in the mandatory retirement age of 65 will only shoot themselves in the foot. In our own organisation we have extremely competent engineers in the 60 plus age group several of whom have selected their lifestyle to balance work and leisure by working as contractors rather than permanent employees and ...

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MindBullet logo RETIREMENT? FORGET IT!
Furore as the EU scraps the mandatory retirement age as anachronistic and unaffordable
Dateline: Tuesday 7th December, 2010
The European Union debate over Europe’s pension deficit and the mandatory retirement age has been one of the fiercest in its history. Last night, insults were exchanged across the floor amidst a chaotic scene at the EU Parliament in Brussels, as mem-bers debated the scrapping of the mandatory retirement age. The bill was narrowly passed. Politicians arguing for abolition cited two key ...
Goodbye Silicon Hello Carbon
Posted: 21 June 2010

How about expanding this thinking along the route of carbon capture and the reduction of global CO2 emissions?

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MindBullet logo GOODBYE SILICON, HELLO CARBON
New forms of carbon are grabbing the technology spotlight
Dateline: 27 March 2017
Once, the center of hi-tech development was called Silicon Valley. But silicon is rapidly becoming a thing of the past as carbon emerges as the new super-material, with derivatives such as carbon nano-tubes and graphene moving to center-stage. Graphene, made of single-atom-thick sheets of carbon, has some amazing properties; it is strong, highly conductive, flexible, and transparent. Now ...
Is this the end of inovation
Posted: 21 June 2010

Remember back in the days of the idle aristocracy that they had servants and minions to do all the hard work and so they did several things - spent time bored to tears, went to war or found ways to indulge their sexual and other fantasies such as art. As a result they were not known for their left brained intellectual prowess and most of the inventions of the industrial revolution in fact ...

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MindBullet logo IS THIS THE END OF INNOVATION?
The pace of technology advances slows as all invention is outsourced to computers
Dateline: 3 March 2033
We are in trouble. We’ve reached the end of the road. Like the mythical serpent devouring itself from the tail, we have progressed in ever decreasing circles, until we reached the point where we are in danger of disappearing up our own metaphorical orifice. Let’s be clear on what we are discussing. The ability of the human species to perpetually innovate and invent new, better, smaller, ...
Intelligent prosthetics and orthotics
Posted: 5 January 2009

Wonderful!!! As a wearer of a permanent leg orthotic, I can tell you that building some intelligence into any of these devices would make the wearer's life much easier and restore agility that has been lost.
Issues of chafing, skin irritation, pore infection and general discomfort in the prosthetic or orthotic limb contact areas are very real and need constant watching and extra hygiene ...

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MindBullet logo NEW LEGS FOR THE NEW YEAR
Prosthetic limbs are the latest teen craze
Dateline: 20 December 2020
"I'm getting them upgraded for the New Year," beams a happy Deon Pretorious, aged 15. Pretorious is one of thousands of teenagers around the world voluntarily choosing to undergo surgery which will render them as amputees. The trigger for this activity has been the launch of Apple's iWalk prosthetic legs. "Our products are a dramatic improvement on our existing biology," says Jeff ...
Energy Glut triggers crash
Posted: 14 August 2008

A strategic issue that you have identified in the longer term is that all businesses are cyclical and how long will the energy business cycle last- this has a major effect on power utility capital projects business models as they need to plan for 40 + years of operation and 5 to 10 years to design and build power plants and possibly another 15 years for decomissioning. This long term capital ...

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MindBullet logo ENERGY GLUT TRIGGERS CRASH
Renewable energy supplies exceed traditional demand
Dateline: 18 May 2023
Investors are still shell-shocked after two days of panic selling that has wiped 27% off the Dow Jones, 32% off the London Stock Exchange and a terrifying 40% off China's main bourse. All told, investors have lost some US$ 85 trillion. The incredible boom of the last nine years has come to a spectacular and catastrophic conclusion. The renewable energy bubble started in 2011 when Advanced ...
Mind enhancing drugs
Posted: 16 July 2008

I started off by having a good laugh. However it is a serious subject as we have family experience with learning disabilities and the effects of drugs like ritalin and their impact on powers of concentration. Whether they raise IQ or merely make the synapse paths more effective we can debate but the enhanced ability to focus on learning is proven without doubt.

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MindBullet logo BRITNEY SPEARS WINS THE MILLENNIUM MATHS PRIZE
"Oops, I did it again" solves Mills-Yang Problem
Dateline: 22 March 2023
On 24 May 2000 Timothy Gowers of the Clay Mathematics Institute of Cambridge, MA announced seven prize problems in mathematics; each with a prize of US$ 1 million. In 2002, secretive Russian math's genius, Dr Grigory Perelman, solved the Poincaré Conjecture. In 2014, the Navier-Stokes Equations were solved by Professor Terence Tao of MIT. And now the Mills-Yang conjecture has given way ...
THE NOTEBOOK PC IS DEAD-LONG LIVE THE SMARTPHONE
Posted: 3 April 2008 1 Comment

The note book PC must be the most maintenance intensive "portable" device ever invented and accounts for something like 80% of every corporate IT department's maintenance budget and time. They have a practical shelf life of 2 years at best and then are either outdated or mechanically unreliable. They can't handle aircraft or vehicle vibration either. They have to go. Those of you ...

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MindBullet logo THE NOTEBOOK PC IS DEAD - LONG LIVE THE SMARTPHONE
Mobile phones become the new portable computer
Dateline: 5 June 2011
Have you noticed how no-one buys a new laptop these days? Just like VCRs and PDAs, the laptop is so last century. Some say that the iPhone was the catalyst for this, but really it was a simple progression to smaller, more portable and powerful technology, that not only does everything last year's laptop does, but more. And it's a phone and camera - and GPS - too! "I used to carry a ...
US President escapes suicide robot attack
Posted: 13 March 2008

I love it! It is only a matter of time before some extremist or dissatisfied employee in some technical field does this. The question that begs is how secure are any one's IP systems if they can be hacked by some crazy or vengeful person. The idea of assassinating some prominent political figure has lots of bling but what about CEOs and other figures who manage technology companies and what ...

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MindBullet logo US PRESIDENT ESCAPES SUICIDE ROBOT ATTACK
Kamikaze White House cleaning robot detonates 'battery' bomb
Dateline: 11 September 2011
An attempt to assassinate the US President was foiled today by White House security. "At no time was the President in danger," said a spokesman for the Secret Service, although an aide was injured in the explosion. Extremist engineers have given a new meaning to the term suicide bomber - now no-one need offer up their life for the cause, just some machinery and electronics. Following all ...
Coal cost, global reserves for power generation
Posted: 22 February 2008

The USA is curently sitting on the world's largest coal reserves estimated at 258 Gigatonnes. Next Russia at 225 Gigatonnes folowed by China at 115 Gigatonnes. Africa as a whole has only 56 Gigatonnes. Cost per tonne of South African power station coal has to be escalated to global prices and this immediately affects power generation costs as well as the reserve finance needed for urgent ...

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MindBullet logo ENERGY TOPS LIST OF ECONOMIC CATALYSTS
US and South Africa double prices
Dateline: 5 January 2009
The economy formerly known as the world's largest, and one of the smaller first world economies, have simultaneously succumbed to price increases to control energy shortages. Despite denials that substantial increases were on the cards, and within hours of each other, the US has doubled gas prices and South Africa doubled electricity prices. The incoming and outgoing US presidents acted ...
Energy Conservation; immoral and dangerous
Posted: 6 March 2008 4 Comments

I can't support the notion that energy conservation is dangerous. But I agree that sustainable energy policies and principles needs to the the driver for our future as a civilisation.
The notion of wasting energy vs conserving it should be the focus of debate not the issue of depriving people of energy to the detriment of their lives.
I have just listened to Dr Patrick Moore ex co founder of ...

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MindBullet logo ENERGY CONSERVATION: IMMORAL AND DANGEROUS
We must put humanity before our planet
Dateline: 12 February 2009
Back in 2007, Dr Brian Cox, a member of the High Energy Physics Group at the University of Manchester, started a ripple that has now turned into a political and social tsunami. "Our responsibility is not merely to look after the Earth, but also to be custodians of our civilization. We need to harness the same power that fuels the sun, and use more, not less, energy", he wrote. "The human ...
Impacts of tourism
Posted: 4 August 2007

Hicks is right in what he says and having tramped around South East Asia last year for several weeks we saw the worst of Western European excesses in the sex trade in Thailand,locals touting brazenly for business with mobile PA systems, and foreign traders [non Thai] jostling out the locals for tourist business. We were left sadly disillusioned too by the behaviour of many tourists towards ...

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MindBullet logo UK GOVERNMENT CALLS FOR END OF OUT-BOUND SUMMER TOURISM
The end the summer holiday...as we know it
Dateline: 29 August 2011
This could be the last time that you have taken your summer hols...certainly as you have known them up to now. The Conservatives have taken their green policies one step further by proposing a 100% 'carbon tax' on air-travel-based package holidays between June and September, effectively making out-bound tourism unaffordable in the summer months for many people. This sudden government ...
Good food turns bad
Posted: 15 June 2007

The organic food debate seems to be largely the whim of the wealthy households who have the disposable income to browse far from home choose what they purchase [read increased carbon emissions].The claimed increased nutrition of organic foods is not readily quantifiable. My experience of so called organic products is that they are expensive and the price differential does not indicate a ...

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MindBullet logo GOOD FOOD TURNS BAD
Consumers shun organic, local and fair trade food after exceedingly bad press
Dateline: 24 January 2011
It must have been the lull in news after the holiday season in Europe that caused the recent excessive focus on the downside of everything organic and fair in the food industry. Now it seems to be turning into a major public spat between big business and the tree huggers. At the heart of the arguments is the realization that much of what has been common wisdom about organic farming, small ...
Economy booms Employment falls
Posted: 10 May 2007

LEAN thinking- taking the human congestion factor out of systems.

The global automotive industry introduced LEAN manufacturing systems and has perfected this process to optimise use of resources both physical and human. Toyota has been spectacularly succesful with this thinking. Recently the LEAN philosophy has been taken into the service industry where the British National Health has ...

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MindBullet logo ECONOMY BOOMS - EMPLOYMENT FALLS
If you're not an entrepreneur, prepare to be unemployed
Dateline: 12 December 2012
Last week's Fortune 500 conference hosted in Berlin reported sobering numbers. Globally, 2007 was the peak year for the number of people in formal employment in large companies. For the past five years the numbers have dropped each year. Now they are down by more than 20 million jobs. Today's global leaders are increasing their economic power, but are shedding formal jobs at an alarming ...
Econnomy booms employment falls
Posted: 10 May 2007 3 Comments

Technology is replacing many routine office tasks especially in engineering where the software packages are now so powerful that a single engineer can do conceptual design, model the item or plant and then break it down into piece-part drawings and even bills of material and spare parts manuals. These workstations are expensive , currently some cost in the region of USD 200 000 but they ...

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MindBullet logo ECONOMY BOOMS - EMPLOYMENT FALLS
If you're not an entrepreneur, prepare to be unemployed
Dateline: 12 December 2012
Last week's Fortune 500 conference hosted in Berlin reported sobering numbers. Globally, 2007 was the peak year for the number of people in formal employment in large companies. For the past five years the numbers have dropped each year. Now they are down by more than 20 million jobs. Today's global leaders are increasing their economic power, but are shedding formal jobs at an alarming ...
Outlawing guns
Posted: 26 April 2007

Two issues
1.0 The legislation is too lax on people obtaining mega-lethal [semiautomatic] weapons. The undesirables slip through the checking systems anyway. Banning won't solve the problem but merely drive it underground.
2.0 In South Africa it's alleged that you can rent an AK47 for a USD100 a night and bullets cost about USD20 each from various criminal elements. Where did these weapons ...

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MindBullet logo US OUTLAWS GUNS - FINALLY
It took 1000 deaths to topple the gun lobby
Dateline: 11 May 2019
The ripples of the largest school massacre in US history had not yet settled when the US Congress, House and Senate, yesterday passed an emergency motion to ban all guns and rifles in private hands. Last month's multiple gun spree at Montana's top high school left exactly 1000 students and teachers dead, and was planned by a group of twenty students to coincide with the 20th anniversary of ...
LIlo- prosthetics in the future
Posted: 10 April 2007 1 Comment

The immediate future for the next ten years is being able to attach the prosthesis directly to the bone of the residual limb. It removes all the problems of fitting a prosthesis socket to an already compromised residual limb. The Russians have apparently experimented with this and there is allegedly some pioneering work in Britian prompted by the London underground bombings and the casualties ...

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MindBullet logo 'DISABLED' RUNNER BEATS THREE WORLD RECORDS BUT NOT CRITICS
Uproar over "unfair advantage" and "immoral surgery"
Dateline: 12 May 2012
A disabled athlete has disrupted the annual Paralympics in London by setting new world records in the 100m, 200m and 400m distances - faster than any able-bodied athlete, laying down a challenge for athletes at the 2012 London Olympics in July. This year's events have been dominated by Li Lo, a relatively unknown Chinese athlete who first competed as an 'able-bodied' athlete and then, after ...
2010 World Cup in South Africa
Posted: 21 February 2008

Already there are letters to newspaper editors from prominent black South Africans questioning the rationale of the world cup in South Africa. The electricity issue is one stumbling block but there are larger political issues with the spilt in ANC leadership and the lack of critical decision making by the country's political leaders on issues of crime and state corporate governance.
If South ...

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MindBullet logo POLITICAL TURMOIL THREATENS 2010 WORLD CUP IN SOUTH AFRICA
ANC unity crumbles as majority alliance splits
Dateline: 2 May 2009
The May Day celebrations were muted this year as ANC factions licked their wounds and tried to determine what the Good News message could be to members and the electorate after their acrimonious split at the party conference ten days ago. A year of crippling strikes has already delayed construction of major facilities for next year's FIFA World Cup in South Africa and been the catalyst for ...

Filtered by author: John Menasce