Friday, December 11, 2009

Dissertation Defense

Overview of my dissertation!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Time for Solar?

When will solar finally hit prime time? According to Halal (2008), solar is still too expensive with photovoltaic cells costing $3-$4.00 per watt to build; gas and oil is currently at $0.40 per watt. Estimates of total solar costs are (which include usage) to be between $.20-$.40 per kilowatt hour and oil is much lower at $.04-$.12 per kilowatt hour. But nanotechnology can make solar more affordable by creating plastic solar cells at $.20 per watt with an increase in efficiency.

So, when will solar become mainstream? Halal (2008) suggests that the solar costs will become competitive with other energy sources between 2012-2015.

*Halal, W. (2008). Technology's Promise: Knowledge on the Transformation of Business and Society. Palgrave Macmillan, NY.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Innovative Food

The innovative dream that has been suggested is to have food that tastes good (hamburgers, chips, milkshakes, etc) that has zero calories – and most importantly also has no side effects. Will that ever be possible?

There have been two attempts to create no calorie substitutes for real food – one for sugar and one for fat.

Some examples of sugar substitutes are saccharin, aspartame and sucralose. Saccharin was approved by the FDA in 1958; Aspartame was approved by the FDA in 1981 and Sucralose (sold as Splenda) was approved by the FDA in 1998. Saccharin had at one time been linked to bladder cancer, but the effect was only in male rats and not in humans. Aspartame had similar associations with brain tumors, but has since been cleared and approved for human consumption.

Olestra is the fat substitute developed by Proctor & Gamble in 1968 and it has no fat and no calories. But the side effects of Olestra are abdominal cramping and loose stools that became known as “anal leakage”. The other side effect of Olestra was the blocking of the absorption of some vitamins and minerals.

These two examples of no calorie food substitutes that will allow food to continue to taste good without the calories is missing one of the most important stipulations – that there are no side effects. These attempts have been made since the 50’s and 60’s and not much progress has been made. Unless there is a motivated investor that sees a huge market in calorie free, good tasting, no side-effect food, this new innovation may not happen in the next 50 years.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Web 2.0 Tool

Haven't quite decided if this is a cool web 2.0 tool or not. Check out to put in your flight information so that your Twitter and/or Facebook account gets updated with your departure info, flight status info and arrival info as it is updated. When you get to your destination, you can check Facebook to see where you have been, where you are .....and how you got there! Maybe I need to try this tool before I give it the thumbs down.

Amazing Technology Podcast

Check out this Podcast that highlights top postings in this blog.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

SDP used in Cyprus

Structured Design Process (SDP) was used in 2003 by Cypriot women in a bi-communal effort to set up a Non-Governmental Organization. The goal was for this group of women to overcome cultural differences by working together to help empower the women of their communities through a 'Successful Women' project.

Using the four SDP stages of definition, designing alternatives, decision and action plan, the group identified 106 qualities of success for women; these qualities were narrowed down to indicate the top 24 qualities. In creating the influence tree, the three qualities identified at the root of a succesful women were: 1) to be an informed person that continually learns; 2) to be a balanced and independent person; 3) to have energy, drive and stamina. The influence tree was used to create a video and to help in the selection of the women featured in the video with the ultimate goal of building cohesion between Turks and Greeks on Cyprus (Christakis, 2006).

Christakis, A. N., Bausch, K. C. (2006). How People Harness Their Collective Wisdom and Power. Information Age Publishing.