Innovation is the name of the game

waltky

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Good laws help to boost innovation...
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Computer Industry: Good Laws Boost Invention
Monday, September 26th, 2011 - A study by a computer industry group says the United States still leads the world in information technology, but that India, Malaysia and China are making strides to catch up.
In a report published Tuesday, the Business Software Alliance says technology innovation is critical because it boosts productivity and spurs economic growth. The BSA study ranked 66 major nations, with the U.S. in the top position because of years of investment in the industry, world-class universities, a culture of innovation, and a strong legal system.

The study says China's upward progress has slowed in recent years partly because of weak protection for intellectual property. India rose strongly in the rankings because of more research and development and growing university enrollment. Malaysia's improved R&D efforts also helped it move up strongly.

The authors say Europe has a strong information technology industry, but they warn it is weakened by rigid labor laws that make it difficult to let workers go when companies fail. Seventy-five percent of venture capital efforts fail, so laws that make it difficult to fire workers discourage companies from taking risks on new ideas and products.

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waltky

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Is 'headset computing' the future?...
:eusa_eh:
Motorola unveils a computer that straps onto your head
13 November 2012 - Imagine a computer that isn't a rectangular box like the PC on your desk or the smartphone in your pocket. Nor is it driven by a touchscreen or mouse and keyboard.
Instead you wear it on your head and interact with it through voice commands. This isn't a fantasy look-ahead to what computers may be like in years to come. It's an actual product that is scheduled to go on sale in the New Year. Just don't expect an exciting name. The HC1 is made by Motorola Solutions, which should not to be confused with the other half of what used to be the same company, Motorola Mobility, a handset-maker now owned by Google.

The device looks a bit like a massively overgrown telephone headset, with overtones of a cycle helmet and maybe a gas mask thrown in. It comes in two parts: there's an adjustable cradle that fixes the device to your head, and the computer itself is in a metal bar that curls around the side of your head. A miniature screen is located at the front, in front of your face. You need to look down slightly to view it. Using voice commands, the user can order the device to open files, check emails or zoom in with the camera to look in closer detail at what's in front of them.

Hands-free helper

It's intended for use in working environments where people need to access complex information, and having both hands free is an important priority. "If you imagine somebody up, say, a telegraph pole at the very top, needing to rewire something, they don't really want to be fiddling with a laptop," explains Paul Reed, Motorola's mobile computing product manager. "They can get all the information they need and do the job safely with this device." Potential users include maintenance engineers in remote locations, construction workers, architects and warehouse staff pulling stock off the shelves following complex computerised schedules. Nottingham-based software firm, Ikanos Consulting, is already developing an app for the product called Paramedic Pro. It is designed to let ambulance workers view medical records and stream video back to a hospital to prepare doctors for a patient's arrival.

Another firm has shown interest in using the headset to help its workers maintain power lines at heights. Its staff are required to climb out of helicopters to do the job - it is easy to understand how a hands-free computer would be useful in these circumstances! Motorola reckons it will sell several thousand of its computer headsets each year at a cost of $3,000 to $4,000 each (£1,900 to £2,500). That is approximately the same price as a rugged laptop. But product manager Paul Reed recognises that the device is unlikely to find a mass market. "Its very niche, very specific to certain types of enterprise," he explains. "I doubt if we're going to walk down the High Street wearing these devices in future."

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