Category: In the news

Chain 124

This is an amazing story about Chain 124, a series of 30 kidney transplants covering 60 operations started by one person. For that person it was an act of altruism. The story covers some of the amazing mathematical matching and high speed computer processing to make this happen.

Also check out the multimedia interactive that shows all the kidney exchanges that took four months from beginning to end.

3D printing breakthrough

The world of 3d printing of real and totally unique objects fascinates me. My good friend John Biehler has been creating quite a collection of 3d printed objects. Check some of them out at johnbiehler.com.

However, this story is not about unique items and out of production parts. It’s about using this technology to create a new jaw for an 83 year old woman. The BBC reports that doctors created a jaw bone to replace a diseased one in an 81 year old patient. The replacement “bone” was made of titanium, much like other medical replacement parts.

I think this is pretty amazing.

Up close and personal – Obama inauguration

David Bergman used a Gigapan Imager to take a 200 photos of the inauguration. The Gigapan service stiches the images together to create an extremely large image (this one is 1,474 megapixels).

I made this Gigapan image from the north press platform during President Obama’s inaugural address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on January 20, 2009. It’s made up of 220 images and the final image size is 59,783 X 24,658 pixels or 1,474 megapixels.

Gigapixel view of inauguration

Inauguration

You can view the image on his blog or in fullscreen at
http://gigapan.org/viewGigapanFullscreen.php?id=15374

Zoom in and pan around. It’s lots of fun.

Blogs for customers, not companies

Blogs are written for all sorts of reasons. Most are a labour of love viewed by a small band of readers. Corporate blogs on the other hand can and should have a much broader reach. They can be an important part of supporting an organization’s brand.

So what makes a successful corporate blog?

First and foremost is the realization that a blog is for the customer’s benefit – not for the company’s. It’s important to remember readers will only come back if there is value for them. That’s right value for them. Not value for the company. Readers don’t care if you are providing a nice, efficient press release site.

Rick Burnes reminds us of the real reason for corporate blogs in a posting at ZDNet.

Blogs for Customers, Not About Companies

If you look closely at the search results you pull up every day (and even some of the Alltop corporate blogs), you’ll see that an alternative model of corporate blogging is beginning to emerge. Instead of writing about themselves, companies are following the lead of the other company blog in the Technorati Top 100 — Signal vs. Noise. They’re beginning to create content that’s not about their business, but that appeals to their buyer personas.

Whole Foods is going beyond their blog and publishing recipes. American Express is publishing small-business advice. Indium Corporation is writing about thermal interface materials.

In each of these cases, the company is attracting a broad audience by focusing on content that is interesting to the demographic it serves rather than content about the products it sells.

Every company that is considering starting a corporate blog should spend some thinking about how this effort can support their brand. Otherwise publishing the blog could be wasted effort.

Condition critical in the Congo

The war and terror has been ongoing in Africa for many years. Something must be done now. One of the horrible areas is the Democratic Republic of Congo.

FYI: This area is very close to the children’s villages being built and run by Watoto.ca. Our daughter Tanya is working for the Watoto Canadian office and is responsible for coordinating volunteer trips to Uganda.

Refugee camp in DRC

Refugee camp in DRC

Child who grew up in refugee camp

Child who grew up in refugee camp

Child soldiers

Child soldiers

Condition: Critical

Condition: Critical

DRC and Uganda

DRC and Uganda

This short video below highlights the plight of the people caught in this horrible situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Condition Critical is a short film that brings us the voices of those who are living there every day. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) – Doctors without Borders has been working in the DRC since 1992.

Source: Condition Critical

The website with more information and updates is http://www.condition-critical.org/