Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Remarkable Hans Rosling talk at TED

This is a link to Hans Rosling speaking at Ted, the social entrepreneurship conference.

Definitely worth checking out if you haven't seen it. Gapminder is way cooler when you see Rosling toying with it. It was showed in my MIT IAP class on Global Health Delivery taught by Anjali Sastry today. Pretty interesting class where we're looking different models for delivering medical solutions in the global world. I had ruled myself out of being much help in this area, but Sastry's class is helping me gain a greater understanding of where someone like me with business, IT and operations skills might fit in. I didn't feel out of place in this class, which had a lot MDs, MPPs and PhDs. Ah, the joys of MIT IAP. It's definitely cool to get to just take something random you wouldn't normally even consider.

The only thing I really don't agree with in the Rosling video is when he says that culture isn't a driver for solution. If you watch far enough, you'll see what I mean. I happen to think instilling culture in developing countries is extremely important. The music, art, media and other discourse can be a key part of transforming people and their behavior.

It's been a wild few weeks for me, hence the lack of updates. I was in Silicon Valley looking at companies, then Jamaica, then Florida consulting for a client, a very cool artist who I'm working on a branding initiative for.

Meanwhile, I've signed six consulting clients to my new company, DBL Partners, that I launch in December. I'm very happy with the roster. I can't disclose any of them, except my parents' restaurant right now. We'll launch that site and my own company's soon.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Coal Ash is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste


Had to post this one, especially since it's by my friend and former Swarthmore College Phoenix editor, the brilliant Mara Hvistendahl:

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste

Virtualization and Energy Savings

I just got back from a week in Silicon Valley checking out the hottest companies and perhaps the most impressive company I visited was VMWare. From the perspective of someone with an IT background who cares about the environment, virtualization is an exciting development. As a certified business continuity professional, I know how power intensive running a data center is.

Virtualization allows boxes in data centers to run far more efficiently (up to 80-85% utilization rather than the 20% that was standard). It's unbelievable how much energy data centers chew up and maximizing the efficiency of all these plugged in boxes can save a ton of energy. Diane Greene, VMWare's CEO said one study estimated that the energy savings that VMWare has generated would be enough to power New England for a whole year.

The VMWare site has some stats that show the environmental impact and corporate expense of data center power consumption. Some interesting points:

-Gartner says energy costs could increase from 10% to 50% of IT budgets in the next few years. Need to track this study down as that seems towards the high range.
-$14 billion a year is spent powering and cooling servers according to IDC. By the end of 2009, they say powering the servers will cost more than the boxes themselves.

VMWare has a remarkable product: incredibly stable with a tremendous customer value proposition. Beyond the benefits to CIO budgets though, it's a shift that is good for the environment as well.