Monkey Business

Adam Smith, the founder of classical economics, was certain that humankind’s knack for monetary exchange belonged to humankind alone. “Nobody ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog,” he wrote. “Nobody ever saw one animal by its gestures and natural cries signify to another, this is mine, that yours; I am willing to give this for that.” But in a clean and spacious laboratory at Yale-New Haven Hospital, seven capuchin monkeys have been taught to use money, and a comparison of capuchin behavior and human behavior will either surprise you very much or not at all, depending on your view of humans. From NY Times.

Monkey Business

iPhone… wow!

I quickly discounted the new Apple iPhone launched this week as the latest fad; clearly I was wrong. After seeing Mr. Showman’s keynote there is little doubt that iPhone’s technological innovation, product innovation and business model innovation has great potential. However there are few not-so-impressive things: slow web traffic, limited choice of service providers, no third party apps and $499 price tag. (Btw, AAPL stock is all-time high at $94.62 today, up from $86.37 before the keynote!). iPhone – it’s everything 🙂

Macworld San Francisco 2007 Keynote Address

The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid

A business & strategy viewpoint by world famous “thinker” C.K. Prahalad that I’ve just started reading is quite insightful. Having the advantage of being in 2007, five years since it was originally published in 2002, gives an opportunity to evaluate its vision and thus also to extrapolate what is about to happen. Via Sramana Mitra’s blog.

Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid (pdf)


A summary of interesting collection of thoughts by two authors who co-relate economics with general things in life. “He determined that in spite of the cottage industry of parenting and the millions of how-to books on the subject sold every year, who you are matters much more than what you do.” – Hmm, not sure if I fully buy that! Thanks to Gaurav for the recommendation.

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything Summary

The Urban Vehicle Grid

I came across some exciting research work that the UCLA CS team are doing  around “the urban vehicle grid”, a vehicle-to-vehicle system (much like a peer-to-peer network), whereby vehicles may participate in opportunistic “Ad-Hoc” wireless networks and may produce data about its environment (pavement condition, weather data, physiological condition of passengers); act as an information gateway for such content; and collaborate with other vehicles (forward collision warning, intersection collision warning, ice on bridge…). Pretty cool.

Communication and Content sharing in the Urban Vehicle Grid (very detailed info)