Disclaimers: This is not a new book, nor have I read it.  I have read reviews of it, and am recommending its concept here, but can’t honestly recommend the book, not having read it.  OK, that probably sounds awkward, but there you have it.

I found this review of the book The Art of War for Women: Sun Tzu’s Ancient Strategies and Wisdom for Winning at Work, which is a modern interpretation an application of the original The Ar Of War by Sun Tzu, now thousands of years old, yet still relevant.  The reason I am promoting this book’s view of the original work is simple: It points out that The Art Of War is not just relevant to war.  It is relevant in any situation where you are facing one or more parties with conflicting goals, or competing for the same resource.  It could be at work, or dating, or politics, or even dealing with your relatives.  It’s mostly about finding your strengths and the others’ weaknesses and using both to your advantage.  It’s about looking for things in your environment that can help you.  It’s about focus and balance.

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Anyone who follows long-term technology progress will tell you that one of the biggest obstacles is power generation and storage.  It affects everything from medical devices, to cars, to embedded hardware to space exploration.  Generating electricity is often very inefficient, transmitting power over long distances is often very lossy (and that includes light and heat, as well as electricity).  For vehicles, the problem is exponential, as the heavier your power store, the more power it takes to move it.

I was pleased to discover this post on Slashdot saying part of the stimulus money is going to this issue.

“Provisions in the Congressional stimulus bill could help jump-start a new, multibillion-dollar industry in the US for manufacturing advanced batteries for hybrids and electric vehicles and for storing energy from the electrical grid to enable the widespread use of renewable energy. The nearly $790 billion economic stimulus legislation contains tens of billions of dollars in loans, grants, and tax incentives for advanced battery research and manufacturing, as well as incentives for plug-in hybrids and improvements to the electrical grid, which could help create a market for these batteries. Significant advances in battery materials, including the development of new lithium-ion batteries, have been made in the US in the past few years; but advanced battery manufacturing is almost entirely overseas, particularly in Asia.”

While I’m excited about this from a technology point of view, I fear it won’t do what the stimulus money’s primary job is; getting money and products happening now.

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In a recent post, I pointed to an article on some of the social network website tracking the election.  I have since learned of another, much scarier one.  More scary than any Halloween costume.

SayHear is a website that lets users call into a phone number and leave a short message on why they plan to vote for Obama or McCain, or not vote at all. You can play back these , messages from their website. Each message is tagged with the caller’s preferred candidate, and the city/state they’re from. Continue reading

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