A new report Cellphone and Brain Tumors – 15 Reasons for Concern states that:
Studies, independent of industry, consistently show there is a “significant” risk of brain tumors from cellphone use.
Some of the findings published in the report include:
- For every 100 hours of cellphone use, the risk of brain cancer increases by 5%
- For every year of cellphone use, the risk of brain cancer increases by 8%
- After 10 or more years of digital cellphone use, there was a 280% increased risk of brain cancer
- For digital cellphone users who were teenagers or younger when they first starting using a cellphone, there was a 420% increased risk of brain cancer.
The full report is available online here.
|District of Columbia
Ref: Is Your State’s Unemployment System in Danger?
A recently published research paper from professors at Carleton and Ottawa University has determined that
A zombie outbreak is likely to lead to the collapse of civilisation, unless it is dealt with quickly. While aggressive quarantine may contain the epidemic, or a cure may lead to coexistence of humans and zombies, the most effective way to contain the rise of the undead is to hit hard and hit often. As seen in the movies, it is imperative that zombies are dealt with quickly, or else we are all in a great deal of trouble.
The research is said to have possible real-life applications to modeling allegiance to political parties.
The full text of this world leading research is available online – When Zombies Attack
For those looking for more practical advice:
Check out this app to spread word of the coming Zombie outbreak – ZOMBIEGRAM.
I like watching what is going on in Silicon Valley in general. There are always good tech and trend insights. But there are also some very innovative ideas related to social innovation.
For instance there is the “JobNob” events being held in the valley. JobNob links unemployed people with start-ups looking for volunteers to give a win-win to both. The JobNob pitch is below:
Come “Jobnob” with cool new startups and other job seekers at this informal networking happy hour where unemployed people who want to keep their skills sharp are matched up with startups that could use their help.
- Bummed Out Job Seekers – are you willing to volunteer at least 5 hours a week for a startup? Help out a startup and you’ll get a leg up on the competition, keep your skills sharp and have some good experience to put on your resume. And when the giant gears of the economy start churning again, you could well be one of the first ones back on the payroll.
- Cash Strapped Startups – are you willing to buy a smart, talented, unemployed person a drink? Come with one or two specific projects that you need accomplished and we’ll help you find the perfect person to get the job done. And if you get funded you can always hire them!
They have run three JobNob events so far and have two more scheduled for August and September.
Related information and press coverage is available here.
This would be a great program to have running in Ottawa. Organizations such as Lead to Win, OCRI, The Ottawa Network, CATA or Ottawa Talent Initiative would be good sponsor organizations to make this happen locally.
Tim O’Reilly spoke at http://www.aifestival.org about Government 2.0. According to People and Places:
He advocated enabling four types of interaction:
- Government to citizen – providing services and information to citizens
- Citizen to government – citizens report on probelms that need government assistance
- Citizen to citizen – not every problem needs to be solved by government
- Government to government – we need better cooperation within government agencies
Tim suggests that there are some lessons from the technology space that could be useful in building Government 2.0
Build open, expandable systems
In open government this might mean open, portable health records, or open data that allows competition by third parties on government contracts.
Build simple systems and let them evolve
Simple systems like the Internet Protocol can act like hourglass models – they run on a diversity of systems, and support a diversity of applications around a simple protocol.
Design for cooperation
The notion of governance via loosely coordinated groups is a Jeffersonian one. And a system like the Internet domain name system looks decidedly Jeffersonian.
Learn from your users
Google was late to the game in mapping. But Google is used by 45% of all mashups online. That’s because when innovators started building mashups of Craigslist and Google Maps data, Google didn’t shut the door, but hired the first guy to build a mashup, and then released an API to make the task easier.
Lower the barriers to experimentation
The government tends to treat projects like the Apollo 11 rocket launch: “Failure is not an option.” It should be. We fail all the time, and we need to learn from it.
Build a culture of measurement
“If it works, do more, if it doesn’t, stop doing it.” We need to watch how our systems succeed and fail, and build systems that respond to user stimuli.
Throw open the doors to partners
Tim celebrates the iPhone ap store, suggesting that it worked vastly better than more controlled models for aplication development on the Blackberry or Nokia phones. Governments need to stop using tools like earmarks, sole source licensing, and no-bid contracts, which lead to a less open ecosystem.
Fixing complex problems requires figuring out what government needs to do, what private entites can do and what coordinated citizens can do. If we build systems that allow all these behaviors, we’ll see a great deal of positive change through Government 2.0
Related materials on Government 2.0:
The Gartner “Hype Cycle” illustrates the growth, maturity and adoption of technologies. It can be used to determine whether to invest in types of tech – technologies with high user benefit and low time to mainstream acceptance are ripe for investment and implementation, while technologies with minimal user benefit and a long time until mainstream acceptance should be approached with “extreme caution.”