X-Prize Foundation defends their poorly-conceived Qualcomm Tricorder contest

X_PRIZE_Foundation_logo_HiRes_jpgThis message from the X-Prize Foundation is in response to the letter I published yesterday. They seem to feel the contest is fine as-is and my objections are without merit.
Dear Bob,
I am the Senior Director in charge of this competition and I appreciate receiving your letter of interest dated January 11.  First, let me offer you my highest level of encouragement for your creation of a SIDS monitoring device. As you know, medical technology is one of the most difficult areas to make significant progress in. To make something really work and pass through all the regulatory hurdles in […]

Qualcomm Tricorder X-Prize is another poorly conceived contest

tricorderSo of course I wrote a letter to Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs. This went out January 11th and was delivered on the morning of the 14th. No answer yet.

Dear Mr. Jacobs:

As a professional blogger I’d normally be posting this letter on my web site but this time I’ll first try a more graceful approach.  You see I have a beef with your Qualcomm Tricorder X-Prize and I want you to make some changes.

In 2002 my son Chase died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) at age 73 days. I wrote about it at the time and received great support from the Internet community. My pledge to do something about SIDS manifested […]

Reagan and Newtown

RonaldReaganCowboyHatAs the father of a precocious first grader I can relate somewhat to the children and parents of Newtown. My son Fallon goes to a school with no interior hallways, all exterior doorways, and literally no way to deny access to anyone with a weapon. Making this beautiful school defensible would logically begin with tearing it down. But the school design is more a nod to good weather than it is to bad defensive planning. The best such planning begins not with designing schools as fortresses or filling them with police. It doesn’t start with banning assault weapons, either, though I’m not opposed to that. The best defensive planning starts with identifying people in the […]

Electric flight of fancy

One thing about mature markets is they spawn opportunity through pure complexity. What does the press do but sit around discussing the size and depth and pimples on the bum of mature markets? But we spend so much time discussing the implications of what has already happened that we don’t give much space to what’s coming in the form of new ideas. So for the next week or so I’ll be doing a series of columns about new ideas, especially new technologies, that ought to interest us all.

Toward this end I’d like to invite any mad scientists to share with me what they’d like the world to know.

Leading by example I’ll start with a project […]

Facebook, Cringely and the devolution of the web

Some readers may recall one of my predictions for 2012 was the end of this column. It’s time for me to start explaining what that’s all about. Next month will mark 25 years of my doing some version of this column either in print or online. It’s not a record (I’m sure John Dvorak has that) but it is a milestone that I’ve been for some time determined to reach. But having achieved 25 years of continuous service, what then? Well there is no gold watch. In fact my transition is, if anything, forced by the declining economics of the web. Facebook has much the same problem.

Desktop computers are at or […]