Friday, 17 July 2015

Kishore Asthana of Dhruva, Mensa India's Underprivileged Gifted Child Identification & Nurturing Program

I've been talking to Kishore Asthana of Dhruva, Mensa India's Underprivileged Gifted Child Identification & Nurturing Program looking at the current resources and potential available.

My vision for some time has been to provide autodidactic resources at a point where they can be leveraged to provide much higher levels of help. Helping the underprivileged (and indeed street children) survive from day to day is a worthy cause, but is essentially ploughing the sea in that it is an ongoing task that if anything grows each day. This is very worth if your primary goal is giving to charity, but if you want to create a lasting change there needs to be a better way.

For me this is not about Mensa, or India - it's about doing the maximum good globally both in the short and long term, and in us having the humility to see that our legacy can be enhanced geometrically by enabling others to help.

By helping the underprivileged, but highly talented to develop in such a way that they can develop to become the people who address the problems first hand  rather than simply being drip fed charity. This is more like being Johnny Appleseed rather than just giving a bite of your apple to a growing hungry crowd.

So how do we do this? If you've read Neal Stephenson's excellent book "The Diamond Age" you'll remember it features the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer. This is an electronic book that features everything needed to take a young, just literate child us to University level. The aim was also not just to turn out a "walking dictionary" capable of spouting facts and figures but creating an emphasis on training logical as well as practical and emotional skills to develop a capable well rounded personality with a developed Emotional intelligence as well as intellect. There are many improvements and ramifications that an electronic device can add, everything from testing to provide feedback and engagement, to training pto clear, international pronunciation and processing to develop mental skills such as super memory skills. This can be fitted into the context of creating an effective, satisfying life as we now have extensive data from the Harvard longitudinal Grant Study to help that

The ideal starting point for that is through Mensa India's Underprivileged Gifted Child Identification & Nurturing Program has a key set of "100 underprivileged gifted children and about 50 other underprivileged class toppers"  and the aim would be not just to provide them an unstructured resource but rather a structured, balanced resource to guide them though their formative years.

Like the idea? Then link to this post, G+ it, tweet it, spread it on all your social media and reach out to me to tell me how you can help.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Freya and the Hydra: The decendent of the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on some old, heavy iron.

As you all probably know I don't think that there is any one solution to almost anything you care to name - the reality is that most solutions are local optima, not revealed truths and this applies to OSs as much as anything else. So - moving away from the badass to a more "mediated experience" in the next few days I'm trying out Elementary OS Freya popularly said to be said to be the Next Big Linux Distro.  It is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, which was released in April 2014.and the final version of Freya was released on 11 April 2015.

So Freya is going onto my multi screen control center PC, Hydra - an old but sturdy four headed workhorse that I use to monitor multiple projects in parallel in the Adstock Labs. Of course I've always had different metrics from other reviewers or tech pundits - I'm interested in outcomes, not processes. So the fact that my lightly loaded i7 chipped MacBook took 27 seconds to respond to a mouse input is more important than the IT nerd's response that I need to think of how many operations the bloatware needs to do that and how many other processes have priority over user input. So Freya is up for a much bigger challenge with me than with most reviewers.

The original plan was to move Hydra to Lubuntu but since they share derivatives of the LightDM is X display manager there is a reasonable chance that Elementary will match Lubuntu as a fast, low-maintenance platform and, as always I have underlying reasons for this experiment.

This is a post that will evolve over time but here is the current state of play.
  1. The Elementary download starts by trying to ask you for $10 but since I don't actually know if this is going to work I have to go back - set up a donation and come back again to get the iso.
  2. Next it turns out that the iso is 893 MB - too big to fit on a CD and I've been phasing out DVDs for some time now and don't have any blank ones.
  3. On to EBay to get a bootable CD sent out and to get some extra hardware so I can run this from an old SSD  
  4. More soon when the CD and SSD arrive
  5. Should be easy to start rolling as the installer is Ubiquity, the default installer for Ubuntu and most of its derivatives. Legacy hardware support will be an issue though as Hydra as certainly legacy.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Digital transformation of Health Screening

The Scanadu Scout starts to solve this problem and is the ideal product for trekkies  replicatinf the Star Trek TRICORDER and and techies allowing medical data to be stored on a smartphone app that patients can use to monitor their health, The Scout measures heart rate, breathing and temperature. It contains a variety of different sensors alongside a microphone on the top of the gadget that together, can read vital signs, including body temperature, heart rate, blood oxygen level, heart rate variability and pulse wave transit time (PWTT). PWTT is the time it takes for a heartbeat to reach somewhere else in a person’s body and is related to blood pressure.

Walter De Brouwer, a Belgian entrepreneur based at Nasa’s Ames Research Centre in California, who is behind the device, was inspired by Dr Spock’s Tricorder.  ‘Star Trek was more than just a movie, it was a business plan,’.  The Tricorder was used by the doctor 'Bones' McCoy in Star Trek to wirelessly scan a patient, either in a ‘sick bay’ on a star ship or during an away mission, to assess an individual’s medical status, and allow him to quickly and easily diagnose their condition without an intensive or invasive examination. The Scout was one of the 10 finalists for the 2014 Qualcomm Tricorder Xprize, but already the technology has moved on from the 23rd century of Star Trek to the 27th century century of Larry Niven's classic "Tales of Known Space" and Healmet of San Diego are launching a table-top auto-doc that eliminates the need for the doctor or for a health nerd to look at graphs and charts, simply focusing on the top preventable issues in the developed world and informing the user or texting their carer or physician if there is need for a further check up.

Finalists for the the 2014 Qualcomm Tricorder Xprize

  1. Scandu (Moffett Field, California), a team from Silicon Valley-based start-up Scandu led by technology entrepreneur and company co-founder and CEO, Walter De Brouwer.
  2. Aezon (Rockville, Maryland), led by Tatiana Rypinski, a team of student engineers from Johns Hopkins University partnering with the Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design.
  3. CloudDX (Mississauga, Canada), a team from medical devices manufacturer Biosign and led by company chief medical officer, Dr. Sonny Kohli.
  4. Danvantri (Chennai, India), a team from technology manufacturer American Megatrends India and led by company Director and CEO, Sridharan Mani.
  5. DMI (Cambridge, Massachusetts), a team led by Dr. Eugene Y. Chan of the DNA Medicine Institute partnering with Nasa, the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  6. Dynamical Biomarkers Group (Zhongli City, Taiwan), a team of physicians, scientists and engineers led by Harvard Medical School professor Chung-Kang Peng.
  7. Final Frontier Medical Devices (Paoli, Pennsylvania), a team led by the founders of Basil Leaf Technologies - brothers Dr. Basil Harris, an emergency room physician, and George Harris, a network engineer.
  8. Mesi Simplifying diagnostics (Ljubljana, Slovenia), a team from diagnostic medical device manufacturer Mesi and led by company CEO, Jakob Susteric.
  9. ScanNurse (London, England), a team from diagnostic medical manufacturer ScanNurse and led by biomedical engineer and company founder, Anil Vaidya.
  10. Zensor (Belfast, Ireland), a team from clinical sensor and electrode company Intelesens and led by chief technology officer, Professor Jim McLaughlin.