George C. Dimitriou

Technology and Strategy Consulting
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Archive for August, 2008

Discovering How Greeks Computed in 100 B.C.

August 04, 2008 By: George Category: Computing No Comments →

After a closer examination of a surviving marvel of ancient Greek technology known as the Antikythera Mechanism, scientists have found that the device not only predicted solar eclipses but also organized the calendar in the four-year cycles of the Olympiad, forerunner of the modern Olympic Games.

Antikythera Mechanism

The Antikythera Mechanism, sometimes called the first analog computer, was recovered more than a century ago in the wreckage of a ship that sank off the tiny island of Antikythera, north of Crete. Earlier research showed that the device was probably built between 140 and 100 B.C.

See also

Calendars with Olympiad display and eclipse prediction on the Antikythera Mechanism (Nature)

Video Presentation (Nature)

Review of the Indirect Effects of Biofuels.

August 04, 2008 By: George Category: Biofuels, Renewable Energy No Comments →

Earlier last month, the UK Renewable Fuels Agency issued a report recognising the negative impact of biofuels on greenhouse gas emissions and food prices as a result of indirect land-use changes, arguing for an avoidance of the use of productive agricultural land in favour of idle or marginal land, and an emphasis on so-called second-generation biofuels – such as the use of agricultural residues, algae, forest waste or timber industry left-overs – which do not compete with food production.

The report did not however argue for a wholesale abandonment of biofuels or even the dropping of the EU’s 2020 target, but rather to apply the brakes on their development until sustainability can be assured.

The UK government immediately embraced the report’s findings and is pushing for an evolution of the EU biofuels strategies in line with its conclusions.

How Intellectual Capital Creates Value.

August 04, 2008 By: George Category: Innovation, Trends No Comments →

DB Research issued the following publication “How intellectual capital creates value – towards the strategic management of intangibles“– which is available at their website.

“Companies need to treat their intellectual capital more systematically. These days, assets such as skills, innovativeness and customer relationships give businesses their competitive edge. Intellectual capital reports can help to record this type of capital in structured form – and to manage it strategically. Vital to the development of a useful intellectual capital report is in-house cooperation across individual divisions and functions. Moreover, companies, the capital market and standard setters must join forces to achieve standardisation. Intellectual capital reporting is worthwhile, but it takes commitment.”

Berlusconi’s Mediaset sues YouTube for €500 Million.

August 04, 2008 By: George Category: Digital World No Comments →

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s media group, Mediaset, has filed a €500 million lawsuit against online video service YouTube for allowing content owned by the Italian firm to be uploaded by its users in a move that could have Europe-wide implications.

Mediaset, which filed the suit in a domestic civil court on Wednesday (30 July), accused YouTube of permitting as of 10 June this year some 4,643 clips of content produced by the media empire to be accessible via its site without permission from the copyright holder.

The clips totaled some 325 hours of programming, or a loss of 315,672 viewing days from YouTube users who the claimant reckons would otherwise have watched Mediaset’s television channels.

YouTube is currently also the target of legal action from American media group Viacom – the owner of MTV – and a Spanish Mediaset subsidary, Telecinco. Viacom has sued YouTube and parent company Google for €640 million ($1 billion) for copyright infringement.