Robert D. Hof's "The power of us" gets it exactly right about networking's next step ("The Future of Tech," Special Report, June 20). But he shouldn't worry so much about Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein: They didn't "solo," either. Plenty of predecessors, and contemporaries, contributed to the discoveries of those two, as both of them freely acknowledged. There always is a risk, a downside, but it's not the loss of individual creativity's unique "spark." If it isn't "genius," maybe it's philosopher Thomas Kuhn's paradigm shifts. Even better, though, maybe it's Isaac Asimov's "Gee, that's funny...."
The more people connected by "the power of us" who will notice and comment when things look a little "funny" the better, then, in all fields.
The impact of the new Internet order is summed up in one sentence: "But the rewards will be more personalized products and services that we don't merely consume, but help create." The consumer becomes the producer, so either industry learns to harvest the talent of the Internet masses and make a profit from it, or the collective consumer will put traditional, Industrial Revolution industry out of business.
Sharon Lina Pearce
A "sea change" is afoot in media today because of "the power of us." Virtual communities are forming to support interactions between a show's creators and creatives and the fans who love and follow them. Nowhere is this more evident than in Carnivale, HBO's magical Depression-era epic that was recently canceled after only two seasons. Fan-created and moderated sites on Yahoo! (YHOO) and other [portals] host active discussions and live chats with the series' creator, Daniel Knauf, and many of its stars. The model is the first of its kind. This direct connection was almost unimaginable prior to the wide-scale use of the Internet, which is the fundamental infrastructure for the power of us.
Referring to 3D semiconductors in "More life for Moore's Law" ("The Future of Tech," June 20) Adam Aston states: "A more radical reinvention of chips is on drawing boards," and implies that 3D technology could be up to six years away. In fact, 3D semiconductors are already available. Matrix holds more than 100 patents for its 3D semiconductor technology and began shipping high volumes of 3D memory chips in July, 2004. They are in use in consumer electronics made by companies such as Mattel and Sharp. A new product line and additional innovations in the development of 3D technology were announced in May 2005.
Vice-President for Marketing
Matrix Semiconductor Inc.
Santa Clara, Calif.
Editor's note: Matrix Semiconductor is a leader in the development and commercialization of 3D memory chips. The article's focus, however, was on new methods to improve the performance of processors -- the complex "brains" that run a computer. Because the architecture of processors is more complex than memory, the shift to 3D designs is proving more challenging. Commercially producible 3D processors remain years away.
Using eBay's (EBAY) feedback (FB) system as an example of online community cooperation success is totally out of line. As a seven-plus-year eBay-er, I am all too familiar with the dreaded "retaliatory" negative FB. If I leave a negative FB, the seller will leave one for me, an occurrence as old as eBay's history.
"The power of us" clearly illustrates two key shifts. First, primary value generation is migrating from producers on the supply side to consumers on the demand side. Second, assets are becoming ever more intangible. Capital starts to move from the supply side to the demand-side -- intangible, nonrival, with network effects and increasing returns. The potential of this latest transformation? On a global basis, and at the least, this can let us accelerate and expand the U.N. Millennium Development Goals for extreme poverty reduction. On a personal basis, we can hasten the day when all of us can send our capital to work, doing with our brief allotted time what we really want to do, rather than what we have to do to make a living.
Many existing big companies will continue to fail to align their business strategies with the current technology. Thus, expect many big firms to lose market share to yet unknown startups. Anyone who is investing in telecom companies must think very carefully. Telecom will be going through an evolution, which will be redefining business and revenue models. On-demand e-business solutions will soon change how we run our businesses. This may not come in the form of application service providers, but something different. The current trend of technology is about to get consumers to realize one of Professor Michael E. Porter's five competitive forces: the bargaining power of buyers. For example, the more the voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) is used, the more the cost of international calls will go down. And this does not stop at VOIP.
Mohamed A. Mohamed
It's amazing and exciting to see how the marketing ground rules are changing. Corporations are getting an opportunity to get genuinely closer to their consumers. I guess only the authentic and evolved marketers are embracing these changes. The rest, I dare say, will soon become history!
In "The Left's Supreme effort" (Government, June 20), the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was inaccurately described as part of a liberal "cabal" preparing for an anticipated Supreme Court vacancy. NCAI is a non-partisan entity and is the nation's oldest and largest organization of tribal governments. Our participation in the coalition efforts described in the article is not related to a hypothetical Supreme Court vacancy. Rather, it is a result of our opposition to William G. Myers III for the Ninth Circuit. NCAI has never before opposed a judicial nominee, and our opposition in this case is based entirely on Mr. Myers' record on issues of critical importance to Indian tribes, including the protection of Native sacred sites and respect for the government-to-government relationship between Indian nations and the U.S.
It is our policy and practice to consider nominations at the time that they are made. NCAI will make our decision to support or oppose any future nominee based on his or her record on Indian issues.
Jacqueline L. Johnson
National Congress of American Indians
You correctly observe that "Central America is holding its breath" (Latin American Business, June 20) when it comes to free trade. Nowhere is this more apparent than Costa Rica, my country, which for half a century has had the largest and most reliable economic environment in Central America. Passage of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) is a necessary step in our region's evolution. The agreement fosters the economic and democratic reforms, government transparency, and labor and environmental protections that are vital to the long-term security of the hemisphere. CAFTA also can address labor uncertainties, tariffs and duties, quotas, and the protection of intellectual property against piracy and counterfeiting -- which already exist as largely unaddressed threats to job markets in our countries and in the U.S.
Our nations do not seek an unfair trade advantage over the U.S. The fact is, we already are excellent trading partners, constituting a $12 billion annual export market for U.S. goods and services. To turn away from free trade now would reverse five decades of economic, social, and political progress in our nation, and send a terrible message to our politically and economically developing neighbors.
Hern?n Pacheco, President
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce
San Jos?, Costa Rica