There's been lots of buzz about Google's new name in China--Song of the Grain. Seems lots of Chinese folks have been calling it "gougou" or "dog dog" and Google wanted something spifier.
I have Andrew Zolli and his Z + partners blog to thank for the video. And thanks to Andrew for this bit of information on "grain" (yes, this is a shaggy dog story). It's a quote from IBM's CEO Sam Palmisano at the recent IBM conference in Italy on innovation.
Here goes Sam: "Last year, human beings produced more transistors (and at lower cost) than they did grains of rice."
Now think about that for a moment. When I was in the Peace Corps in the Philippines, I spent months walking in patty fields, deep in the mud, to help develop higher-yielding grains of rice. In the end, this Green Revolution basically ended starvation in Asia (a predictable and periodic event even when I was a kid). And it did it by creating billions of new grains of rice every year. Yet, still fewer than transistors today. Hmmm.....