Friday, 29 June 2007

Tennis racket improvements

I have some ideas on how to improve the tennis racket. Below are the rules that any tennis racket must abide by

a. The hitting surface, defined as the main area of the stringing pattern bordered by the points of entry of the strings into the frame or points of contact of the strings with the frame, whichever is the smaller, shall be flat and consist of a pattern of crossed strings connected to a frame and alternately interlaced or bonded where they cross. The stringing pattern must be generally uniform and, in particular, not less dense in the centre than in any other area.
The racket shall be designed and strung such that the playing characteristics are identical on both faces. The racket shall be free of attached objects, protrusions and devices other than those utilised solely and specifically to limit or prevent wear and tear or vibration or, for the frame only, to distribute weight. These objects, protrusions and devices must be reasonable in size and placement for such purposes.

b. The frame of the racket shall not exceed 29.0 inches (73.7 cm) in overall length, including the handle. The frame of the racket shall not exceed 12.5 inches (31.7 cm) in overall width. The hitting surface shall not exceed 15.5 inches (39.4 cm) in overall length, and 11.5 inches (29.2 cm) in overall width.

c. The frame, including the handle, and the strings, shall be free of any device which makes it possible to change materially the shape of the racket, or to change the weight distribution in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the racket which would alter the swing moment of inertia, or to change deliberately any physical property which may affect the performance of the racket during the playing of a point. No energy source that in any way changes or affects the playing characteristics of a racket may be built into or attached to a racket.

Monday, 18 June 2007

NHS inefficiencies

In principle, the NHS is a great: free health care for everyone. But a recent article I read in the Telegraph "Surgeon praised by Blair gives up on UK"
highlights the inefficiencies. What makes things incredulous is that the surgeon actually met the prime minister. The ideas he proposed were ignored completely so he has decided to work abroad despite a 44% pay cut. The methods employed by this remarkable surgeon reduced waiting times from a year to three weeks. He can do five hip or knee replacements a day whereas his colleagues can only do one or two.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Consistent brand packaging

I wrote about consistent supermarket brand packaging earlier and I never thought that well known brands would make the same mistake. Heinz in 1993 decided to launch a natural cleaning vinegar. This was due to some people using their existing vinegar for cleaning purposes. They actually made the packaging look very similar. I would never dream of associating what people eat with a cleaner.

But clearly there was a demand for it so how would you market it? For cost purposes, it made sense to use their existing design but the association is not good. I suppose even associating the cleaner with the food manufacturer was a risky move. I think I would not have introduced it at all. People were happy using the food version for the cleaning already. Although if they were confident that the product would beat the competition, building up new brand which does not highlight the association with Heinz.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Witricity (wireless electricity) efficiency: environmental concern

The idea of wireless transmission of electricity is not new but the new thing is the increase in efficiency to 40%. This is a significant improvement but certainly not enough to justify everyone getting rid of their wires. Since we would use up more electricity, the environment will not be too happy.

There are potential uses perhaps in the medical world where it may be a necessity but unnecessary applications like powering laptops should not be pursued (unless the efficiency reaches the wire version level). I do hope this unfortunate explosion in public interest does not trigger a boom in demand for implementing this in all sorts of devices. The environmental impact should not be underestimated.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Epilepsy and the 2012 London Olympics Logo

I did suspect that the flashing and the abrupt changes of the logo may trigger an epileptic fit but I did not write about it yesterday. The media have now highlighted this problem. As soon as I saw the dynamic logo, it reminded me of some flashing images that were triggering epileptic fits a while ago. It is a shame that a company that charged 0.4 million pounds could not think about the consequences well enough.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Consistent Supermarket Brand Packaging

Here is a reason why supermarkets should not have consistent packaging (design looking the same) for their own brands. Asda used to have the consistent packaging for their juices as well as detergents. The last time I checked the juices, they had changed the design of the packaging so I think they have realised their problem.

2012 London Olympics Logo

The people who were responsible for the 2012 London Olympic logo have missed a great opportunity to get the public involved. Why did they pay 0.4 million pounds for the existing logo that was unveiled recently? Instead, they could have asked the public to send in their ideas (you can also give out prizes).

In order to choose the winner, they could have asked the public again. If there are too many designs, finding the best design could be difficult. Fairness could be maintained if the designs are displayed randomly so on average, every design would have its fair share of prominence. But people will probably get too tired to look through all the designs. A certain number of them could be selected by a certain panel of judges. Then the public can choose their favourite more easily.