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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:22 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #58: April 30, 2002


Journal Name: Prometheus, Volume 19, Number 4, 2001


The Dutch East India Company, Christiaan Huygens and the Marine Clock, 1682-95
By Alfons Van der Kraan
The story of the Dutch East India Company, Christiaan Huygens and the marine clock shows that in the seventeenth century Dutch Republic there was a tendency towards the formation of a modern partnership between business, science and technology. This emerging relationship was personified by Johannes Hudde (1628-1704) and Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695), men from entirely different walks of life except for their shared interest in science, especially mathematics. It was this shared interest in mathematics which brought them together and indirectly led to the marine clock research project. Hudde was a Director of the Dutch East India Company as well as a mathematician of international standing, whilst Huygens was both a brilliant theoretical scientist and extremely skilled innovator. Through his interest in mathematics, Hudde had come to know Huygens—he had corresponded with him and was broadly familiar with the work Huygens had been doing. So when Huygens, in 1682m returned to Holland from France, Hudde conceived the idea, which was entirely novel at the time, to enlist the support of the East India Company for one of Huygens' research projects, a project, of course, in which the Company had a direct economic interest, namely, the marine clock which it needed to find the longitude at sea.
Dutch East India Company, Christiaan Huygens, Johnanes Hudde, longitude, pendulum clock, marine clock.

Death and Data
By Mary Sandow-Quirk
Research into the intelligence processes in two child murder cases shows that 'information management is no longer simply an administrative support function or technical service, but an integral part of the strategy of the organisation'. Consequently, its importance must be demonstrated in the organisation's structure and in the resources allocated to it. Problems were caused by the divide between information specialists and detectives. This illustrates the disadvantages of a detection system which fails to preserve either information or knowledge, the tensions between detectives and intelligence officers as members of separate, incompletely integrated teams, and the importance of incorporating tacit learning-by-doing into a knowledge base accessible to both detectives and intelligence staff.

Australian Apparel Retailing Through the Net and Over the Waves
By Alastair Greig
ABSTRACT A global consensus appears to be emerging among clothing retail analysis that the key factors that will influence the industry over the next decade are corporate concentration, e-commerce and globalisation. This paper examines these predictions in the light of Australian evidence. First, it argues that Australia already possesses a highly concentrated clothing retail sector. However, the significance of concentration is that it facilitates the dominant role that retailers have been asserting along the clothing commodity chain. Second, it points to the ambiguity of the globalisation thesis in an industry that increasingly relies upon close-to-market intelligence. However, it also argues that retailers have assumed a stronger grip on global clothing commodity chains. Third, it demonstrates that retailers are embracing e-commerce, although its immediate impact upon the clothing commodity chain and upon consumer behaviour remains slight. Yet, if e-commerce does begin to shape communication along the supply chain (or supply web) there is no reason to expect that this will alter existing power relations, despite the rhetoric of trust and shared information flows.

Understanding the Digital Divide

By Richard Joseph

An International Perspective on I&C Policies: Recent Developments and Future Prospects
By Hanspeter Gassmann
The last few years have seen unprecedented growth in information and communication technologies (I&C) and products, which has led to a robust growth in the whole world, and especially in the United States. Euphoria was such that the term 'New Economy' was coined about 4 years ago, and was taken to mean almost the same as 'New Technologies', mostly information and communication technologies. These technologies are truly global. They are important instruments for further globalisation, and for reducing the international digital divide: they offer important opportunities for further world economic growth. There is increasing competition in their operations, which brings great benefits to customers in the form of reduced prices and new applications. International co-ordination of standards, trade and regulatory frameworks is increasingly necessary. PTOs and other operations need to keep constantly abreast of developments in various international for a, especially the ITU, the WTO and the OECD.
digital divide, globalisation, information and communications technologies, mobile telephony, New Economy.

From POTS to E-Commerce: What Have the Developing Countries Learnt About Property Rights Over the Last 50 Years?
By J. P. Singh
The challenge of electronic commerce is new to the developing world. Will this technology-driven initiative allow developing countries in Asia to leapfrog? Electronic commerce will trot or walk depending upon the property rights shaping its behaviour. The history of information infrastructural provision teaches us that efficient property rights can only be expected in rare circumstances, when the polity has a highly developed civil society and existing institutions produce restraint. Sequencing and the fit between domestic institutions and the types of property rights are important. Well-organized large user groups are clear winners from reforms, but universal service in countries like South Korea and Singapore resulted from state prerogatives. Three layers of an electronic commerce network along with five conditions of property rights efficiency are identified.
Asian countries, electronic commerce, information infrastructure, property rights.

Asia's Leap into E-commerce: Analysis of Developments in Some Countries
By Kamlesh K. Bajaj
The Internet is creating a global digital economy with new opportunities. Developing countries have to catch up with the developed world by establishing the required information infrastructure to overcome the dangers of isolation and polarisation. The growth path is through the development of IT industries and greater applications of IT in society. These IT industries must be compatible with local conditions and condusive to industrialisation.
Asian scene, digital economy, e-commerce, IT industries, Internet, telecommunications.

Rethinking Silicon Valley: New Perspectives on Regional Development
By Lan Cook & Richard Joseph
Silicon Valley in Southern California has, over the past 30 years, become a model for high technology development n many parts of the world. Associated with Silicon Valley is a common rhetoric and mythology that explains the origins of this area of high technology agglomeration and indeed the business and entrepreneurial attributes needed for success. Governments in may parts of the world (including Southeast Asia and Australia) have tried to emulate this growth through various industry and regional development mechanisms, in particular, the science or technology park. More recently, promoting developments in information technology has come to be seen as an integral feature of these parks' activities. In this paper, we argue that the modeling process used by governments to promote Silicon Valley-like regional development has tended to model the wrong things about Silicon Valley. The models have tended to be mechanical and have failed to reflect the nature of information and information industries. While we have sought to develop a model for Silicon Valley in this paper, we address a number of issues that require attention on the part of anyone serious about this project. After discussing problems with previous attempts to model Silicon Valley and problems associated with the activity of modeling itself, we move to consider four issues that must be addressed in any real attempt to model Silicon Valley in Southeast Asia. The first is the role of the state and the problems that state involvement may create. The second concerns the contribution that universities can make to the project. The third is the role of firms, particularly Chinese firms. The fourth is the cultural context within the 'model' will sit. Since technology parks are seen as a popular way of promoting high technology development by governments, the revised history suggested in this paper provides fresh thinking about modeling Silicon Valley in the Southeast Asian region.

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