Running in Circles
So what’s it all about, this adventure racing?
My passion for sports and technology got the better of me the other day… I backed a kickstarter project RFLKT+ and now I’m waiting for things to happen.
On the face of it, today, it doesn’t look so good so unless the kickstarter pledge rate accelerates the project may be ditched.
For those of you who don’t know what kickstarter is; its a crowd-funding mechanism that allows entrepreneurs and innovators and artists to find “micro-backers” willing to put up hard cash to fund the development of their “thing”. In this way they can get funding when in any other sense they would not, e.g. artists or companies can test the market and reduce the risk of the development by gauging if real people are willing to buy.
So what is the RFLKT+ that I pledged to buy? It’s a ANT+ bridge and display that when coupled with an iPhone and an App and some sensors will fully instrument a bicycle and it’s rider.
Am I just a geek? Probably but its fun.
The preview video of TomTom’s new GPS sports watch looks really exciting. The device is targeted at all sports disciplines but will appeal to Triathletes and other multi-sports competitors like adventure racers.
Selling it off and to their mates in the private sector. What’s it? the NHS, the Helicopter Search and Rescue services and now the Fire Service. Yes that’s right, the Government is opening up the Fire Service to private companies, mutuals and other providers to be able to deliver services for local Fire Authorities. The fire service is part of the nation’s critical infrastructure, why is the Government selling it off to the highest bidder in this way, except for profit?
I’ve talked before about the possible privatisation of the helicopter SAR services and while that was postponed following some serious irregularities in the tendering process last year, it now seems inevitable. The arguments for and against keeping the service in the hands of the military are complex and more than just tinged with typical UK sentimentality. Mountain Guide, James Thacker discusses it in some depth and with a bit more first hand knowledge than I in his article “UK Search and Rescue Privatisation”
The Sell-Off of the NHS is a much bigger issue and demands an article in its own right. Suffice to say from April 1st there will be an obligation on all commissioning bodies to put all services out to public tender. This effectively means that price and profit will be the main driver for the delivery of NHS services which will inevitably lead to a poorer and more costly NHS for all of us. I encourage you to look at the following couple of articles and look at what the NHA Party is saying.