Saturday, December 14. 2013
Its not often that two of the fairly unrelated areas we watch come together like this....Google has bought the military Robot maker Boston Dynamics, maker of walking robots (we first featured them in 2008 on Broadstuff) - Engagdget:
On reflection I suspect its Google trying to get a fast track on the sort of technology that will make robot cars more plausible (though why they are doing "civilian" robot cars in the first place is also a matter for some head scratching - you just know the military is going to be the first customer). But as Engagdget notes, it may be for something else far more mundane:
Or are we going to be invaded by large walking robotic billboards.....
(Hat Tip Mike Butcher)
Friday, December 6. 2013
The Onion's Nelson Mandela Obituary
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (Rolihlala, his given Xhosa forename, means "troublemaker" by the way ) died yesterday. I've never been a fan of the "Great Man" theory of history, believing that it is systemic - but in this one case, I'd make an exception. There is no need for the Beloved Country to cry, but to rejoice in what he has achieved, not least the prevention of bloody civil war. In my view the principles of Truth and Reconciliation should be made globally mandatory after any conflict.
Satire has a marvellous way of telling deep truths via humour, and internet newspaper The Onion sums up Madiba's impact perfectly (above)
(We went to the same university, so I like to think I walked in his footsteps just a tiny bit - mainly to the canteen, I suspect, in my case......)
Wednesday, December 4. 2013
We are told fairly frequently these days that data is the new Oil (or not?). If it is, then is Google the new Standard Oil?
To refresh everyone's memories (Wikipedia):
Standard Oil Co. Inc. was an American oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. Established in 1870 as a corporation in Ohio, it was the largest oil refiner in the world. By 1890, Standard Oil controlled 88 percent of the refined oil flows in the United States.Its controversial history as one of the world's first and largest multinational corporations ended in 1911, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that Standard was an illegal monopoly.
In other words, Standard Oil built up a near monopoly position in oil, not unlike Google's near monopoly position in digital data. Like Standard, Google also uses profits in one area (advertising) to offer free services in many other areas, making it very difficult for competition to emerge in those spaces.
Opinions are still divided about the breakup of Standard by the way:
Some economic historians have observed that Standard Oil was in the process of losing its monopoly at the time of its breakup in 1911. Although Standard had 90 percent of American refining capacity in 1880, by 1911 that had shrunk to between 60 and 65 percent, due to the expansion in capacity by competitors. Numerous regional competitors had organized themselves into competitive vertically integrated oil companies, the industry structure pioneered years earlier by Standard itself. In addition, demand for petroleum products was increasing more rapidly than the ability of Standard to expand. The result was that although in 1911 Standard still controlled most production in the older US regions of the Appalachian Basin (78 percent share, down from 92 percent in 1880), Lima-Indiana (90 percent, down from 95 percent in 1906), and the Illinois Basin (83 percent, down from 100 percent in 1906), its share was much lower in the rapidly expanding new regions that would dominate US oil production in the 20th century.
We are certainly seeing China emerge as an independent digital data region, and othes are splitting off various segments of the digital data mining and refining business. It remains to be seen whether the expected rapid growth in digital data moves at such a pace that Google can no longer supply it all. That will probably be the acid test in the Digital Oil business.
Interestingly, after the breakup, bits of Standard slowly got together again - Two of the resulting companies were Jersey Standard ("Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey"), which eventually became Exxon, and Socony ("Standard Oil Co. of New York"), which eventually became Mobil. They are now Exxon-Mobil. Other Standard spin offs re-combined to form Amoco and Chevron.
Microsoft, came under antitrust investigation for being inherently too large for market competition. The only company since the breakup of Standard Oil that was broken up like Standard Oil was AT&T, and as with the breakup of Standard Oil, many of the "Baby Bells" ended up merging together after changes in regulations and technology, with one of them eventually buying AT&T and adopting the AT&T name.
But, little surprise that Google is ramping up its lobbyist engine in Washington, as reported today:
Google Inc. is moving its Washington office closer to Capitol Hill after spending $18.2 million on lobbying, more than Northrop Grumman Corp. and enough to rank the technology company as the eighth-biggest advocacy spender.
Google is one company that understands that those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it.
Monday, December 2. 2013
As part of our monitoring the Internet of Flying Things, news just in that Amazon is thinking of delivery drones (see BBC video below), and its 1st of December not 1st of April
There are a few inconvenient truths for now, however:
- Most countries aviation regulation authorities are very against licencing civil/domestic non piloted drones, at best its lots of accidents waiting to happen, at worst its a snoopers charter (plus a lot of accidents waiting to happen) - and these are on the big end, one of these through your windscreen would be no joke.
Still, its a sign of the things to come. No doubt early customers will pay a lot for very fast delivery. Longer term, who needs elves and reindeer when you have robots and drones. Or Santa Claus when you have a one-click-to-buy patent and a website.
Broadstuff understands the first Amazon drones will be called Dancer, Prancer, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolf....
McKinsey 7S model - annoying alliterations and all
Ever since our last Patchwork Elephant conference, I've been playing around with an overall framework to think about Social Business, and have found the old McKinsey 7S model quite useful, as it forces thought about both the "soft" and "hard" areas I see in SB. Bad news it was somewhat shot down after its failure in "In Search of Excellence" but I think that was due to the authors looking only at the past, not seeing businesses as dynamic systems (a separate but probably related discussion for another post). Anyway, the model is shown above, some thoughts are below:
Strategy: What is the organization’s strategy seeking to accomplish, and how does the organization plan to use its resources and capabilities to deliver that?
Structure: How is the organization organized, and what are the reporting and working relationships? How are decisions made? How is information shared (formal and informal channels) across the organization?
Social tools/methods can potentially move information more quickly through an organisation than previous tools, and can connect to and from both formal and informal channels
Systems: What are the primary business and technical systems that drive the organization?
Social technologies are emerging, at present they tend to be “point of use” – the challenge is to integrate them to each other
Style: What is the management/leadership style like? Are there real teams functioning within the organization or are they just nominal groups? What behaviours, tasks and deliverables does management/leadership reward?
Social technologies/methods force a real change in behaviour, both from the managers – and the managed.
Staff: What is the size of the organization? Are there gaps in required capabilities or resources? What is the plan to address those needs?
Economics of modern work mean attention to multi skilling, multi location working, associates not employees etc
Skills: What skills are required to deliver the core products and/or services? Are these skills sufficiently present and available? How are skills monitored, assessed, and improved?
There is increasing evidence that Social skills are desired by customers, and can create competitive advantage
Cornerstone - Shared Values
Shared Values – What is the mission of the organization, and what is the vision to get there? What are the ideal versus real values and how do the values play out in daily life? How deeply rooted is this culture, and what real impact does it have?
Shared Values help to synchronise decisions, ensure that everything is “pointing in the same direction”/”on the same page” – they improve operating efficiency
We also see the benefit in Social Business in solving the following issues
Global versus local company culture, ensuring common understanding is key as the culture of global organisations may be interpreted differently by employees based internationally
A business that doesn’t “walk the talk” however, will soon lose any benefits the above accrues. The culture has to be ingrained, not grafted on for convenience.
Friday, November 29. 2013
Internet of Things - Broadsight's simple value chain
I gave 2 talks in 2 recent conferences (its been Conference Season in November, hence blogging dearth) on developments in the Internet of Things world. One was the overall industry, one was based around open source. My overall impression from both conferences is that the Internet of Things is being held up by obfuscation and confusion - every single special interest group/alliance/manufacturer/etc is asserting they are a critical part of any solution (It was ever thus, IPTV was the same in the early 2000's for example).
Of course the market eventually sorts out who is real and who isn't, but it has the effect of making a lot of potential customers sit on their hands and wait until more clarity emerges. This is especially true with networked systems where the cost of device installation or removal is vastly more than the cost of the devices.
So in a nutshell, here is my view of the IoT state-of-play as it now stands - referring to the Broadsight "4 box model" of the IoT above:
There are a very wide variety of devices that will want to connect to this IoT, as noted in the diagram's left hand box. Many are very different to each other. There are few agreed standards for connecting devices of a similar nature, never mind those of a different type. This massively reduces the utility and increases the cost.
As above, there is such a plethora of competing technologies that don't Inter-Network easily - as one analyst pointed out to me, the industry is currently better termed "The Siloes of Things" as there is very little Internet happening if many players can avoid it.
Yet again. the aim seems to be to have as much walled gardening going on as possible. Everyone believes in standard platforms, so long as its got them in the centre. Even the open source community is not immune from this, open source does not automatically mean inter-operational end to end. Not all of this is deliberate, some is just necessary - for example, given no standard data taxonomies exist, to make workable systems people just have to get on with it and define their own.
End User Environment
Here too there is confusion, with multiple players asserting their right to be put in front of the end user, though of course many systems "end user" will be bots, decision algorithms and so on. To an extent the difficulty with defining standards upstream is due to the huge variety of end applications, all requiring very different end to end system designs.
So what might the IoT endgame be? In our view the final endgame is a set of common standards, but other industries suggets that there will be several moves in the dance before we get there. Here are some predicted steps:
1. Some siloes will take off early
There are some industry segments where the value that can be created and/or cost saved are too great to ignore, and its worth acting soon. As the only viable end to end solutions today are usually proprietary, these will be used and potentially ripped out (or hybridised) later. Diverse taxonomies will also appear (see the development of the ODI industry into multiple ODI's) at various times for various applications
2. The Open Source industry will take a long time to deliver end to end solutions
As a movement the OS advocates have extremely high creativity and ability. As an industry they they tend to operate disjointedly, building point solutions. The IoT needs highly reliable End to End solutions, and the semi anarchic nature of this industry will mean that this takes a long time - unles a major body forces the speed (cf DARPA with Inter-Networking technologies, or the EU with 2G Mobile standards) and then gives it away for free/mandates a standard
3. Some "poster child" use cases are phantoms, it will take off in unexpected areas
Two poster children are the Automated Home (see our satire on Mrs Fridge), and the Internet of Health. In our view these will be slow to take off as in the former case there is no compelling reason (its been possible for a decade, no one has really bothered) and in the latter, the issue is a combination of data confidentiality and the very severe consequences if systems are not working properly. What we expect is niche use cases - home security rather than home automation, or operating on the margins - in my opinion the "porn case" (dedicated users pushing the boundaries) in this space is coming from the Quantified Self movement, and what they drive will probably be the early Internet of Health applications.
The real early applications will, in our view, be twofold:
- Classic (Geoffrey) Moore "over the Chasm" industries - areas of high returns on any efforts; so the issues of workability, reliability, standards etc are small beer compared to the potential benefits. High value plant and processes or very large reduction is labour costs are obvious areas.
4. A Standard (or two) eventually emerge
Whether it is de Facto (a market dominance emerges, like the DOs operating system or LAMP protocols in the web space) or de Jure (a set of standards is universally adopted) remains to be seen. Looking at all teh parties jostling for position, somehow we suspect it will be de Facto.
5. Everyone will build a Middleware
Where complexity and non standardisation proliferates, then the temptation is to build a middle ware layer that just translates all the functions of disparate systems and presents them as a common UI. Only problem is, everyone wants to own the middleware layer so there will be multiple non-collaborational middlewars
6. Privacy/Hackability is going to be a major issue
There are two things that will drive this - firstly, many of the projecst mooted seem to be about building things because it is possible, rather than because it's what users/citizens/employees etc want, and these systems can impinge on privacy. Also, many of the early devices sare being built with a sort of naive assumption that just because no oane has hacked them yet (abeacuse they don't exist/there is no value etc) no one will. As any securty system expert will tell you, increasing the Internet by 50 billion odd devices increases the security risk by the same amount
In essence I think we are in for a few years of smoke, mirrors and obfuscation and if I had to bet on a first "Proper Internet" of things. it will be largely "over the top" and using as few systems as possible.
Monday, November 11. 2013
Sunday, November 10. 2013
Its been a very busy last few weeks what with conference season. work and whatnot so stories ave been piling up in the Broadfstuff inbox. First to go out then is the notes from the FT Innovate Conference. I found this year the best one of all those I have been to over the years as I think its really beginning to sink in that Innovation does NOT mean doing what you did last year, just a bit better, if you want to survive in the modern world order - especially if you a re a high wage, low growth OECD country.
Anyways, notes from Day One here. As per usual, I select what really struck me as new/novel.
- Innovation is increasingly about getting products to the remoter areas, and finding new products to push through the channels ( aka fuller understanding of the consumer.....).
Werner Vogels, Amazon
The talks was on the Amazon Cloud - Pay as you Go, stick to core competencies, hire flexibly when you need something, great for small companies etc etc but really its basically an argument for the asset rental model. As Nick Carr predicted, someone had to do it, I'm more interested that it remains Amazon in the forefront rather than Telco or a Hoster after several years. I guess they already have the asset base doing something else, so can cost optimise retail hosting at offset prices. Vogels says Amazon Cloud operation has No CIO, No R&D, no innovation teams etc - but the business units are under pressure to improve performance. Sounds like its still small, or it runs on top of an Amazons infrastructure platform that is managed elsewhere. Having been part of large scale Web Hosting in my time, no way do I believe that you can run something like this without a CIO, a large Ops staff and a control room that looks like Cape Canaveral somewhere in the architecture
CapGemini report on Cloud based disruption
Report over here
3 main Cloud drivers:
Alec Ross, on various trends
- Data is the raw material of the information age, as land was for the agricultural economy
- No shift of power to east, shift of power to data owners - from heirarchy to heterarchy (question from me.....how does one prevent robber barons capturing all the data)
- Wide difference in attitudes to entrepreneurial activity, Europe lowest. Too much "grey twilight" in Europe - nothing ventured, nothing lost. Quotes Disraeli - success is the child of audacity
- The best strategy for any society is one that reduces barriers to participation of women in the economy - 50% of brainpower (is this true - see more money chasing same things)
- But girls fall away from STEM very rapidly post 16 y/o
- Need to manage pregnancy and childrearing as part of corporation operation, ditto mentoring
- Next generation will be a very tough time for middle class - need to learn how to change with the winds, learn new skills etc. Don't havevto be an entrepreneur, but need to know how to work for them.
- The Cloud is just another means of driving labour costs down. If Europe puts up privacy requirements they will go elsewhere.
- Government procurement via lowest cost provider is like buying cheap clothes for a big date
- Government is poor at surgical intervention, good at big picture intervention eg allow SEs to grow to MEs.
- Baby boomers are slowing innovation, high youth countries are increasing innovation. Robotics is being driven by needs of old people care
Gerd Leonard, on various trends 3 - 5 years out
Privacy/Security - Faustian bargain, we are increasingly reneging now - market in tools emerging
- biometrics future? GL thinks there will be limited adoption until it is settled who owns the data and the exchange - digital bill of rights. Technologies not backed up by social contract won't take off
Increasing automation will take rote knowledge jobs away eg Gerds bookkeeper with Xero. Machines will start to do our thinking
Increasing issue around trusting the facts
Shell - looks at 30 years horizon, big infrastructure plays tend to do this
How to force thinking in scenarios - wildcard game (similar to our high sensitivity analysis)
Existing players try to use current tools (eg legislation, regulation) to put off short term changes (online music example)
China - safer? GL thinks they will have to play by global village rules
Opportunities - efficiencies, solutions to major issues
UK is the most tracked country - why? We are a more dysfunctional model, UK bases itself on what US used to do.
Use of data in organisations - the quantified employee - but does it measure the qualified employee. Qualified employee is "economical with the truth"
Can you use this to create a super-intelligent business, but need permission and payback
XL - hard to get data out of old systems, not always accurate in company need to think out the box, size matters but so does innovation and speed
Burberry - some bits very innovative, some bits startup
HSBC - no shortage of ideas, how do you make innovation happen
Shell - good at innovation in own business, harder to work with emergent non traditional models
Ericsson - ex startup guy, how to get mentality in large companies
Independent guy - Reputation management
Decoded (Facilitators) - teach people to code in a day, give people ability to code, changes mindsets of people. Argues that anyone can be one...seems to me they are selling a dream of a startup stereotype though (Developer Rockstar, big spiel around salary jump) Genesis was people who can't code/do computing in companies desperately feeling they need to know. Is this due to structural problem in UK culture/education. Demand is global.
How should innovation happen - everybody, or in a department. Can you manage it in, or can you just cultivate it.
Challenge for large Cos is affording the huge number of wasted work and deaths in an innovative startup ecosystem - what are legal risks of deploying failures
Do you need to have a VC mentality in management, bet on probabilities
Burberry - councils with younger members (more involved in detail, digital natives) to think about solutions
Kimberly Holmes XL - Big Data
Big Data is like teenage sex - lots of talk, not a lot of action. But no currency in talking about small data anymore
Companies who use data driven models are more likely to be correct - models show 6% increase in profit, 5% in productivity. Big data has real ROIs
You can't see patterns in small chunks, eg lots of datapoint arrayed correctly is a movie
Plan for the Big Data, it will come - too many wins for people not to use it - Billy Bean, Moneyball example. Knew he couldnt win otherwise. Biggest risk is doing nothing
XL is first company in space to have centralised analytical team, big benefits quickly.
Aim is not to outrun the bear, but to outrun the others.
Execution is an issue, eg
- Correlation is not causality - need subject matter experts to interpret
Notes from Day 2 of the FT Innovate Conference
Survey - 7000 respondents, mapped behaviour of innovators. Some points on characteristics:
- Ask disruptive questions ie questions they dont know answers to. Drucker - need to know what questions to ask.
- Innovation is a Combinatorial Play (Einstein allusion) - putting new combinations/permutation
Lynda Grattan, LBS
London Business School - Future of Work trends - 32 trends on future of work (book The Shift - website Hotspots), 10 big ones now:
1. People going on line - growth of online 2x faster than growth of PC usage ie hugely mobile
2. Connectivity drives brain cycles available, 14yo poor Pakistani girl wrote exams for Stanford online, not possible 5 yrs ago. India does have a way to get this talent identified at 13 (does Britain?). Baby boomers did not have to compete with the global talent pool. Lecturer - one of her kids did Medicine, "he is fine". Business school books increasingly not US/EU focus.
3. Innovation is created in 2 structures
- people who are experts getting together
- diverse people getting together
- Globalization/online collaboration will drive huge innovation.
4. Data being available online means brains anywhere can see data these day and work/ learn/make impact.
5. Hollowing out of work in the medium skill area (used to have 1/3 splitbof skilled, medium skill and unskilled. Outsourcing is moving to more skilled work now. Rise of the Specialist, and it's becoming an Art based world. Low Skill jobs will also always be salary limited by new immigrants
6. urbanization is increasing, the dream of electronic cottages is not true (is this due to - but not all cities are the same, seeing creative clusters (patents filed very spiky by city). Specialists need to be near each other. great cities need to attract great people, need great schools, lifestyle etc
7. Demographics/Generation Groups - Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y etc are different. Also look at demographic pyramid. Huge numbers of unemployed educated men equals massive instability. There is no demographic dividend if you don't educate people. Kids today will live to 100, will have to work to 83 to pay for pension at 50% - impossible. What are demographics of companies, and how does that impact things?
8. Huge rise of developing world middle class while hollowed out middle class in West is disappearing.
9. Need to build intangible assets/resilience
No signals in western countries on what kids should study - art history will no longer get you a job. Have to be educated to be able to transition.
10. Climate change is a fact (even if it isn't, but perception = reality) driving lots of silliness.
Social Media is a huge enabler.
Patents are a poor measure of Innovation,also look at R&D budgets
Panel on New Era Workforce
1. Strategos - founded 20 years ago, Gary Hamell.
Innovation - not enough to get talented people, but need to follow through when they want to do stuff or they will bugger off/lose motivation.
2 options globally to deal with global differences:
- Franchisers recruit locally
- Corporations try and mandate global cultures
Pumps are not cutting edge.....but are 10% of energy consumption in world. Message to potential recruits is they want to contribute to sustainable world via innovations - very attractive message to talented people. Be crystal clear on how Grundfos changes the world, motivates and inspires. Key to getting output is leadership - giving people freedom, setting up communities that share knowledge.
3. Funding Circle
Allows investors to lend directly to small busineses, c £180m throng it so far, recently started in US.
4. Index Ventures
Real shortage is execution ability. Looking for Doers, ideas is not enough. Isn't this just for small startups? Bias is energy over wisdom, youth over experience - main tell though is making stuff happen with severe capital constraints.
Grundfos - measure young on output, older on targets - can't use one model for all. Thing you do for all is create common understanding of the why.
2 types of innovation - exploration and exploitation. Exploitation only goes to local optima, very exciting as feedback loops are faster, but need to keep eye on exploration.
Q. Conference focusses on Technology innovation,what about Management innovation (are despots like Jobs better than democrats - tent pole companies tend to be led by despots)?
A. Too much focus here on former.
Q. Source of the Skilled Workforce?
A. Grundfos - Universities are not preparing people for future, are still in the industrial paradigm. Not seeing speed of change in Education market. This is not being debated in public forum, esp how to have high skills in West?
A. LSE - universities can never produce the workers that companies need Now! Can only play on longer trends. Companies need to do some of the training themselves,again,as theyonce did.
A. Strategos - kids need broader exposure than narrow pipe courses
A. Index - many small startups in Europe are people who have worked with each other awhile, impossible to do in Valley - Cohesiveness as competitive advantage.
Some points from Samsung Experience of Innovation and reserach done
Crisis Awareness (6 months)
Creativity & Innovation bridges gap between 6 month and 10 years
Future Thinking (10 years)
Crisis today is in delivery, usually because ambition is too high, funding is too low. Lockheed Skunkworks was very well resourced and funded.
Another Crisis is in consumer research, it's too facile. Ethographic research is very expensive, consumer research can be lied to.
Big Data is like Big Oil, to be useful it needs to be separated into constituent parts. Using Black Swan Co to help with data mining.
Biggest issue is Experience.
Different people see different pictures eg human researcher, consumer researcher, technologist, commercial analyst all see world differently, need all to experience everything.
Anybody can buy the process of innovation, what is hard is the management knowing when to persevere vs drop something - entrepreneurs good at that, companies less so. What are your peoples experience? Users?
Process alone gives you gadgets, need experience to get innovative. Experience is a flow chain from product via company, partners and consumers, very few see across this value chain.
Kickstarter is a great pre-test of innovation of "virtual products", great way to test viabiliity of products before you've made them. Also being used as "moral patents". Web being used to float virtual product.
"Experience Farm" - pooling innovation between non competing companies. What is impact on IP though? IP should only be to protect investment in innovation.
Innovation in Developing Markets
Singapore - is small, has to be high value innovation, has to be nimble, multi racial/culture. 3.5% of GDP in public innovation. See integration of design to manufacturing/technology. Nation is doubling support for small companies. Set up institute of consumer insight.
Asia is a Different market, different people - even to skin and hair type. A lot of US/EU data mining/biz model assumptions just don't work
In last 10 years 20% of LA consumers became middle class, while there is 15% population growth = 160% market growth. Huge upgrade in quality of life.
What is signal of cost/benefit - in EU it's the product, in LA it's the brand.
Older technologies in US/EU still very attractive, also adoption of stuff by demographic is very different owing to culture. Favela people have very high hygiene/beauty standards, poor people buying US Middle Class stuff (signal of status as they can't afford more expensive signals)
Big lesson is that OECD HQ stuff won't work in these markets, needs local change ie innovation. Eg hygiene habits differ, need different products.
There are infrastructure gaps in Asia and LA, but it differs by country so different products have different problems.
Quite easy in large companies like P&G to see same habits in different country, need to join the dots between products that work and similar countries - key is analysing data.
Tuesday, October 15. 2013
Today is Ada Lovelace Day, celebrating women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Elaine Morgan died this year, she helped develop a fascinating thesis of a part of human evolutuion, and was a very talented woman.
On her thesis - like many I was curious about why, of all the land mammals, only humans and pigs have little body hair and do have subcutaneous fat, whereas all sea living mammals have them. Morgan wrote about the Aquatic Ape theory. (Wikipedia):
Morgan first became drawn into scientific writing when reading popularizers of the savannah hypothesis of human evolution such as Desmond Morris. She described her reaction as one of irritation because the explanations were largely male-centered. For instance, she thought that if humans lost their hair because they needed to sweat while chasing game on the savannah that did not explain why women should also lose their hair as, according to the savannah hypothesis, they would be looking after the children. On re-reading Desmond Morris's The Naked Ape she encountered a reference to a hypothesis that humans had for a time gone through a water phase, the so-called aquatic ape hypothesis. She contacted Morris on this and he directed her to Alister Hardy. Her first book The Descent of Woman (1972) was originally planned to pave the way for Hardy's more academic book, but Hardy never published his book.
I remember being delighted when I read "The Descent of Woman" in the late 70's, as it was clear it was both a fascinating hypothesis and tweaked the nose of the existing heirarchy. The theory is still at the sidelines of scientific thought (though there is still no good explanation of why we and pigs are more like Dolphins in so many ways), but good for Elaine for squaring up to the scientific establishment and rocking it.
She was also a fascinating character and quite the Renaissance woman (Wikipedia again) :
RIP Elaine, Renaissance Woman in an over specialised age.
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