Innovations in 5: An ailing Everest, unhappy CIOs and Jennifer Lopez’s mobile shopping experience

May 23, 2013

Here’s what we’re reading/watching Thursday:

A team of climbers led by 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer Yuichiro Miura stand on the summit of Mount Everest on Thursday, May 23, 2013. Miura on Thursday became the oldest man to reach the top of Mount Everest, a Nepali official and Miura's Tokyo-based support team said. The photo was taken with a telephoto lens from an altitude of 5,550 meters (18,208 feet). It is not clear which of the climbers in the photo is Miura. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
A team of climbers led by 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer Yuichiro Miura stand on the summit of Mount Everest on Thursday, May 23, 2013. Miura on Thursday became the oldest man to reach the top of Mount Everest, a Nepali official and Miura’s Tokyo-based support team said. The photo was taken with a telephoto lens from an altitude of 5,550 meters (18,208 feet). It is not clear which of the climbers in the photo is Miura. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

1) Sometimes great innovation needs a little inspiration. And, as Vivek Wadhwa has written, aging Baby Boomers are in a prime position to usher in some of the world’s next, great innovations. In that vein, we start this morning with Yuichiro Miura. At age 80, he is the oldest person to have reached the top of Mt. Everest—at least for now. During a news conference, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said of Miura’s accomplishment:

“This will be deeply touching to all the people of Japan. And, especially, in an aging society, it will also give much courage and hope to all elderly people.”

Miura’s record is not likely to last very long, considering Min Bahadur Sherchan, an 81 year old from Nepal, is scheduled to climb to Everest’s peak next week.

But Everest isn’t doing so well. In a piece for National Geographic, Mark Jenkins explains the poor conditions on Everest. The two primary paths up the mountain are, as difficult as this may be to believe, crowded. Junk, human excrement and, yes, even dead bodies are strewn along the mountain face. And the challenge, writes Jenkins, doesn’t need a particularly innovative solution. Fewer permits, smaller teams, certification for outfitters, experience requirements, leave-no-trace rules and penalties and human body removal are Jenkins’s proposals to improve the conditions on Everest.

2) NASA has announced the winners of this year’s International Space Apps Challenge Wednesday, naming six “best in class” winners. The six include the “NASA Greener Cities Project,” “Popeye on Mars,””T-10″, “Sol” and “ISS Base Station.” The winners of what NASA has called “the largest hackathon in history” are invited to see the November launch of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) probe. They also get a spaceflight training course at the National Aerospace Training and Research Center.

(via Space.com)

3) ZDNet’s Joe McKendrick has the read-out on Harvey Nash’s 2013 chief information officer survey, writing that the cohort is “glum” when it comes to innovation:

“Perhaps it’s because they’re too busy trying to keep the lights on to dive into the innovation side as much as they would like. Or perhaps the fact that only 30% received raises in the past year — while 60% still are still experiencing pay freezes — is adding to the glum.”

(via ZDNet)

4) Jennifer Lopez is teaming up with Verizon to create, Viva Movil, a new mobile shopping experience for Hispanics — as in the experience around shopping for mobile phones. In a video introducing the new shopping experience, which includes both mobile, social media and brick-and-mortar storefronts, Lopez describes it as “a whole new way to shop for your next smartphone.” Lopez says the staff in each store would speak Spanish and that the stores would include a “play zone” for children.

(via ABC News)

5) And the Canadian Space Agency has posted its interview with Canadian astronaut (and national celebrity) Chris Hadfield. In it, Hadfield outlines what he was most proud of during his mission aboard the international space station:

 

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Emi Kolawole | May 22, 2013