24 October 2007

Largest IT project in the world?

Now that is an interesting question. The British think that the largest non-military IT project in the world involves the NHS - National Health Service. There is a long-term project to move completely away from paper-based records to electronic. Things like having your x-rays and scans delivered to your doctor before you can walk from the imaging room to the consultation room, or having your medication script automatically available to the pharmacy filling the prescription, and telling your bank to grab the £6 fee for meds before you have even reached for your Maestro card.

No doubt the Union of British Paper Pushers will start a go-slow when this project gets into test phases. Or perhaps they are already secretly practising their industrial action at Surgeries near you? I think they should integrate this project with the gazillions of video cameras around UK towns. Their face-recognition software could catch out the person who limps into the doctor claiming a work accident, because the doctor already has video of them skipping down the street yesterday, or walking quite happily home from the pub last night.

The Americans think they have the #1 project though, with some kind of RFID (that's tiny little electronic tags) all the way along their common border with Mexico, to stop illegals coming over and starting up even more Taco Bells. Whilst Californians might really have this love-hate relationship with the illegals (love the lifestyle the cheap labour brings, hate the idea of a Spanish speaking Governor so much that they chose Austrian instead) the top money in the US is probably some highly secret military application. Imagine the way Africa and Eastern Europe might develop with the kind of money that the West invests in new and exciting ways to kill each other more humanely.

My money is on neither - it is on Google's world domination plans. Rumours of a Google phone, Google operating system, Google online apps that dispense with the need for Microsoft ... abound these days. Yep, somewhere in Google's name or logo or the full names of their founders, I am sure we can 'discover' something, somehow, that sort of resembles 666.

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