Sunday, April 19, 2009

Enterprise Class Menstruration Calculation

Every once in a while, the Internet leaves me speechless. I'm not refereeing to disgusting pictures or videos.  I'm talking about things that make you stop and ask "why?"

Today I found one of those things why seeing what sort of PDF software was available at sourceforge. It was an open source J2ME software project, called Bloody Mary, for keeping track of ones menstrual cycle. This in and of itself was pretty mundane and sensible. I'm sure many such things exist. 

However, what really made me say WTF?!? was the server side component of this application. Apparently you can create PDF reports of your menstrual cycle with this report. Why one would need such a report is beyond me. I think an alert from the device running this software of the probably onset of menstruation would be enough. Of course, not being a woman or a gynecologists, I lack expertise on the subject.

However, I did stop and think, "How can this be made useful?" and did come up with an interesting idea. A large company like google could market this program and get millions of women to use it. They could also collect all the data into a central repository and associate it with demographic information such as race, age,  number of children, etc. Once we have all this data, some researcher will find a use for it.

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