Benefits of Membership
Please see our weekly newsletter collection below. Our own staff and members contribute bits and bytes of interesting news and articles. They say that futurists make funny historians but we do our best to bridge that divide by illustrating our past themes and speakers as they develop and evolve. We hope that you enjoy reading these communications as much as we enjoy creating them for you. And if you have any news to share, please contact any member of our staff.
Lithium battery technology is hard (Paul Braun, San Francisco, Dec 2015; Roland Pitts, Miami, Dec 2011). After 700 engineers tested 200,000 Note 7 handsets, Samsung has finally identified what went wrong. It turns out to be two separate modes of failure, deflections in the negative electrodes in the original batteries, and welding issues in the batteries shipped to replace them.
Yoky Matsuoka (Seattle, Dec 2012) is back at Nest, a company she co-founded, then left in 2015 for a health data startup, Quanttus, and then Apple. Her new role at Nest is CTO.
TTI/V member Mark Bregman, CTO of NetApp, is out with six new trends for 2017.
The Trump administration is expected to appoint a current FCC commissioner, Ajit Pai, as the agency’s chairman. According to Recode, In a December speech, Pai promised to “take a weed whacker” to current FCC regulations and noted that network neutrality’s “days are numbered.” (David Reed, San Francisco, May 2016; Vint Cerf, Philadelphia, Apr 2006).
Speaking of which, remember when India rejected, on grounds of violating the principles of net neutrality, Facebook’s Free Basics service, which was to provide “a free but limited Internet to rural areas of the developing world”? Now one Indian state, Telangana, is building a fiber backbone to make broadband available to all of its 23 million citizens (Paul Green, Chicago, Apr 2005; Robert Lucky, London, July 1992).
Microsoft recreated a company-wide CTO position for Kevin Scott, who it brought over from LinkedIn (Ellen Levy, Washington, D.C., Sep 2015; Daniel Tunkelang, Washington, D.C., Apr/May 2013). Past company-wide CTOs include Ray Ozzie (San Francisco, May 2016) and Nathan Myhrvold (Seattle, December 2012).
Buyer’s remorse? Yahoo’s two belatedly disclosed data breaches might cause Verizon to halt or renegotiate its purchase of the company (Adam Ghetti, Simon Crosby, Washington, D.C., Sep 2016).
Researchers have approached the problem of fake news as an epidemic and have found that “vaccinating” against deliberate falsehoods with a warning of fraudulent tactics swayed opinions toward the truth. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (Michael Bernstein, San Francisco, Dec 2013) served as the laboratory.
Has the Raspberry Pi (Eben Upton, Detroit, May 2015 and Vienna, July 2013) spawned an entire category of computing? Note the ASUS Tinker Board, a competing board with a quad-core processor that supports 4K video and 24-bit audio. Game on!
5G (Sundeep Rangan, Brooklyn, Oct 2016; Robert Heath, San Francisco, May 2016)
is going to need a lot of spectrum. Cellular service has been around long enough, though, that it can start recycling its own. Earlier this month, AT&T shut down its 2G service, freeing up a couple of small but potentially powerful bands.
Hats off to everyone who attended the inauguration and the protest rallies. You made your voices heard.
“When all think alike, then no one is thinking.”—Walter Lippman