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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.

2017 May 19

We’re grateful for the many kind comments we get about the newsletter--and as eager for your criticism as your praise (well, almost as eager). By the way, there’s an archive page at (membership not required). And if you have news about your own organization or a past speaker or topic, please send it to Lisa or Steven.
Enterra Systems is having its first annual Cognitive Computing Summit June 13–15 in lovely Napa (registration, agenda). TTI/Vanguard member organizations are invited to attend free of charge (non-members must pay a registration fee), but hotel rooms are going fast. Speakers include former DoD CTO Stephen Welby, author and inventor George Dyson, AI pioneer Ed Feigenbaum, and our own TTI/V Advisory Board Members Gordon Bell and Doug Lenat.
If the title of Geoffrey West’s book, Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace Of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies (Penguin, May 16, 2017) sounds familiar, it should. According to an email from him, “It significantly expands on what I talked about at the TTI/V meeting in San Francisco last year.”
Usually “being on the map” is a good thing. Not this past week for a map depicting the spread of the WannaCry ransomware (Steve Grobman, San Francisco, May 2016).
Most ransomware demands this month have been in the hundreds of dollars, but according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, hackers have stolen an unnamed Disney movie for a large ransom. According to our in-house movie critics, the ideal scenario would be for it to be the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean sequel, and for the studio to never release it instead of knuckling under.
There may be an even deeper Hollywood-ransomware connection. The Los Angeles Times reports that the “WannaCry ransomware shares code with Sony hack.” Could North Korea be behind both? It’s just the sort of asymmetrical attack Doug Emlen (Washington, D.C., Sep 2016) told us to expect.
From the Everything You Know Is Wrong department: Are you frustrated by having to change your passwords every three months? Do you harbor doubts about whether doing so increases security? At last, NIST agrees with you (field trip, National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, Washington, D.C., Sep 2016).
Newark, New Jersey: Just the place you think of when you hear the word “farm,” no? Well, yes, if you’re indoor vertical farming innovator Gene Giacomelli, (St. Louis, Sep 2008).
In addition to the dangers of “predator platforms” at Amazon, Google and Facebook (to which Jonathan Taplin, Boston, Apr 2017, would add Apple and arguably Uber), this week the U.S. FCC effectively ended the net neutrality rules instituted in 2015 (David Reed, San Francisco, May 2016; Yochai Benkler, Boston, Sep 2007).
In a new report, the World Economic Forum identifies five technologies—Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, wearables, and 3D printing—that are “unleashing a new wave of competition among producers and countries alike,” and “transforming what, where, and how products are designed, manufactured, assembled, distributed, consumed, serviced after purchase, discarded, and even reused.” In so doing, have they missed completely the biotech revolution? (George Church, Boston, Jun 2015; Biotech and Beyond, San Diego, Feb 2015; Hacking Life, San Jose, February 2012)

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”—Margaret Thatcher

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