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.
The TTI/V newsletter is back! Robin has returned from climbing castles in Italy, Steven has returned from climbing mountains in New Hampshire, and Nancy has dug out of the mud in the Finger Lakes. They and the rest of the staff are hard at work building September’s Risk, Security, & Privacy meeting. Please register by August 16.
Vamsi Talla (San Francisco, May 2016) has created a prototype cell phone without a battery that relies on scavenged power.
A group of researchers at MIT and Stanford University that includes Subhashish Mitra (San Francisco, Dec 2015) has a design based on carbon nanotubes that combines computing and data storage on a single 3-D chip.
Chinese researchers set a new distance record for quantum entanglement (Rodney Van Meter, San Francisco, Dec 2014; regional meeting, Tokyo, May 2017).
How can five journalists write 30,000 stories a month? With large-scale automated data mining of public databases to do the reporting and Google’s Natural Language Generation to do the writing. (Patrick Henry Winston, Boston, Apr 2017; Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia, Washington, D.C., Sep 2015; Ken Forbus, Washington, D.C., May 2009; Aza Raskin, Rome, Jul 2008)
TTI/V member Coca-Cola has constructed The Bridge, a commercialization program to mentor startups and connect them with customers and markets.
And Disney’s successful fourth year of its analogous Accelerator program included Savioke (Steve Cousins, San Francisco, Dec 2015 and Boston, Apr 2014).
Andrew McAfee (Jersey City, Oct 2013; Boston, Sep 2007) and Erik Brynjolfsson have a new book: Machine Platform Crowd. In it the two MIT economists argue that, given the ways the job world is changing, the educational system needs to prepare people for the new work environments in which machines take on an increasing range of roles.
If you registered your drone with the FAA, you can get your money back ($5!) now that the agency no longer requires it for leisure drones (Ian Glenn, Brooklyn, Jul 2016; Eric Cheng, and Jelena Jovanovic and Christoph Kohstall, San Francisco, Dec 2014).
Robin Chase (Atlanta, Feb 2014; St. Louis, Sep 2006) has some advice for the new CEO of Uber; it could have just as well come from Patty McCord (Washington, D.C., Sep 2015). Partial spoiler: The first of her “four simple requirements” is, “Become a trusted brand.”
Yet the latest name in household-product brands hopes to end branding. Tina Sharkey (S.F. Regional Meeting: Corporations Engaging with Entrepreneurs, Jul 2014) has just launched well-funded Brandless, an online store that offers a basic collection of two hundred or so unbranded household and food items, each for $3. The goals are cutting out the middleman and the “brand tax,” ask Sharkey calls it.
Uber has relationships with at least three car companies (Volvo, Toyota, and Daimler), and that’s just one example of the increasingly knotty ties between Silicon Valley and Detroit. Recode tried to diagram all the interconnections as we prepare for a shared-vehicle, autonomously driven future (Jeff Legault, Brooklyn, Jul 2016; K. Venkatesh Prasad, Detroit, May 2015).
Except for its weight, Steven Cherry would like to take, on his next trip to the mountains, a solar-powered tent designed by an all-girls high school science club. We’re more interested in its intended market, which is homeless and displaced people (Damon Millar, Vienna, July 2013; Alyssa Newman, Jersey City, Oct 2009).
Will it take Dandelion, the latest graduate from Alphabet’s Moonshot Factory (Mike Cassidy, San Francisco, Dec 2016) to popularize ground source heat pumps—the HVAC technology one of us had a hyperlocal green-energy firm install several years ago? Google’s aura is garnering Dandelion attention this week, but it is unclear what else sets it apart.
Software developed by researchers at the University of Granada can detect when a gun appears in a recorded or live video stream (Alex Kendall, San Francisco, May 2016; Larry Zitnick, Philadelphia, Jul 2015). An accuracy rate of 96% implies a whole lot of errors, but at least when it comes to the false positives, presumably an alarm would call a human to take a further look.
Are cellphones hazardous to our health? According to Dr. Chris Gilbert (San Francisco, Feb 2017) they are—but the danger comes from germs, not radiation or other potential ill effects.
Happy Bastille Day, but more for Google than for France.
There are no limits. There are only plateaus. —Bruce Lee