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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 October 6

We have a new regional event upcoming: “Tour and Conversation with Bran Ferren at Applied Minds,” Thursday, November 16, 10am to 2pm, in Burbank, California. Applied Minds, like Bran himself, operates at the intersection of design, entertainment, and technology. We’re limited in the number of seats for this visit, so members, please register soon!
Two years ago, Amanda Randles (San Diego, Feb 2015) started her talk by thanking Advisory Board member Gordon Bell for his introduction and saying, “Someday, I hope to win your prize.” She’s one step closer now, as a recipient of the IEEE-CS High Performance Computing Award, which “recognizes young researchers who have made outstanding, influential and potentially long-lasting contributions in the field of high-performance computing.”
The world’s population will increase by one-third by 2050, but the population over 65 will triple (Sonia Arrison, Atlanta, Feb 2014). A new Artificial Intelligence for Healthy Living Center (AIHL) at UC San Diego hopes to “promote critical research and applications in two thematic areas: Healthy Aging and the Human Microbiome” (Larry Smarr, San Jose, Feb 2012; Jessica Richmond, Austin, Feb 2016; William Haseltine, San Diego, Feb 2015; Eric Dishman, Jersey City, Oct 2009).
Tired of arguments about whether you should allow telecommuting? (Laura Forlano, Vancouver, Oct 2010; Patricia Roberts, St. Louis, Sep 2008) How about some actual data?

The MIT Media Lab named its 2017 Innovation by Design Award honorees. Design will be the focus of our March 2018 meeting, Designing and Doing (overview), as it has been of meetings in the past—notably Design As Strategy (Los Angeles, Feb 2011), Extreme Interfaces (Geneva, Sep 2005), New Form/New Content (Barcelona, Jul 2007), and Interaction and Design (San Jose, Feb 2003).
Wearable monitoring devices (Marco Della Torre, San Francisco, Dec 2013; Nuria Oliver, Seattle, Dec, 2006; Astro Teller, Phoenix Dec 2003; Thad Starner, Amsterdam, Jul 2000) have come a long way, but we’re born with skin, so maybe we don’t need them at all. Biosensitive tattoos being developed by Harvard and MIT scientists could display indications of blood sugar changes, dehydration, and other bodily conditions.
Publishers and Google still haven’t come up with the right balance of free vs. paywall. Will they ever? (Jonathan Taplin, Washington, D.C., May 2012; Cory Doctorow, London, Jul 2010; Scarlett Li, Beijing, July, 2006; Pamela Samuelson, Washington, D.C., May 2000)
A new study has found that functional languages are superior to procedural/object-oriented languages when it comes to software quality (Bob Charette, Emina Torlak, Walter Bright, Washington, D.C., Oct 2014; Alan Kay, Los Angeles, Feb 2011; Bran Ferren, Los Angeles, Apr 2001). Maybe even more interesting than the conclusion is the methodology for evaluating software quality.
Your phone can know your plants’ health better than you do. (Dror Sharon, San Francisco, Dec 2014)
Last month, Apple unveiled new hardware and software. This week, it was Google’s turn. But as a NY Times commentary asks, is Google “finally serious about making devices?” (Jonathan Taplin, Boston, Apr 2017; Mike Cassidy, San Francisco, Dec 2016; Craig Silverstein, Miami, Sep 2002)
Meanwhile, Amazon, which has always been serious about making devices, quietly rolled out five new Echo devices recently. (Andreas Weigend, San Francisco, Feb 2017; Kyle Roche, San Francisco, Dec 2016, Adam Selipsky, San Francisco, Dec 2010; Charlie Bell, Santa Monica, Dec 2007)
And to complete the circle, Amazon might develop workable smart eyeglasses, using Alexa, sooner than Google (Marc Levoy, San Francisco, Dec 2014).

“A lot of these gadgets and pieces of technology we use become almost like friends to us, and we expect our friends to have voices.” —Randy Thom (Skywalker Sound)
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