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.
Raspberry Pi founder and former TTI/V Advisory Board member Eben Upton confirmed last week that while many ARM processors are vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre attacks, those used in Raspberry Pis are not.
It won’t save lives, but this is still our favorite medical development in years: a new hospital gown that improves privacy without compromising care. TTI/V member Medstar has started testing the gown, which was designed at Parsons School of Design, at one of the 10 hospitals in its system.
Qualcomm is taking no chances when it comes to the smart home. Its new Home Hub platform supports Google Assistant and Android Things, but the company also plans to make Cortana part of its Smart Audio platform. Hey Qualcomm, what about Echo? (Kyle Roche, San Francisco, Dec 2017)
Congrats to longtime friend-of-TTI/V Stephen Welby, who just took over as CEO at TTI/V member organization IEEE. (We had no hand in that!) Now ACM—with its 100,000 members, $75 million annual budget, and 75-person staff (mainly in New York City)—is looking for a CEO.
VIDL, a new service to separate fake news from the stuff that matters (Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia, Boston, Apr 2017; Robert Grimes, Boston, Apr 2017; Douglas Guilbeault, Washington, D.C., Sep 2017), will get its machine- and deep-learning technologies from TTI/V member Enterra Solutions (Stephen DeAngelis, Washington, D.C., Dec 2015).
Speaking of which, save the date: Enterra’s Second Annual Cognitive Computing Summit will be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, July 9–11, 2018.
Hollywood has been justifiably paranoid about technology at least since the Sony hack. This week, we learned that Rian Johnson, who scripted as well as directed “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” wrote the screenplay “on a dedicated, air-gapped MacBook Air.” Similarly, production of Icarus, a 2017 film exposé about steroid use in professional and Olympic athletics, was done off-line for security reasons. The problem with that, of course, is making sure you’re backed up, but that’s less of a problem with a screenplay (megabytes) than a full movie in production (petabytes). Even being on a network is no guarantee of file safety; recall how Toy Story 2 was famously accidently deleted at Pixar. One final alternative would be a specialized secure cloud for the film industry, such as Aframe’s (David Peto, London, Jul 2014).
Perhaps the best form of security for entertainment media is worldwide, centuries-long fame. This month marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The story, which updated ideas from earlier legends, such as the the Golem, with a modern, mechanistic approach to science and medicine, has never gone out of print or our cultural consciousness. For example, a November 1998 talk by Richard Gillen, then the Director of Technical Development at Medtronic, about pacemakers, defibrillators, and other cardiac electrotechnologies, was titled, “Visions of Frankenstein.”
“I speak English to my accountants, French to my ambassadors, Italian to my mistress, Latin to my God, and German to my horse.” —Frederick the Great of Prussia