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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.

2018 January 26
How can large corporations be more entrepreneurial? One way is to partner with startups, but that’s not without difficulties of its own. At our next regional meeting, “the most connected woman in Silicon Valley,” Ellen Levy, will describe strategies for navigating those hazards.
LOCATION: Westin Tokyo – Sapphire Room
1-4-1 Mita, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 153-8580, Japan
AGENDA: 8:00am-8:30am — Breakfast
8:30am-10:00am — Meeting
The article “Revisiting Scalable Coherent Shared Memory,” by advisory board member Gordon Bell and longtime member Ike Nassi (Washington, D.C., Sep 2014; Paris, Jul 2011) is currently gracing the cover of IEEE Computer magazine.
The only inevitable things, the saying goes, are death and taxes. Taxes have a due date, death does not. A new AI program, though, is trying to provide doctors with better estimates, for the purposes of delivering palliative care. Naturally, the press is going wild, with headlines like “The AI that can tell you when you'll die” (Daily Mail) and “When Will I Die? AI Can Now Predict Time of Death in Disturbing Advance for Health Care” (Newsweek).
In other potentially gloomy news, it turns out that Chinese researchers have been experimenting with CRISPR technology in human clinical trials going back to 2015; their compatriots have also successfully cloned a primate for the first time. (George Church, Boston, Jun 2015; Ryan Phelan, San Diego, Feb 2015)
Moonshots are hard. And literal moonshots are, apparently, impossible. “No team will make a launch attempt to reach the Moon by the March 31st, 2018, deadline,” the X Prize foundation said this week. The Google-backed prize of $30 million, which had been extended several times since its original 2012 expiration date, will go unclaimed.
Meanwhile, the one thing Apple’s new campus needed was a moo-shot. A huge cattle ranch is going to also be a huge solar farm, with 2.5 million solar panels that will feed Apple’s new Cupertino headquarters. One of us is enthusiastic about the smaller, but still industrial-scale, solar farm that will spring up this spring a mile from her Ithaca home. There won’t be cattle on hand, but there will be sheep; their job will be to keep the vegetation in check without the need for herbicides. (Damon Millar, Vienna, Jul 2013; Alyssa Newman, Jersey City, Oct 2009; John O'Donnell, St. Louis, Sep 2008)
Apple and Qualcomm violated EU antitrust law, but it’s Qualcomm that will pay the price: a €1 billion fine. (Jonathan Taplin, Boston, Apr 2017; Tom Hazlett, Washington, D.C., May 2000)
Google is only the #2 firm in the world in terms of market capitalization, but it’s #1 in the dubious category of Washington lobbying. It should hire Quorum (Jonathan Marks, San Francisco, Dec 2017) to get the biggest bang for their buck.
Facebook (#4 globally in market cap) has invented a new unit of time, the flick, which equals 1/705,600,000 of a second, or about 1.417 nanoseconds. What was wrong with the nanosecond? Nothing, except they don’t divide into hertz in round numbers, while flicks do. According to Facebook, the flick “exactly subdivides media frame rates and sampling frequencies.”
If we could get computers to actually understand time (Doug Lenat, Memphis, Sep 2006), the flick wouldn’t be necessary. In any event, now that Facebook and its programmers have started redefining things, how about adopting John Gustafson’s Unum number format (San Francisco, Dec 2013)?
“The time is always right to do what is right.” —Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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