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Newsletter
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 February 2
At our regional meeting last November at Applied Minds, co-founder and past TTI/V speaker Bran Ferren (Pasadena, Feb 2008; Los Angeles, Apr 2001; Cannes, Apr 1996) predicted that Amazon would soon move into healthcare. Boom.
www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-30/amazon-berkshire-jpmorgan-to-set-up-a-health-company-for-staff
 
The National Security Council has apparently studied whether the U.S. government should build a national 5G cellular network, to be able to control its construction—particularly to exclude, for security reasons, Chinese chips and other technology (Gen. Michael Hayden, Washington, D.C., Sep 2016). It’s an interesting question, but somewhat mooted by the fact that many handsets have Chinese technology in them. And, soon, even more of them will: This week, Google announced a deal with HTC that would bring in-house the expertise—and espionage?—of the Taiwan-based company’s 2,000 engineers and designers.
www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-30/google-is-designing-more-in-house-phone-chips-to-take-on-apple
 
This summer, a fleet of fully electric, emission- and crew-free container barges will begin to ply the waters between Antwerp, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam. (Jay Gardner and Charlie Bogue, San Francisco, Dec 2016)
www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/24/worlds-first-electric-container-barges-to-sail-from-european-ports-this-summer
 
Patty McCord (Washington, D.C., Sep 2015) has a new book out, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility (Silicon Guild, January 2018).
www.pattymccord.com/book/
 
Remember the classic suicide capsules that movie spies kept in their fountain pens or teeth? Researchers at Cornell and Honeywell have created the electronic equivalent: Circuits that can be vaporized rather than fall into the wrong hands. Seems a perfect complement to Tiger Tao’s protein-based, ingestible biopolymer electronics (San Diego, Feb 2015).
www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2018/01/engineers-create-new-architecture-vaporizable-electronics
 
Army to soldiers: We love that you’re jogging on your own time, but please take off your wearables. It’s giving the enemy too much information about troop deployments. This shouldn’t come as a surprise (Mor Naaman, Toronto, Apr 2008).
 
Apple recently ordered 12,000 units of the Pacific Chair, which is supposed to blur the line between office and residential furniture. (It looks fully office-like to us.) (Sara Armbruster and Donna Flynn, Washington, D.C., Sep 2015; Martin Keen, London, Jul 2014)
www.fastcodesign.com/90155533/what-apples-new-office-chairs-reveal-about-work-in-2018
 
The tech giants are preparing for the implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation on May 25 (Jason Blackstock and Madeline Carr, Washington, D.C., Sep 2017). Are you?
 
We’ll hear a big-data-and-GDPR talk by Jeff Jonas (San Francisco, Feb 2017 and Dec 2014) at our June meeting, Intelligence, Natural and Artificial (Brooklyn, register here).
 
We’ve had a few talks about metabolism and mortality (Geoffrey West, San Francisco, May 2016; Sonia Arrison, Atlanta, Feb 2014; Jonathan Payne, London, Jul 2010). None prepared us for a species of rat that lives six times longer than its rat-colleagues. Calico Life Sciences, which made the discovery, was as surprised as we are.
www.phys.org/news/2018-01-naked-mole-rat-defy-gompertz.html  
 
China already has the top two places on the current Top500 list of supercomputers, but it’s not resting on its laurels. The National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin is developing a new machine expected to hit 240 petaflops, foiling plans by the U.S. Department of Energy to retake the lead with its own new 200 petaflop machine, expected to launch later this year. For comparison, Stampede2, housed at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (field trip, Austin, Feb 2016) clocks in at 18 petaflops, #12 on the Top500 list.
www.top500.org/news/chinas-next-supercomputer-may-spoil-americas-plans-to-retake-top500-crown/
 
We’ll have a talk about the current state of supercomputing by Jack Dongarra, who founded the Top500 list, at [next] 2018. In the meantime, enjoy reliving [next] 2017 via its the Reinforcement Papers, which are now in the members’ archive.
 
“Your margin is my opportunity.” —Jeff Bezos

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