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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 March 2
As our Atoms Matter (Vienna, Jul 2013) meeting noted, cyberspace is inextricably attached to physical space. Apple has built a data center in China to comply with a new Chinese law that requires cloud services offered to Chinese citizens come from Chinese data centers. What could go wrong, especially for dissidents?
www.reuters.com/article/us-china-apple-icloud-insight/apple-moves-to-store-icloud-keys-in-china-raising-human-rights-fears-idUSKCN1G8060
 
If you thought the robot that could open a door was threatening, how about fault-tolerant robot swarms that are “capable of sustained operation for extended periods of time without human intervention”? (Simon Levin, Boston, Apr 2017; Tim Landgraf, Washington, D.C., Sep 2015; Paulo de Souza, San Francisco, Dec 2014)
www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/news/5559
 
Solar energy without sunlight? (Shani Keysar, Vienna, Jul 2013; John O'Donnell, St. Louis, Sep 2008)
www.ibtimes.co.uk/engineers-create-device-that-generates-electricity-out-thin-air-needs-no-direct-sunlight-1664044
 
The eyes are the windows to the soul—and the heart? Researchers at Google say their AI analysis of retinal scans can predict the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke. (Larry Smarr, San Jose, Feb 2012; Nuria Oliver, Seattle, Dec 2006; Astro Teller, Phoenix, Dec 2003)
www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2018/02/19/google-ai-can-predict-heart-disease-looking-pictures-retina/344547002/
 
Meanwhile, researchers at Johns Hopkins University are closer to a blood test for detecting cancer (Melissa Lechner, San Diego, Feb 2015).
www.technologyreview.com/s/610008/a-cheap-and-easy-blood-test-could-catch-cancer-early/
 
Evidence mounts that standing desks are bad for your body and at least some cognitive abilities—just as Martin Keen told us (London, Jul 2014).
www.fastcodesign.com/90162377/are-standing-desks-the-biggest-sham-ever
 
A clinical oncologist, an entrepreneur with an engineering degree, a former math professor, and a retired geologist walk into a bar…. Um, no. But they’re all running for Congress in Texas, in three separate districts. The state’s primaries are March 6. Nationally, some 200 people with STEM backgrounds are running for office (Tom Kalil, San Francisco, Dec 2017).
 
And if Washington is too long on lawyers and short on STEM, does the rest of the U.S. have too many MBAs and not enough engineers?
www.evonomics.com/want-to-kill-your-economy-have-mba-programs/
 
A Kuka robot, a Roomba, and a table saw walk into a room …. Okay, not exactly, but MIT researchers have mashed those three components into AutoSaw, a device intended to save carpenters’ hands. (Amit Zoran, Brooklyn, Jul 2016; Erik Nieves, Detroit, May 2015; Daniela Rus, Boston, April 2014)
 
Are most networks scale-free? New research argues that most, “including Facebook friendship networks, food webs, and water distribution networks,” are not. (John Doyle, Washington, D.C., Oct 2011; John Kelly, Vancouver, Oct 2010; Raissa D'Souza, London, July 2010)
www.quantamagazine.org/scant-evidence-of-power-laws-found-in-real-world-networks-20180215/
 
CTOs from ABB Inc., Mathworks, and Amazon walk into a bar ... . Well, maybe not. But the three firms did sponsored research resulting in a robotic arm that uses a gripper and a suction cup to pick up just about anything, sort items, and pack them. (Steve Cousins, Boston, Apr 2014; Russ Tedrake, Boston, Apr 2014; Jeff Legault, Brooklyn, Jul 2016)
www.news.mit.edu/2018/robo-picker-grasps-and-packs-0220
 
Nothing to do with technology, but Steven Cherry and Nancy Kleinrock want everyone to know that a Maine lawsuit’s $5 million settlement this week stands as an overwhelming victory for the Oxford comma (Michael Bernstein, San Francisco, Dec 2013).
www.thestar.com/news/world/2018/02/09/oxford-comma-case-finishes-with-5-million-for-maine-drivers-as-well-as-semicolon-victory.html
 
Dozens of TTI/V’ers walk into a bar ….. Seriously! The dinner on March 6 in Los Angeles will be at the Firestone-Walker brewery—a remarkable startup story in its own right—just steps from our hotel.
 
So the team will be busy next week at Designing and Doing. If you’re not with us in person, we hope you’ll watch the livestream. The newsletter will be back March 9.
 
“The only things worth learning are the things you learn after you know it all,”
 — Harry S. Truman

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