News

  • Passwords, Uber Odors, and Reinventing Physics

    April 17, 2020

    In an interview last week in the Financial Times, Bill Gates (Seattle, Sep 1995) offered the grim thought that there is “a meaningful probability every 20 years or so with lots of world travel that one of these [viruses] will come along.” When, back in 2015, we devoted an entire meeting to Biotech, with the implicit message that biotech and biomedical tech would be important for the future, we didn’t have in mind, “... and it better be, or else millions will die in periodic pandemics.” We did, though, have an Ebola talk (Erica Ollmann Saphire, San Diego, Feb 2015)—and another one a year later (Barbara Han, Austin, Feb 2016). Both talks, and the entire Biotech and Beyond conference, can be found in the TTI/V archives.

    It feels like a lifetime ago, but TTIV gathered in Seattle just last month for our conference, Transformed by Digital. The speaker presentations, speaker videos and conference Highlights have already been posted and now members can also access the Reinforcements for each session in our archive.

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  • Private 5G Networks, Tesla Ventilators, AI Finds Missing Packets

    April 09, 2020

    At least one state is trying to do widespread Covid-19 testing, including random testing. The next step after testing would logically be contact tracing. But methods like South Korea’s, which involve tracking cellphone activity, run afoul of U.S. privacy laws and mores. Now, though, Ron Rivest and a team at MIT that includes Danny Weitzner (Toronto, Apr 2008) have a scheme that first associates each phone with an anonymous ID and then uses the Bluetooth on people’s phones to learn who has been in contact with whom. The system has been prototyped by longtime TTI/V member MIT Lincoln Lab, but widespread deployment would, the team thinks, require the active cooperation of Apple and Google to achieve a critical mass that they peg at 60% of all phones.
    www.fastcompany.com/90488140/mit-has-an-ambitious-plan-to-detect-if-youve-been-exposed-to-the-coronavirus

    Have you heard that 5G was causing the coronavirus epidemic? Apparently conspiracy theorists-turned-arsonists in the U.K. are taking it seriously enough to have started burning down cell towers. (David Robert Grimes, Boston, Apr 2017)
    www.theverge.com/2020/4/6/21209363/uk-5g-towers-burning-coronavirus-conspiracy-theory-arson-attacks-carrier-response

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  • TTI/Vanguard Digital Launch

    April 03, 2020

    You’ll see plenty of digital content from TTIV over the next few months. Our first webinar, starring angel investor and advisor (and TTV Board Member) Ellen Levy and Phil Levy, Chief Economist at Flexport, a freight forwarder, kicked off on April 3rd and was a resounding success. If you missed the session, we’ve made the presentation and the slides available below:

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  • Rescheduling July Conference and More

    March 20, 2020

    By now you’ve probably read enough about the coronavirus this week, so we’ll just mention a few measures we’ve taken: The Ubiquitous AI conference, originally scheduled for June, is moving to late July; we’re hopeful we can still arrange our field trip to Harlem to see the Columbia–Rutgers–NYU advanced-wireless testbed. Further details will come soon. As well, TTIV’s parent company has closed its New York office and the team is working remotely. We’re also exploring enhancements and alternatives to our meetings should the coronavirus still be limiting travel this summer, and more generally to serve our members better even if it isn’t. We’d love any suggestions that you have for how we can best add value to your workday. Please share!
     
    Non-Covid-19-related statistic of the week: 

    • “A recent study indicated that the average temperature differential between formerly redlined and nonredlined neighborhoods in the same city is about 10F; only in nonredlined regions did cities invest in green infrastructure, whether parks, lawns, or tree-lined streets.” 
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  • ECar Recharging, Remote Phone Charging, and the Perfect Fried Rice

    February 28, 2020

    Alexa, how much Yiddish do you know? Our March agenda uses a word, tuchus, which means, um, the same thing as the French word derrière. Today we’d like to use another word, chutzpah, which means nervy, and not in a good way—maybe “shameless” is a better translation. At least, that’s what we think of Wyze, a company that just last year exposed 2.4 million customer records that contained what Engadget called “a staggering array of personal information including email addresses, a list of cameras in the house, WiFi SSIDs and even health information including height, weight, gender, bone density.” Undaunted, Wyze is now coming out with a door lock, a doorbell cam, a scale, and an Alexa-compatible fitness tracker.
    www.engadget.com/2020/02/24/wyze-fitness-tracker-band-wearable-alexa/

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  • Edible Bugs, Quantum Computer Hacking, and Protein Nanowire Circuits

    February 21, 2020

    If law enforcement wants data that’s on your laptop, it needs a search warrant to get it. But what if that data is mirrored in the cloud (Dropbox, Box, iCloud, Evernote, et al.)? A Drug Enforcement Administration search warrant issued to Evernote (Phil Libin, San Francisco, Feb 2010) last year yielded information that led to the conviction of a dealer of fake Xanax (Mike O’Neill, San Francisco, Feb 2017). Oh, and even if you delete the data on your computer, it might still exist in the cloud, especially if the authorities issue a “preservation request” that the cloud provider retain your data indefinitely.
    www.vice.com/en_us/article/j5yyxp/evernote-search-warrant-gave-data-to-us-government

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  • Boeing’s 777, Climate Change Paradox, and the Dark Web Returns

    February 14, 2020

    Remember the typewriter-based listening devices that let the Soviet Union spy on the U.S. Embassy in Moscow (Charles Gandy and Eric Haseltine, Washington, D.C., Sep 2019)? It turns out the CIA was able to counter-spy on a vast scale. For decades, the leading crypto company in the world, which sold its products to governments around the world, was owned by the CIA, which built in back doors that let it listen to all manner of state secrets.
    www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/national-security/cia-crypto-encryption-machines-espionage/

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  • Check into an Atari Hotel or a Free Supercharger

    February 07, 2020

    Staying on in the Phoenix area after [next] 2020? Perhaps the first Atari-themed hotel will have opened by then. (And maybe you’ll run into three-time speaker Nolan Bushnell (San Francisco, Dec 2016; Jersey City, Oct 2013; Washington, D.C., Nov 2001)). Our own hotel guru and long time Atari fan Robin Lockett is ready to check in.
    www.theverge.com/2020/1/27/21083746/atari-hotels-esports-true-north-studio-gsd-group-phoenix-game-rooms

    Tesla is offering free supercharging of electric vehicles in China, during the coronavirus outbreak and the mass quarantines designed to contain it. We are in favor of anything that minimizes transmission - and Tesla is trying to do just that by decreasing congestion on public transportation.
    www.engadget.com/2020/01/28/tesla-offers-free-charging-to-chinas-ev-owners-affected-by-the/

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  • AI-job-screening, the Wuhan Coronavirus, E-voting, License-Plate Emojis

    January 31, 2020

    The Washington Post just noticed that the Government Accountability Office has a Science and Technology Assessment and Analytics group, headed by Tim Persons, who told us all about it when this news was still new (Washington, D.C., Sep 2019).
    www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-technology-202/2020/01/27/the-technology-202-these-scientists-are-trying-to-help-congress-get-smarter-about-tech/5e2b1fcc602ff14e6605928f/

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  • Flexible batteries, Robotic Exoskeletons, Political campaign CISOs

    January 17, 2020

    Five years ago, we heard about early research into using DNA as a memory storage medium (Sri Kosuri, San Diego, Feb 2015). A lot has happened. At our March meeting, “Transformed by Digital,” (registration, agenda) we’ll hear how a team that includes Karin Strauss of Microsoft and the University of Washington has demonstrated a full system that encodes data in DNA and reads it back out.

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