News

  • Amazon Crashes AWS, Amazonbrary, Girl Scout STEM Badges

    July 27, 2018

    The irony of Amazon crashing its own servers with its biggest Prime Day ever can’t go unremarked. Charlie Bell (Santa Monica, Dec 2007) told TTI/Vanguard that AWS was an outgrowth of Amazon’s excess capacity, but, as Michael Stonebraker (Boston, Apr 2017) noted last year, database and server technologies are still not where we need them to be.

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  • Fashion Custom Chip Wars, Parker Solar Probe, Robo Chemists

    July 20, 2018

    We at the TTI/Vanguard newsletter cull our material from current news. It is no secret that this week’s has been dominated not by advances in science and technology, but by politics, on which we choose not to take a public stance. We do, however, firmly believe in the integrity of the intelligence community.

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  • Fashion GANs, California Net Neutrality Push, Morse Code

    July 13, 2018

    California, with an economy large enough to be the seventh-largest in the world, is putting its clout behind its own version of net neutrality (David Reed, San Francisco, May 2016; Vint Cerf, Philadelphia, Apr 2006).

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  • Hot tech: 3-D Printing, Supercomputing, Biosecurity

    July 06, 2018

    Sure, 3-D printed parts (Jennifer Lewis, Miami, Dec 2011) aren’t as strong as their traditionally manufactured counterparts. But it turns out they can withstand heat pretty well: NASA “successfully hot-fire tested a [3-D printed] combustion chamber” at its Marshall Space Flight Center.

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  • Accenture Plays Fair, Kroger Delivers, Progress Made on the Panopticon

    June 29, 2018

    The late John Perry Barlow’s autobiography (written with the help of longtime Rolling Stone reporter Robert Greenfield) is out. Mike Godwin, writing in Reason magazine, has a beautiful review.

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  • Summit is Tops, Tak is Tops, The Weather Channel is Tops

    June 22, 2018

    The Highlights and Citations from last week’s meeting, Intelligence, Natural and Artificial, should be in the archive by the time you read this. Speaker presentations and videos are already there.

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  • Facebook?…Ewww, Silicon Spin Qubits, Gait-Based Biometric Identification

    June 08, 2018

    What goes up must come down:

    The two investment funds that manage Intellectual Ventures’s (Nathan Myhrvold, Seattle, Dec 2013) patent portfolio have lost 15.4% and 24.7% of their value over the past decade. The S&P500 index has risen 8.4% in the same time.

    Facebook now ranks a distant 4th in popularity among teenagers. YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are all more popular. (Fortunately for Facebook, it owns one of them.)

    Andy Rubin, who co-created Android, is putting his Android phone company, Essential Products Inc., up for sale.

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  • Pandemic Role Play, 3D Printed Bot Boats, Headphone AC

    June 01, 2018

    When is a game not fun? When two percent of the world’s population perishes. That was the outcome of a day-long exercise in global-pandemic management (Erica Ollmann Saphire, San Diego, Feb 2015; Luis Bettencourt, Washington, D.C., Oct 2011; Richard Carmona, Washington, D.C., May 2007) held by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Ten experts played the roles of U.S. officials in a series of meetings convened by the National Security Council. By the way, the simulation’s pandemic was engineered and set loose by terrorists, not generated by an animal virus mutating and jumping to humans, as Barbara Han (Austin, Feb 2016) warned us about.

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  • Chinese Supercomputer Domination, Microwaving Cars, GDPRiffic!

    May 25, 2018

    China holds the top two spots on the Top500 list, but it’s not resting on its supercomputing laurels. The National Supercomputing Center in Shenzhen is planning to spend about half a billion dollars building an exascale supercomputer ten times faster than the current leader (Satoshi Matsuoka, Tokyo, Jul 2012). In its first full year of existence, Vanguard devoted an entire meeting to supercomputing, including a talk from Cray (Bob Ewald, Tempe, May 1992), which currently holds the #7 spot.

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  • Box Fresh Flash Drives, Copters on Mars, Wikipedia on the Moon

    May 18, 2018

    With lidar so much in the news lately, it’s easy to forget that AVs also need radar. Well, Hyundai hasn’t forgotten, and recently made an investment in Metawave, which makes a single-antenna that sends different signals that can be blended by software when they bounce back.

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