Friday, August 24, 2018

Design & Doing meeting in Los Angeles 2018, will no doubt remember Bret Victor’s mind-expanding session about Dynamicland, a spatial computing research lab prototyping "the world of the future," in which computing is a part of everyday life and blends seamlessly into simple human interactions. Cofounded by Victor and longtime TTI/V Advisory Board member Alan Kay, Dynamicland—the likely venue for the March 2019 meeting’s field trip—has just secured two major corporate partners for their 2019–2024 research program. They're looking for a few more partners to collaborate and share in their research. Contact Luke Iannini at luke@dynamicland.org to inquire.

Is there anything Wi-Fi isn’t good at? Vamsi Talla (San Francisco, May 2016) told us how to use a router for its power instead of its signal. Now comes news from researchers at Rutgers that Wi-Fi can be used for security checks, with 98% accuracy for metal, and 95% for liquids.
https://news.rutgers.edu/common-wifi-can-detect-weapons-bombs-and-chemicals-bags/20180814#.W3cyPGaZOim
 
Steven Cherry had a podcast in 2013 about how easy it would be to hack a pacemaker. Five years later, medical devices are still all too vulnerable.
https://www.afcea.org/content/hacking-human-next-cyber-threat
 
Bruce Schneier will be speaking about the (in)security of IoT, including in the medical realm, next month at Less Is More. 
 
Cornell’s annual Tech/Law Colloquium kicks off next week, and privacy is one of the important topics being covered in its 12 free talks. Cornell’s Stephen Wicker (regional meeting, New York, Nov 2014) will also join us at Less Is More to talk about e-book and other surveillance.
http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2018/08/cornells-techlaw-colloquium-kicks-next-week
 
Only one state has banned plastic bags (Mike Hawley, St. Louis, Sep 2008), while 10 states have banned bans on them. That leaves it up to forward-thinking companies to take matters into their own hands—such as long-time TTI/V member firm Kroger, which plans to eliminate them by 2025.
https://money.cnn.com/2018/08/23/news/companies/kroger-plastic-bags/index.html
 
When Dror Sharon (San Francisco, Dec 2014) presented his SCiO handheld food analyzer, it was envisioned as a consumer device. The company has now literally and figuratively moved up the food chain, working with Cargill on a device that helps dairy farmers.
https://spectrum.ieee.org/view-from-the-valley/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/the-scio-food-analyzer-is-on-the-job-in-the-barn
 
Bo Zhu’s (Brooklyn, Jun 2018) research on making MRI’s more efficient is now being expanded upon by a collaboration between researchers at Facebook and NYU. And along similar lines, machine learning systems are becoming as good as human experts at spotting 50 different eye diseases.
 
Now for an entirely different application of compressed sensing: validation of quantum computation using quantum state tomography. (Rodney Van Meter, San Francisco, Dec 2014 and Tokyo, Mar 2017; Richard Baraniuk, Phoenix, Dec 2008; Dan Nicolau, Jr. and Sr., San Francisco, Dec 2016)
https://phys.org/news/2018-08-scientist-efficient-method-characterize-quantum.html
 
We learned that nice robots are often better at encouraging elderly patients to complete their physical therapy exercises (Maja Mataric, Los Angeles, Mar 2018; Boston, Apr 2014). Now a human performance test suggests that mean robots make better bosses.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2176798-replacing-your-boss-with-a-cruel-robot-could-make-you-concentrate-more/
 
… And dog and cat robots (Guy Hoffman, Brooklyn, Jun 2018, London, Jul 2014) are helping aging veterans.
https://www.pcmag.com/news/362819/how-furry-robot-companions-help-aging-veterans
 
Fake news detection algorithm (Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia, Boston, Apr 2017, Washington, D.C., Sep 2015) outperforms humans. But that’s not saying much.
https://thenextweb.com/artificial-intelligence/2018/08/22/this-fake-news-detection-algorithm-outperforms-humans/
 
We can’t take any credit—they’ve been working on this for several years—but we’re still happy to see two TTI/V member organizations, DARPA and Northrop Grumman, making great progress on wireless transmission using millimeter waves (Sundeep Rangan and Marco Mezzavilla, regional meeting, Brooklyn, Oct 2016; Robert Heath, Austin, Feb 2016). They’ve now attained 100-Gb/s connections.  
https://news.northropgrumman.com/news/releases/northrop-grumman-darpa-set-new-standard-for-wireless-transmission-speed

While many of us are wrapping up our fiscal years, the calendar year-end is also fast approaching (sigh). Don’t forget to block your diaries for [next]  registration) being held in San Francisco on December 4–5, 2018. Among the highlights: Jack Dongarra, founder of the Top500 list, on the current state of supercomputing.
 

“There are only two seasons—Winter and Baseball.”
 —Bill Veeck

The TTI/Vanguard Team

Author: Steven Cherry

Director of TTI/Vanguard, “a unique forum for senior-level executives that links strategic technology planning to business success. In private conferences that are part classroom, part think-tank, and part laboratory, its members—corporate and government leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, and academics—explore emerging and potentially disruptive technologies.”

Twenty years experience as a technology journalist and editor, at the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Founded the award-winning podcast series, Techwise Conversations covering tech news, tech careers and education, and the engineering lifestyle. Teaches an intensive writing class as an adjunct instructor at NYU. Previously taught essay writing and creative writing at The College of New Rochelle.