Friday, April 26, 2019

Experimental design matters, especially when on the lookout for an ultra-rare event like two-neutrino double electron capture of 124Xe, which has a mind-boggling half-life of 1022 years.
Speaking of design, Samsung has delayed the release of its new $2,000 Galaxy Fold smartphone due to problems “affecting the handset’s hinge and extra pressure applied to the internal screen.”
More about technology coming to the aid of Notre Dame. It turns out firefighters deployed a 500-kg water-cannon-equipped robot named Colossus. Controlled by a joystick, it entered the cathedral and sprayed water at a rate of 2500 liters per minute. (Colin Angle, Boston, Apr 2014)
Can spintronics better mimic the behavior of neurons and synapses in the human brain? (Anthony Zador, Brooklyn, Jun 2018; Ed Boyden, Salt Lake City, Dec 2009; Jeff Hawkins, San Francisco, Feb 2005; Henry Markram, Geneva, Sep 2005; Steven Potter, Madrid, Jul 2003)
Quick Hits

And, in boron nitride news, researchers are Columbia University are prolonging battery life with nanocoating of BN to stabilize solid electrolytes (Roland Pitts, Miami, Dec 2011), while an international team of researchers have developed a method to functionalize hexagonal boron nitride (white graphene) with nickel, which could serve as an efficient catalyst for splitting water (Elvis Cao, Berkeley, Mar 2019)
Get out your pinnies: It’s time to play speedball, the outdoor team sport dreamt up through machine learning. (Alex Reben, San Francisco, Dec 2018)
EU Votes to create giant biometric database, (, as the DHS along with Jet Blue quietly test a “biometric self-boarding gate” ( that requires “no pre-registration”! (Andrew Bud, Washington, D.C., Sep 2017)
Can we declare autographs obsolete? Well, Taylor Swift has. Video killed the radio star and now, apparently, selfie has killed the autograph. (
At our March 2019 Berkeley conference, George Berghorn stressed the need to design buildings with deconstruction in mind, while Jim Cantrell alluded to the fact that satellites should be designed with self-destruction in mind. This article elaborates on the latter.

"Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here"
Jack Swigert

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.