Friday, February 20, 2015

Many of us are on our way to the Biotech & Beyond meeting. If you are not joining us in San Diego, don’t forget that you—or your colleagues—can still join us! The entire meeting will be available via WebEx in real time (and the videos will be later posted in the archive) We’ll be sending you log in instructions on Tuesday morning and please feel free to ask Bryan Fox ( with any questions you might have.

We are delighted to see our member Mattel reinvent its beloved, iconic toy View-Master.  See how the next generation of children will explore virtual reality through Mattel’s partnership with Google, The company is bringing AI, the cloud, and microprocessors to another beloved childhood friend; it introduced Talking Barbie at the Toy Fair. 

Road-testing an idea is usually a metaphor, but not for our fearless member Qualcomm. In this hilarious video, racing driver Nelson Piquet Jr throws two inventors a curve, literally—and then another, and another, in a BMW i8.

Who remembers when John Gustafson lit us all up at [next] (December 2013, San Francisco) with his reinvention of floating point arithmetic? Well, he has a new book out that Advisory Board Member Gordon Bell described as “a bold and brilliant proposal for a revolutionary number representation system, unum, for scientific (and potentially all other) computers.”

Preserving our data for future generations has been an ongoing concern. Longtime friend-of-TTI/Vanguard Vint Cerf (Washington, D.C., May 2012; Philadelphia, Apr 2006; Miami, Sep 2002; London, Jul 1994) proposes an alternative, information-centric paradigm to assist in the preservation effort. In doing so he channels a number of other speakers: Stewart Brand (San Diego, Feb 2000; Pasadena, Feb 2002), Raymond Lorie (Pasadena, Feb 2002), and Brewster Kahle (San Francisco, Feb 2005; Seattle, Sep 2001) in calling for new ways to find, access, read, view, hear, and otherwise interact with today's content decades, centuries, or even millennia from now.

Miniaturization of laboratory bioanalysis (Walter De Brouwer, San Francisco, Dec 2013; Dror Sharon, San Francisco, Dec 2014; David David Schafran, Washington, D.C., May 2012) and microfluidics (Stuart Hassard, Phoenix, Dec 2003; Chih-Ming Ho, Madrid, Jul 2003) is in the news again, this time as a smartphone attachment that can conduct enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests to test for HIV and syphilis, with Rwanda as the first field-test location.

The FAA disclosed new rules for drones this past week. The intended uses for the DJI Phantom (Eric Cheng, San Francisco, December 2014) and the Nixie (Jelena Jovanovic and Christoph Kohstall, also San Francisco, December 2014) are probably okay under the rules; the DJI Inspire, maybe not so much.

Facebook is launching a new branch of its social network -- ThreatExchange -- designed for security experts to share information about cyberthreats with one another, with the hope for strengthening security for all involved. Not surprisingly, TTI/Vanguard has a long history of covering cybersecurity, most recently with Eric Haseltine's Ten Myths of Cyber Security breakfast meetings in Boston and Washington, D.C. in Feb 2015, as well as with an untold number of individual talks plus a whole host of dedicated conferences too numerous to list. We've also taken an inside look at Facebook with Sean Parker in San Francisco, Feb 2010.

Apple might not have been first in storing and managing health information—TTI/Vanguard learned of Microsoft's HealthVault long ago (Craig Feied, Jersey City, Oct 2009; Thomas Plagemann, Paris, July 2011)—but its HealthKit appears to be getting traction.

Is there anything more vital to a team than talent? We don’t think so (and Wesley Chan agrees—you may recall in his keynote interview with Advisory Board Member Ken Hertz at [next] 2013, Chan said that recruitment was one of the most critical factors in startup success or failure). We liked this article on Linked In for that very reason: Interviews are not Exams It reminded us of the role that big data can play in sourcing talent, as evidenced in Vivienne Ming's Maximizing Human Potential talk at The New Know (Jersey City, October 2013).

We are not a very superstitious bunch but we like good news. So to those of you celebrating the Chinese New Year, a very heartfelt Gong Xi Fa Cai! The Year of the Sheep is meant to be an auspicious time of peace, promise and prosperity and we certainly wish that for each one of you.

Audacity augments courage; hesitation, fear. - Publilius Syrus

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.