Friday, May 1, 2020

Logistics and Supply Chains: Four Timely Start-ups
Tuesday, May 5, 1pm–3:15pm EST
For our second webinar, we are teaming up with Editorial Advisory Board member Laurie Yoler, venture capital firm Playground Global and TTI/V’s sister membership, Family Office Forum, to take a further look at logistics and remote collaboration, with talks and demos from four coronavirus-relevant start-ups:

  • Fabric (micro-fulfillment centers close to city centers, making one-hour deliveries)
  • RapidSOS (sends data from any connected device to 911 and first responders)
  • Avail MedSystems (allows doctors to collaborate remotely on surgeries)
  • Leaf Logistics (AI delivery planning to keep trucks full in both directions)

A new ventilator developed by TTI/V member organization NASA passed a key test last week conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. The ventilator, which was designed and prototyped in 37 days, is tailored to treat Covid-19 patients.
Remember when “unique” shifted from “exactly one” to “rare”? New Zealand is now redefining “eliminate” to mean “only a few remaining,” claiming to have “eliminated” Covid-19 despite “one new case, four ‘probable cases’ and one new death.”
… But in good news for grammar mavens (and bad news for Lisa Yao), Microsoft has finally come out against two spaces after a period.
The coronavirus has Apple finally thrown off its stride—or at least its ironclad iPhone release schedule. Observers speculate that besides the obvious production issues, the addition of contract-tracing software may be contributing to the delay. 
As it happens, Steven Cherry’s third podcast, an interview with network privacy expert Stephen Wicker (Washington, D.C., Sep 2018; regional meeting, New York, Nov 2013), is about the Apple–Google contract-tracing software. You can find all of Steven’s newly released podcasts on or connect directly to the Wicker/Cherry episode here:  
But a contact-tracing app will only be effective if infected people and those they contact are able and willing to use it. According to an early poll, 60% of Americans are currently reluctant. 
Solar energy gets all the attention—costs have been plummeting, and the technology keeps improving. Poor old wind power gets left in, um, the dust, press-wise—even as wind power grew by 19% in 2019, and now a supercomputing study by Cornell University researchers found that U.S. capacity “could double or even quadruple” with little change to system-wide efficiency, little impact on local climate, and little if any increase in land use. (Steve Else and Mark Bergee, St. Louis, Sep 2008; Doug Duimering, Montreal, Apr 2004)
Has Covid-19 given companies and policy makers a chance to re-imagine their purpose and commitment to society? The Shared Value Initiative thinks so and they’ve written a road map for companies to do just that. Barry Schwartz; Jolijt Tamanaha (both Washington, D.C., Sep 2015) 
How many times in the last few weeks have you had your iPhone’s facial ID feature fail because you were wearing a mask? Apple is working on a fix for that. Well, not exactly a fix—you’ll still have to type in your password. But you won’t have to wait for facial ID to fail before doing so. (Kind of makes you long for the days of fingerprint ID, no? Oh wait, gloves.)
As they say, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and a successful test of two entangled photons leads researchers at Argonne National Lab to think they have “the basis for a national network,” a quantum Internet, if you will. (Prem Kumar, San Francisco, Dec 2018) 
In another development we can’t say we really understand, but seems important, researchers in Turkey claim to have “demonstrated the fundamental principles of a universal self-assembly process acting on a range of materials” and at a variety of scales. You know how Fibonacci sequences show up in all sorts of places? Apparently so do Tracy-Widom distributions, which have an S-curve and “which manifest in diverse, social, economic, and physical systems.” (Geoffrey West, San Francisco, May 2016)

“For every difficult and complex question there is an answer that is simple, easily understood, and wrong.” — H.L. Mencken

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.

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