For everyone who missed our visit to Bran Ferren’s magical workshop at Applied Minds, Nancy Kleinrock’s notes will be available in a couple of weeks. Thanks to all who joined us for a wonderful day, and thanks to Bran’s team for their great generosity with their time.
By the way, Nancy’s favorite archive and Steven Cherry’s favorite publisher just struck a deal to make 80 years worth of titles from the MIT Press’s backlist available through the Internet Archive (Brewster Kahle, San Francisco, May 2016).
La Niña has started (Erik Andrejko, San Francisco, Dec 2016; Ed Lu, San Francisco, Dec 2013; Anne Miglarese, Vienna, Jul 2013), It typically makes the southwest drier, meaning we made the right choice locating our March meeting, Designing and Doing, in Los Angeles.
Barbara Han (Austin, Feb 2016) will be leading a three-institution five-year study, funded by a $2 million NSF grant, to use machine learning to predict when and where pathogens are likely to make the leap from animals to people—as Ebola, Zika, and SARS did.
In other grant news, a consortium of Georgia universities that includes TTI/V member Georgia Tech is getting $51 million from NIH to translate clinical research into clinical practice.
Autonomous vehicles without lidar? (Alex Kendall, San Francisco, May 2016; Larry Zitnick, Philadelphia, Jul 2015)
Cantilevers as logic gates? (Jason Cong, San Francisco, Dec 2014; William Ditto, May 2013)
Remember how Srdjan Capkun’s (Washington, D.C., Sep 2016) hack of passive keyless entry systems allowed car thieves to spoof their way into your car and drive it away? At a conference last week, researchers from NXP demonstrated a way to thwart such attacks by adding an accelerometer to the car key.
Sometimes you want your robotic fish (John Long, Boston, Apr 2014) to swim faster than the pack; sometimes you want it to blend in perfectly.
With a goal of helping children on the autism spectrum, Blossom is a soft robot—hand-crafted on the outside (Nina Paley and Theodore Gray, Detroit, May 2015) and tensegrity-based on the inside (Vytas SunSpiral, Atlanta, Feb 2014; Jon Schull, San Francisco, Dec 2014; Detroit, May 2015)—that is programmed with TensorFlow to respond to video content.
In other robot news, here’s a glimpse of the latest version of Boston Dymamic’s SpotMini, which we met when Marc Raibert brought it to Brooklyn (Jul 2016). They also released a new video of their humanoid robot, Atlas, showing off its impressive agility.
Are you important enough for attackers to make a $150 mask of your face? If so, maybe Apple’s Face ID isn’t sufficiently secure for your needs (Andrew Bud, Washington, D.C., Sep 2017).
Someone falling into this category is Renee DiResta, who—in her spare time from her shipping technology firm, Haven (Detroit, May 2015)—has been documenting the prevalence of social-media-based disinformation campaigns (Douglas Guilbeault, Washington, D.C., Sep 2017; Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia and David Grimes, Boston, Apr 2017).
Research like the Cannabis Evolution Project (Mowgli Holmes, San Diego, Feb 2015) is both a necessary precursor to, and a beneficiary of, the “Wall Street invasion” of the legal marijuana market.
“Never take a job for which you are qualified. You won’t grow.” —Esther Dyson