• Europe Strives for “Technology Sovereignty” the World Reopen

    May 29, 2020

    The EU’s new €750 billion recovery plan has more than recovery in mind. Its goal is to achieve “technology sovereignty” in such areas as 5G/6G, AI, cybersecurity, and cloud infrastructure. (Hermann Hauser, George Metakides, Berlin, Jul 2004; Reineke Reitsma, Amsterdam, Jul 2000)

    As many parts of the U.S. relax their various shutdowns and the remainder gets ready to, the most pressing question is, how likely are you to get infected in a restaurant, store, church, or other enclosed space? As it happens, our good friend-of-TTI/V William Haseltine (San Diego, Feb 2015; San Jose, Feb 2012; Phoenix, Dec 2008) has an equation, cited in a Psychology Today blog post by his sister-in-law and past speaker, physician Chris Gilbert (San Francisco, Feb 2017):

  • More Covid-19 Data, More Microsoft Reinvention

    May 22, 2020

    Reactions to the coronavirus pandemic have mirrored existing political divisions in the U.S. Do they also mirror a class distinction? Though it was quite early in the crisis, George Friedman (Seattle, Mar 2020) argued at our last meeting that it did, as does this Washington Post op-ed, which notes that “Of the top 25 percent of income earners, more than 60 percent can stay home and still do their jobs. Of the bottom 25 percent, fewer than 10 percent can do the same.”

    Quick quiz question: What percentage of healthcare workers have gotten coronavirus? If you said 50, you’re wildly off—by more than double, in fact. Of the states that report such data, the one with the highest rate (New Hampshire) is at 25.8 percent. The average was 11 percent.

  • Super-Capacitors, High-Speed Computing, and the Genomics of the Coronavirus

    May 17, 2020

    In 2017, an interstellar object visited our solar system. Now an MIT researcher wants TTIV member firm NASA to create a “dynamic orbital slingshot for rendezvous with interstellar objects” i.e., to send tiny satellites equipped with solar sails out to look for them before they arrive (Erika DeBenedictis, Vienna, Jul 2013). Once spotted, the sail would power up, the satellite would chase the interstellar object, and hopefully tag it with a CubeSat (Jordi Puig-Suari, Boston, Apr 2017).

    On the other hand, outer space recently reminded us it isn’t a friendly companion by hurtling a 20-ton piece of debris at us, passing over Los Angeles and New York City before missing Africa and safely slamming into the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Supply Chains, Germ Warfare, and Robotic Hands

    May 08, 2020

    Videos, presentation slides and a textual summary from our Tuesday webinar, “Logistics and Supply Chains: Four Timely Start-ups,” will be in the archive shortly.

    Speaking of (virtual) events, calling all TTI/Vanguard members: Being in our own personal spaces is no excuse not to venture afield on a virtual TTI/Vanguard field trip at 1 pm EDT, Tuesday, May 26. This outing will be to the Long Now Foundation's home, The Interval, where Alexander Rose will share the organization's perspective on time, persistence, and responsibility, and provide both a video tour of the full-scale Clock of the Long Now, which is under construction in a mountain in western Texas, and an actual tour of an eight-foot prototype (Stewart Brand, Pasadena, Feb 2002). Register here:

    To be sure, a number of supply chains are not exactly intact right now, notably the one that takes food from farms to our tables via grocery stores. Kroger is doing its part to redress that by buying hundreds of thousands of gallons of milk from dairy farmers and giving it to a national network of food banks

  • TTI/Vanguard: Save the Dates for Virtual Events, “Ubiquitous AI” & much more!

    May 01, 2020

    As you may have seen in our newsletter, we’re moving our June conference from Brooklyn to virtual. While we will miss seeing you in person this June, we’re looking forward to presenting many of the same speakers—and some new ones as well. The theme of Ubiquitous AI will be well represented—from emotive robots to the dark web and from ethical algorithms to contactless last-mile deliveries. In addition, we’ll look at how AI is creating a new hub economy unlike any we’ve ever seen, and how smart devices are slicing our attention into ever-slimmer slivers of productivity.

    In addition, we have a bunch of new programming—webinars and podcasts—to keep you abreast of inspiring and disruptive ideas and technologies. Each of these efforts may be accessed in real-time (lots of save-the-dates below) and in recorded form, available in our online archive.

    Here’s what we have done so far and what we have scheduled. Please save these dates and keep an eye out for more sessions as we announce them. We look forward to seeing you virtually!

  • Start Up Webinar Details, One Space for the Win, iPhone Mask Detection

    May 01, 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)


  • Passwords, Uber Odors, and Reinventing Physics

    April 17, 2020

    In an interview last week in the Financial Times, Bill Gates (Seattle, Sep 1995) offered the grim thought that there is “a meaningful probability every 20 years or so with lots of world travel that one of these [viruses] will come along.” When, back in 2015, we devoted an entire meeting to Biotech, with the implicit message that biotech and biomedical tech would be important for the future, we didn’t have in mind, “... and it better be, or else millions will die in periodic pandemics.” We did, though, have an Ebola talk (Erica Ollmann Saphire, San Diego, Feb 2015)—and another one a year later (Barbara Han, Austin, Feb 2016). Both talks, and the entire Biotech and Beyond conference, can be found in the TTI/V archives.

    It feels like a lifetime ago, but TTIV gathered in Seattle just last month for our conference, Transformed by Digital. The speaker presentations, speaker videos and conference Highlights have already been posted and now members can also access the Reinforcements for each session in our archive.

  • Private 5G Networks, Tesla Ventilators, AI Finds Missing Packets

    April 09, 2020

    At least one state is trying to do widespread Covid-19 testing, including random testing. The next step after testing would logically be contact tracing. But methods like South Korea’s, which involve tracking cellphone activity, run afoul of U.S. privacy laws and mores. Now, though, Ron Rivest and a team at MIT that includes Danny Weitzner (Toronto, Apr 2008) have a scheme that first associates each phone with an anonymous ID and then uses the Bluetooth on people’s phones to learn who has been in contact with whom. The system has been prototyped by longtime TTI/V member MIT Lincoln Lab, but widespread deployment would, the team thinks, require the active cooperation of Apple and Google to achieve a critical mass that they peg at 60% of all phones.

    Have you heard that 5G was causing the coronavirus epidemic? Apparently conspiracy theorists-turned-arsonists in the U.K. are taking it seriously enough to have started burning down cell towers. (David Robert Grimes, Boston, Apr 2017)

  • TTI/Vanguard Digital Launch

    April 03, 2020

    You’ll see plenty of digital content from TTIV over the next few months. Our first webinar, starring angel investor and advisor (and TTV Board Member) Ellen Levy and Phil Levy, Chief Economist at Flexport, a freight forwarder, kicked off on April 3rd and was a resounding success. If you missed the session, we’ve made the presentation and the slides available below:

  • Rescheduling July Conference and More

    March 20, 2020

    By now you’ve probably read enough about the coronavirus this week, so we’ll just mention a few measures we’ve taken: The Ubiquitous AI conference, originally scheduled for June, is moving to late July; we’re hopeful we can still arrange our field trip to Harlem to see the Columbia–Rutgers–NYU advanced-wireless testbed. Further details will come soon. As well, TTIV’s parent company has closed its New York office and the team is working remotely. We’re also exploring enhancements and alternatives to our meetings should the coronavirus still be limiting travel this summer, and more generally to serve our members better even if it isn’t. We’d love any suggestions that you have for how we can best add value to your workday. Please share!
    Non-Covid-19-related statistic of the week: 

    • “A recent study indicated that the average temperature differential between formerly redlined and nonredlined neighborhoods in the same city is about 10F; only in nonredlined regions did cities invest in green infrastructure, whether parks, lawns, or tree-lined streets.”