Several business colleagues and I are in a rented house in Palm Springs trying to figure how to turn on the television. Oh sure, it's quite a slick configuration - a huge InFocus Screenplay DLP TV, Time Warner cable, a Bose sound system and what looks like a locked down PC with loads of hard disk space. Guess what, it's impossible to turn on. We watched the Fox soccer channel for 90 minutes last night without sound before we figured it out. And these are people who make semiconductors for a living! We have four remotes with a total 161 buttons to turn a TV??! We can do better. I'm sitting next to a Brit who told me until he moved to the States in 1995, he had a choice of a mere four TV channels. The only consolation is that we're in Palm Springs.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.