New techniques for electronic surveying and authoring are expected to shrink the time it takes to develop national and international standards. The American Society for Testing and Materials has launched a project aimed at sharply reducing paper communications in the drafting of standards. Called the Interactive Standards Development Program, the undertaking includes the setting up of forums on the Internet for worldwide participation by experts. A major problem has been assembling and analyzing diverse opinions around the globe. A promising solution is SPSS Data Entry, a new software tool from SPSS Inc. (Chicago). A Windows 95/NT product, the program offers a new way for standards makers to move swiftly from survey design through data collection to data analysis. Drafters of standards can easily create surveys using drag and drop forms and a library of commonly asked questions. When used with SPSS Data Entry Station software, the system permits standards experts at remote locations to respond simultaneously to the surveys.
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
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