In a world of rapid technological change, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has been under fire for its slow, bureaucratic development of global standards. Now, ISO's Technical Management Board is working on new ways to speed up the process. At its first meeting this year, the board discussed allowing working drafts to be submitted directly for processing as draft international standards. That would eliminate a present stage in which the full technical committee must again deliberate over the draft. The board also considered allowing the committee secretariat to exempt a draft standard from a final approval stage, if the draft has received 100% approval from member bodies voting on it. Any such exemption, the board reported, would require confirmation from the ISO Central Secretariat. The board also decided to ask the ISO Council whether to expand development of management systems standards from the fields of quality and environment into such areas as personal protection of data and privacy and risk management.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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