The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is re-engineering itself. ISO's officials want to make it more relevant to today's world markets, improve its flow of technical work, and cut the cost of producing standards. ISO President Liew Mun Leong hopes to strengthen links with the World Trade Organization. Purpose: to "build a bridge at the international level between standardization, industrial application, and regulatory requirements." Liew also wants to make agreements with industrial sectors that have been setting their own standards without waiting for the cumbersome ISO process. He wants to avoid fragmentation of standards. To encourage balanced regional participation, Liew proposes setting up ISO centers in various regions outside Geneva. ISO Secretary-General Larry Eicher says his organization is also considering a proposal to switch from a bilingual system to one that operates only in English. Another proposal involves commingling the administrative services of ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission.
The Dutch are known for their love of bicycling, and they’ve also long been early adopters of green-energy and smart-city technologies. So it seems fitting that a town in which painter Vincent van Gogh once lived has given him a very Dutch-like tribute -- a bike path lit by a special smart paint in the style of the artist's “Starry Night” painting.
For decades, engineers have worked to combat erosion by developing high-strength alloys, composites, and surface coatings. However, in a new paper, a team at Jilin University in China turned to one of the most deadly animals in the world for inspiration -- the yellow fat-backed scorpion.
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