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.
If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
Robots in films during the 2000s hit the big time; no longer are they the sidekicks of nerdy character actors. Robots we see on the big screen in recent years include Nicole Kidman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eddie Murphy. Top star of the era, Will Smith, takes a spin as a robot investigator in I, Robot. Robots (or androids or cyborgs) are fully mainstream in the 2000s.
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