The President's R&D budget for fiscal years 1999 to 2003 is shaky, contends an analysis by the House Science Committee. Funding for the Administration's suggested $31 billion Research Fund for America, the report says, "is based on uncertain tax increases and uncollected money from the proposed tobacco settlement." If no tobacco settlement is reached, R&D will be "reduced substantially." The Research Fund, to be comprised mostly of existing programs, is part of the White House request to raise total R&D funding in real dollars for fiscal 1999 by 3% over current levels. For the other years, however, real spending would be less than fiscal 1998 levels, according to the analysis. In fiscal 2001--for the first time in 20 years--non-defense R&D would surpass defense R&D, and continue to rise.
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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