Major changes are coming late in the year 2000 to the ISO 9000 series of standards for quality management. The revisions promise to be so sweeping that ISO plans to let about 100 organizations in different countries try out draft versions next year. The organizations will report by November 1999 on whether or not the changes have helped them improve their business results. The test-drive is a novel approach for ISO. Usually, user input is limited to a cross-section of experts from stakeholder groups who help draft documents in technical committees. ISO then circulates the documents to its whole membership for comments and voting. That procedure was used for the first publication of the ISO 9000 series in 1987, and again for a light revision in 1994. The forthcoming changes, being drafted by ISO's technical committee 176, will affect the ISO 9001 standard, which covers design, and ISO 9004, which includes services.
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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