"Standards for Fee or Free: What Are the Consequences?" That's the theme chosen by the Standards Engineering Society for its 1998 paper competition. Contestants are to write between 2,500 and 4,500 words on the debate of oversales, pricing, and availability of standards. Each paper should make a case for whether U.S., regional, and/or international standards should be fee-based or provided free to all interested parties. This year's winning entries will be awarded during the annual World Standards Day Dinner on September 23 in Washington, DC. The author or authors of the winning submission will receive $2,500 and a plaque. Second and third prizes are $1,000 and $500, respectively. Because of the nature of this year's topic, the 1998 paper competition is open to anyone in the world and need not emphasize the U.S. perspective. You can obtain Internet entry forms and rules from www.ses-standards.org/paper_competition.html.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.