All members of the United Nations are being asked to sign an agreement to develop global regulations for the safe performance of motor vehicles and motor-vehicle equipment and parts. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe sponsors the undertaking. Representatives from Japan, the European Communities, and the U.S. in March wrote the text for the agreement, and those countries formally signed on this summer. All stakeholders will be given ample opportunities to comment on candidate standards at each stage of their development. The auto standards committees are to meet in open sessions in Geneva. For details, write the Director of International Harmonization, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 400 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC 20590.
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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