The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has stepped up its campaign to assure that U.S. innovations are not shortchanged by the system of international standards. NIST will host a conference on the issue in Washington, DC, September 23 in conjunction with World Standards Day. The agency hopes to develop "a reasonable plan for an effective national standards strategy to meet global goals in both standards and conformity assessment." Meanwhile, NIST has set up a special toll-free phone number (888) 591-TEST and an e-mail address of firstname.lastname@example.org for reporting suspected standards abuses in dealings with the European Union. NIST especially wants to know of instances in which Europeans have required U.S. firms to repeat compliance measurements in Europe. Later this year a laboratory accreditation system that NIST has spearheaded becomes operational. NIST officials hope the system, called the National Cooperation on Laboratory Accreditation, will enable tests to be performed only once, with worldwide acceptance of the data.
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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