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 email@example.com 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.
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.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
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.