April 28, 2017

"When it comes to meeting future demands, IT leaders in the UK are lagging behind those in Germany and the US."

beta news: This is according to a new report by Brocade, entitled Global Digital Transformation Skills Study. By Sead Fadilpašić

'The report is based on a survey of 630 IT leaders in the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia and Singapore.

'It says that organizations are "at a tipping point" -- a point in time when technology demands are just about to outstrip the skills supply. Consequently, those that train their staff now and prepare for the future in that respect are the ones that are setting themselves up for a successful future.

'Almost three quarters (74 percent) of IT leaders in the UK see IT departments as either "very important" or "critical" to both innovation and the growth of their business. But the same woes reman, as almost two thirds (63 percent) think they'll struggle to find the right people in the next year.'

"Harvesting Washington state’s vast fruit orchards each year requires thousands of farmworkers, and many of them work illegally in the United States."

seattle times: That system eventually could change dramatically as at least two companies are rushing to get robotic fruit-picking machines to market. By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS via AP

'The robotic pickers don’t get tired and can work 24 hours a day.

'“Human pickers are getting scarce,” said Gad Kober, a co-founder of Israel-based FFRobotics. “Young people do not want to work in farms, and elderly pickers are slowly retiring.”'

"Medical researchers have been able to create certain kinds of living cells with 3D printers for more than a decade."

bloomberg: Now a few companies are getting closer to mass production of higher-order tissues (bone, cartilage, organs) and other individually tailored items, including implants. by Adam Popescu

'This kind of precision medicine, treating patients based on their genes, environment, and lifestyle, could herald the end of long organ donor lists and solve other problems, too.

'Organovo has successfully transplanted human liver tissue into mice to cure chronic liver failure. Pending the success of human trials, possible applications include the $3 billion market for inherited conditions such as hemophilia.

'Aspect prints tissue cells to create structures that resemble parts of the human body, such as an airway or meniscus, to spur easier research on treatments for, say, asthma or muscle tears. By taking muscle cells from a lung, for example, the company built respiratory tissue that responded to common asthma inhalers as a person’s body should.

'Materialise designs custom 3D-printable implants, surgical guides, and other medical devices. It’s waiting on approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for implants designed to fuse bones. It’s considering starting the approval process for tracheal splits meant to keep airways open.'

"NASA has decided it must delay the maiden flight of its Space Launch System rocket, presently scheduled for November 2018, until at least early 2019."

ars technica: This decision was widely expected due to several problems with the rocket, Orion spacecraft, and ground launch systems. by Eric Berger

'The delay was confirmed in a letter from a NASA official released Thursday by the US Government Accountability Office.

'"We agree with the GAO that maintaining a November 2018 launch readiness date is not in the best interest of the program, and we are in the process of establishing a new target in 2019," wrote William Gerstenmaier, chief of NASA's human spaceflight program. "Caution should be used in referencing the report on the specific technical issues, but the overall conclusions are valid."'