The troubling surveillance state of Jeremy Piven's tech visionary in 'Wisdom of the Crowd'

Los Angeles Times

If there's a show this side of "Man With a Plan" that can give you pause right from its title, it's its CBS network-mate "Wisdom of the Crowd." This tech drama imagines the potential in a world that crowdsources its way to solving crimes, though a memorable rejoinder often attributed to pop cultural darling Alexander Hamilton -- "The masses are asses" -- leaps to mind, especially in an era of YouTube comments. Leading this charge to disrupt the criminal justice system with mob rule is Jeffrey Tanner (Jeremy Piven), a grief-stricken, Steve Jobs-ian Silicon Valley honcho who abandons his colossally lucrative company and the fame it provides (his resignation is carried live on TV) to launch a crime-solving app called Sophe. The previous year, Tanner's daughter was murdered, and though someone was convicted of the crime, he's convinced it wasn't the right man. Thus, a platform for the populace to solve crimes via smartphone is born.


Silicon Valley's Giants Take Their Talent Hunt to Cambridge

#artificialintelligence

Just down the block, inside a stone building of its own, Microsoft is designing some sort of computer chip for artificial intelligence.


How To Replicate Silicon Valley's Mystique

Forbes Technology

Try as they might, I don't think other localities have replicated it yet, and they might never do so. However, many of these same factors can be part of a singular company or localized industry. In the Valley, we thrive on doing, and every vector of activity is based on doing things big. A good starting point for us is a million customers or users. Wanting to change the world is considered normal.


Highly elastic binders integrating polyrotaxanes for silicon microparticle anodes in lithium ion batteries

Science

A challenge in using silicon particles for lithium batteries is that the large volume changes during charge-discharge cycling cause the particles to fracture, which builds up an insulating interface layer. Choi et al. show that traditional binder materials used to cushion the silicon particles can be improved by adding small amounts of polyrotaxanes (see the Perspective by Ryu and Park). The molecules consist of multiple rings that are strung along a linear segment and stoppered at each end. Some of the rings are anchored to the polymer binder, whereas others float freely, yielding a highly mobile but connected network that anchors the binder, and thus the silicon particles, together. Science, this issue p. 279; see also p. 250


Sonochemistry of silicon hydrides

Science

Silicon hydrides (silanes) are key precursors for electronic- and solar-grade silicon and silicon nanoparticles, and are used in various other applications. Conversion of silanes to Si and hydrogen is an energy-intensive process. For example, epitaxial Si production from silanes or Si colloid production requires high temperatures (many hundred kelvin), high pressures (a few hundred bar), or both (1), which is a cost driver and limits the growth rates in methods such as chemical vapor deposition. Although trisilane (Si3H8) allows an order-of-magnitude higher Si deposition rate for semiconductor applications when compared to SiH4 at comparably low temperatures, down to 400 C (2), solution processing of silanes (3, 4) is desirable to avoid high vacuum, temperature, and pressure. In a series of studies, Cádiz Bedini et al. (5–8) have shown that applying ultrasound to liquid silicon hydrides such as Si3H8 and cyclopentasilane (Si5H10) opens a path toward tunable synthesis of silicon nanoparticles, silicon polymers, as well as higher silanes at ambient temperature and pressure conditions.