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It’s Hurricane Season: Do You Know Where Your Storm Is?

Souped-up satellites, supercomputers, and superior science might soon mean you really can trust the weather report

16 min read
Photo: Joe Skipper/Reuters/Landov
Photo: Joe Skipper/Reuters/Landov

It was the evening of 26 August 2005, and Hurricane Katrina was barreling toward the Gulf Coast of the United States. Weather models were predicting that the center of the huge and devastating hurricane would slam directly into New Orleans in two and a half days. But New Orleans officials, perhaps recalling false warnings in the past, didn’t order a mandatory evacuation until the morning of 28 August—too late to do much good. The prediction was just 50 kilometers and a few hours off target. It is now painfully clear that an evacuation order ought to have come a lot sooner.

It was an all-too-rare example of a forecasting bull’s-eye. Just a month later, the two- to three-day forecast of Hurricane Rita’s path showed the storm hitting Houston; hundreds of thousands of people evacuated, or at least tried to, but it missed the city entirely. An accurate forecast of Rita’s path would have prevented an enormous amount of disruption and even death—a bus accident during the evacuation killed 23 people.

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The Radical Scope of Tesla’s Data Hoard

Logs and records of its customers’ journeys fill out petabytes—and court case dockets

5 min read
Aerial view of a Tesla charging lot
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

You won’t see a single Tesla cruising the glamorous beachfront in Beidaihe, China, this summer. Officials banned Elon Musk’s popular electric cars from the resort for two months while it hosts the Communist Party’s annual retreat, presumably fearing what their built-in cameras might capture and feed back to the United States.

Back in Florida, Tesla recently faced a negligence lawsuit after two young men died in a fiery car crash while driving a Model S belonging to a father of one of the accident's victims. As part of its defense, the company submitted a historical speed analysis showing the car had been driven with a daily top speed averaging over 90mph in the months before the crash. This information was quietly captured by the car and uploaded to Tesla’s servers. (A jury later found Tesla just one per cent negligent in the case.)

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Ultrasound Stickers Look Inside the Body

New stamp-size devices can continuously produce clear images of internal organs for days

3 min read
Close-up of a square rectangular clear device affixed to an arm.

Researchers at MIT have developed a bioadhesive ultrasound device that when adhered to the skin can possibly replace (or augment) ultrasound imaging wands.

MIT

A wearable ultrasound sticker roughly the size of a postage stamp could help enable continuous medical imaging of internal organs for patients on the move, a new study finds.

Ultrasound imaging is one of the most common medical tools for scanning inside the body in a safe, noninvasive manner. Currently, to image with ultrasound, first a liquid gel is applied to a patient’s skin that helps transmit ultrasound waves. Then an ultrasound probe, or transducer, is pressed against the gel.

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Harnessing the Power of Innovation Intelligence

Through case studies and data visualizations, this webinar will show you how to leverage IP and scientific data analytics to identify emerging business opportunities

1 min read
Clarivate
Clarivate

Business and R&D leaders have to make consequential strategic decisions every day in a global marketplace that continues to get more interconnected and complex. Luckily, the job can be more manageable and efficient by leveraging IP and scientific data analytics. Register for this free webinar now!

Join us for the webinar, Harnessing the power of innovation intelligence, to hear Clarivate experts discuss how analyzing IP data, together with scientific content and industry-specific data, can provide organization-wide situational awareness and reveal valuable business insights.

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