Superconductivity insights have built up so many false hopes over the years that they are hard to take seriously anymore. Researchers have repeatedly published "breakthrough" ideas for room temperature superconductivity that have either flopped altogether, or which only resulted in raising the temperature by a few degrees. Brookhaven National Labs claims its insight is different, since the Lab has revealed an asymmetry reminiscent of the asymmetry that preceded commercialization of LCD displays. While I wish them well, and hope that their insight does lead to room temperature superconductivity, I personally am not holding my breath. Instead I am reciting the matras my grandmother continually spouted about "crying wolf," "proof is in the pudding," and "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.