Ford transforms design leadership

Ford transforms design leadership


Piaskowski: Cars and crossovers

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. has overhauled its design team amid new CEO Jim Hackett's quest to transform the automaker into a leaner, quicker-thinking organization.

The changes include an expansion of Ford's strategic design group to enable designers to work more collaboratively at a centralized location in Dearborn, Mich. The designers have been reorganized into two camps: one covering cars and crossovers, and another handling trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles.

Woodhouse: Lincoln, global strategic design

As Automotive News reported July 10, Ford is bringing Joel Piaskowski, Ford of Europe's design director, to the U.S. as global director of design overseeing cars and crossovers. Chris Svensson, design director for the Americas, has been named global director of design overseeing trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles.

David Woodhouse, director of Lincoln design, has been named director of global strategic design in addition to his duties with Ford's luxury brand. In his new role, Woodhouse will oversee the expansion of Ford's global strategic design group.

Amko Leenarts will replace Piaskowski as Ford of Europe's design director. In addition, Freeman Thomas, strategic design director at Ford's advanced design studio in California, will retire at year end.

Svensson: Trucks, SUVs, commercial

Moray Callum, whose position as Ford's vice president of design is unchanged, said the moves are meant to enhance the team's thinking. He said the company will focus even more on consumer experiences.

One of Callum's biggest goals, he said, is to shorten product-development times so that a new vehicle's final designs are set closer to when it goes on sale.

Callum: Focus on consumer experience

"If there's a strong strategy behind decisions, it makes decisions easier," he told Automotive News.

Callum said the changes to the design team, which took effect July 1, were in the works before Hackett took over in May, but that it fits in seamlessly with his desire to transform the company. He said: "We see him as a great supporter of design overall."


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Raid Your Kitchen to Make Colorful Marbled Milk Paper

Raid Your Kitchen to Make Colorful Marbled Milk Paper


There are a few different ways to create marbled paper, but if you ask us, the milk method is by far the coolest. The dish soap mixing with the colored milk creates such mesmerizing swirls. We almost didn't make it to the paper-dipping part because the first step was so fun. Try different food coloring pairings to create all sorts of fun paper that works as standalone art, mattes for photos or homemade cards.

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  • Almond milk ($9 for 1 quart,
  • Casserole dish ($12 for 2-quart dish,
  • Food coloring ($3 for set of 4,
  • Dish soap ($7 for 2 bottles,
  • Cotton swabs ($3 for box of 500,
  • Watercolor paper ($10 for 24 sheets,


1. Pour a 1/2-inch layer of almond milk into a casserole dish. (Note: You can use any type of milk, but cow's milk may result in a sour smell, so we'd recommend sticking with almond.)

2. Sprinkle drops of food coloring around the tray, spaced evenly apart.

3. Fill a small, separate bowl with a couple squirts of dish soap.

4. Dip a cotton swab in dish soap and lightly tap each drop of food coloring.

5. Use a clean cotton swab to swirl the colors and create a marbled design.

6. Lay the watercolor paper down onto the surface of the milk and press. Then lift it straight up to remove. Hold the paper on its side over the casserole dish to allow the colors to drip and spread to add more of a marbled effect.

6. Lay the paper flat, colored side sup, to dry.

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Flush times for hackers in booming cyber security job market

Flush times for hackers in booming cyber security job market


LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - The surge in far-flung and destructive cyber attacks is not good for national security, but for an increasing number of hackers and researchers, it is great for job security.

The new reality is on display in Las Vegas this week at the annual Black Hat and Def Con security conferences, which now have a booming side business in recruiting.

"Hosting big parties has enabled us to meet more talent in the community, helping fill key positions and also retain great people," said Jen Ellis, a vice president with cybersecurity firm Rapid7 Inc, which filled the hip Hakkasan nightclub on Wednesday at one of the week's most popular parties.

Twenty or even 10 years ago, career options for technology tinkerers were mostly limited to security firms, handfuls of jobs inside mainstream companies, and in government agencies.

But as tech has taken over the world, the opportunities in the security field have exploded.

Whole industries that used to have little to do with technology now need protection, including automobiles, medical devices and the ever-expanding Internet of Things, from thermostats and fish tanks to home security devices.

More insurance companies now cover breaches, with premiums reduced for strong security practices. And lawyers are making sure that cloud providers are held responsible if a customer’s data is stolen from them and otherwise pushing to hold tech companies liable for problems, meaning they need security experts too.

The non-profit Center for Cyber Safety and Education last month predicted a global shortage of 1.8 million skilled security workers in 2022. The group, which credentials security professionals, said that a third of hiring managers plan to boost their security teams by at least 15 percent.

For hackers who prefer to pick things apart rather than stand guard over them, an enormous number of companies now offer "bug bounties," or formal rewards, for warnings about vulnerabilities that leave them exposed to criminals or spies.

One of the outside firms that handle such programs, HackerOne, said it has paid out $18.8 million since 2014 to fix 50,140 bugs, with about half of that work done in the past year.

Mark Litchfield made it into the firm's "Hacker Hall of Fame" last year by being the first to pull in more than $500,000 in bounties through the platform, well more than he earned at his last full-time security job, at consulting firm NCC Group.

In the old days, "The only payout was publicity, free press," Litchfield said. "That was the payoff then. The payoff now is literally to be paid in dollars."

There are other emerging ways to make money too. Justine Bone's medical hacking firm, MedSec, took the unprecedented step last year of openly teaming with an investor who was selling shares short, betting that they would lose value.

It was acrimonious, but St Jude Medical ultimately fixed its pacemaker monitors, which could have been hacked, and Bone predicted others will try the same path.

"Us cyber security nerds have spent most of our careers trying to make the world a better place by engaging with companies, finding bugs which companies may or may not repair," Bone said.

"If we can take our expertise out to customers, media, regulators, nonprofits and think tanks and out to the financial sector, the investors and analysts, we start to help companies understand in terms of their external environment."

Chris Wysopal, co-founder of code auditor Veracode, bought in April by CA Technologies, said that he was initially skeptical of the MedSec approach but came around to it, in part because it worked. He appeared at Black Hat with Bone.

"Many have written that the software and hardware market is dysfunctional, a lemon market, because buyers don't know how insecure the products they purchase are," Wysopal said in an interview.

"I’d like to see someone fixing this broken market. Profiting off of that fix seems like the best approach for a capitalism-based economy."

Reporting by Joseph Menn and Jim Finkle; additional reporting by Dustin Volz; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Grant McCool


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USB 3.2 Doubles the Speed of Cables You Already Have

USB 3.2 Doubles the Speed of Cables You Already Have


The latest USB 3.1 specification is pretty fast, but it could be even faster. How about twice as fast? That’s what the USB-IF is promising for its newly announced USB 3.2 specification. The update takes advantage of capabilities already built into many devices, meaning you might not need any new cables to get the higher speeds.

In the USB 3.1 specification, cables were designed to use a single lane of either 5Gbps or 10Gbps for data transfer. The update to USB 3.2 unlocks a second lane, which effectively doubles the capacity. With SuperSpeed-certified cables and a USB 3.2 host (meaning the thing you’re plugging into), you can push 2GB across the connection each second. These are Thunderbolt 2 numbers, but USB is available on many more devices.

As USB specifications have advanced, one thing has become evident: Not all cables are created equal. There was much more margin for error prior to USB Type-C. But now, using the wrong hardware can prevent a cable from reaching the specified data rates, or transferring the correct amount of power. Some Type-C cables with poor internal design can even cause damage to your devices after being connected. The USB-IF recognized this, so it started a certification program a while back. If you have a USB Type-C cable certified for 10Gbps “SuperSpeed,” you’re already well on your way to unlocking the new speeds.

Existing Type-C SuperSpeed cables were designed with support for that second data lane so that they will work with USB 3.2 (look for the SuperSpeed logo below). Even cables that are only certified for 5Gbps will still get a second data lane for double the speed. What might be harder is finding a USB 3.2 host device. None of those exist yet, but the port will be the same Type-C we’ve come to know over the last few years.


Even with a proper USB 3.2 host, you might not see blazing fast 20Gbps transfers. The storage technology on the other end of that cable might not be fast enough. For example, the latest UFS 2.1 flash storage in phones has a maximum data rate of 1.2Gbps. Some USB-connected SSD drives can saturate a USB 3.1 cable, so there may be some benefit for USB 3.2 there. This move is more of a future-proofing move.

There won’t be any certified USB 3.2 host devices until later this year or early next. That’s when the USB-IF expects to have the standard complete.

Now read: How USB Charging Works


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Brembo's Bombassei inducted into Automotive Hall of Fame

Brembo's Bombassei inducted into Automotive Hall of Fame


Class of distinction
The Automotive Hall of Fame in Detroit last week inducted four new members: from left, former General Motors design chief Ed Welburn, Brembo Chairman Alberto Bombassei, racing mogul Jack Roush and the late trucking pioneer August Fruehauf, represented by his granddaughter, Ruth Fruehauf. Photo credit: JASON LOUDERMILK PHOTOGRAPHY

DETROIT -- Very few auto parts have enough cachet that customers recognize and covet them by name.

Recaro seats, Pirelli tires and Bose speakers come to mind -- but Brembo brakes might have the most star power of all. Anytime a Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini pulls into view, the brightly painted Brembo calipers shine from the wheels like a billboard.

The Italian brake manufacturer has maintained an aura of exclusivity even as it expanded into more-affordable cars. Now, Brembo S.p.A. Chairman Alberto Bombassei is positioning his company for the future with cutting-edge technologies such as carbon ceramic rotors and brake-by-wire.

Bombassei, 76, is still on the cutting edge. Photo credit: JASON LOUDERMILK PHOTOGRAPHY

"Sixty percent of the technologies we introduce in racing moves to cars," Bombassei told Automotive News this week during a visit to Brembo's U.S. offices in suburban Detroit. "We like racing because it is extreme — everything is tested to the limit."

Bombassei, 76, was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame on Thursday with sports-car impresario Jack Roush and former General Motors designer Ed Welburn.

Bombassei's involvement with Brembo stretches back to 1961, when his father, Emilio, launched a machine shop. Alberto, who was 20, worked for his father as they manufactured metal components for customers such as Alfa Romeo and Pirelli.

In 1964, Brembo introduced its own line of brake rotors, and in 1975 it started producing aluminum calipers for Ferrari's Formula One cars.

Brembo was well established in racing when Alberto had his "eureka" moment in 1987. That's when he began painting Brembo calipers in bright colors — red, yellow, orange, blue — any shade its customers desired.

Welburn cited the designers who entered the Hall of Fame before him: "They are my heroes and have been my whole life." Photo credit: JASON LOUDERMILK PHOTOGRAPHY

Among automotive cognoscenti, colorful Brembo brakes became an indicator of status. A Porsche with red calipers was a very nice car, but yellow calipers signified carbon ceramic brakes -- the very best.

That gave Porsche owners something to yearn for, Bombassei said with a chuckle.

At 76, Bombassei is in no particular hurry to retire, although he branched out into politics when he won a seat in Italy's parliament. But he remains actively engaged with Brembo as the company plots its global expansion.

The company has built new foundries in Poland, Mexico, China and Michigan, and it supplies brakes for affordable performance cars such as the Honda Civic Type R, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, and the Ford Mustang.

Brembo also is eyeing the commercial-truck market, now that North American truckmakers are starting to switch from drum brakes to discs.

What's next after that? "Better ask my customers," Bombassei replied. "I will do what they want."


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I Desperately Want a Clean Home, But My Brain Can't Process Clutter

I Desperately Want a Clean Home, But My Brain Can't Process Clutter


I've always been shamed for my clutter. Back in sixth grade my teacher dumped my desk onto the floor as a means of guilting me into cleaning it. Then in high school I won the "Messiest Locker" prize. And once my car was stolen in Philadelphia, taken for a joyride and later recovered neater than before it was stolen.

But it wasn't until hired cleaners refused to clean my house that I admitted I needed help. This happened a few years ago, when my impeccably neat in-laws were visiting from Florida. They were planning to stay with my husband and me, the prize-winning mess who married their son. I was understandably anxious, and decided to be proactive and scheduled cleaners to come beforehand. I knew (and my husband also acknowledged) that even my very best cleaning efforts weren't going to cut it, but I was optimistic that the professionals could get it done.

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Maybe they would have … if they'd accepted the job. Instead, with my in-laws set to arrive within the hour, the pros flatly rejected my house. "There's too much clutter ... too many piles of papers, all of this stuff," the cleaner said, gesturing contemptuously toward my extremely random assortment of useless tchotchkes, chewed-up cat toys, old holiday cards, expired gift cards and beaten-up old books. "We don't organize, we just clean, and we can't clean around this."

To my in-laws, I'm the prize-winning mess who married their son.

I would later find out this was true: Most housecleaners don't organize your stuff for you. At this news, I started to shed hysterical tears of panic and shame. My husband and I did our last-minute best, and my in-laws did an admirable job of pretending not to be appalled, but the damage had been done. Having professionals reject my house shouldn't have left me in a state of adrenaline-frayed, hiccup-sobbing panic. I knew this wasn't normal and knew I needed to do something about it.

The only problem? I also knew clutter was only one aspect of what never seemed normal in my life. I got lost constantly, still had issues telling right from left and got into more than my fair share of car accidents. Sure, I won the school spelling bee as a kid, but I was terrible at math and geography and still break into a cold sweat when someone asks me to read the time from an analog clock.

In third grade, I was diagnosed with a condition called dysgraphia, which relates to difficulty with handwriting. My teachers recommended I get tested after noticing I held my pencil in an odd way and struggled with cursive. But the dysgraphia was only part of a larger problem that I later learned was called Nonverbal Learning Disability (NVLD). This condition means that taking chaos and sorting it into an organized, functional system feels not only difficult, but often impossible.

One of the biggest symptoms of NVLD is having trouble with eye-hand coordination, and that explains why I get lost all the time. (I once got lost on a beach for over an hour, a moment that felt very much like getting lost in a desert.) I also have difficulty with spatial organization, and it's challenging for me to arrange things in an efficient and space-saving way. This is why loading the dishwasher can feel like an advanced filing system. It's why I'm terrible at puzzles, and my little niece and nephew consistently destroy me at Q-Bitz, a game of multiple visual challenges. And ultimately, it's why, when I look at the mess in my house, car or desk, I genuinely don't know where to begin.

A peek into what my home office — the one room in my home no on else uses — looks like.

Courtesy of Jennifer Byrne

When it comes to this condition, I'm a pretty extreme case. I was officially diagnosed with NVLD last year by Amelia Lavin and her colleagues at Widener University's Neuropsychology Assessment Center in Pennsylvania. Since then, I have pursued occupational therapy to work on minimizing my struggle. Every other week, we meet to go over goals and strategies for improving my cleaning and organizing skills, as well as navigating the visual world in general. I've learned to play to my strengths — words and language — to compensate for my deficiencies. Mnemonic devices help me convert a visual task into a sequence of steps I can remember. Cell phone alarms, timers and verbal cues help as well. Sure, this occasionally encourages me to talk to myself, but I'd rather be the crazy lady who talks to herself than the crazy one whose house is hideous.

But sometimes I'm both. Sometimes my house is still a wreck. It's never going to be perfect, and it's always going to be a challenge. It's possible I'll always get lost and inspire car thieves to tidy up. The difference is now I have a few basic tools in place that I can turn to when things feel out of control.

And for special occasions, I also have a great cleaning service that, luckily, hasn't rejected me yet.


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