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Spectrum, IEEE

Issue 4 • Date April 2005

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Displaying Results 1 - 23 of 23
  • How venture capital thwarts innovation

    Page(s): 50 - 55
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (855 KB)  

    This paper address the question of whether venture capital funding has helped to promote or stunt the growth of technological innovation over the past decade. A study of 1,303 electronic high-tech initial public offerings for a 10-year period ending in 2002 showed that the level of innovation during the decade was surprisingly low. The results also did not correlate well with venture capital funding, i.e., the level of innovation actually dropped sharply after 1996, even as venture funding was rising. The paper presents four basic factors that can be attributed to the decrease in innovation. View full abstract»

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  • Books: The Innovator's Dilemma: 3.0

    Page(s): 58 - 60
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Wringing watts from waves: a high schooler's invention turns water motion into "juice"

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    Generating electricity from wave power is an old idea that gained new life when the quest for alternative energy sources began in the 1970s. This paper describes how the 17-year-old, Aaron Goldin, found an elegant way to do the job with a buoy, a gyroscope, and a generator. Goldin invented the "autonomous gyroscopic ocean-wave-powered generator", cobbled together from parts scavenged from an old tape recorder and other household appliances. Unlike several other wave-power devices now being tested, Goldin's invention requires no hydraulics or other intermediate systems to transfer power to the generator. View full abstract»

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  • Stealing celestial fire [artificial lightning]

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    By shining powerful laser pulses between two electrodes, a group of French and German scientists found that they can elicit a controllable form of lightning. Using pulses from the Teramobile laser, electrons are ripped from air molecules creating a plasma and the refractive index of the air is changed, a phenomenon called the Kerr effect. The effect focuses the light just enough to balance plasma-induced diffraction, creating a straight and highly conductive channel, called a filament, which can stretch up to 3.8 meters between the charged electrodes. The scientists hope that their invention will eventually help to fend off lightning strikes on airports and power stations. View full abstract»

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  • Source out, risk in [offshore software development]

    Page(s): 60 - 62
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (661 KB)  

    This paper discusses how offshoring software development projects from the US, particularly those involving software programming and information technology, can put intellectual property (IP) at risk. Without reliable institutions for IP enforcement, outsourcers must place their faith in prevention rather than cure. However, even the best safeguards can never guarantee invulnerability. The ideal self-help strategy, therefore, extends beyond prevention and assumes that bad things will happen. View full abstract»

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  • Forum

    Page(s): 8
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  • The atomic fortress that time forgot [plutonium production plant]

    Page(s): 42 - 49
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    The future of the world's first full-scale nuclear reactor, called the B Reactor, remains uncertain in the face of the US Dept. of Energy's effort to clean up the radioactive and chemical contamination at Hanford. Established by the Manhattan Project during World War II, the B Reactor is part of the Hanford site, a 1500-square kilometer plutonium production complex in the state of Washington. A study has been commissioned to assess the possibility of converting some of the Manhattan Project's historic sites into parks and museums in order for future generations to learn about the Project and its impact on world history. View full abstract»

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  • Anger management [emotion recognition]

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    Aside from monitoring calls for quality assurance purposes, many corporate call centers require call monitoring for anger management. By identifying angry emotions in calls, managers can take appropriate action against call agents who may have behaved improperly. NICE Systems Inc., a supplier of call monitoring systems, has developed an emotion-sensitive software that is able to detect angry emotions during phone conversations using the changes in a voice's pitch. The software engine will go over the data signal, and, second by second, run the algorithm. If emotion is detected, a report is generated that includes the level of certainty that the call included angry emotions. As the software improves and the hardware gets faster, ever more calls will be scanned in ever more sophisticated ways. View full abstract»

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  • Balancing act [noise based sensory enhancement technology]

    Page(s): 36 - 41
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    Research teams at Afferent Corp. and at Boston University have been collaborating to develop and test a new class of neurotherapy devices that have the promise of directly improving mechanical sensory function to help prevent falls in the elderly and foot injuries and amputations in people with diabetes. These devices are based on the discovery that certain forms of electrical or mechanical stimulation applied to mechanoreceptors increase their ability to detect sensory information. Results show that the best type of stimulation signal is not a finely tuned frequency but rather white noise. When presented with this stimulus over an extended period, the sensory neurons were unable to adapt to it. These findings reinforce the growing body of research that establishes the connection between sensory activity and the ability of the nervous system to repair itself following injury. View full abstract»

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  • The Back Story: Gnomes and Reactors

    Page(s): 7
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    First Page of the Article
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  • Ethernet's high-wire act [new IEEE standard]

    Page(s): 63 - 65
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    The local- and metropolitan-area networking committee of the IEEE 802.1 working group has been tasked to develop a standard that could ensure the high quality of service needed to transmit streaming multimedia over a wide-area Ethernet network that covers an entire city. The new standard hopes to make possible dramatic improvements in services such as Internet-based television. Once the standard is in place, costs are expected to drop for carriers, which can pass those savings on to the users of their high-speed services. View full abstract»

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  • Showdown on the desktop

    Page(s): 19 - 20
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    This paper describes some recent developments in the field of desktop PC software that could have a serious impact on Microsoft Corp.'s stronghold over the market. These include the increasing popularity of the Linux operating system, the introduction of the Mac Mini from Apple Computer Inc., and the growing market share of Firefox open-source browser from Mozilla Foundation. View full abstract»

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  • Power to the molecules [nanometer-size switch]

    Page(s): 18 - 19
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    Hewlett-Packard Co., is developing a nanometer-size switch that has the power to amplify a signal. This power is one of the great features of transistors because it allows a signal to pass through a circuit without petering out. The switch consists of a single molecular layer sandwiched between two metal wires. HP achieved the gain it needed by using the so-called molecular crossbar, made from two switches. Each switch connects to its own control wire, which supplies it with voltage pulses. The two switches also connect to a common latch wire, which carries either a high or a low voltage. Together, the two switches encode a single bit. View full abstract»

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  • Words in the wind [new tech terms]

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    This paper introduces a sampling of new terms that are recently being used in the tech sector. There are terms that appear alongside recently invented gadgets and ideas and are used to name or describe these inventions such as the nouse, PPMT (Pre and Post Mail Tension), nanopretenders, and zettatechnology. Other tech terms come in bunches, particularly when some phenomenon is getting a lot of media attention, such as offshoring, nearshoring, and twoshoring. View full abstract»

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  • How a strand of DNA launched a career

    Page(s): 57 - 58
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    This paper discusses the DNA career of Michael Heller. Combining his interests in biochemistry and electronics, Heller got in on the ground floor of the biotechnology revolution and helped establish the technology behind DNA microarrays. These dime-sized devices are used to quickly analyze hundreds of DNA samples at a time, to detect genetic diseases and mutations. Also, Heller pushed the technology further. Using silicon for his substrate instead of ordinary glass, he developed a version that lets researchers move DNA molecules around electronically (most biological molecules carry a slight positive or negative electric charge). Concentrating molecules in different microarray locations in this way increases the speed and improves the efficiency of the analyses, allowing different types of genetic tests to be integrated on the same chip. With his outstanding work, he is now one of the top makers of DNA microarrays in the world. View full abstract»

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  • 3-Deep: new displays render images you can almost reach out and touch

    Page(s): 30 - 35
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    Research continues to develop volumetric displays that render images in a 3D space rather than on a flat screen, focusing on two main technological approaches to displaying solid images electronically. The first approach is known as swept volume, which uses a high definition projector or an array of lasers to bounce images off a screen that rotates so fast that the human eye perceives only a 3D image floating in space. The other approach involves an all solid-state design that uses a projector behind a stack of 20 liquid-crystal screens to create one solid image from a rapidly projected series of images. All these systems create 3D images that require no special eyewear, produce no eye fatigue or headaches, and are visible over a wide field of view from several meters away by many people. If all goes well, economies of scale could bring prices down to a point where all sorts of intriguing applications become possible. View full abstract»

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  • PHOTO ESSAY: Red LEDS for Green Groceries

    Page(s): 22 - 23
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    First Page of the Article
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  • Blades have the edge [blade servers]

    Page(s): 24 - 29
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    An increasing number of computer rooms all over the world are switching from conventional servers to blade servers because they offer huge improvements over conventional, rack-mounted units. The greatest benefit of blades is their flexibility, which allows them to be easily installed, managed and repaired compared to conventional servers. The promise of blades lies not so much in their hardware as in the software used to manage them. Blades' management programs let system administrators automate and simplify what are otherwise tedious, time-consuming tasks. Another useful feature manufacturers are adding to blades is the ability to split a single physical blade server into many smaller, virtual ones. This allows an administrator to create logical shells that each run a different operating system and its respective applications simultaneously on a single server. View full abstract»

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  • Spectral Lines: Good Vibrations

    Page(s): 10
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  • IEEE Spectrum - Front cover

    Page(s): 0_1
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • IEEE Spectrum - Vol 42, No 4 - Table of contents

    Page(s): 3 - 5
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    Freely Available from IEEE

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IEEE Spectrum Magazine, the flagship publication of the IEEE, explores the development, applications and implications of new technologies.

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Editor-in-Chief
Susan Hassler
IEEE Spectrum Magazine