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Spectrum, IEEE

Issue 1 • Date Jan. 2007

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 26
  • [Front cover - IEEE Spectrum - Jan. 2007]

    Page(s): c1
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  • Table of contents - Vol 44, No 1

    Page(s): 1 - 3
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  • The Back Story: Gold Out of Dross

    Page(s): 5
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  • Forum

    Page(s): 6
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  • Spectral Lines: Over the Moon

    Page(s): 8
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  • Manufacturing Mayday

    Page(s): 10 - 13
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  • Making Every E-Vote Count

    Page(s): 13 - 14
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  • Fresh Spin on Logic

    Page(s): 15
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  • Joules, BTUs, Quads-Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

    Page(s): 16
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  • THE BIG PICTURE: Around the World in 65 Days

    Page(s): 18 - 19
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  • Winners & Losers 2007: Beauty and the Beast

    Page(s): 20 - 21
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    The articles in this special issue discuss the winning and losing technologies for 2007, focusing on the following categories: telecommunications, energy, wireless, aviation, transportation, displays, software, biomedical, semiconductors, and the Internet. View full abstract»

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  • Nothing But Net

    Page(s): 22 - 26
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    The UK is getting a complete telecommunications makeover, vaulting it ahead of every country on the planet. BT began the Herculean task of replacing its existing telephone network with one based entirely on the Internet Protocol. When the #10 billion network project is completed, there will be no technical difference in the UK between the telephone system and the Internet, though they will be distinct networks for security, quality-of-service, and billing reasons. The BT initiative, 21st Century Network (21CN), will give the country a phone system that will be at once the simplest and most modern imaginable View full abstract»

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  • Corn-O-Copia

    Page(s): 26 - 28
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    This paper describes an ethanol project initiated by Red Trail Energy at its plant near Richardton, ND, with the goal of producing ethanol from corn using coal for energy. Aside from the fact that it does not substantially reduce carbon emissions, the project's viability depends on artificially high subsidies and artificially low coal prices that do not reflect health and environmental costs View full abstract»

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  • Radio Revolutionaries

    Page(s): 28 - 32
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    Vanu, a small Cambridge, Mass.-based company, has developed a cellular base station that can simultaneously process two waveforms - CDMA and GSM - all in software running on off-the-shelf computer servers. This would allow cellphone carriers to handle calls based on more than one telecom standard with a single base station. The key benefit offered by this technology is that it replaces costly radio equipment with much smaller, off-the-shelf servers running specialized code. Monitoring and troubleshooting can also be handled remotely, and upgrades involve simple software uploads, rather than expensive hardware overhauls View full abstract»

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  • Grounded

    Page(s): 32 - 34
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    The Mass.-based company, Terrafugia, has completed a detailed design of a "roadable aircraft" called Transition. Realizing the need for personal air travel, Terrafugia outfitted a small airplane with a drivetrain so that it can be taken on roads and fit into a garage. However, the losses in performance that accompany trying to make an airplane function as a car make for an expensive and undesirable car View full abstract»

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  • The Omnivorous Engine

    Page(s): 34 - 37
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    The Brazilian unit of Magneti Marelli has developed an engine control system that lets cars run on gasoline, ethanol, blends of the two liquids in any proportion and also natural gas. The system is designed to automatically choose the best fuel according to driving conditions, optimizing fuel economy and reducing emissions. Drivers have more fuel choices, and ethanol and natural gas can help reduce oil consumption View full abstract»

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  • Not Ready to Wear

    Page(s): 38 - 39
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    The Philips Photonics Textiles research group has developed a piece of flexible material that allows people to upload reconfigurable flashing fashion statements and messages on garments, furniture, and accessories using mobile phones. Called Lumalive, the photonic textile is studded with 100 inorganic light-emitting diodes and some drive electronics. It functions as a removable display that is water-resistant but not washable. While Lumalive is a novel idea, it has a number of drawbacks that make it difficult to market. Aside from having a short battery life, Lumalive is vulnerable to hacking and has no practical use View full abstract»

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  • Cure for the Multicore Blues

    Page(s): 40 - 43
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    The Canadian software company, RapidMind, has developed a new software tool to help programmers write code for microprocessor chips like the Cell as well as for graphic processors from ATI Technologies, Nvidia Corp., and other companies. Called RapidMind Development Platform 2.0, it allows programmers to code their entire applications to run on multiple cores. In practice, however, users have fed the RapidMind platform the most computationally intensive portions of their programs. The platform accelerates these chunks by breaking them up into smaller pieces and running them in parallel on several processor cores at once. The RapidMind platform has been successfully used to create the first real-time ray-tracing visualization program for customers like DaimlerChrysler and Porsche View full abstract»

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  • Tongue Vision

    Page(s): 44 - 45
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    Wicab, has developed the BrainPort, a device designed to help people with serious vision loss navigate by translating visual data from a camera into vibrations on the tongue. BrainPort can also be used to assist people with balance disorders by providing tactile feedback on changes in the way the head tilts. Unfortunately, the technology seems unlikely to provide enough clear benefits to counterbalance the cost and annoyance of wearing the device View full abstract»

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  • Masters of Memory

    Page(s): 45 - 49
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    This paper discusses Innovative Silicon's development of the densest and cheapest embedded technology in the world which is called Z-RAM, for zero-capacitor dynamic random access memory. If Z-RAM grabs even a little piece of the on-chip memory market, it will change the ground rules for microprocessor design and quickly make Innovative Silicon a company to be reckoned with. This development is considered to be a success, because its technology could quintuple the amount of memory incorporated into microprocessor chips and make them both cheaper and faster View full abstract»

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  • What's The Latin for "Delusional"?

    Page(s): 49 - 50
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    Quaero is the result of a Franco-German government alliance to develop a search engine that would overtake Google and Yahoo. Quaero was designed to enable direct image and audio search without relying on any accompanying text. Experts, however, are all in agreement that Quaero is bound to fail because it is vague and underfunded View full abstract»

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  • Careers: The Enabler

    Page(s): 51 - 54
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  • Books: Thread-Bare Theories

    Page(s): 55 - 58
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  • Podcast Picks

    Page(s): 59
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  • Sci/Tech Museums

    Page(s): 60
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Aims & Scope

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

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Susan Hassler
IEEE Spectrum Magazine