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Engineering & Technology

Issue 15 • Date Sept. 6 2008

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 32
  • Engineering & Technology - front cover

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): c1
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    First Page of the Article
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  • Table of contents

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 1
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  • Pick a format, any format - [editorial]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 2
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    It wasn??t long ago that a programme made for television would just be shown on the box, or a film made for cinema would just be shown on the big screen and maybe the small screen some time later. Now a video shot for one format could end up anywhere: in a cinema, analogue TV, digital TV, on an aeroplane, on a computer or on an iPod. View full abstract»

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  • Briefing latest

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 5 - 13
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    A British unmanned aerial vehicle has flown continuously for nearly three and a half days on solar power in trials at the US Army??s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. View full abstract»

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  • Letters - [opinion feedback]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 14 - 15
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    Diego d??Ambra??s article `Spam spotting: man vs computer?? (#13) and the spam test in which the reader is challenged to spam from legitimate emails assume there is an objective way of classifying mail. All the article and test show is that people and spam filtering software sometimes differ on how they define, and recognise, spam. View full abstract»

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  • If you ask me - [opinion first person]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 16
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    It will come as no great surprise that the aerospace and defence industry relies on a solid skill foundation. It is by maintaining and nurturing new talent that it has progressed and made the steps forward which have resulted in some of the technological wonders of our age, such as the Airbus A380 or the unmanned aerial vehicles that are increasingly becoming a necessity for any nation??s defence and security. View full abstract»

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  • From screen to monitor - [engineering broadcasting]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 18 - 21
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    In this paper, cinematography and computer animation are discussed. The film industry is in the throes of a digital revolution which will change the way movies are shot and screened. Movies are generally shot on 35mm or 16mm stock. People also film on Super 8mm (a classic beginner's choice) or 65mm for iMax films. The photographic film has thin layers of light-sensitive particles which, when struck by light, change their chemical properties. Different layers have different colour filters. With 35mm film, the standard for cinema-quality movies(HD videos), the depth of resolution is huge: around ten times that of digital video. However, by the time a print reaches the cinema, it has been copied repeatedly and, with the projector effect as well, some resolution will have been lost. View full abstract»

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  • In higher definition - [broadcasting HDTV]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 22 - 25
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    This paper discusses the transition of high definition television format. View full abstract»

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  • Beside the seaside - [engineering hidden]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 26 - 29
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    To mark the end of this year's European holiday season, E&T takes a plunge into the past and present of beach and coastal engineering. Most people today would see beaches as places of relaxation and entertainment, but in the past they were important for the sustenance of human life. While in Europe the work mainly involves maintaining long-established beaches, in some Gulf States beaches are now being created to build up tourism. View full abstract»

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  • Cooling down - [engineering HVAC]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 30 - 33
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    This article looks at the state of air conditioning engineering at hot summer in the United States. No longer the mammoth machines of yore, today's models are sleeker, more cost- and energy-efficient, and manufactured by companies that have mandates for controlling greenhouse gas emissions. In the summer, this is particularly perplexing for air conditioning engineers. Yet, carbon emissions are an entirely different matter from increasing the air conditioner's efficiency. View full abstract»

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  • Gadget speak - [network kit]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 34 - 35
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    ITUNES AND NAPSTER both offer good service. Napster has overcome its history of doling out free MP3 music, and has created a quality website with quality service. I prefer Napster to iTunes. View full abstract»

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  • Fix it in post - [electronics software]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 36 - 37
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    The world of special effects (SFX) in movies is changing. Say goodbye to obvious computer generated imagery (CGI) and hello to a new world of film where reality is carefully assembled inside a computer. The next generation is about trying to extract more 3D information. We have delayed the move to 3D long enough. It is probably not just us but a trend in the whole industry. You get to a point where the machine vision technology and computer power behind it has moved so far that this all becomes feasible. View full abstract»

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  • Extreme probing - [electronics test]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 38 - 41
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    'Extreme probing' can be any probing situation in which, without proper consideration, it is possible to cause damage to probes and accessories, or make an unreliable or poor measurement. Common hacks that engineers use to make these measurements often have dire consequences when it comes to signal integrity. Other extreme situations will lead to probe failure no matter what steps are taken; in these cases there are several strategies that can help extend probe life as long as possible. View full abstract»

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  • Feeling the way - [electronics sensors]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 42
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    Economy is the auntie of invention, and researchers are looking into creating simpler, cheaper robots. Simplicity provides the focus for a new generation of electronic robots as researchers try to work out how little they can get away with in terms of sensors. At the Artificial Life XI conference in Winchester, UK, engineers from Roke Manor Research demonstrated Dora, a robot that dispenses with expensive albeit accurate laser sensors and makes do with a single camera. Developed by Estelle Tidey of Roke, Dora has to work out where obstacles are by moving around the room. A single image provides little context for an image. The robot can pick up edges easily enough using conventional image processing. Where the robot's processing goes one stage further is to use motion to continually adjust its view of the world. It goes from having just a list of points on a flat space to a 3D 'point cloud' that it forms into a world view of the various objects in the area. A box or a table leg becomes a blob of points that describes places where Dora cannot go. View full abstract»

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  • Ore inspired - [automation mining]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 44 - 47
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    China is the world's biggest consumer of copper, aluminium, lead, nickel, tin, zinc and iron ore among other raw materials. Since 1999, it has consumed two-thirds of the world's growth in output of base metals, and since 2002 it has accounted for half the world's growth in consumption of steel, copper and aluminum, almost the entire world's growth for nickel and tin, and more than the world's growth for lead and zinc. And it is now at the stage of industrialisation where, if the record of other tiger economies is anything to go by, its demand for metals is about to become especially high. The article explains China's growth is fuelling an unprecedented demand for raw materials, which is forcing mining operators to increase production through improved automation and control. View full abstract»

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  • The grandest challenge - [control robotics]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 48 - 49
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    A range of weird and wonderful autonomous vehicles has recently taken part in the final of a major MoD science and technology competition -The Grand Challenge, launched in 2006. Teams from across the UK were tasked with devising highly autonomous vehicles capable of identifying threats encountered by UK troops on overseas operations. These include marksmen, vehicles mounted with heavy weapons, roadside bombs and armed militia. View full abstract»

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  • City of dreams - [power masdar city]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 50 - 55
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    In the heart of the Middle East's oil-rich nations, the tiny Emirate of Abu Dhabi is pinning its economic future on innovative, renewable and low-carbon energy technologies. In 2006, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi announced the creation of the Masdar Initiative, a major programme for the development and commercialisation of renewable and sustainable energy technologies. Just two years later, Masdar broke ground on the world's first zero-carbon, zero-waste, car-free city. Masdar City is a blueprint for the future, designed to show that cities can be built and people can live their lives in a truly sustainable way. View full abstract»

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  • Viewpoint - [IT opinion]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 56
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    Many organisations now impose restrictions on email inboxes and local storage allowances because of the escalating amount of data being produced by users across enterprise systems. The problem may feel insurmountable, but there are ways to keep it in check. Take the `multiple copies?? phenomenon. View full abstract»

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  • 60-second interview

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 57
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    This paper shows an interview between E&T and Peter Kent regarding the joint academic network (JANET) that brings the UK's educational and research communities together. View full abstract»

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  • Profile - [IT my way]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 57 - 58
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    The software solution that was in place at the time was causing the exchange email service to fall over on a regular basis. It wasn??t ideal. We rely on email to such an extent in terms of communicating with our customers. Every minute or hour of downtime impacts on productivity ?? which is obviously not good. So we saw this as a priority. We managed to sort out the reason why it was bringing down the service, to make the existing solution stable. But it still wasn??t blocking anywhere near the amount of spam we wanted. View full abstract»

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  • Have data will travel - [IT security]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 60 - 61
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    This paper deals with IT security threats. Just when organizations felt they were gaining the upper hand in their defence against external IT security threats, comes a rise in problems caused by internal risk factors. Often termed the 'enemy within', malicious hacks on the enterprise system launched from the system itself remain in the minority compared to instances of data leakage-the unintentional and/or illicit loss of secure information into an insecure environment. Organizationpsilas that bother to check are finding that considerable quantities of data are trotting out through the staff entrance. Trend's Corporate end user study 2008, which surveyed 1,600 corporate end-users, found that the loss of proprietary company data and information was ranked as the second most serious threat at work, following viruses. Respondent considered this to be 'more serious than most other threats such as spam, spy ware, and phishing. IT departments could do much to reduce data leakage by shoring-up internal IT security procedures with the practice standards of ISACA's COBIT IT governance standards, as well as those of ITIL IT service management documentation. Implementing these tools would go a long way to staunching data leakage. View full abstract»

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  • Big-league player - [manufacturing automotive]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 62 - 64
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    The German manufacturing group Continental has transformed itself from a high-profile tyre maker into a leading global automotive systems manufacturer. E&T looks at the shake up and future prospects for the German firm. View full abstract»

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  • Evolution of manufacturing - [manufacturing opinion]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 66
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    For traditional UK manufacturing companies the outsourcing of activities overseas has had a number of evolutionary impacts. Manufacturing itself has almost become 'commoditised' in many sectors, and is less of a core competence for many erstwhile Western 'manufacturing companies'. Instead the focus in these companies has shifted to product design, intellectual property management, marketing, and supply chain management. This shift is quite understandable as such companies no longer need to worry much about manufacturing, leaving that to the outsource manufacturers who have the advantage of economies of scale and of learning from having multiple outsource customers and products. Such outsource manufacturers are likely to learn more quickly about the manufacturing technologies and processes than the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) themselves. However, OEMs still need to be fully conversant with the pertinent technical, legal and social issues since they retain responsibility for their products and brands. A key example here is the recent Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) statutory requirements: OEMs cannot simply sit back and leave it to their outsource manufacturers as the OEMs are legally responsible for compliance. So OEMs must remain involved and retain control for their products. One way of doing this is design innovation. View full abstract»

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  • Serving up change - [manufacturing operations]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 67 - 69
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    A fresh approach to continuous improvement has enabled a leading plastics technology group to make major operational savings at minimal cost. Over a period of several months up to early 2006, a team of half a dozen employees at a Belgian plant of plastics technology group Borealis set about trying to solve a quality problem on a production facility there. View full abstract»

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  • The future is femto - [comms femtocells]

    Publication Year: 2008 , Page(s): 70 - 73
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    Home basestations: fact or fiction? While their neighbours campaign against cellular masts going up near their homes, consumers will soon be able to buy a basestation of their very own. Operators are lining up to launch home basestations next year as a way of providing better access to their wireless networks indoors. One type of home basestation is already on the market in the form of Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) technology. This relies on the user's phone supporting voice calls over either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It's not a cellular basestation, but a Wi-Fi router with software to handle voice calls and pass the packets on to the mobile operator's network. Many operators are backing a more ambitious plan: putting the guts of a cellular basestation into a small box that the user plugs into a broadband Internet connection. This is the femtocell, named for the progression from large outdoor 'macrocell basestations through to picocells, which were designed to provide cellular coverage in shops and offices. View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

Engineering & Technology is the IET's flagship magazine featuring analysis, news, innovation announcements, job advertisements and careers advice.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Dickon Ross
IET