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Spectrum, IEEE

Issue 5 • Date May 2013

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Displaying Results 1 - 22 of 22
  • IEEE Spectrum - Front cover

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): c1
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  • Table of contents

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 1 - 3
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  • High anxiety [Back Story]

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 4
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  • Contributors

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 6
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  • Fisker automotive: fraught with failure [Spectral Lines]

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 8
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  • Rise of the eye phones [News]

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 9 - 10
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  • A solar mirage in the Middle East? [News]

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 10 - 11
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  • A wiring diagram of the brain [News]

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 12 - 14
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  • Ring around the nanowire [News]

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 14 - 16
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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  • Star search [The Big Picture]

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 18 - 19
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  • Duo Gamer [Resources_Tools]

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 21 - 22
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  • Ride by wire [Resources_Hand On]

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 22 - 24
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  • Q&A: Trevor Pinch [Resources_Geek Life]

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 26
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  • Limor Fried: channel your inner maker [Resources_Profile]

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 28
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  • Sensuous electronics [Reflections]

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 30
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  • When spectrum auctions fail

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 32 - 60
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    For some microwave links, cooperation beats competition as a way to share the air. Most people think that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 ended U.S. involvement in the Pacific theater of World War II. In fact, the state of war with Japan persisted, in a technical sense, until September 1951, when the formal peace treaty was signed. "Making peace is like repairing the many strands of an intercontinental cable," President Truman said at the time. "Each strand must be spliced separately and patiently, until the full flow of communication has been restored." Thanks to some then-new technology, more than 30 million U.S. viewers witnessed Truman compare peacemaking with cable mending during the very first TV broadcast aired from coast to coast. Electrical engineers watching the event might have appreciated the irony: You see, the new technique for linking far-flung TV stations had just made lengthy cables obsolete. Engineers at AT&T instead used a network of microwave transmitters to beam TV signals from point to point across the country. View full abstract»

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  • Germany jump-starts the supergrid

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 36 - 41
    Cited by:  Papers (6)
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    New developments in high-voltage DC electronics could herald an epic shift in energy delivery. Stuttgart is one of the last places you'd expect to find in a power pinch. This south German city's massive automotive plants run 24-7 without a hiccup, efficiency measures have held industrial power consumption flat, and solar panels flash from atop its major buildings. But now all that is at risk. The country's accelerated shift from nuclear power and fossil fuels to renewable resources, such as wind and solar, has exposed a huge gap in its transmission capacity. If they are to survive, Stuttgart's factories-and power consumers across southern Germany-will need to import a lot more power from the north, and Germany's grid is already at capacity. To fill the gap, Germany is considering an aggressive plan that would push high-voltage direct current, or HVDC, from its conventional position on the periphery of AC grids to a central role. The primary reason is simple: For the first time, HVDC seems cheaper than patching up the AC grid. But Germany's transmission planners also have another motivation: They want to provide as much performance and reliability as they can to an AC grid that's already strained by excess wind power. For that, they're considering implementing power electronics that are capable of doing something that's never before been done on a commercial line: stop DC current in milliseconds flat. View full abstract»

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  • The smartest, greenest grid

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 42 - 47
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    What a little Danish island is showing the world about the future of energy. On Christmas night, Maja Bendtsen and her husband were curled up on the couch watching TV in their cozy house on the Danish island of Bornholm. Suddenly the house lost power. "The lights flickered briefly and then everything went black," Bendtsen recalls. Peeking out the window, they saw that the whole neighborhood was dark. A few quick phone calls confirmed that all of Bornholm was without power. Bendtsen, an engineer with the island's utility, Ostkraft Net, mentally ruled out the obvious culprits: It wasn't a particularly busy night, as Christmas festivities had wrapped up with the midday meal, nor was the weather particularly cold or stormy. She thought of one thing, though, and it made her heart sink. She phoned the Ostkraft control room, where the chief engineer confirmed her suspicion: A ship dragging its anchor in the narrow Baltic Sea channel between Bornholm and Sweden had severed the 60-kilovolt, 70-megawatt undersea power cable that is the island's only external source of electricity. It would take a repair crew more than six weeks to pinpoint the damage, haul the cable to the water's surface, and fix it. View full abstract»

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  • The troubled life of Patent No. 6,456,841

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 48 - 50
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    Tracing the tortured legal trail of a simple smartphone patent. Takeshi Tomimori, an engineer at Mitsubishi Electric Corp., in Tokyo, had an idea. What if you could alert a cellphone user of incoming messages by displaying an icon on the screen? He worked out the details for what Mitsubishi's lawyers called, in their 1999 filing, a "Mobile Communication Apparatus Notifying User of Reproduction Waiting Information Effectively." Three years and three months later, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded Tomimori and his employer Patent No. 6,456,841. Let's call it Icon, for short. View full abstract»

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  • Captain cellular

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 52 - 55
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    It was September 1989, and the cellphone industry was booming. Companies were building new towers as fast as they could, using the prevailing analog technology, but they were encountering problems with capacity and quality of service. Earlier that year, the industry had decided to move to digital transmission using time-division multiple access. TDMA shared the airwaves by slicing up each available frequency channel into time slots. A caller's phone transmitted digitized signals in short bursts during the slot assigned to the handset. It wasn't a particularly efficient use of the broadcast spectrum, but it worked. View full abstract»

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  • IEEE Candidates in 2013 Election

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 61
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  • It's a mobile, mobile world [Data Flow]

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 68
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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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Editor-in-Chief
Susan Hassler
IEEE Spectrum Magazine