Volume 46 Issue 3 • March 2009

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  • IEEE Spectrum

    Publication Year: 2009
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  • Contents

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):1 - 3
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  • Geek Summer

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 4
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  • Contributors

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 6
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  • California Dreamin'

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 7
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  • Forum

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 10
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  • Fusion Factory Starts Up

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):11 - 12
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    Later this month in California, construction will be completed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility, or NIF, the world's most powerful laser system 12 years and roughly US $3.5 billion after it was begun. The plan is for NIF's 192 neodymium lasers to create controlled moments of fusion by focusing their energy on 3-millimeter-wide pellets of deuterium and tritium. View full abstract»

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  • Will Washington Kick-start the U.S. Battery Biz?

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):11 - 12
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  • Cloud Computing's Killer App: Gaming

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 14
    Cited by:  Papers (27)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (921 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    In recognition of the huge importance of graphics and gaming to the future of computing, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), of Sunnyvale, Calif., is building the fastest commercial supercomputer in the world and selling its use to makers of online games. When it's ready, in the second half of 2009, it will manage a thousand million million floating-point operations per second-a petaflop. That will put ... View full abstract»

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  • A Stowaway Mission to the Moon

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 15
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    Several months from now, the empty upper stage of an Atlas V rocket will slam into a shadowy crater near the north pole of the moon, tossing a plume of debris up into the sunlight. By then, the Atlas V will have delivered its main payload, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), and a smaller stowaway. That stowaway satellite will watch the spectacle unfold from above, looking for telltale signs t... View full abstract»

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  • Sign Language by Cellphone

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 16
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (913 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    In the past, engineers working on technology to aid the deaf had focused primarily on hearing devices, such as hearing aids and cochlear implants, but recently they've been getting into what's known as deaf technology: applications designed to make the day-to-day lives of the deaf and hearing-impaired easier. View full abstract»

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  • In Frankenstein's Laboratory

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):18 - 19
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    At the cavernous lab of Lightning Technologies, in Pittsfield, Mass., you first hear a horn's warning blast, then a huge kapow. That's the sound that electrons make when 2.4 million volts send them burning a zigzag path through the air. The bolt proceeds from the hanging double corona ring to a model supplied by one of the lab's clients, in this case an airline that needs to test how lightning aff... View full abstract»

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  • Fusion on a Budget

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):20 - 21
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (3339 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    Do you have a few thousand dollars to spare, some basic machining and welding skills, and the ability to follow directions without getting fingerprints inside your equipment? Then you, too, can build a baby fusion reactor, or fusor, in your garage. View full abstract»

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  • Foreign Affair

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 22
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    In his 14-year career as an industrial and electrical engineer, Carlos Founaud has worked or done business in Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Portugal, Germany, Britain, Australia, and Italy before returning to his native Spain. View full abstract»

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  • Throwing Physics A Curve

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 23
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  • This Is Your Brain on Google [review of iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind (Small, G. and Vorgan, G.; 2008)]

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 23
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  • The Race for a New Game Machine: Creating the Chips Inside the XBox 360 and the PlayStation 3

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 24
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (816 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    One of the great business stories of our young century lies buried within the 74 million video-game machines sold in the past three years. IBM began by making microprocessors only for Nintendo, but now it also supplies the ones inside the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. View full abstract»

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  • Give Your Records A Break

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 24
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    Last year, vinyl record sales rose 15 percent while the rest of the music industry kept on tanking. Like Converse sneakers, the LP has a way of sticking around long after obsolescence-and even, somehow, maintaining an aura of cool. View full abstract»

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  • The Dreaded Computer Upgrade [Reflections]

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 25
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  • What About The Nukes?

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):26 - 52
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (4700 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    The U.S nuclear stockpile is showing its age. But building new warheads is not the solution. The paper discusses suggestions on how to update the nuclear stockpile without building a new one. There are many other options for maintaining the existing arsenal that have yet to be fully explored. One strategy is to reuse more of the components taken from previously tested, disassembled weapons. Anothe... View full abstract»

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  • The Death of Business-Method Patents

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):32 - 35
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    Discusses the new trend of the US patent and trademark office to no longer issue business method patents. View full abstract»

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  • Open Arms

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):36 - 41
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (5752 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    The best way to really move prosthetics research forward is to hitch a ride on a real market. If we can find an application for a myoelectric human interface in the $32 billion worldwide video game market, for example, we can tap into a massive reserve of people who might not otherwise get involved in the effort. Any tool they develop could be repurposed for prosthetics, allowing that small market... View full abstract»

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  • How Green Is My Plug-In?

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):42 - 58
    Cited by:  Papers (12)
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    A few analysts forecast that by 2020, plug-in vehicles, including plug-in hybrids and purely electric cars, will make up almost a third of new-car sales in the United States. And by 2050, plug-ins could account for most of China's burgeoning vehicular travel. But the environmental implications of such a massive shift are hardly straightforward. The complexity stems from the multiplicity of vehicle... View full abstract»

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  • Stop That Train

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):46 - 49
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    George Westinghouse's many inventions rank him with Thomas A. Edison and Werner von Siemens as founding fathers of our electrified world. Yet, ironically, Westinghouse's first invention, a railroad brake he patented in 1869, was actuated not by electrons but by air. To this day, most railroads rely on that system's principle of releasing air from a pressurized pipe that runs the length of the trai... View full abstract»

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  • Generation Cogeneration [the data]

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 68
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Coal and natural-gas power plants lose as waste heat two-thirds of the energy they produce. Combined-heat-and-power (CHP) systems-what used to be called cogeneration-attain 80 percent efficiency by capturing the heat and using it locally. CHP predates electrical grids in many parts of the world. View full abstract»

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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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Susan Hassler
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