Volume 46 Issue 4 • April 2009

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

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): C1
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  • Table of contents

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):1 - 3
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  • Running with robots

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 4
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (795 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    How hard can it be to make a lizard run? Just ask the researchers in Daniel Goldman's laboratory at Georgia Tech. "It's very high tech," says Goldman [left]. "We startle it." View full abstract»

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  • Contributors

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 6
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  • Cap and trade or cap and tax?

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 8
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    Whenever oil and gas prices plummet, renewable energy projects tend to hit the skids, because the economic incentive to develop these new technologies simply disappears. Low prices bring on the Hummers; high prices have consumers clamoring for Toyota Priuses. View full abstract»

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  • Forum

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 10
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  • Despite stimulus money, most U.S. bridges might stay dumb

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):11 - 12
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    The 2.9-kilometer Rion-Antirion Bridge in Greece, with its 300 sensors, is a testament to how smart a piece of infrastructure can be. It routinely tells operators when an earthquake, frequent in those parts, or high winds warrant shutting down traffic. View full abstract»

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  • Automated auditors to chase down cheats

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 13
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (678 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    In December, when Bernard Madoff's hedge fund turned out to be a gigantic Ponzi scheme that was US $50 billion in the red, everybody wondered how this had gone undetected for more than a decade. Amazingly, in separate audits, government auditors saw no evidence of wrongdoing. View full abstract»

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  • The silence of the cellphones

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 14
    Cited by:  Patents (2)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (486 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    You're enjoying a rare bit of peace and quiet, perhaps dozing on a train, when someone begins a loud cellphone conversation nearby. Electromagnetic countermeasures are available to reclaim the silence, but for the most part they are illegal. In the United States, for example, only federal agents can legally use signal jammers to block cellular communications by transmitting interfering signals. Ev... View full abstract»

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  • Engineers map volcanic lightning

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 15
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (523 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    Volcanic eruptions are often accompanied by spectacular bursts of lightning-Krakatoa, Mount St. Helens, and Vesuvius have provided some relatively recent examples- and yet these breathtaking bolts are not well understood. Obtaining insight into volcanic lightning, besides being of considerable scientific interest, could make it possible to get earlier warnings of eruptions and might even yield clu... View full abstract»

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  • First affordable fuel cells for mobile gear

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 16
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (676 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    According to the U.S. Fuel Cell Council, an industry association, there are at least 40 different fuel cells for portable, stationary, and transportation applications. But as recently as last August, industry analysts were saying that fuel cells that were both small and cheap enough to power cellphones, PDAs, and digital cameras were still "a year or so away." View full abstract»

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  • Primary colors

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):18 - 19
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    Presents the work of British artist Paul Cocksedge. View full abstract»

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  • A fuel-economy gauge for the rest of us

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):20 - 21
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (2024 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    The price of gasoline is down from its stratospheric highs of last July, but there are still plenty of reasons to conserve fuel and plenty of ways to do so. Drivers can make changes in their cars and better yet, in themselves; unfortunately, the human element isn't easy to tweak. That's partly because we lack detailed real-time data about which driving behaviors are wasteful. View full abstract»

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  • New math

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):21 - 22
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (1455 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    The venerable math programs Maple and Mathematica long ago outgrew pure math to include numerical and symbolic math, graphics, document preparation, and more. Maplesoft and Wolfram have each recently released a major update-Maple 12 and Mathematica 7-and Maple has a new simulation package as well. The company is increasingly pitching to engineers-an approach that has long been successful for anoth... View full abstract»

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  • Money for nothing

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 22
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  • 'Til lawsuits do us part

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 23
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    Last November, Apple happily announced that it had hired Mark Papermaster, a 26-year IBM veteran, to head up its iPod and iPhone hardware engineering teams. IBM immediately sued Papermaster, claiming that his employment contract with Big Blue included a noncompete agreement prohibiting just such a move. A U.S. federal district court quickly ordered Papermaster out of Apple until further notice. Th... View full abstract»

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  • Information at your fingertips

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 24
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    Examines the terminology that has developed around information retrieval. View full abstract»

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  • Shrinking possibilities

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):26 - 56
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
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    Lithography will need multiple strategies to keep up with the evolution of memory and logic. View full abstract»

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  • March of the sandbots

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):30 - 35
    Cited by:  Papers (6)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (8075 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    Goldman at Georgia Tech, Koditschek and Komsuoglu at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, and other collaborators - are hoping that by studying the zebra-tailed lizard and a menagerie of other desert-dwelling creatures, we can create more agile versions of their six-legged robot, SandBot. View full abstract»

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  • The universal handset

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):36 - 41
    Cited by:  Papers (5)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (5934 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    Software-defined radio can let cellphones speak Wi-Fi, 3G, WiMax, and more. In the new millennium, SDR has spread from the battlefield to the commercial arena. Wireless service providers, in particular, have begun using it in the transceivers in cellphone base stations, allowing the same hardware to handle different cellular protocols. Next, SDR will spread to sets that fit in the palm of your han... View full abstract»

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  • Top 10 tech cars

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s):42 - 49
    Cited by:  Patents (8)
    Request permission for reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (13243 KB) | HTML iconHTML

    If necessity really is the mother of invention, then surely the auto industry is on the verge of an era of blinding brilliance. Times are that bad. In July, when the price of a barrel of oil shot up to US $147, buyers in the United States dumped their gas guzzlers and lined up for that iconic hybrid, the Toyota Prius. And, astonishingly, by year's end they had bought 25 000 Smart ForTwo cars, two-... View full abstract»

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  • The supercomputer goes personal

    Publication Year: 2009, Page(s): 64
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    Video gamers and graphic artists have funded a revolution in high-performance computing. The same massively parallel chips that figure out exactly the right color for each pixel in Street Fighter IV are now being used to calculate protein folding, predict climate change, and crack the encryption of hitherto-secure Web sites. 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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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Susan Hassler
IEEE Spectrum Magazine