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View from Brussels

eCall emergency system to be installed on all new cars in Europe

20 Apr 2014 by Pelle Neroth

Last week, the European parliament approved a proposal to make mobile phone tracking road safety devices compulsory on all new cars and light duty vehicles from October 2015. It could save thousands of lives, but also raises fears about an extension of the surveillance society.

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Buzzsore

Cloudspeak #26

17 Apr 2014 by James Hayes

An occasional series that celebrates notable outpourings and rehashes of cloud computing buzzterms, hoopla, and market insight...

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Editor's letter

How to Keep the Lights On

16 Apr 2014 by Dickon Ross

'Keeping the lights on' has a slightly old-fashioned ring about it. Why 'the lights', in particular? As a boy during the miners' strike of 40 years ago, the Three Day Week seemed more of an adventure than a crisis.

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Electronic connections

Energy harvesting: just add batteries

16 Apr 2014 by Chris Edwards

Energy harvesting is moving from being a speciality interest to much more of a mainstream interest in electronic design, although it does bring some harsh realities with it. You have to expend a lot of effort to make it work properly and, even when you do, you are lucky to get more than milliamps out of your energy source.

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After All

TGV: No Longer High-Speed?

14 Apr 2014 by Vitali Vitaliev

I am saddened to inform you, my dear readers, that I am not longer in love with "Madame Chemins de Fer", or - more prosaically - Ms French Railways, or - even more prosaically - Comrade SNCF (French National Railway Company).

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Jack's blog

Jack's Blog: May

6 Apr 2014 by Jack Devine

Poor Eric has been fooled by an Evil Twin in the Mandela Coffee Room at Uni. Although this is basic internet security stuff he sat there and did some online banking, uploaded some notes to the uni server, downloaded a couple of TV shows and played some Minecraft - a guilty pleasure as everyone else on his server is aged 8-10, but he enjoys being the mentor figure. And being better at PVP (player versus player conflict) than they are.

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Stop. Pause. Play.

Is USB C the single cable to replace everything else?

4 Apr 2014 by Kris Sangani

It looks like we might see the first reversible USB cables in stores later this year - as the USB Forum has announced that the new USB Type-C connector, built initially on existing USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 technologies, will be ready and will sport thinner and sleeker designs.

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View from Washington

Congratulations to Oculus Rift

31 Mar 2014 by Paul Dempsey

"Ooh. Those capitalist swine at Facebook have bought super cool VR headset guys Oculus Rift. And after they were crowdfunded on Kickstarter too. It's a bloomin' outrage...." Give me a break, you numpties.

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The Philosophical Engineer

A piece on war

21 Mar 2014 by Francis Goode Comments (1)

Sojourning among the scenic splendours of Switzerland, the Goode child and I fell into a discussion about the nature of nations and wars. How is it, we pondered, that some countries survive happily for centuries without any armed conflicts, while others seem to have a deep need to be on a permanent war footing? For us engineers, the question is especially poignant since, arguably, we owe our very existence to warfare, as the original "engines" were, of course, exclusively military devices. Even now, long after our professions diversified and found a multitude of civil applications for our skills, a large number of us are still actively engaged with the armed forces or in the design and production of weapons and associated systems. It was, perhaps, to this group that Dr Stuart Parkinson, in a recent Opinion Piece in this magazine, posed the question of whether engineers should be leading calls to spend less on creating weapons.

IET on WordPress

China to deploy nuclear missiles on submarines – an annotated infographic

23 Apr 2014

One can always rely on the Chinese for coming up with new and alarming ways to further elevate the global nuclear threat. Their latest wheeze is to deploy nuclear missiles on its submarines. Reportedly close to deploying a credible sea-based nuclear deterrent, patrols are expected to start in the Pacific this year using Jin-class submarines […]

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