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The Philosophical Engineer

Back to work

1 Sep 2014 by Francis Goode

The first question the Goode father always greets me is, how is work going? To which your humble blogger always replies, which work do you mean? The tasks performed during office hours for money, or the studies and writing done for love that take up the remaining wakeful hours? Of course, he means the former since, like most other people, he's firmly of the school that considers that work can only be what's done for money. Everything else is leisure or recreation.  

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View from Brussels

Swiss company offers back bailouts

30 Aug 2014 by Pelle Neroth

In the public mind, Switzerland is known for cuckoo clocks, Swiss army knives and watches. Cliches, but also a sign that Switzerland has a long and excellent tradition of intricate mechanical craftsmanship. Of course, Swiss technology has not stood still since the early 20th century, whatever the tourist brochures say.

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Electronic connections

TransferJet: desperately seeking an application

29 Aug 2014 by Chris Edwards

Some technologies never seem to get lucky. Ultrawideband communications is one of them. In principle, it's a great way of delivering gobs of data at low power and using pretty simple electronics. But regulatory problems and commercial factors have helped keep it out of the running for more than a decade. TransferJet, its latest incarnation, doesn't look as though it's going to turn that around.

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How Intelsat took '60s TV to new heights...

22 Aug 2014 by James Hayes

Intelsat - the International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation - was established 50 years ago this week, the result of agreements between perspicacious governments and a range of operating entities. Intelsat's raison d'être was to provide the unifying communications infrastructures that would enable the international socio-economic development of nations, and the project connected directly with the world's populations through an ongoing series of high-profile satellite link-up projects.

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Editor's letter

Scottish independence and engineering

14 Aug 2014 by Dickon Ross

'Yes' or 'No, Thanks'? That's the choice for Scots in next month's referendum. What would Scottish independence mean for engineers and engineering?

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After All

Back in the USSR

12 Aug 2014 by Vitali Vitaliev

In March 1957, E&T's precursor, The IEE Journal, published a lengthy feature "Three Weeks in the USSR" - a detailed account of the April 1956 visit to the Soviet Union by a "delegation of the British electricity supply industry". It was a reciprocal visit after a similar trip to Britain by a "deputation of Soviet electrical engineers" in August 1955. An interesting detail: the Soviet delegation to the UK was led by Georgy Malenkov (1901 - 1988), Stalin's closest henchman and successor, who after the dictator's death fell into disfavour and was demoted to the relatively menial Minister of Power Stations. The Journal described him as "a man of considerable charm, and an astute and witty minister with a grasp of electrical power problems." I thought that the word "electrical" could be safely removed from that statement.

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View from Washington

Luis Suarez and the law of unintended consequences

26 Jun 2014 by Paul Dempsey

Uruguay is in denial. Few others doubt that its star player Luis Suarez bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in the countries' critical World Cup encounter. Yet many Uruguayans refuse to accept the evidence, and say in particular that the damning image of teeth marks on Chellini's shoulder has been Photoshopped.

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Jack's blog

Jack's Blog: June

9 Jun 2014 by Jack Devine

Mum celebrated the fact that the twins and I have agreed to come on holiday with her and Dad by getting a new haircut. "It's a bit short, isn't it?" said Dad, walking round her like she was a second-hand car and it was time to kick the tyres.

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Stop. Pause. Play.

Apple 'still got love for the street' with Beats acquisition

29 May 2014 by Kris Sangani

After already being leaked weeks ago, Apple finally announced its acquisition of the subscription streaming music service Beats Music and Beats Electronics - which makes the popular Beats headphones, speakers and audio software.

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The best of this week’s E&T

29 Aug 2014

It’s been a short week with the bank holiday weekend, still we have covered enough news to chose from for our weekly best off. See which technology stories caught the attention of our editors:    James Hayes, technology features editor Poor coding puts business applications at risk of hacking Software developers have long been criticised […]

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