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View from India

Time versus Timelessness

1 Nov 2014 by Kavitha Srinivasa

I was pleased when I recently learnt that the legendary HMT watches may spring back into action. HMT was the country's first watch-maker and sadly it made news sometime ago that it was in the process of closing down.

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View from Brussels

EU plans to charge Google over copyrighted material

29 Oct 2014 by Pelle Neroth

Will poets one day be writing odes to G√ľnther Oettinger, can we look forward to Oettinger - the pop song? Will we see Oettinger, the superhero, honoured in some indie game in the not too distant future?

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View from Washington

Elon Musk kicks Ultron's butt... with ironclad rules

27 Oct 2014 by Paul Dempsey Comments (1)

"I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it's probably that.

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Electronic connections

Take our fabs. Please, please, take our fabs

20 Oct 2014 by Chris Edwards

Normally, when a company wants to offload an operation that no-one really wants to buy, the transaction will go through for a symbolic value of a pound. Not so in GlobalFoundries' decision to take on IBM's chipmaking fabs. The computer maker expects to pay the foundry some $1.5bn in cash to sweeten the deal. And these are not clapped-out factories stuck on the trailing edge of technology. IBM has been diligent in keeping up with the times.

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Editor's letter

What Now For Antarctica?

17 Oct 2014 by Dickon Ross

The Antarctic is the Earth's last great wilderness, but can we keep it that way? Antarctic sea ice has been increasing - against a global trend of ice loss - and Nasa, which has monitored it since the 1970s, says the extent now exceeds 20 million square kilometres for the first time since 1979.

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After All

What's in the train's name?

15 Oct 2014 by Vitali Vitaliev

Our little, almost toy-like, train was slowly but surely puffing its way up the mountain. From my comfy wooden bench I had a breathtaking view of the three snow-capped peaks - Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau - as well as of numerous waterfalls, valleys and chalets, all squeaky-clean and brand-new, as if recycled and neatly packaged. And of cows of course - also neat and sterile - with bulging blue eyes and bells around their necks - strolling lazily beside the narrow-gauge rail track, with cables and cogwheels in its middle. We were told by our hosts that Swiss cows wear bells not just to allow the farmers to find them easily, but mainly because the monotonous jingling sound relaxes them (cows, not farmers) and makes them (cows again) produce more milk...

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The Philosophical Engineer

Piece on security

12 Oct 2014 by Francis Goode

A regular feature of the Goode family life involves your poor blogger being berated by the Goode child for his dinosaur-like inability to adapt to words taking on new (and, to his mind, wholly inappropriate) meanings. For example how, one protests, can "tandem," which comes from the Latin "at length (in time)" possibly be flipped to take on the exact opposite sense, as it does when people use it to mean in parallel with, or concurrently? Such protests produce no more than a roll of the Goode child's eyes. That's just the way it is, she says, language evolves. Normal people don't care about things like ancient etymologies. So get over it.

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Jack's blog

Jack's Blog: October

6 Oct 2014 by Jack Devine

"My dad is going email-free at work," I told my flatmates. "Look, it says so in this email from him. I think it's like a condemned man's last meal. Or the letter you post back from the Front when you're about to die. And he chose me to receive his last email! I think that's quite sweet."

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