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World News

E&T's pick of engineering news from around the world.

  1. 20-24 February The International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco heard about Intel’s new server architecture, Samsung’s concerns about energy consumption and the emerging standard for body area networks. See all the news online at http://bit.ly/ET-ISSCC.
  2. 9 March US space shuttle Discovery lands at Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to end its 39th and final mission. It carried six crew, the permanent multipurpose module Leonardo and the humanoid robot Robonaut 2 to the ISS. E&T visited the Italian site that made Leonardo (p44) and we covered the story of the Robonaut last year – browse to http://bit.ly/ET-robonaut2.
  3. 24 February The European space freighter Johannes Kepler docked with the ISS after its launch from the ESA spaceport in French Guiana aboard the Arianne 5 – one of our top ten launchers on p38.
  4. 14-17 February VmWare demonstrated a Windows Phone 7 and Android dual-boot prototype handset at the Mobile World Congress. See our news analysis on who will come out top in the turblent mobiles market, p20, and our feature on dual operating system, ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ handsets.
  5. 24 February General Motors posted its best financial results for ten years just two years after filing for bankruptcy.
  6. 4 March Mazda recalls more than 50,000 cars in the US and 15,000 in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, after discovering spiders’ webs in the vents. Mazda 6 cars from the 2009-10 model years were being recalled. Dealers had identified 20 cases of spiders’ webs – linked to the yellow sac spider – in the vents, the company said.
  7. 16 February China is to complete by 2015 a $2bn rail extension from the Tibetan capital Lhasa to a monastery town that is the seat of the Panchen Lama, the second-most senior figure in Tibetan Buddhism. The new 157-mile line to Shigatse would be able to carry 8.3 million tonnes of freight a year.
  8. 4 March A Nasa rocket failed to place an Earth-observing satellite into orbit and sent both hurtling into the South Pacific – the exact location unknown. The Taurus XL rocket, carrying the Glory satellite, lifted off successfully from Vandenberg Air Force Base but a protective shell on top of the rocket failed to separate as planned three minutes after launch, meaning the rocket was too heavy and the spacecraft did not have enough velocity to reach orbit.
  9. 1 March The extraction of shale gas in the UK could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower energy costs for consumers and create new jobs, a parliamentary inquiry into shale gas heard. Campaigners have raised concerns that the process of extracting shale gas could contaminate local water. http://bit.ly/ET-shalegas
  10. 16 February Britain presses the European Commission to introduce tighter and uniform security features for national emissions registries to prevent fraud after almost 3.4 million carbon permits were stolen. The commission suspended transactions, except for allocation and surrender of allowances, in all EU emissions trading scheme registries, for two weeks after a series of cyber attacks. Registries had to prove security before being reopened. See how the story developed at http://bit.ly/carbonattack
  11. 19 February The US House of Representatives votes for cuts of $61bn, just one development to cast doubt over President Obama’s energy policy that was to put billions of dollars into research and energy efficiency.

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