[SIGCIS-Members] Fw: Veterans Rebuild IBM 1401, Patent Case of the Century, and more

Roger Neil Barton neil.barton at uclmail.net
Thu Nov 12 07:18:28 PST 2009

IEEE Spectrum Tech Alert - 11/12/2009FYI

kind regards

Dr Roger Neil Barton
----- Original Message ----- 
From: IEEE Spectrum Tech Alert 
To: neil.barton at uclmail.net 
Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2009 1:29 PM
Subject: Veterans Rebuild IBM 1401, Patent Case of the Century, and more

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                 November 12, 2009 
                                Rebuilding the IBM 1401 
                              More than 30 retired computer engineers worked together to resurrect an antique IBM 1401 for the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. Unlike today's computers, this 1960s-era model actually lets you see all the moving parts that make it work. This photo essay documents the team's work with the machine, which was donated to the museum by computer enthusiasts who bought it for US $21 000 from the German eBay site.  Read more. 
                                 The Future of Robotics 
                                Nov 12, 2009 
                                 Reducing Physical Verification Cycle Times with Debug Innovation 

                                Podcast: Business Patents Up for Grabs 
                              Oral arguments started in Bilski v. Kappos this week, in what some have called "the patent case of the century." Could Isaac Newton have patented calculus under U.S. patent law and created an insurance-industry monopoly? Patent attorney Kirk Teska describes the barrage of such questions from U.S. Supreme Court justices and considers what it bodes for the future of business-method patents. 
                              Listen now. 
                                New MEMS for Monitoring Bridges 
                              HP boosted the sensitivity of MEMS acceleration sensors 1000-fold without increasing the cost. The secret was borrowing technology from inkjet printers to make chunkier MEMS.
                              Read more.
                                Push-Button Books 
                              Google's deal to digitize books may be in legal limbo this week, but a New York City-based start-up has pressed ahead. On Demand Books' one-off bookmaking technology is pressing pages in bookstores and libraries around the world.
                                Video: Capturing Sound with Smoke and Lasers 
                              A father-and-son team thinks they've discovered the next stage of microphone evolution: replacing the vibrating mechanical diaphragm with a stream of smoke. They measure changes in the stream's shape with a laser and a photodetector. Watch and listen as the inventors give a demonstration of their latest prototype.   
                              View now.
                                The Air Piano 
                              Omer Yosha's home-brew musical interface is like an invisible multilevel keyboard that floats in the air in front of you. It goes on sale early next year. We've included video of the instrument in action.  
                              Read more. 
                                IEEE Spectrum Emerging Technology Forum 
                              Learn about Enabling Electronics for Smart Grid Technologies & Beyond.  What are the opportunities, and what engineering challenges must be met to seize the day successfully? The forum scheduled on Nov 30th in Santa Clara, CA is free for all local members. The video recording of the event will also be available later for all IEEE members. Seats are limited.    Learn more. 
                                Risk Factor: British Government: We Want Access to Your Every Phone Call, E-mail and Web Search 
                              In England, your home may be your castle, but the government will soon be able to get a rather good idea of what is happening inside it. The British government has decided to go ahead with its Intercept Modernisation Programme, which would force every telecommunication company and Internet service provider to keep a record of all of its customers' personal communications, showing whom they have contacted, when and where, as well as the Web sites they have visited.   Read more and comment. 
                                Nanoclast: Has China Surpassed the U.S. in Nanotech? 
                              At his Metamodern blog, Eric Drexler has been examining the position of China in nanotechnology development. The data seems to suggest that the most prolific authors are based in China. But there is a giant chasm between research projects and commercial products and that probably remains the single biggest obstacle to nanotechnology having a greater impact on our economies.  Read more and comment. 
                                Automaton: How To Make a Humanoid Robot Open a Door 
                              As it turns out, opening a door-in this case, a swinging door-is actually pretty hard, though we humans don't even have to think about it. Hitoshi Arisumi's experiments with an HRP-2 humanoid have shown that the best approach is for a robot to use its whole body, just as you use your hip and shoulder to open a door while carrying groceries.
                              Read more and comment. 

                                 Consumer Electronics 
                                 At Work 
                                 Geek Life 
                              Nov 2009 Issue




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