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Journal Cover IEEE Spectrum
  [SJR: 0.199]   [H-I: 52]   [175 followers]  Follow
    
   Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
   ISSN (Print) 0018-9235
   Published by IEEE Homepage  [191 journals]
  • IEEE Spectrum - Front cover
    • Abstract: Presents the front cover for this issue of the publication.
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [Supermicro]
    • Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [IEEE Insurance]
    • Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [MathWorks]
    • Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [CST Studio Suite]
    • Pages: 2 - 2
      Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • The mines of mongolia [Back Story]
    • Pages: 4 - 4
      Abstract: On 4 July, Morgen E. Peck woke up in the middle of the night with a slight case of panic. For three months, she had been pressing officials at Bitmain, a Chinese bitcoin-mining hardware company, to allow her to tour a mining facility it runs in Inner Mongolia. And for two months she had received encouraging but noncommittal responses. Now, though, time was about to run out because the deadlines were looming for our October issue.
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [COMSOL Server]
    • Pages: 5 - 5
      Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [Infolytica Corp.]
    • Pages: 7 - 7
      Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Make the web better for everyone [Spectral Lines]
    • Authors: G. Pascal Zachary;
      Pages: 8 - 8
      Abstract: The Web has serious problems: peddler of unreliable information, haven for criminals, spawning ground for irrational conspiracy fears, and tool for destructive people to broadcast their violence in real time and with posted recordings. No doubt your list of Web pathologies is different from mine. But surely you agree that the Web disappoints as much as it delights. Now the hard part-what to do about it' Starting over is impossible. The Web is the ground of our global civilization, a pillar of contemporary existence. Even as we complain about the excesses and shortcomings of the Web, we can't survive without it. For engineers and technovisionaries, the solution flows from an admirable U.S. tradition: building a better mousetrap. For redesigners of the broken Web, the popular impulse is to expand digital freedom by creating a Web so decentralized that governments can't censor it and big corporations can't dominate. However noble, the freedom advocates fail to account for a major class of vexations arising from anonymity, which allows, say, Russian hackers to pose as legitimate tweeters and terrorist groups to recruit through Facebook pages. To be sure, escape from government surveillance through digital masks has benefits, yet the path to improved governance across the world doesn't chiefly lie with finding more clever ways to hide from official oppression. More freedom, ultimately, will only spawn more irresponsible, harmful behavior. If more freedom and greater privacy won't cure what ails the Web, might we consider older forms of control and the cooperation of essential public services'
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Three advances make magnetic tape more than a memory [News]
    • Authors: Prachi Patel;
      Pages: 9 - 11
      Abstract: In the age of flash memory and DNAbased data storage, magnetic tape sounds like an anachronism. But the workhorse storage technology is racing along. Scientists at IBM Research say they can now store 201 gigabits per square inch on a special "sputtered" tape made by Sony Storage Media Solutions. The palm-size cartridge, into which IBM scientists squeezed a kilometer-long ribbon of tape, could hold 330 terabytes of data, or roughly 330 million books' worth. By comparison, the largest solid-state drive, made by Seagate, is twice as big and can store 60 TB, while the largest hard disk can store only 12 TB. IBM's best commercial tape cartridge, which began shipping this year, holds 15 TB.
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • A pyrrhic victory for nuclear power [News]
    • Authors: Peter Fairley;
      Pages: 11 - 12
      Abstract: By late this year or early in 2018, two nuclear reactors could start operating in China-an event that might be a lifesaver for the units' crippled builder and designer, Westinghouse Electric Co., and for the technology they represent. Both Westinghouse and its prized AP1000 reactor design have suffered a series of humbling setbacks this year. The AP1000 is arguably the world's most advanced commercial reactor. It is designed to passively cool itself during an accidental shutdown, theoretically avoiding accidents like those at Ukraine's Chernobyl power plant and Japan's Fukushima Daiichi. And for over a decade, it has been the presumed successor to China's mainstay reactors, which employ a 1970s-era French design.
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • AI versus doctors [News]
    • Pages: 13 - 13
      Abstract: In recent years, artificial intelligence has proven to be extremely good at understanding natural language (remember when IBM Watson beat its human competitors on the "Jeopardy!" TV game show') and categorizing images (which is how Facebook now recognizes all your friends). It didn't take long for AI researchers to apply those special skills to medicine, creating experimental AI systems that can read through the electronic health records of thousands of patients, digest the 27 million articles currently in the medical literature, and find subtle patterns in medical images.
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Self-driving wheelchairs debut in hospitals and airports [News]
    • Authors: Megan Scudellari;
      Pages: 14 - 14
      Abstract: Autonomous vehicles can add a new member to their ranks-the self-driving wheelchair. This summer, two robotic wheelchairs made headlines: one at a Singaporean hospital and another at a Japanese airport. The Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, or SMART, developed the former, first deployed in Singapore's Changi General Hospital in September 2016, where it successfully navigated the hospital's hallways. It is the latest in a string of autonomous vehicles made by SMART, including a golf cart, an electric taxi, and most recently, a scooter that zipped more than 100 MIT visitors around on tours in 2016.
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Wearable tech for halloween - The gemma MO's embedded python lets you
           change your code on the fly [Resources_Tools]
    • Authors: Stephen Cass;
      Pages: 15 - 16
      Abstract: Halloween is approaching, and with it a global parade of costumes. So I thought this would be the perfect time to try out a new wearable microcontroller from Adafruit Industries: the Gemma M0. Adafruit has been putting out wearable microcontrollers for several years. These differ from conventional controllers, such as the Arduino Uno, in that the wearables are typically more compact and use pads with large through holes for input and output, instead of pins. These holes make it easy to sew boards to fabric or tie conductive thread to the pads. What makes the Gemma M0 particularly interesting is that it runs CircuitPython, Adafruit's modified version of the Python language designed for embedded devices. (At this point, I should note that Limor Fried, the founder of Adafruit, is a member of IEEE Spectrum's editorial advisory board, but she played no role in the origination of this article.).
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • LPPFusion to initiate fusion, the company's desktop device exploits
           instability [Resources_Startups]
    • Authors: Mark Anderson;
      Pages: 17 - 18
      Abstract: Since nuclear fusion's earliest days, the sun has served as the ultimate prototype. It's the closest continuously functioning large-scale fusion reactor, after all. Why not copy from the best' So tokamaks, stellarators, and laser ignition facilities all strive to create high-pressure and high-temperature plasmas that behave like microcosms of the sun's core. One of the biggest challenges these systems face is achieving the tight control they require over the plasma fuel they seek to fuse. But one New Jersey fusion startup company is taking a very different tack: "Guide the plasma's instability; don't fight it," says Eric Lerner, president and chief scientist at LPPFusion, based in Middlesex, N.J.
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • 500 years of humanoid robots automata have been around longer than you
           think [Resources_Review]
    • Authors: Lisa Nocks;
      Pages: 18 - 19
      Abstract: When science fiction critics Eric S. Rabkin and Robert E. Scholes argued in the 1970s that "no one would go through the trouble of building and maintaining a robot to hand wash clothes or pick up the telephone receiver," they were apparently unaware that Japanese researchers had already made a long-term commitment to develop humanoid robots that could do exactly that. The goal was to care for the elderly in the 21st century. To this end, throughout the 1980s and 1990s, industrial giants Honda, Mitsubishi, and Toyota, as well as university research labs around the world, began demonstrating humanoid prototypes. More recently, the desire to operate in disaster sites like Fukushima has motivated even more researchers to explore humanoid designs. But the dream of humanoid robots goes back much further than the 1970s. The Science Museum, in London, took a shot at plumbing this history with its recent Robots exhibition. (The exhibition closed in September, but it will be touring locations throughout the United Kingdom until 2019.) The exhibition is a visually dazzling display of human creativity and mechanical engineering from the 1500s to today. Visitors are welcomed by a blinking, stretching android baby, perhaps representing the infancy of automation displayed in the first section, dubbed “Marvel.” A video clip of an early Spanish automaton monk, some exquisite clocks, and an 18th-century silver swan automaton represent a period when, the curators argue, “likening the human body to clockwork...led to the creation of the earliest robots.” Well, maybe.
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Sputnik at 60 [Numbers Don't Lie]
    • Authors: Vaclav Smil;
      Pages: 20 - 20
      Abstract: SIXTY YEARS AGO, ON FRIDAY, 4 OCTOBER 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite. Technically, it was a modest affair, a sphere 58 centimeters in diameter weighing almost 84 kilograms and sprouting four rodlike aerials. Although its three silver-zinc batteries made up some 60 percent of the total mass, they rated only 1 watt, good enough to broadcast rapid shrill beeps at 20.007 and 40.002 megahertz for three weeks. The satellite circled the planet 1,440 times before plunging to a fiery death on 4 January 1958. Sputnik should have come as no surprise. Both the Soviets and the United States had revealed their intent to launch orbiting satellites during the International Geophysical Year (1957-1958), and the Soviets had even published some technical details before the launch. In retrospect, it's fair to call Sputnik just the inevitable first act in a long-running show. But that was not how the public perceived the little beeping sphere in late 1957.
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [Chip Hall of Fame]
    • Pages: 21 - 21
      Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • The dark dialect [Technically Speaking]
    • Authors: Paul Mcfedries;Margaret Atwood;
      Pages: 22 - 22
      Abstract: PART OF THE MYTHOLOGY OF THE EARLY INTERNET was that it was going to make the world a better place by giving voice to the masses and leveling playing fields. Light was the metaphor of choice. For example, Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak once said that "when the Internet first came, I thought it was just the beacon of freedom." . You can easily make a case for how much "brighter" the world is now, thanks to ubiquitous connectivity shining a light on misbehavior and malfeasance, but the Internet has a dark side as well. . For example, when you enter a search term into Google and it spits out the results, you might think that the search engine spent those few milliseconds querying the entire Web. Nope, not even close. What Google indexes is a fraction of all the available Web, perhaps just 4 percent of the total, by some estimates. That indexed soupcon is called the surface Web, or sometimes the visible Web. What about the other 96 percent' That nonsearchable content is called the deep Web, dark Web, or sometimes the invisible Web. A related idea is dark social, those online social interactions that are not public and cannot be directly tracked or traced (such as text messages and emails).
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [IEEE.tv]
    • Pages: 23 - 23
      Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • The blossoming of the blockchain
    • Authors: Morgen E. Peck;Samuel K. Moore;
      Pages: 24 - 25
      Abstract: When bitcoin was unleashed on the world eight years ago, it filled a specific need, for a digital currency that wasn't under anybody's control. But it wasn't long before people realized the technology behind Bitcoin-the blockchain-could do much more than record monetary transactions. That realization has lately blossomed into a dazzling and often bewildering array of startup companies, initiatives, corporate alliances, and research projects. Collectively, they're facing a question that will have an enormous impact: What can the blockchain do better than conventional databases' Billions of dollars will hinge on the answer in the next several years. Can the technology link neighborhood buyers and sellers of rooftop-generated solar electricity' Can it keep track of property titles, academic transcripts, energy market credits, and state licenses for health care providers' Can it check the status of airline flights-and make reparations to weary travelers if their flights are delayed' We'll soon see: All of those proposals have been embodied in blockchain-based agreements called smart contracts, which are being tested right now.
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Blockchains: How they work and why they'll change the world
    • Authors: Morgen E. Peck;
      Pages: 26 - 35
      Abstract: Bitcoin was hatched as an act of defiance. Unleashed in the wake of the Great Recession, the cryptocurrency was touted by its early champions as an antidote to the inequities and corruption of the traditional financial system. They cherished the belief that as this parallel currency took off, it would compete with and ultimately dismantle the institutions that had brought about the crisis. Bitcoin's unofficial catchphrase, "In cryptography we trust," left no doubt about who was to blame: It was the middlemen, the bankers, the "trusted" third parties who actually couldn't be trusted. These humans simply got in the way of other humans, skimming profits and complicating transactions.
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Blockchain world - Feeding the blockchain beast if bitcoin ever does go
           mainstream, the electricity needed to sustain it will be enormous
    • Authors: Peter Fairley;
      Pages: 36 - 59
      Abstract: Bitcoin "miners" are electromagnetic alchemists, effectively turning megawatt-hours of electricity into the world's fastest-growing currency. Their intensive computational activity cryptographically secures the virtual currency, approves transactions, and, in the process, creates new bitcoins for the miners, as payment. And it does another thing, too: It uses an absolutely stunning amount of power. The ever-expanding racks of processors used by miners already consume as much electricity as a small city. It's a problem that experts say is bad and getting worse. "The concern that people continue to debate is, where does this end'" says Michael Reed, head of blockchain technology for Intel. The Bitcoin leech sucking on the world's power grids has been held in check, so far, by rapid gains in the energy efficiency of mining hardware. But energy and blockchain analysts are worried about the possibility of a perfect storm: Those efficiency gains are slowing while bitcoin value is rising fast-and its potential transaction growth is immense.
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Blockchain world - Do you need a blockchain' This chart will tell you
           if the technology can solve your problem
    • Authors: Morgen E. Peck;
      Pages: 38 - 60
      Abstract: According to a study released this July by Juniper Research, more than half the world's largest companies are now researching blockchain technologies with the goal of integrating them into their products. Projects are already under way that will disrupt the management of health care records, property titles, supply chains, and even our online identities. But before we remount the entire digital ecosystem on blockchain technology, it would be wise to take stock of what makes the approach unique and what costs are associated with it. Blockchain technology is, in essence, a novel way to manage data. As such, it competes with the data-management systems we already have. Relational databases, which orient information in updatable tables of columns and rows, are the technical foundation of many services we use today. Decades of market exposure and well-funded research by companies like Oracle Corp. have expanded the functionality and hardened the security of relational databases. However, they suffer from one major constraint: They put the task of storing and updating entries in the hands of one or a few entities, whom you have to trust won't mess with the data or get hacked.
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Wall street occupies the blockchain - Financial firms plan to move
           trillions in assets to blockchains in 2018
    • Authors: Amy Nordrum;
      Pages: 40 - 45
      Abstract: WHEN BLOCKCHAINS first appeared nearly a decade ago as the technical backbone of Bitcoin, the world's leading cryptocurrency, they seemed to offer the masses a way to cut out the financial middleman. But now the big banks and other industry players are finding ways to spin the new tool to their advantage. Their blockchains share a vision that is precisely the opposite of the one laid out in the Bitcoin white paper, published under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Like Nakamoto himself (or herself), you can own bitcoins without even stating your real name; nobody is in charge; and anybody can check the history of any given transaction. The financial industry's blockchains, however, are closed or, in their jargon, permissioned; to join one you must reveal your identity to a system administrator, who must then approve you.
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • The bitcoin mines of China
    • Authors: Stefen Chow;Morgen E. Peck;
      Pages: 46 - 53
      Abstract: In the dusty, sunbaked land surrounding Ordos, a city in China's Inner Mongolia, sits one of the world's largest bitcoin mines. Encircled by coal-fired power plants, rare earth mineral extraction sites, and the skeletal remains of abandoned, half-constructed housing complexes, the Bitmain Technologies bitcoin mine is evidence of a new economic boom in the area. Every 10 minutes, a new block of data is added to the Bitcoin blockchain, the accounting ledger that records every transaction made with the currency. And every 10 minutes, a shiny new cache of bitcoins is deposited into the digital pocket of the person whose computer added the most recent block. Miners compete for the right to add new blocks by running a single calculation, the SHA-256 hash function, over and over as fast as they can. This essentially enters them into a lottery with all other miners on the network. The rewards of this lottery now amount to over US $8 million worth of bitcoins every day. Half of this goes to miners in China, who own a majority of the hashing power on the Bitcoin network, according to a new study by University of Cambridge researchers. Their proximity to manufacturers of specialized hardware and their access to cheap land and cheap electricity make Chinese miners the natural beneficiaries of the Bitcoin system, which rewards efficiency and hustle above all else.
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Govern by blockchain dubai wants one platform to rule them all, while
           Illinois will try anything
    • Authors: Amy Nordrum;
      Pages: 54 - 55
      Abstract: Governments everywhere would like to cut red tape, reduce bureaucracy, and speed the delivery of services. But constituents are still often frustrated by mounds of paperwork and the snail-like pace of official business. Could a blockchain help' Just as blockchains have shaken up the financial industry and changed our perception of money, some government agencies now believe the technology could rejuvenate the public sector. Proponents argue that its immutability will protect records from fraudsters, its transparency will keep employees accountable, and its ability to automatically process new entries can make agencies more efficient. Such promises have persuaded city, state, and federal governments to launch the first batch of public-sector blockchain experiments. Two of the most enthusiastic early adopters have been the U.S. state of Illinois and the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. And intriguingly enough, the two have adopted very different strategies for mixing blockchains into government.
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Energy trading for fun and profit buy your neighbor's rooftop solar power
           or sell your own-it'll all be on a blockchain
    • Authors: Morgen E. Peck;David Wagman;
      Pages: 56 - 61
      Abstract: Would you pay slightly more for your electricity if you knew it was sourced from photovoltaic panels on your neighbor's roof' Or, if you are that neighbor, would you use your solar power to charge a battery and dump that energy back onto the grid at peak hours, when the price was highest' The answers to these questions-which depend on how people would behave in an open energy market-are unknown, because that market does not exist. Net metering and feed-in tariff programs, the two dominant schemes for reimbursing residential energy production, pay out at a fixed rate, effectively decoupling producers from the price signals that might otherwise direct their behavior. But that may be changing. And we may have the blockchain to thank. Multiple projects are now under way to use technology that was originally intended to account for transactions in digital currency to track electricity production and put it up for sale.
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [Classified Ads]
    • Pages: 62 - 62
      Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [Classified Ads]
    • Pages: 63 - 63
      Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [Classified Ads]
    • Pages: 64 - 64
      Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [Classified Ads]
    • Pages: 65 - 65
      Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [Classified Ads]
    • Pages: 66 - 66
      Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [Classified Ads]
    • Pages: 67 - 67
      Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [Classified Ads]
    • Pages: 68 - 68
      Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [Classified Ads]
    • Pages: 69 - 69
      Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [Classified Ads]
    • Pages: 70 - 70
      Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Advertisement [Classified Ads]
    • Pages: 71 - 71
      Abstract: Advertisement
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
  • Memory for the moon [Past Forward]
    • Pages: 72 - 72
      PubDate: October 2017
      Issue No: Vol. 54, No. 10 (2017)
       
 
 
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