E&T news weekly #68 – we choose our favourite engineering and technology news stories from the week

Friday October 30 2015  Jack Loughran, news reporter Fracking rule amendments ‘sneaked in’ says Greenpeace As someone who used to work as a content writer for the fracking industry, I have a fair amount of knowledge on the issue and this is a very bad idea. In America, where fracking has taken off in a big way, the industry has generated some major catastrophes already, in states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Texas. Greedy operators who force too much water down the wells to boost extraction rates have ended up breaching the water tables and damaging them irreversibly. … Continue reading E&T news weekly #68 – we choose our favourite engineering and technology news stories from the week

Book Review: Physics in a Mad World – M Shifman

By Jade Fell “Physics is really nothing more than a search for ultimate simplicity, but so far all we have is a kind of elegant messiness.” ― Bill Bryson You should never judge a book by its cover, and the same is definitely true for size. While at first glance this book might come across as somewhat of a hefty and intimidating read, perhaps something a physics student might be assigned as weekend reading, the contents of the book is much more manageable. Split into three distinct sections, and interlaced with essays, letters, interviews and diary entries, Physics in a … Continue reading Book Review: Physics in a Mad World – M Shifman

E&T news weekly #66 – we choose our favourite engineering and technology news stories from the week

Friday October 16 2015  Lorna Sharpe, sub-editor Fruit-picking robot knows how to deal with change This story caught my eye purely because the first time I saw industrial automation in action was in a fruit warehouse, round about 1977. I wasn’t even supposed to be there; I was accompanying a government film crew that had been to film one of my own employer’s innovations and they had arranged to go on to the fruit farm afterwards. I remember being very impressed by the way the machines sized and sorted the apples and packed them in a protective cardboard mesh in … Continue reading E&T news weekly #66 – we choose our favourite engineering and technology news stories from the week

#SPECTRE and the cost of every @007 James Bond movie made to date – an annotated infographic

Spectre, the 24th official Bond movie, is rumoured to have cost $350m to produce, making it one of the most expensive films ever made and totalling more than the budgets of the first nine Bond movies combined. It better be good, that’s all we can say. What we can definitely tell you is that the new issue of E&T magazine is our James Bond 007 SPECTRE special and we dare to suggest that it’s really rather good. Click on the graphic for an expanded view. Continue reading #SPECTRE and the cost of every @007 James Bond movie made to date – an annotated infographic

New book blog: Guru Madhavan on how to think like an engineer

When George Laurer invented the precursor to the barcode system, the Universal Product Code, in the early 1970s he demonstrated his prototype by recruiting a top softball pitcher to throw code-labelled beanbag ashtrays as fast as he could over a reader to prove that it could read labels with an accuracy high enough for it only to mistake one in two hundred thousand. This is just one of the examples that biomedical engineer Guru Madhavan uses to illustrate the sort of ingenuity that distinguishes engineers from the rest of the population in his new book, ‘Think Like an Engineer’. As … Continue reading New book blog: Guru Madhavan on how to think like an engineer

Malaysia Airlines #FlightMH17 shot down by Russian-made Buk missile – an annotated infographic

The Dutch Safety Board has released its final report into the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over war-torn Ukraine, which has concluded that a Russian-built Buk missile took down the plane. The question of who fired the missile and thus who is to blame for the tragedy remains unresolved. Dutch prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation to find the perpetrators. Click on the graphic for an expanded view. Continue reading Malaysia Airlines #FlightMH17 shot down by Russian-made Buk missile – an annotated infographic

E&T celebrates the latest @007 adventure #SPECTRE with our special James Bond issue

The new issue of E&T Magazine – now available online – celebrates the release of Spectre, the latest James Bond 007 film. We look at the best of the Bond series, checking out 7 evil plans, 7 villainous lairs, 7 gadgets and 7 stunts. It’s our engineering and technology licence to thrill. Continue reading E&T celebrates the latest @007 adventure #SPECTRE with our special James Bond issue

Making History inside the Doughnut

Making History inside the Doughnut by Vitali Vitaliev I am happy to report that yesterday, on the 8th of October 2015, a bit of history was made inside the legendary Doughnut building in Cheltenham – the HQ of GCHQ –forgive my unintended pun. For those who do not know, I have to explain that GCHQ stands for Government Communications Headquarters (hence the pun) and that it is, alongside MI5 and MI6, one of the three UK Intelligence and Security Agencies. Due to its nature, this serious organisation is bound to be secretive and not easily accessible. Nevertheless, yesterday – for … Continue reading Making History inside the Doughnut

NATO shows off new steerable nuclear bomb – Russia not happy about it – an annotated infographic

The United States plans to deploy 180 precision-guided thermonuclear bombs to five European countries between 2020-24. The B61-12 has a “dial-a-yield” feature and is able to strike within 30 metres of its target. Russia has threatened to take countermeasures over reports that the U.S. is to upgrade nuclear weapons in Europe. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said plans for the U.S. to station up to 180 modified B61–12 guided nuclear bombs in five NATO countries “would lead to a violation of the strategic balance in Europe.” Under a $10.4 billion “Life Extension Programme” (LEP) the new munitions will be converted from … Continue reading NATO shows off new steerable nuclear bomb – Russia not happy about it – an annotated infographic

E&T news weekly #65 – we choose our favourite engineering and technology news stories from the week

Friday October 9 2015  Jack Loughran, news reporter Microsoft reveals new phones, laptops and wearables Microsoft announced a bunch of new devices this week, a couple of nice looking (but expensive laptops), a wearable band for jogging (which I don’t do) and two phones which on the face of it look like yet another incremental spec upgrade from last year’s flagship Windows phones. However, the most interesting feature of the new Lumia phones, which was probably not given enough publicity, is called Continuum. This allows them to plug into a dock which is in turn plugged into a full-size screen, … Continue reading E&T news weekly #65 – we choose our favourite engineering and technology news stories from the week