Seven-planet extrasolar system discovered – an annotated infographic

February 24, 2017

We are not alone. Possibly.

Astronomers have discovered seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a star just 40 light-years away. At least three of them could harbour oceans of water, increasing the possibility they could host life.

This system has the largest number of Earth-sized planets yet found, making it a key object for future study.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.


Solar eclipse in Southern Hemisphere – an annotated infographic

February 24, 2017

An annular eclipse of the sun takes place in the Southern Hemisphere on February 26, along a narrow path running through South America and Africa. In surrounding areas, people will see a partial eclipse.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.


IET events this February – #engineering and technology dates for your diary

February 1, 2017



Although the UK may be facing a grey and wet start to February, the IET is giving you many reasons to don those waterproofs and get out and about this month.

Several events introducing the different levels of professional registration – and how to achieve them – are taking place across the country as well as a myriad of lectures on topics as varied as AI in gaming through to electrification in motorsport.

February sees the start of the regional UK heats for the international Present Around The World competition and there’s still time to enter, simply head to the official website to find out where your nearest competition is taking place. Plus there are also several interesting technical visits going ahead throughout the month, including a behind the scenes technical visit to the Royal Shakespeare Company and a chance to find out more about the Atlas experiment at CERN.

If you’re interested in meeting more like-minded people then why not head along to one of the social events the IET holds, such as a networking evening in Sheffield. Or if you’re after something a little more light-hearted, then check out Manchester’s golf and bowling nights out.

You can take a look at the full listings, but below are a few of our highlights for the month…


02 February, Electrification in motorsports, Coventry, seminar

02 February, Whatever next? The past, present and future of game AI, Colchester, lecture

07 February, South Yorkshire Local Network Social Evening, Sheffield, social event

08 February, Chiltern Railways Depot, Aylesbury, visit

08-09 February, Technical report writing, London, course

09 February, Backstage at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon, visit
15 February, Routes to registration, Birmingham, workshop

16 February, The next big thing – the Physical Internet, Swansea, lecture

18 February, The IET Plays a Round – bowling, Manchester, social event

21 February, Lifeskills: continuing professional development (CPD), Scunthorpe, lecture

22 February, The good researcher’s guide to publishing, London, seminar

22 February, The IET Annual Dinner, London, social event

23 February, Atlas experiment at CERN, Geneva, visit

28 February, Present Around The World – Swindon heat, Lyneham, competition

#Exploding #Samsung #GalaxyNote7 battery issue – new lithium-ion non-exploding solution – an annotated infographic

January 25, 2017

Scientists have developed a lithium-ion battery that contains a fire-extinguishing element which is released if the battery overheats.

This could be crucial for all manner of applications: not just exploding smartphones, but also electric vehicles.

E&T news recently covered Samsung’s official explanation of why the Galaxy Note 7 batteries had a tendency to explode.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Self-extinguishing Li-ion battery

Self-extinguishing Li-ion battery

How #smartphones are transforming personal #healthcare – an annotated infographic

January 18, 2017


More than 1.2 million people living in London are to be offered medical diagnosis using Babylon – an “artificial intelligence” (AI) app which gives patients access to a virtual health service in their pocket.

Babylon’s AI doctor is just one of the powerful tools that have transformed smartphones into mobile medical clinics.

In 2016 the US Food and Drug Administration approved 36 smartphone apps and devices. Now, smartphones are being used to perform ultrasound scans, measure heart rhythm, blood pressure and glucose levels, and execute an array of lab tests from liver and kidney function to identifying communicable diseases and even analysing DNA sequences.

E&T magazine was at CES 2017 at the start of the year – read our report on the latest healthcare technology.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.


#Nintendo #Switch console details revealed – an annotated infographic

January 16, 2017

Nintendo’s Switch console, the successor to the beleaguered Wii U, and its big bet on the future of video games, has been revealed in full.

It is set to go on sale in the UK on 3 March for £279 and features an adaptable design allowing for greater portability than its rivals.

E&T covered the Nintendo Switch news announcement in full last week.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.



IET events this January – #engineering and technology dates for your diary

January 4, 2017


Happy New Year! The holidays are over and now it’s time to tackle the next 12 months head on! You may have given yourself some New Year’s resolutions already, but we’re throwing another one out there for you to consider – why not make the most of the opportunities the IET provides by attending some of its many events taking place across the UK and beyond?

This month we’ve got Lifeskills workshops galore, covering everything from presentation skills and CPD through to networking and project management, plus many interesting lectures and technical visits. There’s also several conferences taking place, including a two-day event in London looking at the exciting area of horizontal innovation.

Below are a few of our highlights for the month, but also be sure to check out the full IET events listings to find out about everything taking place near you…

05 January, Professional registration workshop, Reading, workshop

10 January, Lifeskills: Back to basics with presenting, Swindon, workshop

11 January, Future control of the grid, Edinburgh, lecture

17 January, Space robotics: past, present and future, Brighton, lecture

18 January, Specification writing, London, course

18 January, Technical visit – National Grid, Wokingham, visit

18 January, Energy from Waste plant, Plymouth, visit

25 January, New opportunities in manufacturing, Glasgow, seminar

25 January, Starship engineering, Telford, lecture

26 January, Introduction to TRIZ, London, course

30-31 January, Horizontal innovation, London, conference

Kablammo!! #Trump will have his finger on the #nuclear button – an annotated infographic

December 13, 2016

All of this would be funny if it weren’t actually true…

When Donald Trump becomes the next US President (yes, this is really happening, it’s not all a surrealist nightmare), he will immediately have access to, and sole launch authority for, all of America’s nuclear weapons.

Trump will be accompanied at all times by a military aide carrying what is known as the nuclear ‘football’, the US loving nothing more than an inappropriately trivial sporting reference to refer to a catastrophically devastating act of destruction. This is, after all, the same country that based its judicial system for incarceration on a baseball analogy: three strikes and you’re out (actually meaning in, jail, for life). What next? Referring to the death penalty by lethal injection as ‘a hole in one’?

Anyway, this nuclear ‘football’ contains all the necessary documents and codes for vaporising enemies of the States.

We now can’t help thinking of Kenny Everett’s General Cheeseburger character and catchphrase, all of which now seems eerily prescient and ominously prophetic.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.


#Trump calls for new $4 billion Air Force One contract to be cancelled – an annotated infographic

December 13, 2016

In the wacky world of Donald Trump’s America, the approach to policy appears to lurch wildly from the reasonably sensible to the fundamentally insane. That, it appears, is the contrary nature of both The Donald’s broad, straight-talking appeal and the very real threat he poses in creating a Disunited States of America.

One of his latest wheezes/random brain dumps blurted out to share with the world concerns Air Force One – which will be Trump’s very own tricked-out personal plane, come January 2017 – and the prohibitively high cost of renewing said fleet.

On the face of it, this seems like a rational decision. Why spend $4 billion on a new fleet of planes, just for the President’s use? Trump isn’t wrong in suggesting there are better, more important things that money could be spent on. The caveat is what Trump considers to be a more important use of $4 billion.

Like watching an awful accident in slow motion, we fear to look and yet we cannot turn away.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.


Nintendo’s @SuperMarioRuns set to hit #iPhone App Store this week – an annotated infographic

December 12, 2016

Super Mario Run for Apple’s iPhone and iPad is forecast to be an historic mobile game launch – quite possibly bigger even than the Pokémon Go phenomenon.

As we all now know, Nintendo didn’t actually develop Pokemon Go and don’t make much money from it. The big winner there is Niantic.

Super Mario Run, on the other hand, Nintendo’s own game, is predicted to smash all manner of App Store records, with successive generations of gamers who grew up helping the diminutive Italian plumber pick up coins while avoiding malevolent mushrooms are primed and ready to snap up Mario’s inaugural mobile iOS appearance.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.