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March 12, 2013
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News for Engineering Professionals

  Innovation 
  • Bay Bridge span becomes enormous LED light sculpture
    The western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was illuminated March 5 with 25,000 light-emitting diodes -- each addressable via Ethernet, copper wire and fiber optic network -- as part of an $8 million project called "The Bay Lights." Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Zynga CEO Mark Pincus are among the donors who have privately funded the artistic effort, which will light up the bridge for two years. Creator Leo Villareal developed a software program to run the LED lights. Ars Technica (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 3D microprinter greatly accelerates the process
    Time is of the essence for Nanoscribe, whose new tabletop 3D microprinter can reduce to a minute what used to require an hour's worth of printing time for microstructures. The key to the added speed is a tiny mirror that moves to reflect the device's laser beam at various angles. MIT Technology Review online (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 200-pound device -- blown by wind -- can explode mines
    Necessity posed by living near a minefield in Afghanistan eventually proved the mother of invention for Massoud Hassani, who has developed a 200-pound mine-exploding device that, despite its heft, can be blown by the wind to trigger land mines in its path. Hassani is now working to refine his "mine exploder" with GPS and steerability. Wired.com (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  News Affecting Your Business 
  • Safeguarding your tax data from hackers
    Hackers are tuned in to the fact that small businesses are handling large volumes of data and money this time of year as they prepare to file their taxes. Protect your business by using reputable software, looking out for phishing scams, backing up sensitive information and making sure your network is secure, advises Grant McDonald of Symantec. "It's amazing how many small businesses don't even set up a password on their Wi-Fi," McDonald said. Small Business Computing (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How sequestration might affect corporate taxes
    Sequestration might reduce refundable credits for certain tax-exempt bonds, including Build America, Qualified School Construction, Qualified Zone Academy, New Clean Renewable Energy and Qualified Energy Conservation bonds. Also possibly affected is the refundable portion of the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, the Internal Revenue Service says. Accounting Today (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Technology and Trends 
  • Multibillion-dollar energy projects at risk from lack of skilled workers
    A scarcity of engineers and construction laborers is jeopardizing the progress of U.S. oil and natural gas projects worth $100 billion, according to this article. This could lead to a 100% increase in labor costs by 2020 as shale projects continue to multiply, according to NES Global and Piper Morgan Associates. "The cost of labor is being bid up, and that's a problem for our competitiveness," said Peter Robertson, Deloitte LLP's independent senior adviser. Bloomberg (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. Navy goes global and local to conserve energy
    When the U.S. Navy decided to reduce its energy costs and become more environmentally friendly, it developed the Navy Shore Geospatial Energy Program. The system uses GIS software to track energy consumption on a global scale and at individual facilities. "Geospatial capabilities are changing the way that we all do business," said Sandrine Schultz, energy program manager at Naval Facilities Engineering Command. "We turned data into decisions." SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • BT will hire 1,000 additional engineers to complete fiber network
    Britain's BT Group will take on 1,000 additional engineers to work toward completion of its $3.8 billion fiber-based broadband network, the telecom announced last week. The new hires will bring to 2,500 the number of engineers that BT has added in the past year. BT's fiber network, which passes 13 million homes and businesses, is growing by 100,000 units each week and is scheduled to approach 66% penetration by the end of next year. Total Telecom Magazine (U.K.)/Dow Jones Newswires (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Coalition calls for partners to test 100 Gbps trans-Atlantic link
    A partnership between a European network operator and a university-led coalition in the U.S. could inaugurate the first trans-Atlantic 100 gigabits-per-second backbone. The project is being undertaken by a group called Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe, or DANTE, and the America Connects to Europe project, led by Indiana University. The project, which already supports an 80 Gbps link across the North Atlantic, is calling on collaborative partners to conduct "exploratory trials" that could result in a boost in capacity soon. InformationWeek (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Mining the moon the prize in latest space race
    With water discovered on the lunar surface, prospects for mining the moon are looking brighter as 25 companies compete for $30 million in Google Lunar X Prizes. "Exploring the moon commercially is a first step towards making the moon part of our world, what humanity considers our world," said Bob Richards, CEO of Silicon Valley-based Moon Express. "There could be more platinum-group metals on the surface of the moon than all of the reserves of Earth," he noted. BBC (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  SmartQuote 
The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be."
--Socrates,
Greek philosopher


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