Friday, January 29, 2010

"What does a CPU have in common with a fast food restaurant?"

Twenty years earlier on 31 January, Russia opened its first McDonald's, in Moscow. What does fast food have to do with engineering? Check out the above-referenced article one of many presented at the 2005 Frontiers in Education conference or read "The Evaluation of Service Quality in Fast Food Industry" by authors from Beijing JiaoTong Univ., Beijing. Reliable colleagues say McD's food in Beijing is far superior to the US; I missed that experience in September.

Serial killers? Ten years ago, on the same day, the most prolific serial killer in Britain was jailed. Read the 2006 IT Professional article, "Data Mining and Predictive Analytics in Public Safety and Security" on how "crime and criminal behavior, including the most aberrant or heinous crimes, frequently can be categorized and modeled," aiding apprehension.

Thirty years ago today, American comedian Jimmy Durante died. He's quoted in IEEE Computer Applications in Power, "Interchange scheduling: discipline or disorder?" 10/96.

My favorite Durante quote? “Be kind to people on the way up - you'll meet them again on your way down.”

Can you change the world?

Of course you can!

Show us how and you could win US$10,000. The IEEE Presidents’ Change the World competition recognizes students who develop unique solutions to real-world problems using engineering, science, computing and leadership skills to benefit their community or humanity.

Tell us how you have made a positive impact in the world and you could win US$10,000 and the title “IEEE Student Humanitarian Supreme,” plus a free trip to the 2010 IEEE Honors Ceremony in Montreal, Canada.

Registration closes 31 January. Submit your entry today. (

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Week in IEEE Xplore: Jan 9-15

Jan 15, 1885: First known photograph of a snowflake taken by American Farmer Wilson A. Bentley
Shape classification of snow particle into snowflake and graupel using image processing,
ICROS-SICE International Joint Conference, August, 2009 -- I have added a new word to my vocabulary: graupel (granular snow pellets) . I also wasn't aware that IEEE Standards are used to define cameras, hence "A side view of natural falling snow particles was photographed by IEEE1394 camera..."

Jan 16, 1970 - Architect Buckminster Fuller receives the Gold Medal Award from American insitute of Architects
Design and Control of Tensegrity Robots for Locomotion, IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Oct. 2006, "Tensegrity structures were first invented by Snelson in 1948 and formally patented by Buckminster Fuller in 1962 [16], who coined theword tensegrity as an abbreviation of tensile integrity." P. 994

Jan 17, 1985 -British Telecom retires famous red telephone boxes
Over 1,600 articles by BT authors -- have fun!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Week in IEEE Xplore: Jan 2-8

Jan 2, 1920 - Birth of Isaac Asimov
See series in Computer by Roger Clarke, titled "Asimov's Laws of Robotics: Implications for Information Technology." Part 1, Part 2

"Because many contemporary applications of information technology exhibit robotic characteristics, the difficulties Isaac Asimov identified in his stories are directly relevant to information technology professionals."

8 Jan, 1935 - Birth of Elvis Presley
Editorial Metadata in the Cuidado Music Browser: Between Universalism and Isolationism, 2003 WEBDELMUSIC Conference, and RE-LIVING LAS VEGAS: A multi-user, mixed-reality edutainment environment based on the enhancement of original archival materials 2009 VECIMS.

Jan 8, 1980 - Death of John Mauchly, co-inventor of ENIAC, whose classic paper Influence of Programming Techniques on the Design of Computers (with Grace Hopper) was published in Proceedings of the IRE, Oct, 1953. In 1984, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing published a reflective article by Mauchly's widow, Kathleen, John Mauchly's Early Years.

All dates/info from "Date-a-Base Book 2010" by Dave and Kate Haslett.