Archive for April, 2012

10 GHz Optical Transistor Built Out Of Silicon

Electrons are pretty good at processing information but not so good at carrying it over long distances. Photons, on the other hand, do a grand job of shuttling data round the planet but are not so handy when it comes to processing it. As a result, transistors are electronic and communication cables are optical. And [...]

Your Favorite Stores Know You All Too Well

Hi, this is Steven Cherry for IEEE Spectrum’s “Techwise Conversations.” Back in 2004, Spectrum had a special issue on technology and privacy. In an article with the literary title Sensors and Sensibility, we quoted a privacy expert who said, “Cash registers are no longer adding machines with cash drawers. They’re high-speed, data-collecting computers with connections [...]

Electrical Upgrade Prescribed for Japan’s Crimped Power Grid

An advisory body for Japan’s powerful Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has endorsed a tripling of the capacity to pass power between Japan’s otherwise estranged AC power grids: the 50-hertz AC grid that serves Tokyo and northeastern Japan, and the 60-hertz grid that serves western Japan. This frequency divide has complicated efforts to keep [...]

GE’s New EV Charging Stations Are Not Ugly

GE’s Wattstation electric-vehicle charging station went on sale this week. The most notable thing about it is its appearance. Unlike many other charging stations on the market now, this one isn’t ugly. It looks like the sort of thing you might want to plug a $40,000 electric car into. Like the other charging stations that [...]

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