Category Archives: Technology

THE MAGIC PROPERTIES OF WAVES AND THEIR EFFECT ON OUR BUSINESS AND DAILY LIFE

V. E. “Bill” Haloulakos,  Aerospace Science Consultant/Professor; AIAA National Distinguished Lecturer and Legacy Member; Distinguished Engineering Educator Award Winner

* Sound and light waves allow us to talk to and see each other

* Ultrasound and radiation waves have many applications in medicine

* Electromagnetic waves have given us radio, television, cordless and cell phones and all the gadgetry and allows us to text to and follow each other

DISCUSSION

All or most of us have either given or received the advice of “don’t make waves”. What this means is “don’t create a disturbance” because in physics the definition of a wave is “a disturbance that once created it travels in its own way and unique speed and cannot be altered”. How many of us wish if we could only take back something that we said…

There are many types of waves. There are the sound waves, which allows us to communicate with each other. As we speak we create a disturbance that travels through the air at the speed of sound (345 meters per second (m/s)) to the ears of all around us. Then we have water waves that we see in the rivers, ponds and the sea. And nature is full of electromagnetic waves (EM), visible light being part of the EM wave family its only special characteristic being that it excites our retina and allow us to see things. Other wise light is of the same nature as x-rays that destroy our retina. One peculiarity of all the different waves is that they are described by the same mathematical equation, very appropriately called “the wave equation”, a subject upon which we shall not elaborate here, but we shall note that the only difference is their speed of propagation (travel). As noted above sound waves travel at 345 m/s whereas EM waves travel at the speed of light or 300,000 kilometers per second (km/s) (186,000 miles/s).

It travels seven and a half times around the equator in one second!

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A Manufacturing Renaissance; Is the Tech/Software Boom Over?

David ColeDr. David Cole is the Chairman of AutoHarvest (autoharvest.org), a web based tool to accelerate innovation in the auto industry. Dr. Cole is Chairman Emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research and a former Professor of Engineering at the University of Michigan where he taught courses related to the automotive field for over 25 years. He is a fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers, Engineering Society of Detroit and Society of Manufacturing Engineers and was recently elected to the Automotive Hall of Fame.

We are in a period of amazing, almost transformational change like we have never witnessed before and all indications point to the pace quickening as we move forward from today. Clearly one dimension of this dynamic period is the incredible rate of change in technology that surrounds us from cars and housing to personal communication and healthcare.

For the past several decades the growth in technology is particularly evident in electronics with the control of just about everything shifting to electronic chips and their embedded software. These include cell phones and their multiple apps, the tools we use to design and manufacture goods of all forms, modern agricultural tools that enable farmers to optimize their business and the multitude of electronic items that pervade our lives.

It has been a great run and we have celebrated the enormous success of companies like Apple, Dell, Microsoft and Intel with very high evaluations and significant wealth creation for all involved. A new and really quite profound emerging question is what’s next? I’m not suggesting that these important companies will disappear nor will the technology they have developed but what they have produced and continue to produce may be becoming more of a commodity where the low cost provider wins. Many have seen significant declines in their value in the past several years. Have they peaked and, if so, what’s next?

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Robots v experts: are any human professions safe from automation?

Editor’s note: Given the intense discussion on the employment issues generated by the Robotics technology, I found this book presentation published by British www.theguardian.com very relevant and I am refering to it here.

By

Richard Susskind OBE is an author, speaker, and independent adviser to international professional firms and national governments. He is president of the Society for Computers and law IT adviser to the lord chief justice. Tomorrow’s Lawyers is his eighth book,

and

Daniel Susskind is an economist, lecturer at Balliol College, Oxford, and co-author with Richard Susskind of The Future of the Professions

The main themes of our book, The Future of the Professions, can be put simply: machines are becoming increasingly capable and so are taking on more and more tasks.

Many of these tasks were once the exclusive preserve of human professionals such as doctors, lawyers and accountants. While new tasks will certainly emerge in years to come, it is probable that machines will, over time, take on many of these as well. In the 2020s, we say, this will not mean unemployment, but rather a need for widespread retraining and redeployment. In the long run though, we find it hard to avoid the conclusion that there will be a steady decline in the need for traditional professional workers.

During the year after the book’s hardback publication in October 2015, we tested this line of argument on audiences of professionals in more than 20 countries, speaking to around 15,000 people at over 100 events. The response, frankly, was mixed. Our work seems to polarise people into those who agree zealously with our thesis, and those who reject it unreservedly. Both sides argue their views passionately.

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