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Engineering News

New technique spots warning signs of extreme events

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Many extreme events—from a rogue wave that rises up from calm waters, to an instability inside a gas turbine, to the sudden extinction of a previously hardy wildlife species—seem to occur without warning. It’s often impossible to predict when such bursts of instability will strike, particularly in systems with a complex and ever-changing mix of players and pieces. Now engineers at MIT have devised a framework for identifying key patterns that precede an extreme event. The…

Announcing Version 2.3.0 of our Client Libraries – Square Corner Blog – Medium

If you are familiar with How Square makes its SDKs then you know that one of the best ways to see what’s new in our latest SDK version is looking at the diff in our API specification on github (link). Let’s dive into each change: Orders Support The largest update in this release is support for Orders endpoints. The new Orders endpoints allow you to create itemized transactions online, and are a big improvement in reporting for online sales. You…

Carmakers face billions in European CO2 fines from 2021: study

Bigger cars could mean bigger fines as automakers fail to meet new emissions standards Big-name carmakers including Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler face fines running into the billions for failure to meet tough new European carbon dioxide emissions limits slated for 2021, a study has found. “Only four out of 11 carmakers are forecast to meet the EU 2021 CO2 emission target, with the rest facing significant fines,” researchers from British firm PA Consulting said in a statement Friday. European…

Hacking a pressure sensor to track gradual motion along marine faults

The modified pressure sensor is now being tested at the bottom of Monterey Bay. Credit: MBARI/University of Washington Deep below the ocean’s surface, shielded from satellite signals, the gradual movement of the seafloor—including along faults that can unleash deadly earthquakes and tsunamis—goes largely undetected. As a result, we know distressingly little about motion along the fault that lies just off the Pacific Northwest coast. University of Washington oceanographers are working with a local company to develop a simple new technique…

Virtual reality tool developed to untangle genes

Virtual reality tool developed to untangle genes. Credit: Shutterstock Researchers from Oxford have been using virtual reality software to compile genetic data to create models which explain how genes are controlled within their natural chromosomal environments. The team from the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM) have been working in collaboration with physicists from Universita’ di Napoli and software developers and artists at Goldsmiths, University of London, to visualise complex interactions between genes and their regulatory elements in an…

Chemists report breakthrough in material design

Schematic depiction of a supertetrahedral aluminum crystal structure. Scientists from Utah State University, USA and Southern Federal University, Russia, computationally designed a new, metastable, ultra-light crystalline form of aluminum. Credit: Iliya Getmanskii, Southern Federal University, Russia If you drop an aluminum spoon in a sink full of water, the spoon will sink to the bottom. That’s because aluminum, in its conventional form, is denser than water says Utah State University chemist Alexander Boldyrev. But if you restructure the common household…

Computer-Aided Design: How It Improves Safety in Engineering

Computer-aided design or CAD has been a critical component in engineering for many years, especially in developing construction plans and in creating 3D models of devices, machinery, and infrastructure. More than designs and models, however, CAD is also an important tool in improving safety in the actual profession and, in turn, the products that they build. Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis CAD helps designers create more accurate drawings and models, down to the smallest nuts and rivets. Being able to visualize…

Tech companies targeted by sophisticated malware attack

Security researchers say hackers compromised popular computer-cleaning software as part of a sophisticated attack that targeted several high-profile technology companies. The company that sells CCleaner software, Prague-based Avast Software, says the attack affected more than 2 million computers in late August and early September. San Jose, California-based Cisco Systems and its Talos cybersecurity group discovered and disclosed the breach after hackers targeted Cisco’s own internal domain, as well as domains of Microsoft, Google, Samsung and other tech companies. …

Why do people in new democracies stop voting?

Credit: Karen Arnold/public domain Are voters in new democracies so disenchanted with the political process that more and more are staying away from the polls? To democracy watchers, the examples are legion. In the space of only a generation, many countries that went from one-party rule to free elections saw voter turnout decline dramatically, by double digits. In Romania, for instance, turnout dropped by 47 percentage points between 1990 (the founding election) and 2010. In South Korea, turnout dropped by…