A Spectrum of Articles

When you browse the web often, especially when you're looking at mostly weblogs, you start to see some patterns emerging. A new site is discovered, then propagates throughout the blogosphere in fairly short order. I'm certainly no expert at spotting such discoveries, but one thing I've noticed being repeatedly referenced this past week is the IEEE Spectrum (a magazine devoted to electrical engineering). I've seen multiple blogs referencing multiple articles from this magazine, though I can't think of a single reference in the past. Here's a few articles that seem interesting:
  • Re-engineering Iraq (February 2006): A close look at rebuilding Iraq's electrical system. Alas, no mentions of anything resembling Operation Solar Eagle... (don't remember who posted about this one, but I did see it in a couple of places).
  • How Europe Missed The Transistor (November 2005): One of the most important inventions of the 20th century (which is no slouch when it comes to important inventions) was the transistor. This article delves into the early history of the transistor and similar technologies developed in Europe and the U.S., as well as how these devices became commercially successful. David Foster has an excellent post about the "importance of decentralization and individual entrepreneurship" in facilitating the commercialization of new technologies.
  • Patents 2.0 (February 2006): Slashdot posted about this interesting proposal recently: "a new type of patent that wouldn't require formal examination, would cost significantly less than traditional patents, would last only 4 years from date of first commercial product, and which wouldn't carry a presumption of validity." Interesting stuff. It does appear that the high rate of technological advance should be driving the implementation of something like this when it comes to both patents and copyright law.
I haven't read all of this yet, but there's definitely good stuff there. Perhaps more comments later this week (time is still short, but my schedule will hopefully be opening up a bit in the next few weeks).