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Time to celebrate engineers

Brian Cox has done his bit to raise the profile of engineering.

“The impact of science and engineering is central to our culture,” said Prof Cox. “It is the most important thing we do in civilisation and what engineers do genuinely affects people’s lives.

“We need a cultural shift to celebrate intellectual adventuring: engineers and scientists should be celebrated more than X Factor stars are.”

The Institute of Engineering and Technology regularly bemoans the lack of a professional designation for engineers, equivalent to a doctor or chartered accountant. Anyone can claim to be an engineer, leading to a lack of status.

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Japanese broker makes £380 billion fat finger trade

Here is the city reports that a Japanese broker made a massive order by mistake.

The biggest order was for 57% of Toyota – 1.96bn shares of the world’s biggest carmaker

Fortunately he got away with it:

The unidentified broker was able to cancel the trades because they were made through the over-the-counter (OTC) market, which gives traders time to cancel before completion.

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How to set up a Raspberry Pi

I’ve got hold of a Raspberry Pi from a mate and am going to have to fun setting it up and learning some Python to write simple programmes on it.  Hopefully, some time down the line I’ll hook up some basic sensors to it and maybe even make my own Scalextric Lap Counter.

  1. Pick an SD card, I found this page useful and chose a 16GB Class 10 SDHC card made by SanDisk.  I was also chuffed to find my trusty Sony Vaio has a slot for SD cards, so I don’t need an external card reader.
  2. Download the disk image.  
  3. Do not just unzip it onto a fresh SD card and assume you’re good to go.  Instead,  unzip it to extract the .img file then download win32diskimager to do the copying onto the SD card.

Meanwhile, this tutorial on Python was useful.

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The Thesis Whisperer

This post is by Julio Peironcely, founder and editor of the Next Scientist blog. Julio is a PhD student in Metabolomics and Metabolite Identification at Leiden University, The Netherlands and has been blogging and using social media for several years, both for fun and for professional purposes.

This post developed out of a conversation on Twitter about the difficulties of socialising at academic conferences, particularly at the dinner.  I was thrilled when Julio sent me this post which is a comprehensive set of advice which anyone, scientist or not, can benefit from. Take it away Julio!

conference dinnerYou didn’t meet anybody new at the last scientific conference.

You paid high registration fees, travelled to the other side of the world, listened to boring talks, nobody came to your poster.

At least you met interesting people at the conference dinner, didn’t you?

Well, it’s kind of hard when you are…

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