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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been the dream of scientists and technologists for decades. From self-aware worker robots like those in Isaac Asimov’s stories, to murderous assassins like those in the Terminator movies, Science Fiction has paved the way for technology intelligent enough to interact with humans on an equal level.

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The past month has seen Mother Nature’s wrath unleashed along what seems to be the entire northern half of the planet. From floods in Bangladesh, India and Italy, to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and the soon-to-come Jose, human beings are being reminded that they are but a small part of the ecosystem they live in.

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The Department of Environmental Affairs has announced the 2017 winners of its annual greenest municipality competition. This competition has replaced the cleanest town competition, and looks at factors like waste management; energy efficiency and conservation; water management; landscaping, tree planting and beautification; and public participation and institutional arrangements.

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Science generally only makes the headlines when a new discovery is made, or something goes wrong. While scientists rightfully deserve the kudos they get for progressing mankind’s knowledge, those that are enhancing existing cures and technologies rarely get mentioned outside of academic circles. Their work, too, is done behind the scenes, and many of their advances are never noticed by the general public.

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Electric cars have been touted as one of the primary solutions to the world’s carbon emission challenges. China has set aggressive targets for electric vehicle sales to curb pollution and some European countries aim to be all-electric by 2040 or sooner. Even the US is pushing electric car sales, albeit for more commercial reasons.

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Most people have never heard of Etherium or Monero, but they have heard of Bitcoin. All three are cryptocurrencies – a form of digital money – and they are a few of the dozens of digital currencies available.

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The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has set the cat among the pigeons in its claims that the load shedding of 2008 and 2014 was ‘self-inflicted’ by Eskom. Not only does Outa believe load shedding was avoidable, but that “corrupt practices” exacerbated the situation.

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We keep hearing stories about how the economy is putting a stranglehold on all areas of our lives, but a recent Career Junction poll shows that those in the engineering and related sectors have not been as negatively affected as those in other industries – at least as far as their salaries are concerned.

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Charcoal has long been a favourite medium for artists, but a South African artist has taken this to a new level. Hannelie Coetzee has used targeted burning to create the image of a locust and grasshopper on grazing grassland near Johannesburg.

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This week saw another important step towards the building of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope in the southern hemisphere, with Ghana and South Africa completing what they termed “first light” science observations. This was achieved through the successful conversion of a communications antenna from a redundant telecoms instrument in Ghana into a functioning Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) radio telescope.

Magazines

African Fusion

AfricanFusionAfrican Fusion, the official publication of the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW), aims to provide up-to-date insight into welding technology and the welding industry.

Capital Equipment News

Capital Equipment News is dedicated to the application of equipment and modes of transport that are used in the mining, construction, quarrying, and transport industries.

Construction World

ConstructionWorldConstruction World was first published in 1982 and has grown to become a leader in its field, offering a unique mix of editorial coverage to satisfy the diverse needs of its readers.

Electricity + Control

ElectricityandControlE + C publishes innovative, technical articles that provide solutions to engineering challenges in measurement, automation, control, and energy management.

Lighting in Design

LightingandDesignLighting in Design is a glossy, upmarket publication aimed at lighting professionals. It is the only B2B magazine in SA that is dedicated solely to the subject of lighting.

MechChem Africa

MechChemJanuary2017cover MechChem Africa supports African engineering and technical managers across the full spectrum of chemical and mechanical disciplines.

Modern Mining

ModernMiningEstablished in 2005, Modern Mining is one of SA's leading monthly mining magazines, noted for the quality and accuracy of its writing and the breadth of its coverage.

Modern Quarrying

ModernQuarryingModern Quarrying is firmly entrenched as a leading industry-specific magazine. It focuses on promoting the science and practice of quarrying and processing in southern Africa.

Sparks Electrical News

SparksElectricalNewsReadable and informative, Sparks Electrical News is the newspaper for those involved in installing and maintaining electrical supplies and equipment.

 
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