It’s official: Those who haven’t yet embraced YouTube, Facebook and BlackBerries are out of touch.
In the past week, the Chicago Tribune and numerous other news outlets have reported that President Barack Obama is still using his Blackberry, having worked out an arrangement that lets him keep the device despite the concerns of security advisors. Thus, Obama reportedly becomes the first sitting president to use e-mail.
More surprising than that, however, is the fact that the Vatican announced last week that it has launched its own channel on YouTube to keep viewers up to date on the activities of Pope Benedict XVI. Media reports have estimated that his videos already have hits numbering in the tens of thousands. Newspaper stories have also said he has “nearly 28,000 fans on a FaceBook page named in his honor.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that Pope Benedict’s YouTube presence is hardly a surprise. Prior to latest technology announcements, the Vatican had solar panels installed on some of its buildings. Pope Benedict also has denounced pollution as a “modern sin.”
The question of whether engineers could have foreseen the shortcut maintenance procedures that led to the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 in 1979 will probably linger for as long as there is an engineering profession.
More than 35 years later, the post-mortem on one of the country’s worst engineering disasters appears to be simple. A contractor asked for a change in an original design. The change was approved by engineers, later resulting in a mammoth structural collapse that killed 114 people and injured 216 more.
If you’re an embedded systems engineer whose analog capabilities are getting a little bit rusty, then you’ll want to take note of an upcoming Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Analog Design for the Digital World,” running Monday, Nov. 17 through Friday, Nov. 21.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.