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Couple of Bucks Can Buy You All the Advice You'll Need
Looking for information about current technology trends and practical advice about your work in engineering? Here are five sources you should check out.
1. Technology Review
What it is: MIT's magazine on
emerging technologies and groundbreaking innovations. An
authoritative source for what's going on in infotech,
biotech, nanotech, and business tech, and what trends will
shape your career.
Where it's at: Better newsstands
Benefits: Subscription price
includes full access to their web site (updated daily) and
eight years of digital magazine archives.
Drawbacks: Print version
of the magazine is only published 8 times a
Drawbacks: Print version of the magazine is only published 8 times a year.
2. IEEE Spectrum
$29.95 (or free with IEEE membership; professional dues
start at $161)
Price: $29.95 (or free with IEEE membership; professional dues start at $161)
What it is: The flagship monthly
magazine of the IEEE, the world's largest professional
technology association, exploring future technology trends
and the impact of those trends on society and
Where it's at: Select newsstands
Benefits: Great technology
coverage, insightful and forward-thinking commentary, a
growing amount of web-only content (including multimedia,
blogs and podcasts).
Drawbacks: Overly cluttered and
unattractive Web site, hard to subscribe to if you are not an
IEEE member. Less frequent Web updates.
3. The Top Technical Journals
in Your Field
What it is: In order to remain
current in your field, you need to read more than just
generally themed magazines. You need access to the newest
peer-reviewed research published in technology
Where it's at: Varies.
Benefits: Technical journals
publish findings on the cutting edge of technology. The most
recent research and discoveries out of academic, government
and even corporate labs can be found in technical journals,
which can in turn be used to support your own research
activities. All published articles are peer-reviewed, meaning
they have been "blessed" by impartial experts in your field.
Most journals are now also part of huge electronic databases,
bringing you easy (if costly) access to hundreds of current
and historical papers.
Drawbacks: These journals can
literally cost hundreds of dollars each, and may not come out
more than a few times a year. Your subscription price will be
significantly lower if you are a member of the professional
society publishing the journal. Or better yet -- see if your
employer will foot the bill.
4. Electrical Engineering 101:
Everything You Should Have Learned in School but Probably
Didn't by Darren Ashby
What it is: A book covering the
practical side of engineering, including subjects such as
intuitive circuit and signal analysis, physical equivalents
of electrical components, and troubleshooting both digital
and analog circuits.
Where it's at: Any good online or
Benefits: A user-friendly guide
good for students and beginning professionals.
Drawbacks: Published in 2005, so
some information could already be out of date.
5. Intellectual Property Law for
Engineers and Scientists by Howard B.
5. Intellectual Property Law for Engineers and Scientists by Howard B. Rockman
What it is: What the title says and
more: a primer on patent, copyright, trade secret, trademark,
mask work, and unfair competition laws.
Where it's at: Directly from the
publisher at Wiley.com or any online bookseller
Benefits:Written by a lawyer and
professor with decades of experience in patent law. The book
features sample contracts and gives you all the points you
need think about before you sign away any of your rights to
Drawbacks: Pricey (but cheaper than
even an hour with a patent attorney). After reading it, you
have to go out and invent something.
John R. Platt is a freelance writer and marketing consultant who often writes about technology, entrepreneurship, and the environment.
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