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The Making of The Beatles: Rock Band

A scrappy team of engineers and musicians created a video-game phenomenon. Now they're transforming the Beatles

11 min read
Photo-IllustratIon: Sean McCabe; harMonIx Founders: Joshua Dalsimer
Photo-IllustratIon: Sean McCabe; harMonIx Founders: Joshua Dalsimer

The stage was dark. The curtain, drawn. And the crowd, ready to rock. A hundred lucky fans perched on the edge of their seats waiting for the invitation-only show to begin. Suddenly, the drapes parted as the joyful opening riff of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” filled the room. The spotlight shone on a drum kit bearing the iconic black-and-white logo of the Beatles.

But the performers twisting and shouting on stage were not four young men from Liverpool. Nor were they members of any of the many Beatles tribute bands. The group performing at the Los Angeles Convention Center this past June consisted of six scruffy young geeks. A long-haired coder belted out the verse. A tattooed woman and a cheery guy added the harmonies. A stocky Asian-American played what appeared to be a tinier version of Paul McCartney’s familiar Hofner bass. Another guy held a likeness of George Harrison’s Gretsch guitar. And a really enthusiastic player smacked the drums.

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Video Friday: Humanoid Soccer

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read
Humans and human-size humanoid robots stand together on an indoor soccer field at the beginning of a game

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
ICRA 2023: 29 May–2 June 2023, LONDON

Enjoy today’s videos!

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Array of devices on a chip

This analog electrochemical memory (ECRAM) array provides a prototype for artificial synapses in AI training.

IBM research

How far away could an artificial brain be? Perhaps a very long way off still, but a working analogue to the essential element of the brain’s networks, the synapse, appears closer at hand now.

That’s because a device that draws inspiration from batteries now appears surprisingly well suited to run artificial neural networks. Called electrochemical RAM (ECRAM), it is giving traditional transistor-based AI an unexpected run for its money—and is quickly moving toward the head of the pack in the race to develop the perfect artificial synapse. Researchers recently reported a string of advances at this week’s IEEE International Electron Device Meeting (IEDM 2022) and elsewhere, including ECRAM devices that use less energy, hold memory longer, and take up less space.

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Get the Rohde & Schwarz EMI White Paper

Learn how to measure and reduce common mode electromagnetic interference (EMI) in electric drive installations

1 min read
Rohde & Schwarz

Nowadays, electric machines are often driven by power electronic converters. Even though the use of converters brings with it a variety of advantages, common mode (CM) signals are a frequent problem in many installations. Common mode voltages induced by the converter drive common mode currents damage the motor bearings over time and significantly reduce the lifetime of the drive.

Download this free whitepaper now!

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