IEEE Canada Newsletter / Bulletin de IEEE Canada
Issue: September 2004

News of Interest
Potential Problem looms for users of Windows-based VoIP products
Senior Member Upgrades
Upcoming Events

   Upcoming Events - Kitchener-Waterloo
   Upcoming Events - Montreal
   Upcoming Events - Ottawa
   Upcoming Events - Toronto
   Upcoming Events - Vancouver
   Upcoming Events - Rest of Canada
   Upcoming Events - US
   Upcoming Events - International

IEEE Commercial Releases
Submission Information

News of Interest

IEEE Canada member benefits

For ten years, IEEE Canada members have used IEEE’s Financial Advantage Program to increase the value of their IEEE membership, by adding non-technical benefits for themselves and their family.

As IEEE Canada has membership in Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC), IEEE Canada members may use EIC’s affinity and member benefit programs. No matter how long you have been an IEEE Canada member, you may be unfamiliar with all of the EIC benefit programs. We would like to change that.

Over the past year, EIC has expanded the number of their value-added, affinity and member benefits. EIC continually seeks new and relevant savings programs that you will find valuable. Through EIC’s relationship with Venngo, the number of value-added, affinity and member benefit programs offered to IEEE Canada members has increased substantially. These programs are valuable from both a business and personal perspective and include services such as discounts through Workopolis, Grand & Toy and the HP purchase program, as well as the monthly EIC Business Center e-newsletter.

You can take advantage of the savings offered by these EIC programs by going to the IEEE Canada website, as follows:

  1. Go to IEEE Canada website or
  2. Click on “Engineer’s Business Centre” home page under “Engineering Institute of Canada” on left side of page
  3. Click on the program that you are interested in. Dependant on the program, the "sign-in/registration" page will appear. First time users must register to take advantage of most of the programs by entering your first name, last name, and create a user name and password for future access when logging into the system.

Or you can go directly to the EIC home page:

  1. Click on “Enter” located to right of “The Engineer’s Business Centre” icon.
  2. Click on the program that you are interested in. Dependant on the program, the "sign-in/registration" page will appear. First time users must register to take advantage of most of the programs by entering your first name, last name, and create a user name and password for future access when logging into the system.

If you have any questions regarding how the Affinity and Member Benefit Programs work, please email .

Canadian Customers invited to IEEE User Group Meeting in October

The first Canadian-area IEEE User Group meeting will be held at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, on 1 October 2004. IEEE customers in the area are invited to spend a full day with IEEE staff to hear about new features and developments for 2004 and beyond. Previous user group meetings have been held in New Jersey, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Chicago, and Maryland, with more planned for next year. For more information, contact IEEE Customer Relations Manager Ruth Wolfish at .

IEEE Foundation Receives US$100,000 Bequest from Charles Concordia

IEEE Life Fellow and renowned power systems expert Charles Concordia bequeathed US$100 000 to the IEEE Foundation after his death on 25 December 2003. Concordia, who was known as an engineers' engineer, wanted the funds to be invested in education to advance his profession through academic study. Read more about Concordia at

Canadian discovery could pave way to super fast Internet

Researchers from Carleton University in Ottawa and the University of Toronto have designed a new nanotech-sized material that could be used to build a turbocharged Internet based entirely on light.

In a discovery published yesterday in the journal Nano Letters, a team led by University of Toronto electrical engineer Ted Sargent used nanotechnology to create material that lets one laser beam redirect, or "switch" another beam with unprecedented control. The discovery will eventually allow light-based switches -- instead of electronic ones -- to route information travelling over the Internet's fibre-optic networks. It is expected to lead to an all-optical -- or light-based -- network that would be 100 times faster than today's.

The Canadian material is at least 15 times stronger than anything created before, and closes the legendary Kuzyk Quantum Gap, a measurement referring to the spread between what was previously achievable in materials science, and what is theoretically possible according to quantum physics. At least 1,000 laboratories worldwide have been trying to narrow the Kuzyk Quantum Gap, but the best results in recent years have come only within a factor of 30. The Canadian material comes within a factor of two.

"It's really been a Holy Grail, to be able to reach the ultimate physical limit of what one can do with light," said Sargent yesterday. "Until a few years ago, we simply didn't have the tools -- nanotechnology wasn't around." The material designed by Sargent and Carleton University chemistry professor Wayne Wang, with colleague Connie Kuang, melds nanometre-sized, soccer-ball-shaped carbon atom molecules known as "buckyballs" together with a new class of polymer into a clear, smooth film. The combination allows light particles, called photons, from one laser to perceive and interact with the distinctive colour patterns, or wavelengths, of another beam. The material was able to process information carried at telecommunications wavelengths -- the infrared colours of light used in fibre-optic cables. The new class of hybrid material can be used to build all-optical "switches" that would be capable of relaying data through a global network of fibre-optic cables in picoseconds -- trillionths of a second -- avoiding the major inconvenience and delay of the current system.

(Source: Sarah Staples, Winnipeg Free Press, 12 August 2004)

2004 William E. Newell Power Electronics Award

Professor M. Azizur Rahman has been awarded the 2004 William E. Newell Power Electronics Award for outstanding achievement. Dr. Rahman, a University Research Professor (awarded 1993), has been teaching for more than 42 years and 28 of those have been at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial.

The William E. Newell Power Electronics Awards has been presented annually since 1977 or outstanding achievements in power electronics. It is presented by the Power Electronics Society and dedicated to the memory of Dr. William E. Newell of the Westinghouse Research and Development Centre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The awardee has been judged to be outstanding in the multidisciplinary field of power electronics, which crosses the technical boundaries of a number of Societies of the IEEE. The recipient receives a suitably inscribed plaque and a cash award of $5000.

Dr. Aziz Rahman has received numerous IEEE and other professional awards including Cyril Veinott Electromechanical Energy Conversion Award of IEEE Power Engineering Society 2003, IEEE Third Millenium Medal 2000, IEEE Canada Outstanding Educator's Medal 1996, Association of Professional Engeineers and Geoscientists of newfoundland Merit Award 1994, IEEE Industry Applications Society's Outstanding achievement award 1992, IEEE Notable Service Award to Engineering Profession 1987, IEEE Outstanding Students Counselor's Award 1980 and the General Electric Co. Centennial Award for Invention Disclosures 1978.

He is active in the IEEE Industry Applications, Power Electronics, Power Engineering, Industrial Electronics, Magnetics, Communications and Neural Networks Societies.

For more information, please visit

2004 Thomas W. Eadie Medal awarded

Vijay K. Bhargava has been awarded the 2004 Thomas W. Eadie Medal By the Royal Society of Canada in recognition of major contributions to Engineering with an impact on communications. The award is funded by Bell Canada in recognition of the increasingly important role of Applied Science to the quality of life in Canada".

For more information, please visit

Potential Problem looms for users of Windows-based VoIP products

(Dennis Estacion, CET, MCSE 2000, MCSE+I, A+, CNA, N+)

With the growing use of Voice over IP, even non-dialup users may soon find themselves with huge long distance bills for calls they didn’t make. “Modem hijacking” victimizes users of regular dialup modems by enticing them to install a piece of software that promises to enable them to view, play or have access to games, videos, music, psychics or adult sites. If the user agrees with the installation without bothering to understand the fine print, then the modem dialer software gets installed and executed. Without any additional permission from the user, the pc is then used to dial to a long distance internet provider number, a 1-900 number, or FTP site, to accrue per-use charges which the user will then be responsible for. The user won’t be aware that his existing internet connection is dropped and that another connection has been redialed because the software will shut off the modem’s speaker or it would wait until the user has moved away from the pc by detecting idle time. Faced with the charges, the victimized users either pay up or lose their phone service. In the US, people have filed complaints with the FCC and FTC, and in Canada, with the CRTC. Generally though, the phone companies treat these on a case by case basis.

Until now, the victims were limited to dialup internet users because only the regular dialup modems could be used to rack up charges for the unsuspecting user. Presently, users of Windows-based dialers of Voice over IP services could potentially find themselves in a similar situation. The fact they don’t even have a dialup modem and that they’re using an ADSL or a cable modem won’t offer them any shielding from this problem. The old adage, “disconnect the dialup modem and just leave the broadband connection” as a defence, may no longer hold true. Judging from the relative ease that new hacks are able to exploit Windows weaknesses, it is reasonable to expect that a VoIP version of the modem hijacking scam would soon surface. The potential headaches are ominous. Many players in this field are envisioning major expansions of their VoIP hardware offerings for use in VoIP services.

Not all VoIP service providers are offering windows VoIP dialers, but it is hoped that if they do, that consumers are:

  1. forewarned of the risks,
  2. provided with tools to secure the VoIP dialer, and/or
  3. provided with easier recourse procedures on how to contest questionable charges
From the Windows side of things, “… Microsoft continues on its path of incorporating much of the nuts-and-bolts functionality now handled by third-party communications vendors -- like chat, Web conferencing, and VoIP players -- on the operating system level.” The current Microsoft white paper on VoIP mainly deals with Windows CE version. VoIP dialers therefore don’t rely on Microsoft-supplied utilities but are applications by themselves. The security of the VoIP dialer then depends on its own security features and that of the underlying Windows OS.

From what is now available, VoIP services could be categorized as follows in terms of being prone to a broadband modem hijacking scheme:

  1. Dedicated VoIP hardware used exclusively with no need of a pc. This would be the safest. Users keep it secure the same way they keep their regular phone secure (i.e. be aware where is the portable handset, for example). An example would be the service provided by Primus Canada.
  2. VoIP hardware with the option of using Windows-based VoIP dialer. The hardware portion should be as secure as the one above, but users availing of the Windows-based dialer could expose themselves to upcoming threats. An example of an optional dialer would be the SoftPhone service provided by Vonage.
    A quick look at its features indicates that there’s an option to block international call dialing, which should alleviate some concerns. Connection to 1-900 numbers is also not allowed. However, the quick start guide for SoftPhone X-PRO12 recommends allowing the software to remember the login phone number and password fields. This author didn’t check further if login access to SoftPhone would allow changes to the call blocks, but it would suffice to say that this may open it vulnerable to take-over tools, keystroke monitors and other exploits. It is also to be noted that even though long distance and 1-900 call blocking have been available for the regular phone lines, people haven’t opted for them and so have been victimized.
  3. Windows-based VoIP dialer with option of using VoIP hardware. Being mostly reliant on the underlying Windows operating system, it’s more vulnerable to take-over tools, keystroke monitors and other exploits as mentioned above. An example would be the PC-to-Phone service of the iConnecthere consumer division of deltathree.
In summary, broadband internet users availing of PC-based VoIP dialers need to be made aware of the possible risks arising from Windows’ security vulnerabilities. They should be provided with step-by-step procedures that minimize the chances of success of any Windows hack or exploit. And if they still got victimized despite their best efforts, they should be accorded a smoother process to be spared the resulting disputable charges.

Some recent announcements/interviews:

    A Talk with TI's Rich Templeton
    Q: Another key market for you is broadband, which accounts for about 5% of your total sales. TI is working hard for wins in the emerging Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) market, including phones that will place calls over home and office broadband connections. Why?
    A: I would view voice as a killer app. VoIP has moved from being a fascination to where it's starting to become a more mainstream technology. Somewhere around 20% of the homes have highspeed access today in the U.S. -- and probably a little bit under that average on a global basis. We're very early in the broadband game. Broadband has got many, many years of growth.
    Comcast: More Than Buffett Is Behind It
    One such service is so-called voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), or phone service that uses lines connected to the Net. Comcast will roll out VoIP across most of its markets next year, aiming to offer it to 40 million households by 2006.”
  3. A number of VoIP-related white papers are available at: including ones from Cisco, Lucent and Siemens. The Ace Comm white paper quotes a source that the worldwide VoIP equipment market for public networks will surpass US $20 billion by 2012.



Bob Bemer (1920-2004)

Bob Bemer, a computer pioneer who published warnings of the Y2K problem in the early 1970s and helped invent a widely used coding system, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 84. Bemer died on 22 June at his home along Possum Kingdom Lake, about 200 kilometres west of Dallas.

Bemer played an major role in how the world's computers operate. He helped invent the ASCII coding system that is used in computers to represent text, and also contributed the escape key and the backslash to the computer language. He first published warnings of the Y2K computer problem in 1971 and again in 1979, and made several media appearances to discuss the issue in the years leading up to the millennium.

Born 8 Feb. 1920, in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Bemer began his programming career in 1949, working at companies including RAND Corp., IBM, and Honeywell. He is survived by a stepdaughter, Betty RaePeeler, six children, Jan Bemer, Kristina DuVall, Mark Bemer, Derek Bemer, Gretchen Moore and Bruce Bemer.

Albert Fia (1915-2004)

The man known as the father of Canadian rocketry has died. Albert Fia, 89, died on 7 June. Fia, who retired in 1980 as a vice-president at Bristol Aerospace, developed the Black Brant rockets in the early 1960s. The rockets are still used for sub-orbital research by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), as well as other universities and government agencies in the United States and around the world.

"He really is the father of rocketry in Canada," Joe Tharayil, Bristol's retired director of engineering, said. "It (the Black Brant) is one of the many things Bristol has done, but this was Bristol's own design and development."

Tharayil said the rocket was developed and built in Winnipeg to be launched in Churchill for research into the northern lights. Since 1962, more than 800 Black Brants have been launched.

Mr. Fia was born in Lethbridge and served in the Second World War. He joined Bristol Aerospace in 1958.

Senior Member Upgrades

The following members were upgraded to Senior Member status at the August 2004 Admission and Advancement Panel meetings:

  • Sergey L. Loyka - Ottawa
  • Yingxu Wang - Southern Alberta
  • Mokhtar A. Aboelaze - Toronto
  • Udaya D. Annakkage - Winnipeg
  • Jagdish Chand - Winnipeg
  • Walter J. Giesbrecht - Winnipeg
  • Aniruddha M. Gole - Winnipeg
  • Harold Harkonen - Winnipeg
  • Trevor L. Maguire - Winnipeg
  • Abdelhamid Tayebi - Winnipeg

For more information on the Nominate a Senior Member Initiative (NSI) Program, please visit

Upcoming Events


  • Cooperative Communication: Fundamental Limits and Enabling Technologies

9 September 2004
University of Waterloo,
Waterloo, Ontario
For more information, please visit


  • IEEE Bipolar/BiCMOS Circuits and Technology Meeting

12-14 September 2004
Montréal, Québec
For more information, please visit

  • Broadband Multimedia Communications and Signal Processing: Past, Present, and Future

22 September 2004
Montréal, Québec
Please RSVP to Richard O'Shaughnessey at
An IEEE Montréal Signal Processing Society presentation

  • International Conference on Power Systems Transients (IPST)

19-23 June, 2005
Hilton Montreal Bonaventure,
1 Place Bonaventure
Montréal, Québec
For more information, please visit

  • International Workshop Advances in Signal Processing for Non Destructive Evaluation of Materials (IWASPNDE)

2-5 August, 2005
Université Laval,
Quebec City, Québec
For more information, please visit


  • Photonics North

27-29 September 2004
Ottawa Congress Centre
Ottawa, Ontario
For more information please visit

  • NATO Advanced Study Institute in Biophotonics Applications

29 September - 9 October 2004
Crowne Plaza Hotel,
Ottawa, Ontario
For more information please visit

  • Dam Safety Risk Assessment Seminar and Workshop

30 September - 1 October 2004
The Westin Ottawa,
11 Colonel By Drive,
Ottawa, Ontario
For more information please visit

  • IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Technology Conference

16-19 May 2005
Ottawa, Ontario
For more information please visit


  • Tour of the ABB Power Transformer Plant in Guelph

15 September 2004
ABB Plant
Guelph, Ontario
For more information, please visit
(Please note, the registration deadline for this event has passed)
An IEEE Toronto Power Engineering Chapter presentation

  • Toward Maximum Achievable Diversity in Space, Time, and Frequency

8 October 2004
87 Gerrard Street East,
Ryerson University Campus
Toronto, Ontario
For more information, please visit
An IEEE Toronto Signal Processing Society Distinguished Lecture

  • 2004 Annual Dinner and General Meeting

16 October 2004
The Old Mill Inn,
21 Old Mill Road,
Toronto, Ontario
For more information, please visit


  • Evolution and Recent Advances in RF/Microwave Transistors

10 September 2004
Applied Sciences Bldg, ASB 9705,
Simon Fraser University,
Burnaby, British Columbia
For more information please visit
An IEEE Vancouver Electron Devices Chapter presentation

  • Renewable Energy in the Twenty-First Century

15 September 2004
MacDonald Dettwiler,
13800 Commerce Pkwy,
Richmond, British Columbia
For more information please visit
An IEEE Vancouver Aerospace and Geoscience Remote Sensing Chapter presentation

  • Tour of Nav Canada's New Vancouver Area Control Centre

22 September 2004
7421 135th Street,
Surrey, British Columbia
For more information please visit
An IEEE Vancouver Communications Chapter presentation

  • Merging Space Technology into Emergency Response Operations

20 October 2004
MacDonald Dettwiler,
13800 Commerce Pkwy,
Richmond, British Columbia
For more information please visit
An IEEE Vancouver Aerospace and Geoscience Remote Sensing Chapter presentation

  • Water Management Process to Meet Efficiency, Regulator, and Environmental Objectives

3-4 November 2004
Vancouver, British Columbia
For more information please visit

Rest of Canada

  • Newfoundland Electrical and Computer Engineering Conference (NECEC)

12 October 2004
Holiday Inn
Portugal Cove Road
St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador
For more information please visit


  • Workshop on Accelerated Stress Testing and Reliability

6-8 September 2004
For more information please visit

  • IEEE Radio and Wireless Conference (RAWCON 2004)

19-22 September 2004
Atlanta, GA
For more information please visit

  • IEEE Conference on Sensor and Ad Hoc Communications and Networks

4-7 October 2004
Santa Clara, CA
For more information please visit

  • Power Systems Conference and Exposition (PSCE'04)

10-13 October 2004
New York City
For more information please visit

  • IEEE Broadcast Symposium

13-15 October 2004
Washington, DC
For more information please visit

  • Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC)

24-28 October 2004
Salt Lake City, Utah
For more information please visit


  • IEEE Power Electronics and Motion Control Conference

2-4 September 2004
Riga, Latvia
For more information please visit

  • International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications Conference (PIMRC)

5-8 September 2004
Barcelona, Spain
For more information please visit

  • European Signal Processing Conference (EUSIPCO-2004)

7-10 September 2004
Vienna, Austria
For more information please visit

  • International Conference on Power System Technology (POWERCON)

21-24 November 2004
For more information please visit

Many IEEE Canada sections maintain their own listings of upcoming events:
Canadian Atlantic
Newfoundland and Labrador
New Brunswick
Northern Canada
Southern Alberta

For more IEEE conferences, visit IEEE Conference Search at

IEEE Commercial Releases

New IEEE-Wiley book covers operation of large turbo-generators

Geoff Klempner and Isidor Kerszenbaum provide their insights on generating station and design work in their new book from Wiley-IEEE Press, "Operation and Maintenance of Large Turbo-Generators." Their purpose lies in explaining the operational problems of machines and failure modes that occur in generating stations and other kinds of facilities. In the book, readers will also be able to explore topics ranging from monitoring, diagnostics, and protection of turbo generators to ideas for improving plant reliability and reducing costs and electrical failures. For more on this book please visit

New book on hybrid systems

A new book from Wiley-IEEE Press examines the fusion of soft computing and hard computing methodologies with real-world applications that practicing engineers face in today's highly competitive environment. Edited by Seppo J. Ovaska, "Computationally Intelligent Hybrid Systems: The Fusion of Soft Computing and Hard Computing" covers a broad range of critical applications, and includes nine "applications" chapters. For more information, or to purchase this new title, visit

College Professor addresses "Real World" skills in new book

Carl Selinger, an engineer with more than 25 years experience in college teaching, has authored a new book which covers non-technical "real world" leadership skills, such as decision-making and running meetings. "Stuff You Don't Learn in Engineering School: Skills for Success in the Real World" was published this month by Wiley-IEEE Press. For information, or to order online, visit

Submission Information

You can send any submissions by email to the editor:
Abhi Gupta at

Please ensure you send in your submission by the 20th of the month

IEEE Canada Newsletter - September 2004 Bulletin de IEEE Canada - Septembre 2004

Last update /2004.09.12/ dernière mise à jour