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CANbus Controller Runs Cool

June 24, 2009 6:33 am | Product Releases | Comments

Weighing less than a pound, the CANminiBOX compact CANbus embedded controller from Saelig has a power consumption of less than 6 W, enabling the unit to operate with passive cooling. Based on an AMD Élan 133MHz SC520 processor, the controller has front-panel availability for 10/100MBit/s Ethernet, status LED’s, an RS232 serial port, a CAN port, and one USB1.1 port.

Time for a Change in US Patent Law?

June 24, 2009 6:00 am | by Michael Orey | News | Comments

Critics of the U.S. patent system have high hopes that 2009 might be the year Congress acts to amend it. But their lobbying has failed for years, so John F. Duffy sees another path to change: litigation. "I've thought a lot about reform of the patent system through the courts," says the George Washington University Law School professor. "It's not like the courts can't adjust in this area."

Steve Jobs May Soon Return To Work After Liver Transplant

June 24, 2009 5:07 am | by JANET BLAKE | News | Comments

Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs appears to be a step closer to returning to work, as a doctor gave him an "excellent prognosis" after receiving a liver transplant at a Tennessee hospital.

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Science 'Project' Creates False Radiation Alert

June 24, 2009 4:57 am | News | Comments

A toy nuclear power plant built by two six year-olds sparked a public alert in Germany, only for authorities to discover the would-be security threat was the shell of a computer with a radiation warning sign stuck to it. Fire services and police cordoned off several streets and told residents to stay indoors in the western town of Oelde after the two boys left their mock power station on the street when they went home for dinner Monday evening.

DC Train Crash Investigators Test Automated Systems

June 24, 2009 4:44 am | News | Comments

Federal investigators are going to test the automated system that is meant prevent train crashes like the one in Washington, D.C., that killed nine people. Debbie Hersman of the National Transportation Safety Board says investigators are going have their first opportunity Wednesday to test the computerized signal system.

Sensor Protects Workers from Toxic Gas

June 23, 2009 8:06 am | Product Releases | Comments

Protecting workers from hydrogen selenide, a gas used in etching silicon wafers, a 2 in. x 3.5 in. gas sensor from Sensor Electronics can work by itself to monitor gas levels, tie into an existing protection system, or work in tandem with its own dedicated transmitter.

A Look Back - The Commodore 64 vs. the iPhone 3G S

June 23, 2009 7:38 am | by Harry McCracken | News | Comments

Sad news: Apple has rejected a Commodore 64 emulator for the iPhone. It’s not surprising, and arguably not an utter outrage given that the iPhone developer agreement expressly forbids emulators, and the C64 app’s creator knew that when he began work on his brainchild.

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IC Couples Small Size with a Range of Interfaces

June 23, 2009 7:38 am | Product Releases | Comments

With a 5 mm x 7 mm footprint, the single-channel VoIP telephony IC integrates everything needed for a foreign exchange station  and foreign exchange office interfaces, providing the SLIC and high-voltage line-feed together with a DSP, DC/DC controller and test load.

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Dual-Output SIP Converters Deliver 1 W

June 23, 2009 7:08 am | Product Releases | Comments

Suitable for use in distributed-power architectures, the A_S-1W Series of DC/DC Converters from Mornsun are rated to provide 1 W with an I/O isolation of 1,000 VDC. Standard models operate from 5 VDC, 12 VDC, 15 VDC, or 24 VDC and provide dual outputs of +/-5V, +/-9V, +/-12V, or +/-15VDC. Features include efficiency as high as 80% and a MTBF calculated to 3,500,000 hours.

Panel Connector Handles 8 A per Contact

June 23, 2009 6:35 am | Product Releases | Comments

Able to connect male and female connectors, a 7/8-in thread-locking, feed-through panel connector from Binder is available with 5 gold-plated contacts, rated at up to 8 A each.

New Mexico Breaks Ground on Spaceport America

June 23, 2009 6:34 am | by by Tim Gaynor and Bill Trott | News | Comments

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson broke ground on Friday on construction of Spaceport America, the world's first facility built specifically for space-bound commercial customers and fee-paying passengers. The $198 million project, which is being funded by the New Mexico state government, is located on a remote high-desert range near the town of Truth or Consequences.

Energy Innovation Should Trump Job Creation

June 23, 2009 6:22 am | by Saul Kaplan | News | Comments

Across the country, it is hard to find an elected official who hasn't jumped on the green economy bandwagon. So many stump speeches marry the policy objectives of saving the environment and creating jobs. It starts at the top: President Barack Obama has promised to spend $150 billion over 10 years to create 5 million green-collar jobs. Like a human wave at a sporting event, Americans are cheering for the green economy to bring us out of our economic funk and solve global warming and foreign energy dependence, all at the same time.

Buckyballs Polymerized to Form Buckywires

June 23, 2009 5:14 am | News | Comments

Junfeng Geng at the University of Cambridge, in the U.K., and buddies have found a way to polymerize these microballs so that they line up into buckywires. The trick that Geng and co have found is a way to connect two buckyballs together using a molecule of 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene--a colorless aromatic hydrocarbon. Repeat that and you've got a way to connect any number of buckyballs.

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Korean Researchers Claim White LED Breakthrough

June 23, 2009 5:00 am | Product Releases | Comments

Researchers from Korea claim to have produced the world's first purely white LED (light-emitting diode).Soo-Young Park, a professor of organic materials for photonics at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Seoul National University in Korea, led the group, which includes researchers from the University of Valencia in Spain.

LED Backlight Driver Reduces Current Requirements

June 23, 2009 4:44 am | Analog Devices, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Designed to operate with products such as the ADP5520 lighting management system and ADP5588 mobile I/O expander, the ADP8860 LED backlight driver from ANalog Devices has ambient light sensing, a programmable register set, and fading and dimming, which combine to reduce power dissipation by up to 50 percent. Accepting an input from 1.7 V to 3.3 V, the device has a parallel configuration enabling the control of up to seven LEDs – six at 30 mA max and one at 60 mA.

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