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Solar-powered plane can "fly forever"

April 16, 2014 | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Aviation pioneers Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg — who previously had circumnavigated the globe in a balloon — plan to make history again with the Solar Impulse 2, which will undertake the first solar-powered flight around the world....

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5 engineers with fatally terrible inventions

April 16, 2014 2:19 pm | by Aubrey Schaefer, Engineer Jobs | Comments

If I stopped to count how many engineers have positively affected my life, I would have no time for anything else. Instead, let’s look at those other engineers – the ones with fatally terrible inventions.The staggering talent of thousands of engineers bears fruit with every processor cycle of the slick little laptop I’m typing this on....

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How to avoid conducted EMI problems – Part I

April 14, 2014 10:14 am | by Brian King, Texas Instruments | Texas Instruments | Comments

Most conducted EMI problems are due to common mode noise.  Furthermore, most common-mode noise issues are caused by parasitic capacitances in the power supply. For Part I of this discussion, let’s focus on what happens when the parasitic capacitance couples directly to the input wires to the power supply.

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Simplifying M2M data networking

April 14, 2014 7:54 am | by Bill Conley, B&B Electronics | Comments

There is currently no universal standard for cellular network certification and provisioning in North America. Instead, the North American cellular carriers and standards bodies like CTIA/PTCRB force mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and M2M device manufacturers to navigate a labyrinth of different certification processes....

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Military plans to use drones as flying Wi-Fi hotspots

April 11, 2014 10:38 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

For civilians, a dearth of Wi-Fi is a minor inconvenience. First-world problems. But for our troops in the field, a lack of connectivity can kill you. No connection means no close-air support and no reinforcements. Hence the military’s push to turn drones into mobile Wi-Fi hotspots....

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Five from EELive, part two

April 10, 2014 3:59 pm | by Editor | Winsystems, Versalogic Corp., Rigol Usa, Texas Instruments, Cymbet Corporation | Comments

Here are five more notable products, plus one soon to be released product, from EELive 2014. Be sure to check out Part 1 of this series for more. Embedded computers were well represented, with announcements by WinSystems and VersaLogic. For rugged applications, WinSystems’ The SBC35-CC405 Series multi-core Intel Atom E3800 embedded computers feature onboard USB, Gigabit Ethernet, serial ports, and

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This technology could save your car from disaster

April 10, 2014 8:11 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

The automotive industry is making some pretty large improvements in terms of technology. In the past few years, there have been improvements in vehicle communications—including V2V and V2X systems—as well as in areas like vehicle safety and infotainment systems....

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Crowdfunding is killing the hardware revolution

April 9, 2014 11:48 am | by Melissa Fassbender, Associate Editor, @melfass | Comments

Positioning itself to save the “hardware revolution” from “prototype purgatory,” Dragon Innovation is a crowdfunding site for hardware — and only hardware. But with so much more. “The hardware revolution has gotten a running start as new technologies like 3D printing have sped up the process of designing a prototype....

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How trends in electronics are affecting connectors

April 9, 2014 8:14 am | by Bob Stanton, Director of Technology, Omnetics | Comments

Rapidly changing demands and designs in product performance and electrical integrity are having a huge effect on electronic connector systems. New smaller and more portable electronics in aerospace, defense, and other stressful environments, like those encountered in robotics....

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This program can make your phone more secure than ever

April 9, 2014 8:04 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

With the advent of smartphones came a great debate about the security of technology. With all of the sensitive information stored in the phones—bank account numbers, emails, credit card information—keeping the security tight is of the utmost importance....

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Watch an engineer deal with moronic requests from marketing

April 8, 2014 10:34 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

This sketch provides a decent approximation of what meetings feel like for engineers — or anyone with a technical job, really — as they try to interpret the vague, confusing, and otherwise bizarre requests from non-technical people. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of this on occasion....

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This ‘electronic skin’ will revolutionize medicine

April 8, 2014 8:56 am | by Allegra Sparta, Contributor | Comments

It’s as thin as a temporary tattoo, but you definitely won’t get one in a cereal box. The creators of this “electronic skin” say that the technology could “one day aid patients with movement disorders or epilepsy.” It’s the first of its kind that can store information and deliver medicine through the skin....

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Five from EELive, part one

April 8, 2014 8:27 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | eConais, Inc., Microchip Technology Inc., Icon Labs | Comments

The 2014 edition of EELive is in the rear-view mirror. Along with the damp weather, spirits were dampened, too. Perhaps the show is going through an identity crisis given the recent name changes or the success of Embedded World. In fact, when I spoke to exhibitors about their new product offerings that coincide with the show, some responses began with

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Keep politics off of the space station

April 7, 2014 8:37 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

When the Ukraine v. Russia (winner gets Crimea) battle began, one of the first things I said was, “Man, I bet it’s super awkward in space right now.” While Russian and U.S. relations have never been great, there hasn’t been an international issue to this degree between the two countries in quite some time.

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Samsung dupes Obama: Why “selfie advertising” needs to stop

April 4, 2014 2:05 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

What do President Obama, Brad Pitt, and Jennifer Lawrence have in common? They’ve all become unwitting props in a viral Samsung advertising campaign that relies on spontaneity, selfies, and tricking people — including the most powerful man in the world — into becoming brand ambassadors....

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Understanding ultraviolet LED applications and precautions

April 4, 2014 9:47 am | by Vincent C. Forte, Chief Technology Officer of Marktech Optoelectronics | Comments

Ultraviolet light occurs between the visible and x‐ray spectrums. The Ultraviolet wavelength range is specified as 10 nm to 400 nm; however, many optoelectronic companies also consider wavelengths as high as 430nm to be in the UV range. Ultraviolet light gets its name due to the “violet” color it produces....

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