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Why the Society of Women Engineers beats Miss America (every time)

September 26, 2014 | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

Who knew that a HBO show could change the lives of girls who dream of being engineers?Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has a Daily Show/Colbert Report feeling to it and this past Sunday, Oliver used part of the time to do a decent take down of how ridiculous the Miss America Pageant is.

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Are engineers too smart for their own good?

September 29, 2014 2:26 pm | by David Mantey, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

I’m lucky enough to be in the position where I can have an ongoing dialogue with multiple design engineers every day. Sure, sometimes the conversations are a bit feisty as things heat up in the pddnet.com comments section (where cooler heads rarely prevail)....

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Home automation: Conserving energy, lowering your bills

September 29, 2014 2:16 pm | by Christian DeFeo, eSupplier and Innovation Manager, element14 | Comments

Home automation is typically discussed in the context of convenience, but the engineers taking part in element14’s Forget Me Not Challenge also recognize IoT technology can save users a significant amount of money. For example, data collected by My Alarm Center shows households with installed home automation systems see an average savings of 15 percent on monthly energy bills.

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How three teenage girls are solving world hunger

September 26, 2014 11:50 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

The key to beefing up the country (and world) supply of engineer and technology superstars is giving them the opportunity to do great things, even if they can’t legally drive yet. The Google Science Fair is a competition for students between the ages of 13 and 18 with prizes ranging...

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Photos of the Day: A drone's-eye view of the world

September 26, 2014 9:47 am | by Dronestagram | Comments

We're very familiar with the idea of the military using drones, but drones can also be used to capture the beauty of a place. Dronestagram is a social network that collects images and video all captured by multirotors and all sent in by regular people. It's definitely an interesting view of the world. 

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Metrics aside, color rendering matters

September 25, 2014 4:21 pm | by Mike Krames, CTO of Soraa | Comments

The Illumination Engineering Society (IES) recently published a “position statement” (PS-8-14) which states that color rendering “requirements should not be a metric used in energy regulations to characterize color attributes for solid state lighting.” This unfortunate wording has caused ...

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11 ways to keep data safe when traveling overseas

September 24, 2014 2:41 pm | by Jeff Multz, Contributor | Comments

For business travelers going to foreign lands, the old “Don’t leave home without it” slogan should be brought back with one slight change: “Leave home without it.” Computers, mobile phones and any other electronic devices that contain personal ...

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China developing subsonic stealth bomber

September 24, 2014 12:00 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Comments

According to early reports, China is developing a new stealth bomber to counter American influence in the Far East and firm up its own leadership and force-projection ability. We’ve previously discussed America’s plans to replace the illustrious SR-71 Blackbird ...

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King Kong lives

September 23, 2014 2:54 pm | by Melissa Fassbender, Managing Editor, PD&D, @melfass | Comments

King Kong made his film debut in 1933. The “giant terror gorilla,” as he was referred to in his debut, then endured multiple digital remakes until 50 years later, when he was reimagined once again to make his stage debut at the Regent Theatre....

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4 design fails of the week

September 22, 2014 9:31 am | by Melissa Fassbender, Managing Editor, PD&D, @melfass | Comments

After four reports of suspension fittings breaking during use, IKEA is recalling its GUNGGUNG child’s swing. In one of these incidents, a child fell and fractured a leg. The recall involves 2,000 units in the U.S., and 300 in Canada....

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5 steps to developing an introvert's superpower

September 19, 2014 11:05 am | by Dave Gennrich, Mechanical Engineer & Project Manager, Design Concepts | Comments

Do you know someone who can absorb a vast amount of complex information about a problem and combine it into a cohesive, elegant solution? An introvert is uniquely suited to develop this superpower; solving problems with multiple interrelated constraints....

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5 things to look for when evaluating an engineering design firm

September 18, 2014 1:15 pm | by Doug Ringer, Contributor | Comments

I’m a product management and development professional and I’ve worked with organizations such as General Electric, Ericsson, Honeywell, Meritor (formerly a division of Rockwell International), and others in the private sector. Most of my work ...

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A tech fix for texting while driving

September 18, 2014 9:09 am | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Comments

By now, almost everybody with a cellphone and a car knows that it's a bad idea to text while you're driving. But people still do it, and some of those people die in text-related car crashes and take innocent victims with them. What if technology existed....

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Should we retire the A-10 Warthog?

September 17, 2014 2:44 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Comments

The short answer is "no," we shouldn’t. But the ongoing efforts to scuttle the A-10 in favor of the F-35 expose a sick culture in Washington that’s divorced from fiscal and military realities. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will form, to quote Lt. General ...

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Talent shortages? Blame salary, not just training

September 17, 2014 9:25 am | by Chris Fox, Editor, MNET | Comments

As the economy has turned around and employers have been seeking to invest in fresh blood, a consistent tone of unemployable youth has been ringing from the manufacturing and engineering ranks. The skills gap is a growing problem as baby boomers ...

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A new sensor development could aid those suffering from Alzheimer’s

September 17, 2014 9:23 am | by A.J. Watts, Editorial Intern | Comments

SmartThings is a DIY home automation system that connects sensors and smart devices with a wireless hub. In addition to sensors, the system can loop in smart thermostats, smart plugs, door locks, and surveillance cameras. Now there isn’t a constant....

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