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How Internet TV will impact the electronics industry

December 13, 2013 1:00 pm | by Jonathan Rodriguez, Founder and CEO, BitMar Networks | Comments

The Internet has become our way of life. It connects us like never before. As such, it is no wonder that so many industries have resorted to the Web as their main distribution channel -- and the Television industry is not the exception. But what do all the changes, taking place within the TV realm, have to do with the rest of the electronics industry?

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"Our Drone Future" predicts frightening Big Brother dystopia

December 12, 2013 4:48 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

You didn’t think we’d just use domestic drones for delivering packages and monitoring suspected animal abuse, did you? Of course not — we wouldn’t be furiously debating the legality and ethics of "octocopters" air-mailing copies of Harry Potter. No, the dark undertone of domestic drone usage is their application as omniscient law-enforcement devices, Big Brother-style.

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This flying dress could be the start of wearable transportation

December 11, 2013 12:44 pm | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Comments

Pop singer Lady Gaga has worn some pretty weird outfits on stage (meat, anyone?), but her latest is so crazy, we might just all be wearing some version of it in the future. A flying dress sounds pretty fun — at least once a week I’d like to hover down to the mailbox.

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Is this the end of Moore’s law?

December 10, 2013 2:56 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

Moore’s law is unsustainable. This statement is the elephant in the room of a lot of electronics discussions as we rapidly approach a few different landmarks in semiconductors.  Researchers are concerned that the unsustainability of Moore’s law might mean the end, or at least the abrupt slowing down, of electronic development at the height of the digital era.

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Why is this government agency still using floppy disks?

December 9, 2013 5:11 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

Every so often we drag out a past relic of technology to gawk, reminisce and remember before shoving it back into the proverbial vault for a few more decades. We’ve featured introductions to new technology and how-tos on using a computer. 

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Amazon’s drone-delivery service is a pipe dream (for now)

December 6, 2013 2:54 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Forget same-day delivery. Amazon wants to make 30-minute deliveries a reality with a quasi-futuristic fleet of miniature drones. But for a service built on speed, “Amazon Prime Air” may have a long shelf life. Don’t hold your breath (or place your orders) anytime soon.

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Snow - Possible Weather Caused Delays

December 6, 2013 2:33 pm | by Screaming Circuits | Comments

It's snowing in the Portland area and our shipping companies are warning us of possible shipping delays. That means that some parts shipments in to our plant may be late and some finished board shipments going out may be late....

This next-gen USB connector always lands on its feet

December 6, 2013 1:17 pm | by Allegra Sparta, Editorial Intern | Comments

Everyone has struggled to plug a device into a USB port at one time or another. There’s a 50/50 chance of choosing the correct orientation, and we usually manage to pick the wrong one every time. It’s the electronic version of the “toast always lands butter-side down” or “a cat always lands on its feet” phenomena, and we just want to charge our iPods.

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The Nigerian prince isn’t the only online hoax

December 5, 2013 4:29 pm | by Allegra Sparta, Editorial Intern | Comments

Ben Franklin once said “Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.” That’s doubly so for the World Wide Web, the breeding ground for Nigerian princes, get-rich-quick schemes, and all manner of hoaxes. No one likes to be scammed. Whether a hacker steals all of your personal information or you just wind up feeling a bit silly...

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VLV - Very Large Vias

December 5, 2013 2:13 pm | by Screaming Circuits | Comments

I recently received a question over on Twitter. Tomaž Šolc, AKA avian2 asked: "@pcbassembly What is your opinion on the "one big plated drill in QFN ground pad" pattern? pic.twitter.com/M9ZLftpuo0" I answered back: "Bad for machine assembly, okay for hand...

3D-printed heart uses urine to power robot (seriously)

December 5, 2013 10:24 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

In the buzzword story of the year, researchers at the University of the West of England created a 3D-printed heart robot heart that runs on urine. That’s right, a printed organ that pumps pee through a robot. This hot topic cornucopia was actually the result of a theory that urine was capable of making electricity.

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Why replacing waiters with tablets is a good idea

December 4, 2013 2:51 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

This, friends, is a dining option for people who hate other people. Earlier this week, Applebee’s announced that they will replace waiters (to a degree) with tablets at the table. These tablets will be used to take orders and pay the bill, plus they’ll feature games that diners can play while they wait. The tablets, which are Intel-backed startup E la Carte Presto tablets, will total over 100,000 pieces of hardware.

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Smart bras track your mood

December 4, 2013 12:48 pm | by Melissa Barnes, Associate Editor | Comments

Do you or a loved one have an emotional eating problem standing in the way of your weight loss and healthy living attempts? Well, now there’s a bra for that. Microsoft recently reported it has been working on a “smart bra,” equipped with a generic remote access sensing platform (GRASP).

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Legislation for online video seeks to ensure consumer choice (for real!)

December 4, 2013 10:00 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

Perhaps the eulogy for Net Neutrality is being written a bit prematurely, because there’s a faint sign of life coming from, of all places, Congress. From the “too good to be true” department comes new legislation proposed by outgoing Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va). The Consumer Choice in Online Video Act (S. 1680) would be a boon to consumers who

Surface mount, but not really

December 3, 2013 1:18 pm | by Screaming Circuits | Comments

Sometimes parts labeled as surface mount aren't quite ready for prime time. I've written about this subject before (read here), and I'm going to write about it again — whether you like it or not. This time, however, I'm not talking about components that aren't up to thermal par.

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