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The F-35 was born of a "dumb piece of Air Force PR spin"

June 24, 2014 10:31 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

The F-35 doesn’t have a lot of fans these days, and one of her biggest critics is actually the co-designer of the F-16, Pierre Sprey. Calling the Joint Strike Fighter the product of “an exceptionally dumb piece of Air Force PR spin”, Sprey issues a scathing indictment of the F-35 in a viral Internet video that is gaining a ton of traction in the aerospace community....

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You can borrow a drone at this library

June 23, 2014 10:01 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

The newly renovated University of South Florida library will have lots to offer students returning for the fall semester. There will be brand new furniture, a modern Smart Lab, and aerial drones to check out along with the books. No, really. In touting the school library’s recent renovations ...

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Born of fire

June 19, 2014 4:19 pm | by Screaming Circuits | Comments

There are a lot of places suitable for running an electronics manufacturing plant. Ours is in Oregon, USA – the Silicon Rain forest, if you will. The slower pace of life here, the proximity to recreation and wilderness, the rain soaked green hills; all help to create a healthy and invigorating environment....

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Obama pets a giant, laughing robotic giraffe

June 19, 2014 9:40 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

While the Obama administration has been dealing with a lot of heavy topics lately, the White House also had time to push policy on innovation and creation. Part of the campaign was the White House Maker Faire, designed to celebrate “all things built-by-hand and designed-by-ingenuity.” It featured 30 projects from more than 100 students, engineers, creators and researchers from 25 different states.

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Five fast fastener tips for manufacturers of electronic products

June 19, 2014 9:39 am | by Ed Sullivan for Holbrook Electronics, www.holbrookinc.com | Comments

Manufacturers of electronic products can often overcome production challenges presented by fastening problems by using the design expertise of fastener engineers and suppliers who can not only meet stringent specifications, but can incorporate design features which save on assembly time and costs while improving the quality and durability of finished assemblies.

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This drone is made from chocolate

June 18, 2014 3:31 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Yes, someone actually built a chocolate quadcopter. And no, the DoD hasn’t investigated potential military applications (that I know of). A flying treat like this probably wouldn’t survive harsh environments (greater than 20°C) or soldiers’ stomachs, but it could redefine the “candygram”....

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Can this car go 1000 mph?

June 16, 2014 3:53 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

The Bloodhound SSC is a supersonic car built with the express goal of exceeding (or reaching) 1000mph. This is completely nuts.The Bloodhound is technically a car because it has four wheels and is under the full-control of a driver. It’s 44 feet long, just over 9 foot tall, and when it’s fully fueled it weighs in at a whopping 17,165 lbs.

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These E Ink shelf labels could save retail

June 16, 2014 1:18 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

E-commerce has many intrinsic advantages over brick-and-mortar, but the fundamental difference is similar to print vs. online journalism — the ability to make dynamic changes. One can, and one can't. Which makes electronic shelf labels — incorporating E Ink and similar technology — a paradigm shift for retail....

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Develop a more efficient energy grid power supply

June 16, 2014 10:55 am | by Xavier Ramus, Texas Instruments | Texas Instruments | Comments

The intent of the smart grid is to allow communication through the power supply to increase the efficiency of the energy grid. This is achieved by ensuring that any equipment connected to the power grid will not only be power efficient for the intended functionality, but will also use the energy in the most efficient manner, minimizing peak power consumption and average overall power usage.

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Friday the 13th. Should You Worry? No.

June 13, 2014 2:27 pm | by Screaming Circuits | Comments

So, here in Oregon, USA, it's Friday the 13th - and, we have a full moon, to boot. In many societies, both of those would portend of doom. Baseball players tend to be a suspicious lot, so if you're a...

3 reasons you’d kill yourself with a lightsaber

June 13, 2014 11:02 am | by JF Stackhouse, Engineerjobs.com | Comments

When I was eight years old, there was only one thing I wanted more than for someone to invent the lightsaber. I wanted one to fall off the back of a truck and land in my front yard.Fortunately, neither occurred; lightsabers are dangerous, poorly designed, and unstable. Here are three of the many reasons they should be preemptively outlawed....

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This is what it looks like when you play soccer in space

June 13, 2014 9:55 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

In recognition of the World Cup, the astronauts on the International Space Station got their own game of soccer going. Obviously, the rules and logistics are a little bit different when neither the ball nor the players are subject to the whims of gravity. The video stars U.S. astronauts Reid Wiseman and Steve Swanson and fellow German astronaut Alexander Gerst.

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Panel rails: What are they?

June 12, 2014 5:14 pm | by Screaming Circuits | Comments

I referred to "panel rails" in my blog about V-score panels, but I didn't explain the "whats" and whys" of panel rails. You might find yourself asking "what are panel rails and why would I want to use them?" Well, first of all, for our Full-Proto service, we don't require panels or panel rails....

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What board-level technologies will be game changers in the near future?

June 12, 2014 4:09 pm | by Editor | Comments

We have a VERY exciting Brainstorm about Market Disrupters for our July issue. Our own ECN IMPACT Awards have inspired us to look deeper into the world of market disrupters. For our August issue, we're asking you, the experts, to tell us what the next big thing is when it comes to board-level technologies.

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Down with pink: The rise of female STEM toys

June 12, 2014 3:09 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

You may have noticed my habit of blogging occasionally about how gendered toys have the ability to affect children. Whether the topic is limiting the skills sets girls develop while playing or failing to introduce STEM as a career option because those are “boy’s” toys, it’s always been an interesting discussion, to say the least.

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