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Should we retire the A-10 Warthog?

September 17, 2014 | 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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ECN Time Warp: November 2004

September 22, 2014 10:03 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Keysight Technologies, Texas Instruments, Digi International, Kontron | Comments

Some old covers of ECN Magazine have been making the rounds, and we thought it would be fun to have a look back at ECN covers through the years.This week’s cover goes back to November 2004. During that month, Senator John Kerry would concede ...

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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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Home automation tackles daily to-do lists

September 16, 2014 12:27 pm | by Christian DeFeo, eSupplier and Innovation Manager, element14 | Comments

Americans have busy schedules, forcing them to constantly be on the run. According to ABC News, one study found 15 to 20 percent of the U.S. population is “consistently late," particularly when it comes to work. Simple tasks are often overlooked when in a hurry.

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Customer support programs becoming increasingly important in SSL industry

September 16, 2014 10:26 am | by Kim Peiler, application engineering manager at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors | Comments

It is understandable for LED system designers to need additional support as they work to determine which products are best. To help them navigate through these new complexities in system design, some optoelectronic makers have established ...

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This V2V technology could change driving forever

September 15, 2014 3:59 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

The average American has a 25.4 minute commute to work. That doesn’t seem too bad until you consider that the average commuter spends 38 hours a year sitting in traffic. That’s a lot of bumper-to-bumper time. Recently, I had someone ask me what my hobbies were and I said, “Sitting in traffic and putting gas in my car.”

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What year did the "modern era" begin?

September 15, 2014 8:37 am | by Eric L. Larson, Contributor | Comments

What year do we give for the start of our modern society? Do we go back to the start of the Industrial Revolution or some later date? Before I answer that question, I first want to define the differences between past societies and our own....

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ECN Time Warp: December 2002

September 15, 2014 8:33 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

Some old covers of ECN Magazine have been making the rounds, and we thought it would be fun to have a look back at ECN covers through the years. This week’s cover goes back to December 2002. That month, a federal judge ordered Microsoft ...

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Why I’m not buying the Apple Watch (my beef with redundant functionality)

September 12, 2014 3:37 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Comments

The Apple Watch is redundant functionality, kitschy, overpriced, and everyone will buy it. Seriously, I could marshal a wealth of facts and present a detailed analysis (and I will) of the watch’s functionality, but a broad swath of consumers ...

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The new backup imperative for manufacturers in the digital era

September 12, 2014 10:04 am | by Chris Grossman, Senior Vice President Enterprise Applications, Rand Secure Data | Comments

The impact of the digital age in manufacturing and manufacturing design has driven the creation of electronically stored information (ESI) to never before seen levels. Just a few of the areas seeing a major increase in storage requirements include....

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Optimizing engineering change control

September 12, 2014 8:54 am | by Ron Rapczynski, Quality Control, NK Technologies | Comments

Managing changes to products and/or processes has been, and will always continue to be, a challenge for companies. There are many reasons for this. In order to fully and effectively implement a change often involves the coordination....

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IoT, robotic manufacturing, & the end of the world

September 12, 2014 8:48 am | by Chris Fox, Editor | Comments

While most minds go to jarring images from movies like I, Robot and Terminator (and rightfully so), the robotic apocalypse may not make its presence known in such a blockbuster-style war of intellect and brawn, but rather as a subtle emergence....

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Why I'll be buying an Apple Watch

September 12, 2014 8:13 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

Technologically-advanced watches are a hard sell on a few levels. They’re generally poorly designed aesthetically and functionally, they’re way too expensive, they don’t look good on the wrist, and they don’t really do anything. I was all prepared to hate the Apple watch....

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