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Schools should take a pass on essay grading software

April 16, 2013 4:16 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

One of the joys of high school and college was receiving my blue essay book back from my teacher or professor. I couldn’t wait to read their comments in the columns of the book, especially when one of my essays was laden with jokes or sarcasm. But that was often a two-way street, as when my thesis statement would indicate my essay was going to go in a direction my instructor found dubious.

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The Facebook "phone" that no one wants

April 8, 2013 2:56 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

Well, well, well. It looks like Facebook has finally decided to join the big boys and create their own phone. It’s the phone that absolutely no one was waiting for. To quote the parody video below, “Stop. Don’t do that. Nobody wants it.”

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At the core: Mobility continues to drive supply chain growth

April 8, 2013 11:23 am | by Mark Bollinger, Vice President, Marketing, Smith & Associates | Comments

Mobility continues to be the hottest trend for the semiconductor and electronics industry. As though there were any need for supporting data, the major electronics shows from the first quarter of 2013 displayed and demoed the latest array of mobile devices.

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Simplify switched-mode power-supply measurements using dedicated oscilloscope software

April 4, 2013 11:25 am | by Art Pini, Technical Marketing Engineer, Teledyne LeCroy | Comments

The analysis of a switched-mode power supply requires the ability to measure device, control loop, and line-related functions.  To this end, most oscilloscope manufacturers have created power analysis software, which combines all these elements into a simple-to-use toolbox.

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One accelerometer interrupt pin for both wakeup and non-motion detection

April 2, 2013 4:48 pm | by Jay Esfandyari, Gang Xu, Fabio Pasolini, STMicroelectronics | Stmicroelectronics | Comments

MEMS accelerometers can output different kinds of interrupt signals such as data ready, freefall, portrait/landscape, single-click/double-click, and impact detection, etc. Some accelerometers have built-in wakeup and motionless detection features to automatically switch between lower output data rate (ODR) at low power mode and higher ODR at normal mode....

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NTC thermistors versus voltage output IC temp sensors

April 2, 2013 10:05 am | by Brian Gosselin, Jr., Texas Instruments | Texas Instruments | Comments

Electronic engineers are finding that thermometry is becoming increasingly more popular in modern applications. Two types of commonly used temperature sensing solutions are negative temperature coefficient (NTC) thermistors and voltage output integrated circuit (IC) temp sensors.

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An on-shore wind

March 28, 2013 2:16 pm | by Robert Sergio Simon, USTEK Inc. | Comments

When to choose a contract assembly source in North America five to seven years ago, the push to off-shore contract assembly was at its peak and with good reason. US demand was up, and volumes were increasing. US labor and raw material costs had risen dramatically. Cheap knock-offs from Chinese companies were flooding the market.

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Uninterruptible power supplies installed in harsh environments

March 27, 2013 10:10 am | by Michael A. Stout, V. P. of Engineering, Falcon Electric, www.FalconUPS.com | Falcon Electric Inc. | Comments

When it comes to power protection, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) to be specific, most think of these systems tucked away in an environmentally controlled environment, quietly at the ready to protect against any power problems that may come their way. Due to the integration of power sensitive microprocessor controllers...

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Internet sales tax will only benefit the state

March 25, 2013 3:34 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Get ready to pony up more dollars for online purchases. On Friday, the U.S. Senate passed the innocuously-titled "Marketplace Fairness Act" through the upper chamber on a 75-24 vote. The bill would require e-tailers to collect and remit sales tax on interstate commerce, even when the business has no physical presence in the state.

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Smart grid technology of the future

March 22, 2013 2:53 pm | Comments

We asked our industry experts to weigh in on our Smart Grid question: What home energy technology do you expect to see as a breakthrough in the next 12 months?

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What home energy technology will break through in the next 12 months?

March 22, 2013 2:41 pm | Comments

Our energy and Smart technology experts weigh in to answer our smart grid question for this month: What home energy technology do you expect to see as a breakthrough in the next 12 months?

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The LED rundown

March 22, 2013 2:16 pm | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Comments

The life of a light-emitting diode (LED) isn’t as simple as some advertisers may lead you to believe. Manufacturers offer numbers like 100,000 hours as the expected lifetime of high-powered LEDs, but those numbers reflect calculations done using optimum conditions and specification points.

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Reader's Response: What energy management technology will generate the most buzz over the next 12 months?

March 22, 2013 12:31 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Comments

We wanted the lowdown on Smart Grid and the future of the engineering, so we asked our readers to answer a question: What energy management technology will generate the most buzz over the next 12 months?

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Bendable display technology takes the stage

March 22, 2013 12:06 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Corning, Samsung | Comments

It happens to everyone who owns a smart phone or tablet. One ill-fated toss into the car or accidental drop on the hardwood and suddenly the screen is too cracked to read. Not only does this render the phone useless until you can get to a store, it can mean spending hundreds of dollars on a new screen or an entirely new phone.  

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Lockstep microcontrollers advance aerospace electronics safety

March 22, 2013 10:53 am | by Anthony Vaughan, Texas Instruments, www.ti.com | Texas Instruments | Comments

Mechanisms like lockstep CPUs, error correction code (ECC) logic for embedded memories and automated built-in self test (BIST) engines integrated into embedded controllers may greatly simplify and reduce the development time needed to design and certify safety critical electronic systems for the aerospace industry.

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