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American perceptions of power

April 23, 2014 9:35 am | by Nikita Ernst, Associate Editor, Chem.Info - @Chem_Kita | Comments

More and more Americans claim to be informed about where their energy comes from, but does that knowledge translate into behavior? A Harris Poll conducted in February of this year shows that the majority of Americans make small efforts to save energy — doing things like flipping the switch....

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Is this solar-powered airplane the future of green travel?

April 22, 2014 9:47 am | by Allegra Sparta, Contributor | Comments

The Solar Impulse team is at it again! This is the team that flew the first solar-powered plane capable of flying around the clock coast-to-coast across the United States in 2013. They just unveiled that plane’s successor, the aptly named Solar Impulse 2, which has an even greater destiny for 2015: to circumnavigate the globe....

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IEEE802.3bt: Can 4-pair and 2-pair coexist?

April 22, 2014 8:38 am | by David Abramson, Texas Instruments | Texas Instruments | Comments

One of the biggest challenges that the IEEE802.3bt Task Force faces is how to define the behavior for new 4-pair devices when they are attached to legacy 2-pair devices. In fact, it is such a challenge that I wrote my very first blog post about it. In this post, I want to dive a little deeper....

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Confessions of a gadget hoarder

April 21, 2014 11:12 am | by David Mantey, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

I must admit that when the gadget-hoarding topic crossed my desk, I was immediately intrigued. After all, it touches two ever-popular topics: life-simplifying gadgetry and mess-justifying hoarding. The revelation forced me to take a moment to reflect, since topics — particularly via email — no longer physically cross a desk....

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Are LEDs poised for success?

April 21, 2014 10:59 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

We have a VERY exciting Brainstorm about LEDs for our June Issue.  This technology has been a really hot topic over the past few years with arguments about efficiency, price, preference and even environmental factors of utilizing different types of bulbs taking center stage.

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Astronaut pee could help get us to Mars

April 21, 2014 8:16 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Urine, made up of more than 95% water, is one of the cleanest fluids in the human body. And on a protracted space mission lasting more than a year (one-way) — to Mars, for example — that fact becomes critically important....

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This is what shooting a drone with a machine gun looks like

April 18, 2014 9:59 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

On today’s edition of destroying things with machine guns, we find ourselves in Arizona during the semi-annual Big Sandy Shoot, which is the largest machine-gun shoot in the US. We also find ourselves learning a valuable lesson: It’s really hard to shoot down drones....

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Component Packages - Let's Get Small

April 16, 2014 7:03 pm | by Screaming Circuits | Comments

I've been on a bit of a package binge lately. First talking about metric vs. US passive sizes, and then a very tiny ARM Cortex M0 from Freescale. The Freescale BGA part checks in at 1.6mm x 2mm. That's cool...

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5 engineers with fatally terrible inventions

April 16, 2014 2:19 pm | by Aubrey Schaefer, Engineer Jobs | Comments

If I stopped to count how many engineers have positively affected my life, I would have no time for anything else. Instead, let’s look at those other engineers – the ones with fatally terrible inventions.The staggering talent of thousands of engineers bears fruit with every processor cycle of the slick little laptop I’m typing this on....

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Solar-powered plane can "fly forever"

April 16, 2014 8:25 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Aviation pioneers Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg — who previously had circumnavigated the globe in a balloon — plan to make history again with the Solar Impulse 2, which will undertake the first solar-powered flight around the world....

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The GM ignition switch recall: Too little too late?

April 15, 2014 1:18 pm | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Comments

How much stuff do you carry on your keyring? Besides keys, I mean. Some minimalists like my wife carry car keys separately from other keys, with nothing attached except maybe a small plastic tag to make it easier to find in her purse....

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Watch a V-22 Osprey fold itself for storage

April 14, 2014 3:07 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

 It’s pretty crazy to think that a huge aircraft with an 85’ foot wingspan is possible of folding itself up to reduce the amount of space it occupies on a massive ship. Yet, the V-22 Osprey does just that. This video is a little dated—it was taken in 2010 at Nellis Airforce Base in Las Vegas....

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How to avoid conducted EMI problems – Part I

April 14, 2014 10:14 am | by Brian King, Texas Instruments | Texas Instruments | Comments

Most conducted EMI problems are due to common mode noise.  Furthermore, most common-mode noise issues are caused by parasitic capacitances in the power supply. For Part I of this discussion, let’s focus on what happens when the parasitic capacitance couples directly to the input wires to the power supply.

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Simplifying M2M data networking

April 14, 2014 7:54 am | by Bill Conley, B&B Electronics | Comments

There is currently no universal standard for cellular network certification and provisioning in North America. Instead, the North American cellular carriers and standards bodies like CTIA/PTCRB force mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and M2M device manufacturers to navigate a labyrinth of different certification processes....

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Military plans to use drones as flying Wi-Fi hotspots

April 11, 2014 10:38 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

For civilians, a dearth of Wi-Fi is a minor inconvenience. First-world problems. But for our troops in the field, a lack of connectivity can kill you. No connection means no close-air support and no reinforcements. Hence the military’s push to turn drones into mobile Wi-Fi hotspots....

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