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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.

Smile: Your life’s history is one photo snap away

December 3, 2013 12:21 pm | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Comments

Military technology is now a resource available to local police departments. What’s used on the battlefield is entering our home turf. Facial recognition software sounds harmless enough until you think about what it could create: a whole database with information on each and every one of us.

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How Do You Know?

November 28, 2013 2:30 pm | by Screaming Circuits | Comments

This isn't a Thanksgiving blog. It is Thanksgiving day, and if it were a Thanksgiving blog, I would have to be working today, but we're shut down for the holiday, so I'm not working. I just woke up pondering what...

Here’s what the ECN Editors are thankful for this year

November 26, 2013 3:18 pm | by the Editors | Comments

Say what you will about Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa. For our money, the “most wonderful time of the year” is Thanksgiving, when the fall foliage sets the scene for family, football, turkey, more football, and dessert (in that order). And though “Black Friday” has crept into Thursday, there’s much to be thankful for this year. Here’s what the ECN staff had to say....

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