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Lower healthcare costs could mean less human interaction

May 20, 2013 3:23 pm | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

For those who live alone, good medical care is all the more important. The machine-to-machine (M2M) communications business is growing, and the prevalence of wireless connectivity could push down the price of healthcare for the elderly, especially — but at the greater cost of human interaction.

Fire human resources

May 20, 2013 10:31 am | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Blogs | Comments

Management Consultant Dave Logan at CBS Moneywatch is warning companies to avoid falling in love with company policy. He talks about a company that wanted to hire a very disruptive genius. But HR said it wasn't possible because they had no job description for the function envisioned. And besides the guy was obviously a poor fit and a possible cause for resentment by the rest of the employees.

This is what a 1950s robot looks like

May 20, 2013 10:11 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

It’s pretty crazy when you think about how far technology has come in the past five years, let alone the past 50 years. Recently, we talked about different humanoid robots, including DARPA’s PETMAN and the Alphadog Proto, a humanoid robot used to test protective clothing and a 4-legged battlefield companion, respectively.

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What are the biggest LED challenges, according to engineers

May 17, 2013 10:06 am | by Editor | Blogs | Comments

With Lightfair in the rearview mirror and being dominated by LEDs, lighting has become an intense debate in the industry. What we want to know is what you think about the future of LEDs. We know our readers have varied opinions and valuable experiences – now here’s a great opportunity to showcase them. Send us an answer to the question below and if we think yours is great...

The future of Google Glass

May 16, 2013 3:49 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

 There has been a lot of talk about Google Glass lately, mostly due to the prototype debut, but one interesting aspect of that public viewing is that developers –outside of GoogleLand—can take a crack at coming up with interesting uses for the technology. By allowing new voices into the conversation, the world is seeing even more possibilities for Google Glass. 

Dealing with counterfeits in the market

May 16, 2013 2:53 pm | by George Karalias, Director of Marketing & Communications, Rochester Electronics | Blogs | Comments

Counterfeiters are adaptable and constantly incorporating solutions that can void the latest countermeasures adopted by the electronics manufacturers and their supply chain. In some cases, the counterfeits are very hard to differentiate from the original component.

Welcoming grandma into our virtual future

May 16, 2013 1:27 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Blogs | Comments

A virtual reality (VR) headset by the name of Oculus Rift made a big splash on Kickstarter, raising a stellar $2.43 million to get development kits into the hands and on the noggins of game developers. And now that the units have started to ship, people in the gaming community are getting treated to video after video of people wearing the goggles and trying to explain just how floored they are....

IDC connectors intended for harsh commercial, industrial, and energy applications

May 16, 2013 12:54 pm | Avx Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

AVX Corporation has introduced the latest iteration of its wire-to-board (WTB) insulation displacement contact (IDC) technology.  Designed to provide a gas-tight, plated through-hole WTB termination, the new 9177-600 Series is compatible with the rugged power boards used to handle larger wire gauges and more amps per contact....

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Much ado about nothing: The impact of the medical device excise tax

May 15, 2013 1:32 pm | by Michael Lewis, Writer, Money Crashers Personal Finance | Blogs | Comments

Students of military strategy learn quickly the advantages of choosing when and where to fight, rather than wasting resources on trivial issues. An impartial observer would wonder about the wisdom of the excessive rhetoric, over-the-top hyperbole, and political posturing surrounding the medical device excess tax.

Open innovation spurs ultimate American success

May 14, 2013 4:35 pm | by Louise Rainone, Vice President of Marketing, PCDworks | Blogs | Comments

Under Armour is always a great example of innovation as a whole. The company began with an idea, a need and pure hunger to be the best, and it has become the ultimate American success story. UA has a candid approach to roundtable conversations. They sit down and talk about a technology’s strengths and weaknesses; ponder the potential length of time-to-market; and have heart-to-heart conversations to explain the contract.

Syria’s Internet silence could happen to us

May 14, 2013 10:08 am | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

On Tuesday, May 7, Syria disappeared from the Internet. It went offline in a targeted act of censorship, yet the blanket of silence fell over the entire country. While severe government crackdowns often happen halfway across the globe, the ripple effect is spreading farther all the time.

Respect for trial & error, & success

May 13, 2013 9:14 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Blogs | Comments

There are many ways we transform questions and uncertainty into confidence, new products, or innovative solutions. Experimentation and trial is one that many seem compelled to avoid. Give respect to the power of trial and experimentation, and to its risks. Right now I’m working on a project with a friend of mine and it strikes me how differently we approach the development of our vision.

Nowhere to run

May 13, 2013 9:04 am | by David Mantey, Executive Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

Karma certainly is a swift vixen, isn't she? I was a few hours removed from editing Meaghan Ziemba’s column, Smartphone Shakes, for the latest issue of Wireless Design & Development magazine (PD&D’s sister) when I was retelling the story of her troubles following an incident involving a barroom toilet and her smartphone — nothing pairs well with such sleazy settings, particularly electronics.

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Connector features 16 auxiliary positions & selective mate keys

May 9, 2013 4:23 pm | Anderson Power Products | Product Releases | Comments

Anderson Power Products announces a new addition to their multipole connector selection with the release of the new SB Smart connector. The SB Smart is designed to meet the connection needs for high power storage batteries which are integrated into a larger system or where batteries require monitoring & control circuits.

Low noise power

May 9, 2013 3:28 pm | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Blogs | Comments

I recently designed a low power, low noise, power supply for digital work. The nominal output voltages as designed are +5 volts and +3.3 volts. One hundred and fifty milliamps each. With a lightly regulated five volt supply for powering LED back lights.

Should engineers be licensed: A process improvement perspective

May 8, 2013 9:29 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Blogs | Comments

In his article, “Should Engineers Be Licensed,” posted on www.pddnet.com Monday, April 22, Karl Stephen presented an interesting question that generated a great many comments and some debate among readers.  Perhaps a way to answer the question is to answer the question phrased differently.

The web after 20 years: It’s not so different

May 6, 2013 4:23 pm | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

On April 30, the World Wide Web turned 20. Oh, how the years pass us by. When we think about how people use the Internet today, some of us cringe. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pervade every virtual inch, enticing thousands to waste countless hours of their lives....

To break down the digital divide, target relevance and affordability

May 6, 2013 1:23 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

It’s hard to believe some 20 years after Internet became available to most Americans that many of our neighbors are still not only offline but computer illiterate as well. I was reminded of that fact in March when the Governor of New Jersey proposed that the unemployed in the state, as a condition to receive their benefits, use the state’s jobs listing web site each week.

VITA 66.1 optical MT backplane interconnect system promises simplified VPX-architecture

May 6, 2013 12:32 pm | Molex Incorporated | Product Releases | Comments

Molex launched the VITA 66.1 ruggedized optical MT backplane interconnect solution for high-density aerospace, defense and commercial embedded system applications.  Fully compliant with the ANSI-ratified 66.1 specification, the compact VITA 66.1 optical MT backplane solution is

The most technologically-advanced toilet in the world

May 3, 2013 9:02 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Though people often refer to the toilet as “the throne,” the euphemism has never been taken quite this literally before. Kohler, the family-owned bath and kitchen company and inventor of all around fancy bathroom fixtures, has really gone all out with their newest creation, Numi.

10 MUST READ posts from April

May 1, 2013 2:44 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here’s a rundown of the most read, most popular, most awesome articles on the web. Take a look at what you missed the first time around or check up on an old favorite to see the conversation in the comments. Keep checking out the Lead at www.ecnmag.com and follow us on Twitter @ecnonline for our most up-to-date articles.

Dual bayonet locking connector designed for industrial Ethernet applications

May 1, 2013 2:17 pm | Conec | Product Releases | Comments

CONEC has advanced its IP67-rated RJ45 family of connectors to include Ethernet I/O ports with a dual bayonet in-line coupler that can be used as a true in-line extension. The dual bayonet coupling mechanism is in compliance with IEC 61076-3-106 and provides increased protection for the connector system against contamination and moisture.

A tale of two lamps

April 30, 2013 4:19 pm | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Blogs | Comments

A few months ago, my wife bought a lamp at an office-supply place to light up the table where my father-in-law plays dominoes with us. He’s 87 and his eyesight isn’t what it used to be, so having lots of light in the right place is important. The ceiling light doesn’t quite do the job.

The green death

April 30, 2013 3:45 pm | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Blogs | Comments

Being "green" has gone from a technical effort to economically reduce energy use and avoid waste where such avoidance makes sense to actively reducing our effectiveness to show how committed we are to the Green Religion. And there is so much of this going on. In my opinion we would be much better off worshiping trees. Or cows.

‘Internet Of Things’: An opportunity for intelligent device manufacturers

April 29, 2013 3:25 pm | by Steve Schmidt, Vice President of Corporate Development & Strategy, Flexera Software | Blogs | Comments

The “Internet of Things” is a phrase used to describe how the internet will link traditional smart devices, and a wide range of additional physical assets to allow these endpoints to generate and share data. Nearly every product will have an IP address and communication capability — not just networking and telecommunications devices...

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