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How field application engineers are changing the engineering world

October 3, 2014 9:01 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor and Eileen Whitmore, Art Director | Blogs | Comments

Field application engineers, also known as FAEs or Sales engineers are a hybrid of exactly what the title implies: Sales and Engineering. These folks are unique because they’re essentially in the position of selling a product but they can also offer....

UK’s Watchkeeper UAV becomes operational

October 2, 2014 3:11 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

We’ve previously discussed the Thales Watchkeeper WK450, a rotary-engine Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) UAV for use by the British Army. Four years ago marked the Watchkeeper’s UK maiden flight, and it recently became operational....

FPC/FFC connector features improved operability and robustness

October 2, 2014 2:51 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Kyocera Connector Products Corporation (San Diego, CA) announced the availability of its 6809 Series 0.5mm-pitch FPC/FFC connector which features improved operability as well as robustness by focusing on the assembly line workers’ method of operation....

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Get off your computer

October 1, 2014 1:45 pm | by Kaylie Duffy, Associate Editor, @kaylieannduffy | Blogs | Comments

If you’re anything like me, then the majority of your day is spent in front of a computer screen. As soon as I stumble out of bed, I instinctively boot up my computer. Emails require responses, the weather must be checked, and the news needs to be read....

My internship experience with ECN Magazine

September 30, 2014 10:25 am | by A.J. Watts, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

It was exciting, nerve-wracking, and a priceless learning experience. My time as the brand new editorial intern for ECN magazine was definitely unforgettable. At first, I was a little bit nervous, hoping that I was the right guy for the job. I wasn’t....

Smart glasses and the evolution of human-computing interfaces

September 30, 2014 9:38 am | by James Mongomery, Senior Market Research Editor, NanoMarkets | Blogs | Comments

Within the emerging category of wearable computing, arguably the most characteristic product to emerge is "smart glasses" which mesh the communications capabilities of smartphones with additional visual and other sensual enhancements....

Are engineers too smart for their own good?

September 29, 2014 2:26 pm | by David Mantey, Editor-in-Chief | Blogs | Comments

I’m lucky enough to be in the position where I can have an ongoing dialogue with multiple design engineers every day. Sure, sometimes the conversations are a bit feisty as things heat up in the pddnet.com comments section (where cooler heads rarely prevail)....

How three teenage girls are solving world hunger

September 26, 2014 11:50 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The key to beefing up the country (and world) supply of engineer and technology superstars is giving them the opportunity to do great things, even if they can’t legally drive yet. The Google Science Fair is a competition for students between the ages of 13 and 18 with prizes ranging...

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11 ways to keep data safe when traveling overseas

September 24, 2014 2:41 pm | by Jeff Multz, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

For business travelers going to foreign lands, the old “Don’t leave home without it” slogan should be brought back with one slight change: “Leave home without it.” Computers, mobile phones and any other electronic devices that contain personal ...

China developing subsonic stealth bomber

September 24, 2014 12:00 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

According to early reports, China is developing a new stealth bomber to counter American influence in the Far East and firm up its own leadership and force-projection ability. We’ve previously discussed America’s plans to replace the illustrious SR-71 Blackbird ...

Powering the Internet of Things: New technologies for new markets

September 24, 2014 9:01 am | by James Montgomery, Senior Market Research Editor, NanoMarkets | Blogs | Comments

The Internet-of-Things (IoT), a proliferation of multitudes of interconnected sensors and processors, is arguably the most disruptive shift in technology since the origination of the Internet itself. It's a complex universe spanning communications....

This is what an iPhone 6 Plus in liquid nitrogen looks like

September 23, 2014 9:09 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The short answer is that it doesn’t actually look as bad as you might think. For all of the advantages of an iPhone, one drawback is they generally have to be handled fairly daintily. Apparently, that’s not how RatedRR thinks it should be. He’s made....

3-phase Quicktest provides quick and safe temporary connection to equipment

September 22, 2014 10:29 am | Product Releases | Comments

CLIFF Electronics (England) announces the availability of its new Quicktest QT3, a compact, robust 3-Phase power connector designed for temporary, safe and efficient connection of unterminated cables to 440VAC, 3-Phase power supplies....

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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 | Blogs | 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 ...

4 design fails of the week

September 22, 2014 9:31 am | by Melissa Fassbender, Managing Editor, PD&D, @melfass | Blogs | 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....

5 steps to developing an introvert's superpower

September 19, 2014 11:05 am | by Dave Gennrich, Mechanical Engineer & Project Manager, Design Concepts | Blogs | 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....

5 things to look for when evaluating an engineering design firm

September 18, 2014 1:15 pm | by Doug Ringer, Contributor | Blogs | 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 ...

A tech fix for texting while driving

September 18, 2014 9:09 am | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Blogs | 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....

Should we retire the A-10 Warthog?

September 17, 2014 2:44 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | 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 ...

Talent shortages? Blame salary, not just training

September 17, 2014 9:25 am | by Chris Fox, Editor, MNET | Blogs | Comments

As the economy has turned around and employers have been seeking to invest in fresh blood, a consistent tone of unemployable youth has been ringing from the manufacturing and engineering ranks. The skills gap is a growing problem as baby boomers ...

A new sensor development could aid those suffering from Alzheimer’s

September 17, 2014 9:23 am | by A.J. Watts, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

SmartThings is a DIY home automation system that connects sensors and smart devices with a wireless hub. In addition to sensors, the system can loop in smart thermostats, smart plugs, door locks, and surveillance cameras. Now there isn’t a constant....

Home automation tackles daily to-do lists

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

This V2V technology could change driving forever

September 15, 2014 3:59 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | 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.”

What year did the "modern era" begin?

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

ECN Time Warp: December 2002

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