This month’s Tinker’s Toolbox podcast is about the issues and hurdles facing the commercialization and adoption of advanced technologies. For example, Solid-State Lighting, “green” devices, and even relatively well-developed technologies Like MEMS are still pushing for greater adoption in the marketplace.
Is the designer responsible for the effects of the device created? Is the manufacturer? What about the salesperson or the marketing department creating the demand? Is the user ultimately responsible? Every tool and technology, no matter how mundane, has effects beyond the intended function.
Back in December, we reported on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, the world’s first commercial spaceship. Christened the VSS Enterprise, the vessel is a sub-orbital spacecraft capable of ferrying two pilots and six passengers into the thermosphere (an apogee of about 110 km). On July 15th, the Enterprise completed its first crewed flight.
For proof that unmanned systems represent the future of warfare, check out BAE Systems’ new Unmanned Combat Aircraft System (UCAS), Taranis. Resembling something out of The Terminator, Taranis (named after the Celtic God of Thunder) is a sight to behold.
Before becoming engrossed in the topic of this episode, there were some rather interesting recent occurrences associated with the last episode, “Energy 103 – Wind Turbines II”, which alluded to my theory that tornados which occur in ‘Tornado Alley’ in the Midwestern US...
Blizzard Entertainment has narrowly avoided a public relations nightmare: an unfavorable comparison with Communist China. The game publisher recently announced plans (then shelved them) to require real names (“Real ID”) on its forums. Meanwhile, China has vowed “to reduce anonymity” on the internet.
Technology isn't as foolproof as it seemed.
Security concerns are a fact of life today and improved audio/video surveillance is extremely important for both private businesses and public entities. As the security/surveillance market transitions to digital from legacy analog-based systems, new capabilities and benefits are helping to spur market growth.
The Air Force is developing software that will help field commanders avoid improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The software will integrate data from multiple sources to provide real-time intel for mission planners.
Back in April, we reported on the Impulse HB-SIA, a solar-powered aircraft piloted by balloonist Bertrand Piccard. Powered by 11,628 monocrystalline silicon cells, the HB-SIA is an impressive piece of work. Yesterday, the craft achieved an important milestone: the first solar-powered night flight.
Overly broad accesses in SAP was a concern for Powell, as a user could either accidentally or intentionally execute potentially harmful transactions outside of their job functions.
This video gives an overview of the GENIE integration activities on the Project M RR-1 prototype lander.
Despite cost overruns, delays, and controversy, the F-35 program is surging forward. Recently, Lockheed Martin received a $522 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense towards development of the “Joint Strike Fighter.” One thing’s certain—for better or worse, we’re putting all our eggs in one basket.
Pentagon research scientists have taken a first step towards "Transformers"-style shape-shifting cars and aircraft, with a robot that can fold itself like origami into different forms.
Optocouplers and cigarettes have a lot in common. Both burn excessive energy during operation and get hot as a result.
On Monday, President Obama officially announced his National Space Policy. There were few surprises, but in this case, no news is bad news. NASA has never been so irrelevant to the National Space Policy. It’s right there in NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden’s statement (emphasis mine)—NASA is pleased to be an integral part of President Obama's National Space Policy.”
The electronics industry will be impacted by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision today in the case of Bilski et al. v. Kappos. For about the past year, the door to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was closed to many inventions expressed as methods or processes, but now the door is at least a bit more open due to today's Bilski decision.
Let's look at the controversy that operators have triggered by including femto traffic into the data plan - i.e. you use up your quote even if using your femto on your broadband.
The United States’ “premier air superiority fighter,” the F-22 Raptor, is banned from export. The F-35 (and its fifth generation rival, the PAK-FA) is not. Thus, it’s no surprise that allies have climbed aboard the Joint Strike Fighter program. For all intents and purposes, the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act killed the F-22 Raptor.
At the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Nintendo officially unveiled the 3DS. And from the media’s reaction, you’d think Nintendo reinvented the electron. The 3DS uses autostereoscopy to produce 3D images without the need for special glasses—or so claim their marketing gurus. Does it live up to the hype? Read on for my first-hand impressions.
A couple of statements made about vortices in previous episodes have prompted several comments and queries. Then just recently there was a news story about an airliner incident where it hit an “air pocket” or CAT (Clear Air Turbulence) as it is called.
These are busy times for the femtocell industry.There are now 13 operators who have launched service, including 3 out of 3 in Japan and 3 out of 4 in USA.
SpaceX has inked a $492 million deal with Iridium Communications Inc. to launch a fleet of next-generation commercial satellites aboard its Falcon 9 rocket.
With all the discussion about rules and responsibility in the wake of the Gulf disaster, this installment of the Tinker's Toolbox deals with electronic safety regulation and the role of the engineer in the process.
Last week AT&T announced some big changes to its pricing and data models to deal with the increasing number of devices demanding data from the network, particularly with the launch of the 3G version of the iPad.