The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS), a laser-guidance platform from BAE Systems, scored four hits in four shots during the final phase of testing. APKWS adds precision laser guidance capabilities to 2.75 inch rockets—specifically, those found in attack helicopters.
Geeks, the most misunderstood of all species (yes, I’m a member), are notoriously difficult to shop for. We don’t bow to the fashion gods (to put it kindly), our literary tastes are unpredictable, and as for electronics, forgetaboutit—only geeks know what other geeks want. Thus, I present Gifts for Geeks. If you’re a parent/friend/relative with one of these eclectic individuals on your shopping list, take note.
Holidays in New York City are beautiful. The lights, the people, the excitement. However, Christmastime in the city is also a constant reminder that you have gifts to buy for people, regardless of your particular secular rationale. For the style-conscious, the E Ink Digital Calendar Watch from Phosphor is both attractive and cutting-edge...
The mad scramble to obtain incandescent bulbs ahead of the EU ban highlights a controversial practice—the forced obsolescence of old technologies. R&D, combined with market forces, often collude to bury legacy tech. But should government speed up this process? How important is consumer choice?
Recently the number of book-related applications in the iPhone App Store has surpassed the number of game apps in sales, sending rumbles throughout the nascent eBook reader marketplace. Will the smartphone unseat the e-reader before it can even begin its reign?
Recently I posted a reference item on the term “Bunny Suit” to www.everything2.com (participating in sites like that is how I “doodle in the margins” during my work day), and the essay made me think of other terms we use, and why we have so many unimaginative words for such exciting technology.
Even tennis isn’t sacrosanct—competitors in the US Open are being warned to watch what they tweet. The warning is purportedly to ensure compliance with tennis’ “Anti-Corruption Program Rules.” Posted in conspicuous locations, the warning reads: "Many of you will have Twitter accounts in order for your fans to follow you and to become more engaged in you and the sport...
The UK is considering a law that would force ISPs to cut off service to those accused of illegally downloading movies and/or music. This has the potential to reignite an old debate—one that’s persisted since the term “digital media” was invented. Our handling of this issue has profound ramifications for the future of the entertainment industry.
On October 20, 2005 Congress passed the Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005. The act mandated the cessation of analog broadcasting by February 18, 2009, and the subsequent reign of digital. The program floundered, leaving the public woefully unprepared for the February deadline. This example illustrates how badly the government can mangle an enterprise.
While a student at Susquehanna University for the past 3 years I have often had reservations regarding my decision to major in creative writing. The inevitable question ‘What am I going to do with my degree?’ has been on my mind more intensely as I approach my senior year.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) have filed a legal challenge against a New York City law mandating door-to-door collection of e-waste. Local Law No. 13, taking effect July 31st, forces all electronic manufacturers doing business in NYC to provide free door-to-door collection services for covered equipment.
The Amazon Kindle fiasco brings up a host of issues related to digital property management and individual rights. For those with a personal (read: financial) stake in E-reader technology, it’s a shot across the bow. It puts them on the defensive, as one company (that would be Amazon) has unwittingly put out a negative ad campaign against E-readers.
“Do you own your books?” sounds like a stupid question, doesn’t it? It’s like asking “do you own your socks?” Yet the recent actions by Amazon to reclaim books literally from their owner’s hands have demonstrated that in the digital economy, it isn’t a stupid question at all. We are giving up our ownership of information for temporary ethereal possession, and are at the mercy of those who “rent” that content to us.
America finds itself at a juncture of many roads, with no clear map on which way to turn. The role of government, health care, energy, race, and disruptive technology have presented us with a myriad of choice on which road to take to the future. The important thing to remember is that we are all in the same boat together.
The wonderful communications technology infrastructure we have created has given everyone the power to communicate with anyone else on the planet at a moments notice with images, text, voice, and video. All of the focus is on the software tools such as Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube that are at the forefront of the societal sea change, but it is the newly-risen global information network that is the real hero.
Autocratic nations rarely feel the need to justify their actions. So China’s recent defense of its new internet filtering software was extraordinary. It also rings hollow. Starting July 1, the “Green Dam Youth Escort” software must be pre-installed on all computers sold within mainland China. The net-filtering software is aimed at protecting users from “harmful content.”
Once upon a time, if you wanted to know the future you went to a colorful character who told you your fortune by examining bird guts, tea leaves, or other obscure random pattern generator. They were called witch doctors, clairvoyants, and fortune-tellers. Today we call them business analysts.
There's an old saying, "you can even get used to hanging, if you hang long enough". This industry has been on a rollercoaster for over a decade, between the Dot-Bomb, the Telecom collapse, the Internet, the housing bubble, the bank crisis, and disruptive technologies, we've been beaten about like a Pinata on Cinco de Mayo.
The four soldiers move from their concealed position and “stack” themselves, one behind the other, parallel to the door. The #2 man throws an M84 grenade (flashbang) into the room, then yells “frag out!” The flashbang detonates, and the fire team storms through the “fatal funnel” (door). In those first moments, the #1 man must instantaneously...
For those who’ve never been, Electronics West is one of seven shows (including EW, Medical Design and Manufacturing West, Pacific Design and Manufacturing West, Automation Technology Expo West, Plastec West, West Pack, and Green Manufacturing West) co-located within the Anaheim Convention Center. One badge earned admittance to all, so from 10-12 February, I “attended” each.
By the time you read this column, Barak Obama will be the President of the United States of America. Politics aside, I think that this is a positive thing for many reasons, the most predominant being that this is a President that understands technology. He was in High School when the first generation of computers arrived, and came of age...
As we head into the New Year, looking towards the future, our minds are always drawn to the past. “Auld Lang Syne” means roughly ‘long times past”. Our ruminations on the past vary from individual to individual; one may look back nostalgic, another regretful, and the third satisfied. The most important thing to remember is that the past is past, and we must embrace the future or face the consequences.
All around, 2008 has been a very trying year. Each day seemed to bring a new round of bad news, whether it was the real estate bubble bursting, stock markets plummeting, or the “big three” automakers petitioning congress for a bailout similar to the one given to some of the nation’s largest banks. In the electronics industry, lackluster consumer confidence, fueled by the global economic crisis...
As Halloween blurs into the great amorphous mass that is the combined orgy of Thanksgiving eating and Christmas Holiday shopping, we take the time to look at some of the things we’d like to see in our holiday gift baskets. Beyond the obligatory wishes for world peace and international understanding, there are some nice toys out there, too.
The recent Energy Star controversy must inevitably be discussed in a broader context. To sum up current events: on June 2nd, the EPA violated Energy Policy Act (EPACT) 2005 by releasing a “technical amendment” (version 4.2) to their Energy Star solid state lighting criteria without consulting “interested parties” (i.e. industry).