Excuse the tortured metaphor, but the old advice about not putting all your eggs in one basket applies to engineering as well as to other fields. The implication is that if the basket with all your eggs slips and falls, you’ve lost everything. Boeing hasn’t lost everything, but the battery troubles besetting its new 787 Dreamliner could not have come at a worse time.
A recent press release at ECN, NTU research embraces laser and sparks cool affair, prompted me to go looking for the source of the report, which was an article in Nature Magazine. The article explains a lot of things. One of those things is that the cooler is not the panacea described in the press release.
Aaron Swartz was a 26-year-old computer programmer and online activist who died of apparent suicide on January 11, ahead of a scheduled trial where he was charged with 13 felonies. Swartz, founder of Demand Progress, an online group actively working against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)...
Can you hear it? That's the sound of the device market changing. It sounds a little like the whispers that RIM just might have something with BlackBerry 10. It also sounds a little like rumors that Amazon has the right kind of content ecosystem to launch a smartphone of its own.
One of the highlights of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was a low-power wireless system that could revolutionize the game of pigskin. The Riddell InSite Impact Response System utilizes a five-point sensor pad lined in the player’s helmet to quantify an impact and, if it passes a predetermined threshold, notifies the sideline.
There is a message that I have tried many times to convey to colleagues, associates, peers, friends, and employers. It’s challenging because it is such a large and broad idea that it’s difficult to simplify into a platitude or simple fable. I’ll start by explaining that one of the greatest failures of many improvement efforts is also the greatest failure of many failed product designs and struggling or failed businesses.
Apple has a lot of great products: iPhones, iPads, computers, laptops, Apple TV and the potential for many more. (Note the lack of iPad mini on this list because it is a dumb product, but I digress.) It seems the company might be expanding into shoe wear with a sensor that will track your steps and tell you when it’s time for a new pair of kicks.
Think you own your wireless handset, inside and out? Think you can do whatever you wish with your own property? Think again. Beginning Saturday, it will become illegal to unlock a phone without the express permission of the carrier who locked it.
The Consumer Electronic Show (CES) has been in the news at ECN, but boy was I surprised when my home town paper featured a CES story on its front page this past week. The story was mainly about Prescient Audio, a local company that has designed a new type of bass driver that will reduce the volume such drivers take up in cars.
Gun control is a hot button issue, so it makes sense that police and security firms would look towards expanding effective methods of nonviolent interaction. This becomes particularly important during riot situations with a lot of people and confusion, where police are often outnumbered and overwhelmed.
An article in the Associated Press, "Big Data and cloud computing empower smart machines to do human work, take human jobs," bemoans the loss of jobs to technology – a highly dubious assertion that crops up every generation like a broken record. And like the damaged piece of vinyl, this argument is immune to logic and reason.
A new trend gaining speed in many industries is the concept of “bring your own device” (BYOD). Plainly put, BYOD is when employees have the ability to bring their own technical devices—like smart phones, tablets and laptops -- and use the company’s network instead of a company-provided device. BYOD has many benefits and risks, though....
I’ve talked a lot about intelligent systems in cars that are steering the industry towards a safer overall product by allow computers to take over where human error would mean an accident.There has been talk of new seatbelts, new braking system, and sensors that communicate with traffic lights and other cars,
While the idea of “Smart Medication” didn’t go over very well with the ECN crowd, there is a group to which it could be the difference between life and death.Firefighters often battle in extreme environmental conditions that can be pretty tough on the body’s vitals.
Sometimes, an innovative product changes the landscape of the tech world. It illuminates the masses, electrifies the blogosphere, and raises the overall standard of living. And then there’s this – the Anti-loneliness bowl, a ramen soup receptacle that doubles as an iPhone dock.
While stealing is generally frowned upon in most societies, there is a new type of thieving that might just change that.Dennis Siegel, a Digital Media student from the University of the Arts in Germany has designed a harvester that takes advantage of unused energy in electromagnetic fields.
ECN recently published a piece slamming Texas for passing a law that "allows Texans to make and sell the old-fashioned inefficient kind of bulbs". The author further states that the goal of the national law Texas is opposing "was to lower U. S. energy usage." It will do no such thing. It will increase electrical usage. We have known this since Economist William Jevons discovered the principle in 1865.
Recently, the supply chain has been buzzing about potential changes in the touch technologies used for future iPhones and iPads, in particular involving LCD suppliers rather than touch panel makers. First came a report that Innolux had delivered TOD (touch on display) samples for the iPhone....
Sometimes great technology comes out of bad life experiences. Like the time Dhairya Dand from MIT Media Lab was so intoxicated he blacked out, and came up with an idea for a technology that would prevent people from drinking too much.By placing a smart LED inside molds of waterproof, edible jelly...
CES has never been more irrelevant. I wrote those words last year when Microsoft pulled out of CES and the industry was in the thralls of its 3D hysteria, pushing a technological gimmick that no one wanted. Since then, the industry has found a new rallying cry – 4K (or Ultra-HD) – and largely abandoned hopes of shoving stereoscopy down our throats, but the pizzazz is still missing.
Each January brings with it a slew of laws scheduled to take effect on the first of the year, and 2013 is no exception. As of Jan. 1, for example, it is now illegal to make or sell new 100-watt and 75-watt light bulbs that do not meet the efficiency standards of the federal Energy Independence and Security Act (nicknamed ERISA).
The love-hate relationship we have with "the grid" was inescapable during Superstorm Sandy. We don’t think about it much when our homes are lit and appliances are humming – we have the freedom to do anything we want. But when there’s an interruption, there’s that nagging wish to be free from the grip of our local utility....
The first mate gave me a heads-up about about the state of wind energy locally. Gamesa USA is pulling out of a proposed wind farm development in Ogle County, Illinois. saukvalley.com reports....
With the predictable run of 4k2k announcements this CES, most comments have sensibly focused on content availability. This was undoubtedly the single greatest factor in the failure of 3D to create a revival in the TV market.
Ever since Polywell Fusion caught my attention, superconducting magnets have been a large side interest of mine. I keep track of papers published in the field through IOP Science - Superconductor Science and Technology. They post a list of papers every month which are freely available for personal use for the first month after publication.