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Lazy kids play with lazy toys

February 26, 2014 6:37 am | by Chris Fox, PD&D Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Hasbro recently announced that it was revamping the Transformer product line. As the popular shape-shifters approach their 30-year anniversary, and will star in yet another movie, the company has enlisted a design and engineering team for an overhaul.

Answering the reshoring question

February 25, 2014 11:08 am | by Pramod Gupta, Aakash Gupta, Hector Gutierrez, and Patrick Van den Bossche, A.T. Kearney | Blogs | Comments

The U.S. has become a more attractive destination for manufacturing over the last few years. That’s a fact. And several U.S. companies are indeed bringing back their manufacturing operations. Several others are asking the question: “Should we reshore our activities as well?”

Only a matter of time till computers know you better than you know yourself

February 25, 2014 11:01 am | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

We have “smart” phones, watches, homes, cars, and even toothbrushes, and they’re getting smarter by the second. What will artificial intelligence revolutionize next? Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, bets it’ll be the search engine.

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Mandated 'smart' tech could put cars in charge of their drivers

February 25, 2014 6:53 am | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

A new federal mandate could ensure that you’re not the only driver in control of the wheel. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication is a big deal. Basically, it enables cars to “talk” to each other and exchange data such as speed and location. That way, if someone were to pull a dangerous maneuver, the cars would “know” and could respond to avoid a collision....

Overmolded backshells on connector interfaces offer improved reliability

February 24, 2014 4:17 pm | Api Technologies | Product Releases | Comments

API Technologies Corp. (Orlando, FL) now offers overmolded backshells on connector interfaces from its Electromagnetic Integrated Solutions (EIS) product line, the leader in EMI/RFI components and interconnects. Ideal for use in military, aerospace, high-end industrial, oil and gas, as well as medical applications...

Why the self-driving car will be the greatest technology of all time (seriously)

February 24, 2014 10:00 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

I am in desperate need of a self-driving car. We’re talking desperate. I would pay a considerable amount of money — in this circumstance not only does the self-driving car exist, it is widely available and I have hit the lottery — for a self-driving car.

Are electric vehicles worth it?

February 24, 2014 9:16 am | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Last year alone, the U.S. sold almost 100,000 plug-in electric vehicles. That’s nearly double the purchase rate of 2012. But as more consumers and experts grow to love EVs, at least as many vehemently hate them. Are electric vehicles a worthwhile investment or just another craze?

High-speed copper cable assembly provides data rates of 40 Gbps

February 21, 2014 1:25 pm | Product Releases | Comments

TE Connectivity (Harrisburg, PA) introduces the QSFP+ 33 AWG cable assembly. As an evolution of TE’s high-speed TurboTwin cable assemblies, these ultra-thin cables address the need for fine, lightweight, and highly flexible cabling solutions in high-density intra-rack applications such as data servers, switches, storage and routers.

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Navy's laser weapon is thwarted by Mother Nature

February 21, 2014 8:13 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Sci-Fi geeks rejoice — the U.S. Navy’s shipboard laser weapon will deploy this summer. *Cue John Williams soundtrack* But the Laser Weapon System (LaWS) — while dirt-cheap to operate — is hamstrung by Mother Nature: Inclement weather — plus a host of other conditions — could limit its effectiveness. Bummer....

#racism? Study probes slurs found on Twitter

February 19, 2014 11:25 am | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Is cyber-racism the newest form of cyberbullying? A study performed by the British organization Demos reports that over 10,000 racial slurs are posted on Twitter every day. That means that every 9 seconds or so, a racial slur is tweeted. What’s going on here?

Mini-DIN 4.1/9.5 adapters offer VSWR performance of 1.25:1 up to 6 GHz

February 18, 2014 4:15 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Fairview Microwave (Allen, TX) introduces a complete line of mini-DIN 4.1/9.5 adapters intended for use in applications requiring low passive intermodulation (low PIM) performance such as cell sites or indoor/outdoor distributed antenna systems (DAS).

John Kerry: Climate change is a "weapon of mass destruction"

February 18, 2014 12:53 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Over the weekend, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Indonesia, and from the confines of a U.S.-funded cultural center at a Jakarta mall, Kerry described anthropogenic (aka, man-caused) global warming (AGW) as "perhaps the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction".

When the going gets tough, rugged connectors deliver

February 18, 2014 11:58 am | by David Cianciolo, Director of Engineering, Fischer Connectors | Fischer Connectors | Articles | Comments

When you’re designing equipment for extreme conditions or critical situations, high performing components are essential, and rugged connectors offer a reliable solution for the toughest situations. Rugged connectors are engineered for a variety of demanding applications, including extreme temperatures....

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Eco-cables: The next generation of control cabling

February 18, 2014 11:17 am | by Rob Toenies, product manager at Newark element14 | Newark | Articles | Comments

Eco-material cables, or eco-cables, are the next generation in control cabling. Poised to replace standard polyvinyl chloride (PVC) cables, eco-cables are becoming more and more popular due to the performance and environmental benefits they provide.

Why have millennials surrendered their online privacy?

February 17, 2014 4:52 pm | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Every click you make could have real-world consequences, whether you’re shopping online or posting incriminating pictures. Terms like “internet safety” don’t mean what they used to, but a lot of us haven’t caught up yet. Is this because the internet is changing faster than we are or because we just don’t care? Do millennials take safety and privacy of their online lives for granted?

Forget the "smart home": These homes are micro-sized

February 17, 2014 11:52 am | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

Cubicles have a bad rap: They’re tiny, humiliating work spaces reserved for monkeys who push buttons all day long. I don’t have to sit in one, so maybe I’d speak differently if I were stuck in a bathroom-sized box all day, but I do live in a one-bedroom apartment with my significant other. And if there’s one good thing about having less room to stretch out in, it’s that you’re forced to use it more wisely.

The five best apps to plan your perfect Valentine’s at the last second

February 14, 2014 4:19 pm | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Waited till the last second to make your Valentine’s Day plans? Forgot about the day of love entirely? Or maybe you’re snowed in and have to rethink your plans? Not to worry — these five apps, free or inexpensive for multiple operating systems, are ready to save the day. No matter what kind of day you want.

For DARPA’s next trick: Things that disappear

February 14, 2014 12:16 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), through its Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR), is working on what it calls “transient” electronics that can disappear when activated remotely. The BBC recently reported that DARPA awarded a $3.5 million contract....

Relay system promises increased flexibility

February 14, 2014 12:14 pm | Phoenix Contact | Product Releases | Comments

Phoenix Contact (Middletown, PA) introduced RIFLINE Complete, a modular ice cube-style relay system with a broad range of accessories. The system is available as either completely assembled modules, which can save assembly time and labor costs, or as individual components, to

Power connectors aim to fill a critical power gap with a small footprint

February 14, 2014 11:45 am | Molex | Product Releases | Comments

Molex’ (Lisle, IL) Mega-Fit wire-to-board, mid-range power connector is presented as filling a significant power void in today’s interconnect marketplace by delivering 23 A in a small 5.7-mm footprint. The connectors are appropriate for

Coax connector targets high frequency applications where spacing is critical

February 14, 2014 10:48 am | Emerson Network Power Connectivity | Product Releases | Comments

Emerson Network Power (Bannockburn, IL) announced an addition to the Johnson line of coax connectors, SMPM for applications such as radar, satellite, high density packaging, and applications requiring higher frequencies up to 65 GHz. These subminiature connectors feature

How far should the 1st Amendment protect domestic drones?

February 14, 2014 9:27 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Does the “right to know” trump privacy rights? Should journalists exercise restraint in coverage of sensitive topics? At what point does a slavish devotion to the 1st Amendment absolve the press of any moral responsibility? These are very old questions, but they’ve become particularly relevant in the age of 24/7 citizen journalism....

Photos of the Day: The Taranis Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle demonstrator

February 14, 2014 8:01 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

The BAE Systems Taranis, named after the Celtic god of thunder, is being billed as the most advanced British aircraft ever built. The Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator will be a semi-autonomous stealth vehicle capable of striking intercontinental targets.

3D-printed drones: The future of warfare?

February 13, 2014 9:46 am | by Allegra Sparta, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

It’s like learning about the newest celebrity couple. The only difference is that you won’t read about this development in the tabloids. The United States didn’t really need any more incentive to outdo other countries in military technology, but 3D printing is an attractive avenue to further enhance our growing preference for drone warfare.

GaN-based transistors take to the sky to capture the action

February 12, 2014 11:25 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

When Ray Breslin and Emil Rottmayer attempted a highly daring escape from a super-high security prison in this fall’s thriller Escape Plan, audiences got up close to see (spoiler alert!) our two heroes — played by Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, respectively — engage in a gunfight with the prison’s “crew”....

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