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Engineering Update #53: A guide to charging your phone in 30 seconds

April 10, 2014 10:38 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Israeli startup StoreDot is taking the lead on shortening the amount of time it takes to charge your phone from a few hours to about 30 seconds by creating chemically synthesized bioorganic peptide molecules—called nano dots—that—as the name suggests—are really tiny....

This technology could save your car from disaster

April 10, 2014 8:11 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The automotive industry is making some pretty large improvements in terms of technology. In the past few years, there have been improvements in vehicle communications—including V2V and V2X systems—as well as in areas like vehicle safety and infotainment systems....

Crowdfunding is killing the hardware revolution

April 9, 2014 11:48 am | by Melissa Fassbender, Associate Editor, @melfass | Blogs | Comments

Positioning itself to save the “hardware revolution” from “prototype purgatory,” Dragon Innovation is a crowdfunding site for hardware — and only hardware. But with so much more. “The hardware revolution has gotten a running start as new technologies like 3D printing have sped up the process of designing a prototype....

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How trends in electronics are affecting connectors

April 9, 2014 8:14 am | by Bob Stanton, Director of Technology, Omnetics | Blogs | Comments

Rapidly changing demands and designs in product performance and electrical integrity are having a huge effect on electronic connector systems. New smaller and more portable electronics in aerospace, defense, and other stressful environments, like those encountered in robotics....

This program can make your phone more secure than ever

April 9, 2014 8:04 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

With the advent of smartphones came a great debate about the security of technology. With all of the sensitive information stored in the phones—bank account numbers, emails, credit card information—keeping the security tight is of the utmost importance....

Wire-to-board, crimp-style connectors designed for LED light applications

April 8, 2014 4:11 pm | Jst Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

The new LEX Series wire-to-board, crimp style, disconnectable connectors recently introduced by JST Corporation (Waukegan, IL) offer subminiature size and reliable contact construction for high-density applications. These 2.5 mm (.098”) pitch, bottom entry, SMT connectors are polarized....

Watch an engineer deal with moronic requests from marketing

April 8, 2014 10:34 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

This sketch provides a decent approximation of what meetings feel like for engineers — or anyone with a technical job, really — as they try to interpret the vague, confusing, and otherwise bizarre requests from non-technical people. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of this on occasion....

This ‘electronic skin’ will revolutionize medicine

April 8, 2014 8:56 am | by Allegra Sparta, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

It’s as thin as a temporary tattoo, but you definitely won’t get one in a cereal box. The creators of this “electronic skin” say that the technology could “one day aid patients with movement disorders or epilepsy.” It’s the first of its kind that can store information and deliver medicine through the skin....

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Five from EELive, part one

April 8, 2014 8:27 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | eConais, Inc., Microchip Technology Inc., Icon Labs | Blogs | Comments

The 2014 edition of EELive is in the rear-view mirror. Along with the damp weather, spirits were dampened, too. Perhaps the show is going through an identity crisis given the recent name changes or the success of Embedded World. In fact, when I spoke to exhibitors about their new product offerings that coincide with the show, some responses began with

Swivel lid socket operates at bandwidths up to 40 GHz

April 7, 2014 12:21 pm | Ironwood Electronics, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Ironwood Electronics (Eagan, MN) has recently introduced a new QFN socket design using high-performance elastomer capable of 40 GHz, very low inductance, high endurance, and wide temperature applications. The SM-QFN-9019 socket is designed for 13x19 mm package size....

Keep politics off of the space station

April 7, 2014 8:37 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

When the Ukraine v. Russia (winner gets Crimea) battle began, one of the first things I said was, “Man, I bet it’s super awkward in space right now.” While Russian and U.S. relations have never been great, there hasn’t been an international issue to this degree between the two countries in quite some time.

Samsung dupes Obama: Why “selfie advertising” needs to stop

April 4, 2014 2:05 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

What do President Obama, Brad Pitt, and Jennifer Lawrence have in common? They’ve all become unwitting props in a viral Samsung advertising campaign that relies on spontaneity, selfies, and tricking people — including the most powerful man in the world — into becoming brand ambassadors....

Putting the 'long term’ in long-term evolution

April 4, 2014 8:22 am | by Francis Sideco, Senior Director Consumer, Mobile, and IT Electronics at IHS | Blogs | Comments

Unlike its predecessors, many of which by this same point in their adoption cycle were already being prepared to transition to the next generation of cellular air interface technology; LTE appears to be living up to its long-term promise.  LTE, while gaining momentum...

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This floating turbine solves all the wind energy problems

April 3, 2014 4:06 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

I am one of those people who thinks wind turbines are pretty cool-looking. When there was talk of putting them on the Jersey Shore off the beach at Atlantic City, I thought that was a pretty good idea. Alas, the idea was never pursued because they were considered an eyesore.

Watch the world burn with this laser beam eyewear

April 3, 2014 10:46 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Okay, so you can’t actually purchase these glasses, but they just look really cool. Patrick Priebe, who created the glasses, makes it very clear that they are not for sale and you won’t get blue prints. Priebe, who has a history of creating weapons from movies (i.e. Ironman’s Laser Gauntlet), is a German laser weapons hobbyist....

Why can’t automakers seem to learn?

April 2, 2014 9:07 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Blogs | Comments

Years ago, the Toyota “unintended acceleration” story dominated the headlines for, at first, days, and then weeks. Through the end of 2009 and well into 2010, it was the biggest story in the manufacturing world by a long-shot, and to this day remains one of the biggest industrial blunders in recent history....

How Russia ended up with Ukraine’s dolphin army

April 2, 2014 7:22 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

There have been many interesting political and social ramifications to the Soviet Union’s — I mean, Russia’s — attempted annexation of Crimea, but let’s talk about what everyone is really concerned with: Who will get custody of the Ukraine’s dolphin army? (For the record, this is not an April Fool’s joke.)

Wire-to-board connector system serves thin-screen LED televisions and monitors

April 1, 2014 2:53 pm | Molex Incorporated | Product Releases | Comments

Molex Incorporated (Lisle, IL) introduces its IllumiMate 1.00 and 1.25 mm pitch wire-to-board connector system, offering today’s flat-panel LED television and PC monitor manufacturers more mating styles, voltage ratings, circuit sizes and locking types than any similar connector system....

5 questions OEMs should ask a chip maker

April 1, 2014 10:15 am | by Eran Eshed, Co-Founder and VP Marketing and Business Development at Altair Semiconductor | Blogs | Comments

One of the components of your future device is a cellular chip. There are many chip providers from which to choose, all eager to help bring your product to market. The decision to partner with a chipset vendor is not an easy one, and requires a significant amount of research, time and resources....

TSA deploys drones to watch you from space

April 1, 2014 8:47 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Citing the ongoing domestic terrorist threat (aka, the “most dire threat to national security since Grandma Betty at the airport”), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has deployed a fleet of drones with the ability to destroy dangerous contraband like baby formula and remotely monitor “shady individuals” like 10-year-olds and grandparents....

The best internship I’ve ever had

March 31, 2014 1:37 pm | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

I’ve always dreamed of being a writer and editor, but before working here I was ready to shelve that dream. I came to ECN from several solid months of terrible luck on the job front. Before my interview, I remember painstakingly researching the magazine and feeling my knees shake....

Stop the madness! Facebook’s purchase of Oculus won’t trigger Armageddon

March 31, 2014 8:56 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The alternate title for this piece could’ve been “The Internet entitlement mentality” (part II), because that’s what Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus has triggered in millions of disgruntled techies and industry analysts. On Tuesday, March 25, Facebook acquired Oculus VR for approximately $2 billion....

Photos of the Day: The half-drone, half-satellite StratoBus

March 31, 2014 8:22 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

A project known as StratoBus has emerged from Thales in France. StratoBus totes the potential of precise, autonomous observation and communications assistance, and the first prototype from Thales is expected in the next five years. The autonomous airship operating at an altitude of about 20 km....

Obama’s proposal to end NSA bulk phone data collection still presents a disconnect

March 28, 2014 1:14 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

If the President has his way, the NSA’s ability to reach out and touch your phone data will be curtailed a bit, or so it seems. It’s been nearly a year since the public was made aware of the government’s widespread collection of communications data, and President Obama is looking to strike a balance between

Chemicals not in your line of sight? RFID gives you a clear view

March 27, 2014 1:24 pm | by Angela Hoffman, Northern Apex Corporation | Blogs | Comments

There are known issues within laboratories that involve tracking, inventorying and accounting for compounds, chemicals and reagents. If this issue has ever presented itself in your laboratory, radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions will help you and your staff....

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