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Stores can see where you go by tracking your phone

February 21, 2014 9:48 am | by JENNIFER C. KERR, Associated Press | News | Comments

Should shoppers turn off their smartphones when they hit the mall? Or does having them on lead to better sales or shorter lines at the cash register? Retailers are using mobile-based technology to track shoppers' movements at some malls and stores. The companies collecting the information say it's anonymous....

T-Mobile offers infinite upgrades - with a catch

February 21, 2014 9:43 am | by ANICK JESDANUN, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

T-Mobile is allowing people who participate in its $10-a-month Jump program to upgrade their phones anytime, eliminating the previous limit of two upgrades a year. As introduced last summer, Jump participants get insurance to cover loss and damage, plus the right to upgrade before fully paying off the phone in installments over two years.

Power MOSFETs offer fast switching performance

February 20, 2014 4:39 pm | Advanced Power Electronics Corp. USA | Product Releases | Comments

Advanced Power Electronics Corp. (San Jose, CA) has recently launched new N-channel enhancement-mode power MOSFETs offering a fast switching performance and very low on-resistance. The AP99T03GS-HF-3 MOSFET comes in a TO-263 package.

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Brazilian technology company announces new bike taillight with embedded tracking device

February 19, 2014 12:49 pm | Telit Wireless Solutions | News | Comments

Yon Bike Lamp is a hi-tech tracker embedded in a bicycle taillight. Enabled by Telit’s GL865-QUAD, the Yon Bike Lamp communicates over GSM/GPRS and over SMS allowing a user to login via a website or from and Android or IPhone app and obtains information about the bike, including its riding statistics. With the device, it is also possible to

Rechargeable lithium polymer batteries designed for portable medical, industrial, and consumer electronic devices

February 18, 2014 2:44 pm | Renata Batteries U.S. | Product Releases | Comments

Providing design engineers with new options for compact and higher power capacity rechargeable power sources for portable medical, industrial and consumer electronic devices, the Renata Batteries (Dallas, TX) division of the Swatch Group (Switzerland) recently added three new types to its family of lithium polymer batteries....

Fine-pitch wire-to-board solutions ideal for restricted-space applications

February 18, 2014 2:15 pm | Product Releases | Comments

GradConn (Boca Raton, FL) has announced the release of a new fine-pitch wire-to-board range of solutions. Suitable for any application where space is at a premium such as Laptop PCs, tablets, video cameras and portable GPS systems the new .031” and .039” pitch wire to board range offer tiny PCB footprints and low profile mounted heights.

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.

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

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Development platform for NFC/RFID tags promises to jumpstart IoT designs

February 13, 2014 11:51 am | Stmicroelectronics | Product Releases | Comments

STMicroelectronics (Geneva) announced an easy-access development platform for its M24SR dynamic NFC tags that are now entering volume production in all memory densities and package options. Aiming to accelerating the design of IoT applications, the M24SR Discovery Kit contains

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”....

Is your employer tracking your every move?

February 11, 2014 4:20 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Your employer probably isn’t tracking your every move just yet, but with new technology from Hitachi, it might not be that far down the road. Obviously there are ways for employers to track your productivity now whether it’s cameras or looking at your internet logs, but it’s really time consuming and not very informative for most employees.

General purpose accelerometers meet the needs of test applications

February 11, 2014 3:52 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Meggitt Sensing Systems (Irvine, CA) has announced a significant extension of its family of Endevco brand Isotron accelerometers. This new line of general purpose IEPE accelerometers is designed to meet the needs of a wide range of test applications. Applications include general laboratory vibration testing....

Crony capitalism vs. online gambling

February 11, 2014 2:25 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The 10th amendment is back in style, apparently. Back in 2011, the Justice Department issued a legal opinion on the Federal Wire Act of 1961, essentially reversing its longstanding ban on internet gambling. “Interstate transmissions of wire communications that do not relate to a 'sporting event or contest' fall outside the reach of the Wire Act,” it read.

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Digital UV index sensors designed for wearables and smartphones

February 10, 2014 1:41 pm | Silicon Laboratories Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Silicon Labs (Austin, TX) introduced the industry’s first single-chip digital ultraviolet (UV) index sensor ICs designed to track UV sun exposure, heart/pulse rate, and blood oximetry and provide proximity/gesture control for smartphone and wearable computing products.

Photos of the Day: Goldie Blox, Debbie Sterling, and girls in engineering

February 10, 2014 9:54 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

Debbie Sterling, an engineering graduate from Stanford, designed the Goldie Blox toy line to introduce young girls to engineering. Originally crowdfunded on Kickstarter, the Goldie Blox have become a cultural sensation and could play a role in changing our industry.

Serial adapter designed for Android devices

February 7, 2014 1:08 pm | by ECN Staff | ACCES I/O Products, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

ACCES I/O Products (San Diego, CA) announces the release of a new USB serial interface board—the ANDROID-232. Users can now control legacy RS-232 devices directly from modern Android devices. The ANDROID-232 uses the Android Open Accessory protocol....

5 tips for young engineers (from the experienced engineers)

February 7, 2014 11:19 am | by Sasha Gurke, Elsevier’s Engineering Fellow and Co-Founder, Knovel | Blogs | Comments

Don’t you wish you could turn back the clock and apply the lessons you’ve learned later in life to the decision you made earlier in your career? Well, if you’re a new engineer, here’s your chance. We collected advice from experienced engineers, asking what they wish they knew when they just starting an engineering career. 

Engineering is for boys. Pink is for girls.

February 7, 2014 8:02 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

We’ve talked about GoldieBlox a few times on the site before both about what a cool toy it is and then again when the company released a video of all the cool things you could do with the kit. I recently stumbled across a Tedx done by the CEO and Creator of GoldieBlox, Debbie Sterling. Sterling, who has engineering degree from Stanford...

Engineering Update #44: Robots learn to taste beer

February 6, 2014 1:23 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

In this episode of Engineering Update, brought to you by Components Corporation: beer-drinking robots, Dr. Mario, and an automotive vending machine. The world of technology hasn't perfected artificial intelligence — thank god — but when it does, a new discovery will ensure....

Photos of the Day: The bottom rung: Top flops of CES 2014

February 6, 2014 9:03 am | by Chris Fox, PD&D Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Being such a massive show, CES 2014 had a lot to offer. But there are two sides to every coin, and many of you watched our Top Ten from CES 2014 to see what was impressive. What brings us here today are the few that scraped the bottom of the barrel.

Photos of the Day: The "True Love Tester" smart bra

February 5, 2014 9:35 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

The “True Love Tester” bra from Japanese lingerie company, Ravijoir, tracks changes in the wearer's heart rate, and when the user detects true love, it magically unclasps. The smart bra differentiates between true love and normal increases in heart rate via the adrenal gland....

How true love opened the smart bra

February 4, 2014 12:38 pm | by Melissa Barnes, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

When Microsoft reported plans for a smart bra equipped with sensors to help keep track of your health and mood, I scoffed at the idea. The concept of smart bras seemed a passing gimmick, and the comments from other critics on my previous blog on the topic seemed to agree.

IC features 400 outputs that are rated for +/-15V

February 4, 2014 9:41 am | Ixys | Product Releases | Comments

IXYS Integrated Circuits Division (ICD) (Milpitas, CA) announced the availability of the IXEP1400 electronic paper display (EPD) gate driver. The IXEP1400 features 400 outputs that are rated for +/-15V. Data entered via the shift register input controls the pixels of the display.

New study finds differences in concussion risk between football helmets

January 31, 2014 4:23 pm | News | Comments

Football helmets can be designed to reduce the risk of concussions, according to a new study by some of the nation's leading concussion researchers published today in the Journal of Neurosurgery. The study analyzed head impact data compiled from eight collegiate football teams....

Miniature thermoelectric modules designed for temperature stabilization applications

January 31, 2014 3:26 pm | Laird Technologies | Product Releases | Comments

Laird has announced a new series of miniature thermoelectric modules (TEMs) built using Laird Tlam thermally conductive circuit boards instead of traditional ceramic-based circuit boards. The Tlam OptoTEC series is designed for applications where temperature stabilization of sensitive optical components...

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