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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?

Evolution in US cellphone plans over past year

February 24, 2014 9:03 am | by ANICK JESDANUN, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

In the old days, U.S. wireless customers typically paid $100 or $200 for a phone and agreed to a two-year service contract. Although the phone actually cost hundreds of dollars more, wireless companies made up for it through the monthly service fees for voice, text and data. T-Mobile decided last spring to stop subsidizing phones and padding the service fees.

Engineering Update 46: The United Arab Emirates' drone delivery service

February 24, 2014 8:52 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

Consumers who fell in love with Amazon's 30-minute drone delivery service but can't wait for the mountain of red tape and regulations standing in the way of "Amazon Prime Air" now have an alternative — move to the United Arab Emirates!

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FCC’s re-write of Net Neutrality rules will likely come up short

February 22, 2014 12:30 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

There’s good news on the Net Neutrality front, and then there’s not-so-good news. First, the good news: On Wednesday, February 19, the Federal communications Commission announced it would not challenge the Federal Court’s ruling that vacated the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet rules and would instead rewrite its rules.

Scientists create powerful artificial muscle with fishing line

February 21, 2014 3:21 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Researchers are using fibres from fishing line and sewing thread to create inexpensive artificial muscles that could be used in medical devices, humanoid robots, prosthetic limbs, or woven into fabrics. In a study published today in Science, international researchers...

New apps may help detect seizures, treat strokes

February 21, 2014 3:06 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Two new smart phone applications may help people detect epileptic seizures and get better stroke treatment, according to two studies released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, April 26 to May 3, 2014.

Vibration energy the secret to self-powered electronics

February 21, 2014 2:45 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A multi-university team of engineers has developed what could be a promising solution for charging smartphone batteries on the go — without the need for an electrical cord. Incorporated directly into a cell phone housing, the team's nanogenerator could harvest and convert vibration energy from a surface....

Samsung and UCSF partner to accelerate new innovations in preventive health technology

February 21, 2014 2:30 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., and UC San Francisco (UCSF), one of the world's premier health sciences universities, today announced a partnership to accelerate validation and commercialization of promising new sensors, algorithms, and digital health technologies for preventive health solutions.

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Star Trek healing devices are coming to your local hospital

February 21, 2014 2:03 pm | by Allegra Sparta, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

Maybe we can transport patients with hover-stretchers and flying ambulances, too. Announcements like this are bound to raise a few eyebrows, but we live in a world where 3D-printed hearts and other highly advanced surgical procedures are slowly becoming commonplace.

Magnetometer sensor outputs 13-bit data over a magnetic field range of +/- 1000uT

February 21, 2014 1:41 pm | Saelig Company, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Saelig Company, Inc. (Fairport, NY) has announced the IST8301C, a single-chip 3-axis digital magnetometer sensor, housed in a form factor of 2.5 x 2.5 x 1.0mm, a 12-pin BGA package. The IST8301C is an integrated chip containing 3-axis magnetic sensors with an ASIC controller.

Megger raises close to $4,000 for Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation

February 21, 2014 10:22 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

Megger raised close to $4,000 for Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation on Saturday, January 25 at its 13th annual Megger Distributor Golf Event. The outing, which took place at the Lakes of Ahawatukee Golf Course in Phoenix, Arizona, is held each year in honor of 17 year old cancer graduate, Tyler Danner.

Google aims to provide broadband in 34 more cities

February 21, 2014 9:53 am | by MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Google wants to offer ultra-fast Internet service in 34 more cities scattered across eight states in the company's boldest challenge to cable and telecommunications providers. The ambitious expansion of "Google Fiber" announced Wednesday targets major U.S. cities including Atlanta; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; San Antonio and parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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....

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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.

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

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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