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The Lead

3D-printed gun includes the Declaration of Independence

October 30, 2014 8:36 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

3D-printed guns are the vanguard of a political movement which rejects any and all attempts at gun control. They’re as much a political statement as an engineering marvel. So if you want to speak loudly and carry a big stick, why not inscribe the Declaration of Independence on the grip?

Watch Steve Jobs change the world and introduce the iPod

October 28, 2014 1:36 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Editor | Blogs | Comments

Happy 13th birthday to the music device that changed the world. There had been other (terrible)...

Why Apple Pay IS all that

October 28, 2014 8:39 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor | Blogs | Comments

Over at Wireless Week, Senior Editor Andrew Berg posed a question we’ve all...

This mouse of the future requires your whole body

October 27, 2014 11:44 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor | Blogs | Comments

If you thought Leap Motion was going to be the mouse of the future (ok, I thought it was) then...

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What it’s like to fly the "world’s worst airline"

October 27, 2014 8:30 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

I hate flying. I’m not scared, mind you. I hate the hassle — arriving early, checking in, and trudging through the security checkpoints. So the prospect of riding the “world’s worst airline” — Air Koryo from North Korea — sounds as appealing as a hole in the head....

Why being a female writer in tech doesn’t make me an idiot

October 24, 2014 4:10 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Editor | Blogs | Comments

Today, engineers, we’re going to have a lesson about what’s an acceptable attitude to have and what’s not an acceptable attitude to have. For example, it’s perfectly acceptable to think my opinion is dead wrong because you’re a diehard Android fan. It’s not okay to think I’m an idiot because I’m a woman.....

Why did wind power beat nuclear energy on Tuesday?

October 24, 2014 9:19 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor | Blogs | Comments

Brace yourself, wind power is coming. On Tuesday, wind farms made up 14.2 percent of all power generated during the 24 hours, while nuclear power contributed 13.2 percent. It's not a huge gain, but it's a significant one. So what happened?

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The thrill and challenge of aerial photography

October 23, 2014 3:57 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

They’re the unsung heroes of the sky — the men and women flying alongside the studs piloting some of the most advanced aerial systems in the world. Their purpose? To take stunning aerial photography  ... though that meager description does them a disservice....

Our cups runneth over – the hoverboard is real!

October 21, 2014 4:10 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

Ladies and gentlemen, the pinnacle of nerd fantasies has come true — the hoverboard is real! Next year is 2015, which means we’ve finally caught up to Back to the Future II — and its quasi-plausible vision of the future. How’d it do? Well, we don’t have flying cars....

"Big Brother" in the palm of your hand?

October 20, 2014 11:25 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

The new wave of implantables would combine tech like radio-frequency identification (RFID) with the convenience of ubiquitous computing. Contactless payment systems like ExxonMobile’s Speedpass or the voluminous contactless credit cards ...

Navy’s new missile features autonomous targeting

October 15, 2014 11:45 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

The Naval Strike Missile (NSM) doesn’t have the sexiest name, but it more than makes up for it with its range, maneuverability, and automated targeting capabilities — the NSM can autonomously target specific sections of a ship based on its silhouette....

This is what the dumbest umbrella design looks like

October 15, 2014 8:08 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor | Blogs | Comments

Umbrellas are one of those things you probably wouldn’t think would ever pop up on a technology/engineering website, but this one is so dumb, it must be written about. Umbrellas are a fairly simply, cost-effective ($10 at any NYC bodega) method....

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The Microsoft CEO just offered women the worst career advice possible

October 14, 2014 8:27 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor | Blogs | Comments

To be perfectly honest, I’ve never cared for Microsoft. I think their products are pretty terrible and non-intuitive. (Yes, I recognize that I’m writing this in Microsoft Word, but I do so under protest.) I appreciate, from a business standpoint, the success....

The world's second printed car

October 13, 2014 2:53 pm | by David Mantey, Editor-in-Chief | Blogs | Comments

The Strati is not the world’s first 3D-printed car. The first one, to the best of my knowledge, was the Urbee, and you saw it in PD&D back in February 2011 (A Work in Progress). Since then, we’ve seen 3D printing capture the global imagination....

Watch a hawk attack a quadcopter ... and win

October 13, 2014 8:58 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

The US military may roam the skies with impunity in foreign lands, but in domestic airspace, an altogether different Predator enjoys aerial superiority. A hobbyist discovered that first-hand when his quadcopter came under attack by a hawk....

DARPA’s tank of the future won’t need armor

October 9, 2014 1:35 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

The tanks of the future will reinvent (and simultaneously minimize) the very concept of “armor”. DARPA’s Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program will swap armor for technology and brute strength for maneuverability. Forget the slow, lumbering behemoths....

Does California drone ban violate the 1st Amendment?

October 6, 2014 3:09 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

California took the first step toward substantially regulating the drones when it passed a bill banning their use by paparazzi. And I think many of us would applaud the decision – the bill prevents UAVs from capturing images of people without their consent....

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How field application engineers are changing the engineering world

October 3, 2014 9:01 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor and Eileen Whitmore, Art Director | Blogs | Comments

Field application engineers, also known as FAEs or Sales engineers are a hybrid of exactly what the title implies: Sales and Engineering. These folks are unique because they’re essentially in the position of selling a product but they can also offer....

UK’s Watchkeeper UAV becomes operational

October 2, 2014 3:11 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

We’ve previously discussed the Thales Watchkeeper WK450, a rotary-engine Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) UAV for use by the British Army. Four years ago marked the Watchkeeper’s UK maiden flight, and it recently became operational....

My internship experience with ECN Magazine

September 30, 2014 10:25 am | by A.J. Watts, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

It was exciting, nerve-wracking, and a priceless learning experience. My time as the brand new editorial intern for ECN magazine was definitely unforgettable. At first, I was a little bit nervous, hoping that I was the right guy for the job. I wasn’t....

Are engineers too smart for their own good?

September 29, 2014 2:26 pm | by David Mantey, Editor-in-Chief | Blogs | Comments

I’m lucky enough to be in the position where I can have an ongoing dialogue with multiple design engineers every day. Sure, sometimes the conversations are a bit feisty as things heat up in the pddnet.com comments section (where cooler heads rarely prevail)....

How three teenage girls are solving world hunger

September 26, 2014 11:50 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The key to beefing up the country (and world) supply of engineer and technology superstars is giving them the opportunity to do great things, even if they can’t legally drive yet. The Google Science Fair is a competition for students between the ages of 13 and 18 with prizes ranging...

China developing subsonic stealth bomber

September 24, 2014 12:00 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

According to early reports, China is developing a new stealth bomber to counter American influence in the Far East and firm up its own leadership and force-projection ability. We’ve previously discussed America’s plans to replace the illustrious SR-71 Blackbird ...

This is what an iPhone 6 Plus in liquid nitrogen looks like

September 23, 2014 9:09 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The short answer is that it doesn’t actually look as bad as you might think. For all of the advantages of an iPhone, one drawback is they generally have to be handled fairly daintily. Apparently, that’s not how RatedRR thinks it should be. He’s made....

ECN Time Warp: November 2004

September 22, 2014 10:03 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Keysight Technologies, Texas Instruments, Digi International, Kontron | Blogs | Comments

Some old covers of ECN Magazine have been making the rounds, and we thought it would be fun to have a look back at ECN covers through the years.This week’s cover goes back to November 2004. During that month, Senator John Kerry would concede ...

Should we retire the A-10 Warthog?

September 17, 2014 2:44 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

The short answer is "no," we shouldn’t. But the ongoing efforts to scuttle the A-10 in favor of the F-35 expose a sick culture in Washington that’s divorced from fiscal and military realities. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will form, to quote Lt. General ...

A new sensor development could aid those suffering from Alzheimer’s

September 17, 2014 9:23 am | by A.J. Watts, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

SmartThings is a DIY home automation system that connects sensors and smart devices with a wireless hub. In addition to sensors, the system can loop in smart thermostats, smart plugs, door locks, and surveillance cameras. Now there isn’t a constant....

This V2V technology could change driving forever

September 15, 2014 3:59 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The average American has a 25.4 minute commute to work. That doesn’t seem too bad until you consider that the average commuter spends 38 hours a year sitting in traffic. That’s a lot of bumper-to-bumper time. Recently, I had someone ask me what my hobbies were and I said, “Sitting in traffic and putting gas in my car.”

ECN Time Warp: December 2002

September 15, 2014 8:33 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

Some old covers of ECN Magazine have been making the rounds, and we thought it would be fun to have a look back at ECN covers through the years. This week’s cover goes back to December 2002. That month, a federal judge ordered Microsoft ...

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