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Missives to the Future

December 19, 2011 4:29 am | by Alix Paultre, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

What legacy do you believe your work will leave? A lot of Jazz from the 20’s and 30’s gets played in my office, and I often reflect on its ability to entertain and inspire though the ages. Non-amplified transducer-based analog wax-cylinder playback became amplified, multi-tracked, digitally-based media presentation,

Gifts for Geeks

December 14, 2011 5:08 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

So you waited until the last minute to complete your shopping list...luckily, your trusty friends at ECN are here to help. And praise the lord for that, because geeks are a tough crowd: They don’t bow to the fashion gods, patronize expensive beauty salons, or play anything that involves cardiovascular activity.

Looking behind, leaping ahead

December 9, 2011 10:52 am | by Alix Paultre, Editor in Chief | Articles | Comments

Electronic Component News has served the electronic design engineering community with tireless dedication through times of disruptive market and technology change since 1956, providing the electronic design engineer with the latest news in technology, devices, subsystems, software, and components to help them with their design efforts.

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Army developing self-aware, decision-making network

November 18, 2011 8:39 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The U.S. Army is developing a “self-aware, decision-making network” that will ultimately reduce human decision-making requirements and increase network performance. The Cognitive Algorithm & Network Design Experiment (CANDE) was designed to enable easier network maintenance, reduce human decision-making requirements, increase network lifetime, transfer data with less delay, and reduce energy consumption.

ECN’s Tale of Two Veterans

November 10, 2011 12:27 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The military deserves our eternal gratitude, and this Veterans Day, we extend our heartfelt appreciation for their immeasurable sacrifices...for their blood, sweat, and tears shed in defense of this great nation of ours. You may not know this, but Electronic Component News has two veterans in its midst. Your humble author, formerly 2nd Lieutenant Lomberg, served three years in the Army Reserve.

Embedding Systems

October 28, 2011 6:59 am | by Alix Paultre | Articles | Comments

The impact of convergence on the design community is not just increasing in scope, it's also speeding up. Consolidation of functionality and integration of subsystems has meant that the very definition of what an embedded system is becomes more elusive.

A proactive approach to healthcare

October 13, 2011 10:42 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

We’ve cured cancer. Well...not quite, but according to some, early detection will eradicate deadly diseases. This was one of many fascinating topics covered at the 2011 Imec Tech Forum. Imec (Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre) is a Belgium-based R&D center that focuses on nano-electronics.

Thinking Differently: Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

October 6, 2011 5:28 am | by Alix L Paultre, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

The world will be a little less interesting with Steve Jobs gone. He was one of the people who had truly changed the world, how we percieve it, and how we live in it. He and Steve Wozniak literally created the personal computing industry in that famous garage in California.

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Saving the Post Office

September 22, 2011 5:57 am | by Alix Paultre, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

As we create the next generation of our pervasive-computing society, not only is the virtual world entangling the real one, the blending of the two worlds gives us an opportunity to save the Post Office. Suggesting that the US Postal Service go digital is not new,

Design in a connected world

August 22, 2011 11:18 am | by Alix Paultre, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

We live in an information-based society, where app-driven cloud-based ubiquitous computing is in the palm of almost every hand and in many of the devices around us. The design engineering community needs to address that reality with products that serve the customer’s expectations by not only delivering the desired functionality...

Lessons learned inside a cubicle

August 3, 2011 11:31 am | by Melanie Sena, Editorial Intern | Articles | Comments

I felt intimidated yet confident as I entered the Javits Center in New York. Hundreds of men and women in business attire strolled by as if I didn’t exist. But as I listened to snippets of conversation about the latest electronic and medical technologies, I realized I was exactly where I wanted to be.

Art and technology

July 20, 2011 7:27 am | Product Releases | Comments

I must admit I am still surprised when I see technical people dismiss art as useless. Art is not only a pleasant aesthetic; it is often essential to design.

Incandescent ban steamrolls past legislative efforts

July 19, 2011 12:11 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

The Better Use of Light Bulbs Act (BULB) has been defeated in the House of Representatives. BULB would have amended the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, thereby staying the incandescent ban. But it was not to be. With no further challenges, the Edison Lightbulb faces mandatory retirement in January 2012.

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Retirement of Shuttle leaves void in manned space program

July 7, 2011 11:20 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

After Atlantis’ two-week mission, NASA will retire the Space Shuttle. Between the Shuttle’s retirement and the completion of the International Space Station in 2020, the U.S. faces a nine-year gap during which we’ll lack the ability to independently ferry astronauts into space. The Space Shuttle fit the textbook definition of government mismanagement. Envisioned as “routine and economical”, the finished product was neither.

Talkin’ displays in the City of Angels

June 1, 2011 6:50 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

This year, the Society for Information Display (SID) returned to Los Angeles for its annual Display Week conference. Apart from the weather, which mimicked last year’s Seattle venue, the show was a smashing success. This being Los Angeles, we had Hollywood royalty on display—visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner)discussed trends in production and exhibition technologies...

Tiny Tech Gains in Stature

May 3, 2011 10:03 am | Articles | Comments

Until recently nanotechnology has been little more than a buzzword for many, with the major announcements in the space being mostly about using nanoparticle technology in traditional materials applications. But new technology and capabilities are moving nanotech from the realm of science fiction into the realm of the real for application areas previously unthought-of.

Cottage industrial

April 22, 2011 4:28 am | by Alix Paultre | Articles | Comments

Our history is full of plucky individuals taking great risks to achieve even greater successes, and we are at a point in time where the ability to create something completely new is easier than ever before. Technology convergence is both a disruptive challenge and a great opportunity.

James Cameron promotes 3D for the tube

April 13, 2011 11:57 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

James Cameron is bestowing 3D upon us, whether we want it or not. Cameron has partnered with “Avatar” cameraman Vince Pace to form a venture aimed at “driving the widespread adoption of 3D technology in episodic television, sports and advertising.”

Contrarian corner: The 3DS

April 12, 2011 6:45 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

E3 2010: the mecca for gamers. Nintendo officially unveils the 3DS, and gamers everywhere swoon in fits of ecstasy. I finally try out Nintendo’s miracle handheld, and my impressions are…underwhelming. The mainstream gaming press was a bit less, shall we say, nuanced...

America’s power(ful) industry

March 22, 2011 7:06 am | Articles | Comments

I recently attended the 2011 Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) and was struck by how strong and vibrant the American power electronics industry is. The exhibit hall was full of engineers discussing new technology as well as new business, and the well-attended seminars addressed issues and topics important to the industry.

Japan announces domestic stealth fighter

March 8, 2011 12:18 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Responding to regional threats and the United States’ refusal to share F-22 technology, Japan is developing its own stealth fighter. The “land of the rising sun” intends to fly its first stealth fighter prototype by 2014. Japan and Israel have both expressed interest in the “air supremacy weapon”, the F-22 Raptor.

The end of the beginning for ubiquitous computing

February 18, 2011 11:36 am | Articles | Comments

People have been predicting the coming of the ubiquitous computer-everywhere environment (UCEE, or “you-see”) for years now, and we have finally come to the point where we can finally say that we have reached the end of the beginning of its development.

The weaponized Internet

February 11, 2011 5:46 am | Articles | Comments

One could say that the Internet is a weapon that got out of the control of its creators. When the ARPANET was created, its intent was to provide a secure, dynamic, robust, and flexible communications system for universities and laboratories that would be resilient and functional even in the face of wartime disruption. It was never intended for civilian use.

Army to deploy “revolutionary” smart weapon

February 3, 2011 9:23 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The U.S. Army is set to deploy a “revolutionary” airburst grenade launcher, said to be the first small arms “smart” weapon. Described as a “game changer,” the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System (CDTE) could fundamentally transform squad and platoon tactics. Most firefights in Afghanistan take place beyond 300 meters (often up to 500 meters).

Al-Qaida leader: Drone strikes costing fighters, territory

January 27, 2011 8:52 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

In a rare admission of defeat, an Al-Qaida leader in Pakistan conceded that drones are costing fighters and denying the terror network safe havens. This speaks to the continued success of the “drone war”, and will undoubtedly spur proponents of the F-35. According to Ustadh Ahmad Farooq, “There were many areas where we once had freedom, but now they have been lost,” he said.

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