It’s that time of year again! No, I’m not talking about Jolly ‘Ol Saint Nick, mistletoe, or trees with stars on top. ‘Tis the season for giving, but also for spoiling ourselves with the latest gadgets, gizmos, toys, and entertainment. We’re never too old to experience the joy of opening presents!
With electronica now receding in our collective rearview mirrors, we can look forward along the road we are travelling into the future and think about what we saw at the event that will help us along the way. Trade shows can be a great way to discover where we are and where we are heading.
Considering the tumult in the last several years, from disruptive technologies to political discord to financial meltdown and market re-adjustments, it’s kind of hard to say that 2010 was notable. Yet there are many things that mark this year that will make it a memorable one.
I recently saw a very exciting-sounding news item on nuclear fusion research from The National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS) on their new Large Helical Device (LHD), a variation on the Tokamak that is also the largest superconductor in the world.
The 9th Circuit of Appeals has reaffirmed the right of software companies to circumvent the first-sale doctrine by “licensing” rather then “selling” its products. The significance of this ruling cannot be overstated—it could singlehandedly destroy the used software market.
My name is Lauren DeStefano and I am going to be a senior at William Paterson University. I have been interning for the past two months with ECN Magazine. Applying to internships was a tedious process. It’s hard to keep track of all the resumes and cover letters I sent to various companies.
Once Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites announced the maiden flight of SpaceShipTwo, it was only a matter of time before Virgin Galactic would start selling tickets to space in earnest. This is great news for the development of commercial space, representing the first private steps into a new frontier.
Since I last wrote about Net Neutrality, things have gone from unsettling to downright precarious. On August 9, when many Americans were on vacation, Verizon and Google announced “A joint policy proposal for an open internet,” which was breathtaking in its brazenness and frightening in scope.
For years, radio broadcasters and artists have duked it out over performance rights. Enter the highly-contentious Performance Rights Act, which would expand copyright law to include all public performances of copyrighted sound recordings. And it’s gotten even wilder: an amendment would mandate that all mobile phones contain FM radio chips.
When Michio Kaku speaks, people listen. The theoretical physicist boasts an impressive resume: B.S. from Harvard, Ph.D. from Berkeley, co-creator of string field theory, best-selling author, and radio host. And so it came to pass that on the third day of NI Week, Dr. Kaku regaled the masses with his earthly wisdom.
I recently came across an interesting news item in Wired about how the EU was adopting the Universal Charging Solution (UCS) cell-phone power interface. USB has been a kind of power lingua franca for smart phones, but that ubiquitous interface is burdened by a plethora of connector styles.
The feds have just dropped a bomb: The Library of Congress has added exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that make “jailbreaking” legal. Apart from fundamentally altering Apple’s business model, the ruling has re-opened the schism between supporters and opponents of digital rights management.
Is the designer responsible for the effects of the device created? Is the manufacturer? What about the salesperson or the marketing department creating the demand? Is the user ultimately responsible? Every tool and technology, no matter how mundane, has effects beyond the intended function.
Blizzard Entertainment has narrowly avoided a public relations nightmare: an unfavorable comparison with Communist China. The game publisher recently announced plans (then shelved them) to require real names (“Real ID”) on its forums. Meanwhile, China has vowed “to reduce anonymity” on the internet.
Sean Fenske, Editor-in-Chief of Medical Design Technology, gives brief highlights of several innovative technologies seen at the MD&M East 2010 show in NYC.
At the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Nintendo officially unveiled the 3DS. And from the media’s reaction, you’d think Nintendo reinvented the electron. The 3DS uses autostereoscopy to produce 3D images without the need for special glasses—or so claim their marketing gurus. Does it live up to the hype? Read on for my first-hand impressions.
Seattle: home of Microsoft, Starbucks, grunge rock, the Mariners, and in 2010, the Society for Information Display (SID) Conference. This year’s show was a remarkable display (no pun intended) of eye candy and emerging technologies. Among the many developments, 3D, energy efficiency, and advanced touchscreens took center stage.
The good news is that the current business in the electronic component and subsystem industry will probably continue to improve, but the bad news is most of the jobs lost in the Great Recession aren’t ever coming back. At recent events such as Embedded Systems and the Electronic Distribution Show, every company I spoke to was doing double-digit business percentages over last year...
The lighting industry is going through a sea change, and the future has never been brighter. This year’s Lightfair conference and expo was held from 12 to 14 May, and highlighted not only the latest in lighting technologies and designs, but also how deeply solid-state lighting (SSL) has penetrated the market.
As a result of the Comcast Corp. v. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) court decision, Internet service providers (ISPs) are no longer constrained from slowing or blocking different types of content or access to sites that offer content that conflicts with the providers’ interests.
A pop musician recently reminded me that hit songs aren’t only catchy tunes; they are also a barometer of culture. I never expected to refer to Lady Gaga with anything other than casual references to her music or her edgy style (I’ve heard it called “21st-century Madonna), but one of her recent songs gave me some pause.
Alix Paultre of ECN magazine pages through "Core Engineering Concepts for Students and Professionals", a very comprehensive textbook and reference for engineers at every level.
ECN's Editor-in-Chief Alix Paultre discusses the latest LED-driven LCD technology, with an overview of other display tech including Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS), Digital Light Processing (DLP), and Vacuum Flourescent Display (VFD).
I recently had the great honor of moderating the Smart Grid Rap Session at this year’s Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC). It brought home to me that in addition to the technical challenges facing the power industry, there are also political issues that must be addressed as we move forward. The old political arguments around power revolved around NIMBY issues about the location of power plants...
Haiti is full of hard-working and industrious people just looking for a chance to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty and nonfunctional social systems that keep it the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. They only need a hand up, not a hand out, to "jump over their own shadows" and build a nation that functions for all of its people.