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Energy-efficient solutions for the industry and consumers at electronica 2014

September 3, 2014 4:24 pm | News | Comments

Machines account for two-thirds of all electricity consumed by the industrial sector. According to the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association, 10–15 percent of all energy used in Germany's industrial sector could be saved through the use of intelligent automation systems alone....

Why "killer robots" are nothing to worry about

September 3, 2014 1:32 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

It seems like every new development in artificial intelligence and autonomous systems dredges up the same tired (and slightly paranoid) fears of “killer robots” run amok — the product of a steady diet of dystopian literature and Hollywood blockbusters starring a certain Austrian bodybuilder....

Infographic: Where are all the women in STEM?

September 3, 2014 8:00 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor and Eileen Whitmore, Art Director | Blogs | Comments

When it comes to women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathethmatics) the numbers just don’t add up. Even though the number of women majoring in STEM (and attending college) has increased in the past few decades, the number of women who actually enter the fields has barely increased at all....

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ECN Time Warp: March 1997

September 2, 2014 8:40 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

Some old ECN Magazine covers 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 March 1997. Around the time this issue went to the printer, we learned that ...

Fly in the cockpit of the Blue Angels

September 2, 2014 8:35 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The Blue Angels are basically the cream of the crop of stunt pilots from the US Navy and Marine Corps. They are an exhibition team that participate in airshows all over the place and showcase the intense skills required to fly a jet. There are a total of 16 officers on the team at any time with three tactical jet pilots...

Preventing emergencies with home automation

August 28, 2014 2:09 pm | by Christian DeFeo, eSupplier and Innovation Manager, element14 | Blogs | Comments

The engineers in the Forget Me Not Challenge are hard at work on their designs as we approach the one-month mark, and Embedit Electronics and Cypress Semiconductor recently provided them with the new RPiSoC development platform to help bring their imagined creations to life. One theme that has been consistent throughout the competition is the idea that home automation technology can prevent a household emergency.

Engineering Update Episode 73 Bloopers

August 28, 2014 9:47 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Who says ECN's editors can't have a bit of fun? Enjoy these bumbles, stumbles, and hilarious outtakes from the latest edition of ECN's premier video series, Engineering Update. Thanks to Digital Editor Jason Lomberg and Managing Editor Kasey Panetta for being such great sports!

Engineering Update #73: A "smart skin" for planes

August 28, 2014 9:31 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

BAE systems has come up with a solution for monitoring planes by introducing their new “smart skin” concept. The idea is that the plane would be covered with sensors of different sizes ranging from a grain of rice to less than 1 millimeter squared....

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NanoMarkets report projects next-gen solar PV materials to become a $2 billion market by 2021

August 27, 2014 5:27 pm | News | Comments

The total market value of emerging PV technologies -- advanced crystalline silicon cell architectures, thin films, organic and dye-sensitized technologies, and various nanomaterials -- will surge to $262 million in 2017 and nearly $2.1 billion by 2021, up from just $20 million today....

When blinding someone with a laser is better than killing them

August 27, 2014 2:57 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

Sometimes, it’s better to shine a bright light in someone’s face than riddle them with bullets (shocking, I know). And for troops in a warzone following very specific Escalation of Force (EOF) procedures, not killing someone is always the best possible outcome....

This is what it's like to be in the cockpit of an F-16

August 27, 2014 8:29 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The title says it all here, but this is ridiculous. The video was taken from the cockpit of a Royal Danish Air Force F-16 as it was flying, quite low, over an ice sheet in Greenland.  There isn't too much information available, but after take off (hold on to your stomach) you'll first see the ice rim (located east of Kangerlussuaq, Greenland)....

Traffic lights are insanely easy to hack into

August 25, 2014 8:40 am | by A.J. Watts, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Have you ever sat at a traffic light that takes forever to change, and wish you could just change it yourself? Certain disreputable parties might have the ability to do that. Researchers say, “anyone with a radio hooked up to a laptop can ...

ECN Time Warp: April 1994

August 22, 2014 9:43 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

Prior to the Web, news delivery was not so instantaneous. New product news was delivered each month to our engineering audience through ECN’s print edition. 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....

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Engineering Newswire: Giant darts probe Mars for signs of life

August 22, 2014 8:46 am | by Alex Shanahan, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

There is a new Indiegogo campaign, and it’s mission: To find life on Mars. Explore Mars, Inc. believes that in order to find life on mars, we must look deep beneath the surface instead of just scratching it like we have been with rover bots and cameras....

Engineering Update 72: 3D-printed Army chow

August 21, 2014 11:02 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Anyone who doesn’t enjoy the taste of burnt cardboard could tell you that the Army isn’t known for its fine culinary selections. While troops can eat surprisingly well in Iraq and Afghanistan, for the most part, the military subsists on odious chow hall food or the infamous Meals Ready to Eat (or MREs)....

Experts: 90% of medical records are vulnerable to hackers

August 21, 2014 10:47 am | by A.J. Watts, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Many tech-savvy people take major precautions to guard themselves against hackers by encrypting their personal data and protecting their Wi-Fi at home. Sadly, hospitals and clinics haven’t taken those same precautions and are under attack by data breaches and hacking. They are being hit harder than any other industry, even more than the banking and military industries combined....

This is what a solar-powered sailboat would look like

August 21, 2014 8:43 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Just when you think designers can’t design anything you’ll enjoy more than a 3D-printed violin, they came up with a solar-powered sailboat. The Kira Sail Yacht is designed to “bridge the gap between the sail and motor yacht” and it is gorgeous....

UAV and F/A-18 land on carrier together

August 20, 2014 12:01 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

While unmanned aerial vehicles won’t replace the manned variety anytime soon, UAVs could operate alongside conventional air power in the very near future. Case in point: The Navy recently executed a carrier landing with the F/A-18 and the X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle....

5 essential building blocks for a thriving work culture

August 20, 2014 8:35 am | by Adam Witty, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

What makes a successful business thrive? That’s what eight out of 10 new entrepreneurs would like to know, because their businesses fail within the first 18 months, according to Bloomberg. Staff your team with A-players; they’re worth the wait....

UTSA researcher awarded $38K+ to evaluate energy efficiency options for historic homes

August 19, 2014 3:02 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A team of UTSA researchers has been awarded a nearly $40,000 grant from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT), an office of the National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Department of the Interior. The grant will fund a one-year study of the energy efficiency....

5 ways to steal your innovations

August 19, 2014 2:38 pm | by Mike Collins | Blogs | Comments

It is the dream of most small manufacturers to invent a new product and sell it to a larger company to handle all of the manufacturing and marketing. The dream includes getting a big upfront payment and then relaxing as the royalty or other payments come in....

Mini-camera separates suicide bombers from citizens

August 19, 2014 10:45 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

If you're ever in China for business (or vacation), you had better hope that you don't have a particularly stressful day because new technology might flag you as a suicide bomber. Security fears and attacks in public places have Chinese authorities turning to less traditional means of detecting potential killers before they act....

Infographic: The rise of the Internet of Things

August 19, 2014 10:27 am | by Jabil, Inc. | News | Comments

The past 25 years of Internet growth was fueled by human communications. The next 25 years of Internet growth will be fueled by machines. Welcome to the Internet of Things, one of the next big developments in our connected world and arguably what could define technology for the foreseeable future....

The one thing engineers regret about their careers

August 18, 2014 10:09 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

If only they knew then what they know now, who knows what would have happened? It’s a lamentable thought, but, short of the invention of some sort of time machine, the best engineers can do is offer their advice to the younger generation. It might be nice to go back and make a few changes, but considering over half of you consider engineering “your home” and made it very clear you’d do it all over again...

Energy: Magic or science?

August 18, 2014 9:08 am | by Eric L. Larson, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

Energy: It is all around us; we use it every day. But let’s stick with electrical energy. We have many ways of generating this needed labor-saving device. You may question that, but think about it: Everything that we use every day is some type of labor-saving device, and it runs on some form of energy....

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