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FTC wanders down the wrong path

February 6, 2013 3:01 pm | by Andrew Berg, Senior Editor, Wireless Week | Blogs | Comments

Friday’s announcement of Path's settlement is illustrative of the way regulation works when you're trying to safeguard consumers from technology that the regulators themselves don't understand. It's also the way regulation works when you're trying to drum up press that illustrates how you catch the bad guys and make them pay.

SSLs see bright future in automotive platforms

February 6, 2013 2:43 pm | by Chris A. Ciufo, Mouser Electronics | Mouser Electronics | Blogs | Comments

The world is positively aglow with rapidly changing technology trends in solid state lighting (SSL) LEDs. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), costs dropped by a third in 2011 to about $12 per thousand lumens and will be on their way down to $2 per thousand lumens by 2015 (Strategies Unlimited, August 2012).

Will 12V solar disappear in 2013?

February 5, 2013 3:08 pm | by Jon Gabay, Mouser Electronics | Mouser Electronics | Blogs | Comments

The established solar architecture based on 12V photovoltaic panels, batteries, charge controllers, and inverters will continue to give way to grid-tied inverter architectures. This approach to harvesting solar energy brings with it a lot of key benefits.

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Online sales tax is immoral, runs contrary to the free markets

February 5, 2013 2:54 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The central fallacy with crony capitalism is that it ignores the invisible hand of the free marketplace. This is precisely what the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is doing with their support for "e-fairness" legislation (i.e., an Internet sales tax).

Mars or bust

February 5, 2013 9:10 am | by David Mantey, Executive Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

Could you go to Mars? Sacrifice everything; friends, family, and (possibly) future in order to be one of the first colonists on the red planet? Maybe if you were the first to plant a boot print in the dusty red sand, you would have some sort of historical notoriety....

Wireless networking in 2013

February 4, 2013 4:57 pm | by Jack Shandle, Mouser Electronics | Mouser Electronics | Blogs | Comments

The outlook for wireless networking keeps getting brighter as more devices — some as large as automobiles — become connected. Megatrends also drive wireless growth with the single most important being the conversion of electricity grids into Smart Grids, which in turn creates markets for smart meters and smart homes.

Boeing’s 787 battery eggs: All in one lithium basket

January 31, 2013 11:13 am | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Blogs | Comments

Excuse the tortured metaphor, but the old advice about not putting all your eggs in one basket applies to engineering as well as to other fields.  The implication is that if the basket with all your eggs slips and falls, you’ve lost everything.  Boeing hasn’t lost everything, but the battery troubles besetting its new 787 Dreamliner could not have come at a worse time.

A disturbance in the Force: The smartphone market is changing

January 30, 2013 2:45 pm | by Andrew Berg, Senior Editor, Wireless Week | Blogs | Comments

Can you hear it? That's the sound of the device market changing. It sounds a little like the whispers that RIM just might have something with BlackBerry 10. It also sounds a little like rumors that Amazon has the right kind of content ecosystem to launch a smartphone of its own.

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Engineers and analysts are paid to think

January 29, 2013 10:04 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Blogs | Comments

There is a message that I have tried many times to convey to colleagues, associates, peers, friends, and employers. It’s challenging because it is such a large and broad idea that it’s difficult to simplify into a platitude or simple fable. I’ll start by explaining that one of the greatest failures of many improvement efforts is also the greatest failure of many failed product designs and struggling or failed businesses.

What’s mine should be mine: Ruling makes it illegal to unlock your phone

January 25, 2013 2:29 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Think you own your wireless handset, inside and out? Think you can do whatever you wish with your own property? Think again. Beginning Saturday, it will become illegal to unlock a phone without the express permission of the carrier who locked it.

"Bring your own device" trend gaining speed -- benefits, risks and solutions

January 23, 2013 9:28 am | by Dean Wiech, Managing Director, Tools4ever | Blogs | Comments

A new trend gaining speed in many industries is the concept of “bring your own device” (BYOD). Plainly put, BYOD is when employees have the ability to bring their own technical devices—like smart phones, tablets and laptops -- and use the company’s network instead of a company-provided device. BYOD has many benefits and risks, though....

U.S. energy usage and Jevons' paradox

January 18, 2013 11:21 am | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Blogs | Comments

ECN recently published a piece slamming Texas for passing a law that "allows Texans to make and sell the old-fashioned inefficient kind of bulbs". The author further states that the goal of the national law Texas is opposing "was to lower U. S. energy usage." It will do no such thing. It will increase electrical usage. We have known this since Economist William Jevons discovered the principle in 1865.

Is Apple changing its mind on touch panel structures?

January 18, 2013 9:33 am | by Calvin, Senior Analyst at DisplaySearch | Display Search | Blogs | Comments

Recently, the supply chain has been buzzing about potential changes in the touch technologies used for future iPhones and iPads, in particular involving LCD suppliers rather than touch panel makers. First came a report that Innolux had delivered TOD (touch on display) samples for the iPhone....

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Texas’ light bulb law: Not the brightest bulb on the tree

January 17, 2013 12:13 pm | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Blogs | Comments

Each January brings with it a slew of laws scheduled to take effect on the first of the year, and 2013 is no exception. As of Jan. 1, for example, it is now illegal to make or sell new 100-watt and 75-watt light bulbs that do not meet the efficiency standards of the federal Energy Independence and Security Act (nicknamed ERISA).

4k2k: Are we underestimating its value?

January 14, 2013 11:31 am | by Paul Gray, Director of European TV Research, DisplaySearch | Display Search | Blogs | Comments

With the predictable run of 4k2k announcements this CES, most comments have sensibly focused on content availability. This was undoubtedly the single greatest factor in the failure of 3D to create a revival in the TV market.

It's BAAACK: Ready or not, here comes RoHS 2

January 3, 2013 10:42 am | by Ken Manchen, Director of Safety & Environmental Affairs, Newark element14 | Newark | Blogs | Comments

Every North American electronics company that trades in the EU should make at least one New Year’s Resolution: to learn how RoHS 2 will impact them, because ready or not, this regulation takes effect January 2, 2013.

Semiconductor testing: Going back to the future

January 2, 2013 10:19 am | by Dirk de Vries, co-founder of Qualtera | Blogs | Comments

The integrated circuit semiconductor testing process produces oceans of data. This data is used to control product quality, performance and yield, and to resolve issues in those areas. Paradoxically, while the semiconductor industry has been one of the key enablers in the development of the technology responsible for dramatically changing our daily lives, it is conservative in its ways of working.

UN looks for an Internet "fix"

December 6, 2012 3:45 pm | by M. Simon | Blogs | Comments

Quite a few of the member states (colloquially known as "Dictators 'R Us") of the UN want to change the rules of the game. The Internet Game. They want to be able to shut down Internet traffic at will. And they want to do it legally. Whatever that means in the context of nations. Anyway, here is what they ( the miscreants) are proposing.

Apple confronts challenge of low-cost tablets with launch of iPad Mini

November 5, 2012 10:48 am | by Adam Leach, practice leader, Devices and Platforms, Ovum | Blogs | Comments

The introduction of a smaller iPad was much expected by the wider tech community. Ovum sees this as a defensive move by Apple to stave off competition from cheaper and smaller tablets introduced by Amazon and Google. Apple faces a tough challenge with the iPad Mini.

The lighting game is changing before our eyes

September 18, 2012 9:05 am | by Ted Konnerth, Founder, President and CEO, Egret Consulting Group | Articles | Comments

A secret lingers behind most lighting fixtures made since WWII. Don’t tell anyone, but lighting manufacturers don’t actually make ‘lighting’ equipment. For years, fixtures have fallen into the same classifications. When it comes to fixture types, there’s the 2X2, 2X4, troffer, downlight, strip, wrap, wallpack, Type 2, Type 5, spot, flood, can and so on.

Open innovation: From its beginning to today

September 14, 2012 12:18 pm | by Ed Bernstein, President, Industrial Research Institute | Blogs | Comments

In our constantly changing world, corporations find themselves continually adapting to new trends and technologies, and often reinventing themselves to remain relevant. In fact, with our changing global business environment, staying the course is not an option if today’s businesses want to remain viable and competitive.

Another big benefit of in-cell touch on Apple’s iPhone 5: Larger battery capacity

September 5, 2012 3:12 pm | by Shawn Lee, DisplaySearch | Blogs | Comments

In the run-up to the iPhone 5 unveiling next month, there is a great deal of discussion about potential new features, including an A6 SoC with quad-core structure, higher clock speed CPU and GPU, larger display with in-cell touch, higher resolution camera, and advanced OS. While it is not clear which of these features will be realized, any that are will result in higher power consumption.

Reliable power could have prevented Fukushima disaster

September 4, 2012 2:27 pm | by Michael A. Stout, vice president of engineering for Falcon Electric | Blogs | Comments

Recently we witnessed the disastrous earthquake and tsunami that has devastated the Japanese economy. The loss of life, property and infrastructure was on such a large scale, it was incomprehensible. Yet Japan was more prepared for a large earthquake than any other country. The blow that was dealt to its power generation and distribution system has the potential to delay the country’s economic recovery...

The Norton Report: Removal of conformal coating with small sandblasters

September 4, 2012 9:45 am | by Jim Norton, President, Custom Products & Services, Inc. | Blogs | Comments

The development of conformal coating technology was driven to a large degree by the military and aerospace industries. While conformal coatings are mostly used on populated, printed wiring boards (PWBs), they are also used to protect components such as transistors, diodes, rectifiers, resistors, integrated circuits (ICs) and hybrid circuits including multi-chip modules (MCMs) and chip on board (COB).

Iran bars women from engineering courses

August 27, 2012 10:32 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Iran hasn’t exactly acquitted itself as a champion of human rights, but this news is almost too hard to believe: 77 BA and BS courses across 36 different universities will be “single gender” in the upcoming school year. ECN doesn’t normally cover news like this, but the "single gender" disciplines include computer science, nuclear physics, and a number of engineering fields...

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