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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.

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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....

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.

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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.

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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...

New app detects malarkey in political ads

August 23, 2012 11:23 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Do politicians lie? Let me rephrase that. Would you like a reliable way to detect the bovine-related animal droppings wafting from political ads? The Super PAC App, from former students at MIT's Media Lab, purports to do just that. You may have noticed a glut of negative political attacks ads this election cycle — well, more so than usual.

Flexible barriers: A $1 Billion opportunity by 2022

August 16, 2012 2:17 pm | by Dr Harry Zervos, Technology Analyst, IDTechEx | Blogs | Comments

As more and more flexible devices are becoming available, the need for better performing barriers and encapsulation materials at lower cost points intensifies. The stringent requirements make this a difficult task for some applications, although others, with less intensive demands are already appearing in the market.

The future of mobile computers is rugged

July 12, 2012 9:12 am | by Jerker Hellström, CEO, Handheld Group | Blogs | Comments

We are going through a radical shift in the way people work and use computers. Increasing availability and affordability of wireless broadband is giving the global workforce true mobility, for the first time in history. Many of them will use smartly designed mobile rugged computers for their everyday computing and communication needs, instead of traditional laptops.

A plea from the trenches: Common sense in the supply chain

July 10, 2012 9:54 am | by George "Jr" Thompson, Strategic Supply Chain Manager | Blogs | Comments

I recently read a report that the Department of Defense received over 80,000 counterfeit components from a now-defunct Shenzhen-based broker named "Hong Dark Electronics." After reading this, I felt two things: amusement and terror. I felt amusement that the DoD has been authorizing purchases from a Shenzhen-based broker (and in turn receiving various types of counterfeit components)...

The seven deadly counterfeit cable sins

June 7, 2012 10:32 am | by David Fallon & David Gallagher, L-com | Blogs | Comments

Counterfeit cables are bulk cables or cable assemblies sold under false pretenses to undercut legitimate manufacturers. Unscrupulous sellers have found many ways to cut costs, but at a price. If you get a low bid for your next cable buy, check these factors to make sure you are getting what you are paying for.

Seven rookie mistakes made by med dev companies

May 30, 2012 10:41 am | by Paul Brooks, SVP for BSI Healthcare Solutions | Blogs | Comments

For U.S.-based medical device start-ups, speed to global markets is often the most pressing concern, but trying to move too fast often leads to preventable mistakes that could take the CE Marking process back to the drawing board, according to healthcare experts at BSI Group America, a leading Notified Body that helps companies comply with the essential regulatory requirements of the European Union.

Processing on the edge

May 24, 2012 9:46 am | by Arnon Friedmann, Texas Instruments | Blogs | Comments

One of the interesting things about looking into a new market with an existing product is trying to ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of your product as you enter that new arena. If you’ve been following my last few posts you know that I’ve been looking into the high performance computing market and trying to understand the role that our DSPs can play there.

Bearing damage: A lurking problem in electric cars

May 23, 2012 11:51 am | by Matthew Roman, Engineering Manager, Electro Static Technology | Blogs | Comments

Electric cars are news. Every major automaker has introduced some electric vehicle, and the trend seems to be toward greater reliance on electric motors.  The “Holy Grail” is a battery electric vehicle (BEV, a car powered solely by electricity) with an extended driving range, at a reasonable price.

The evolution of automotive electronics

May 21, 2012 3:07 pm | by Anthony Le, Winbond Electronics, www.windbond.com | Blogs | Comments

I grew up in the 1970s. Our family car was a Ford Pinto station wagon. Everything in it was manual – manual windows, manual steering. The only consumer electronics was the radio. Fast forward to today, cars have

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