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CES 2015: Sensors Add New Dimensions to Consumer Electronics
Electronics News 
1/12/2015  1 comment
With laptops and PCs losing market share to handhelds and wearables, sensors are taking on a growing role in consumer electronics.
What Killed the Amazon Fire Phone?
Chris Wiltz 
1/9/2015  16 comments
Amazon's first venture into smartphones has lost the company $170 million. How that happened is a cautionary tale of over-engineering, failed amibition, and outright hubris.
CES 2015: Revamped Sony Walkman Comes With Big Price Tag
Blog 
1/9/2015  20 comments
Sony used CES 2015 to cash in on its nostalgic “Walkman” brand with a new high-resolution portable audio player.
Design Decisions: Use Epoxies to Protect Against Metal Corrosion
Guest Blogs 
1/9/2015  Post a comment
With the growing demand for new-age applications, corrosion has become an inherent problem. Not only do epoxies confer excellent corrosion resistance, they are also easy to handle and process. However, one must be mindful of selecting the right epoxy system along with the appropriate application techniques for best results.
You Know You’re an Engineer If … You Added to the 'Engineer If' List
Blog 
1/8/2015  10 comments
Here's a list of "You Know You're an Engineer If" contributions from Design News readers.
The DoE Just Broke the World Record in Solar Cell Efficiency
Blog 
1/8/2015  17 comments
The Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has demonstrated an unprecedented solar cell conversion rate.
CES 2015: Baby’s First IoT; 4Moms' App-Controlled Infant Seat
Blog 
1/8/2015  5 comments
We may still not have reached the era of robo-childcare, but we’re getting there!
Cars & Medical Implants Will Drive Plastics in 2015
Engineering Materials 
1/8/2015  4 comments
More and more -- that's what we'll see from plastics and composites in 2015, more types of plastics and more ways they can be used. Two of the fastest-growing uses will be automotive parts, plus medical implants and devices. New types of plastics will include biodegradable materials, plastics that can be easily recycled, and some that do both.
Here's Your Chance to Learn About the Secrets of FPGAs
Guest Blogs 
1/8/2015  Post a comment
The secrets that programmable logic vendors use to create these amazing devices are typically not discussed in much detail by the manufacturers. But if you understand them you can typically figure out why your devices are performing the way they do.
CES 2015: The BACTrack Vio is a Smartphone Breathalyzer
Blog 
1/7/2015  Post a comment
Where better than Vegas to test your blood alcohol level? Enter the BACTrack Vio, the plug-in smartphone Breathalyzer, featuring wireless connectivity via Bluetooth and an app allowing you to track your BAC results over time.
CES 2015: Jamstik – the Guitar for iOS
Blog 
1/7/2015  Post a comment
Remember when Guitar Hero used to be a thing? No? Well, that might be because you fancy yourself a real musician. But for those who want something in between the completely simulated and completely authentic guitar experience, there’s Jamstik, ¬a MIDI guitar controller designed to interface with the iPad, iPhone, and Mac.
Engineering Disasters: 1984 Romeoville Refinery Blast
Blog 
1/7/2015  5 comments
The 1984 Romeoville refinery explosion was one of the deadliest industrial disasters in US history.
At CES 2015, Toyota Announces it's Giving Away its Fuel Cell Patents
Automotive News 
1/7/2015  5 comments
Toyota Motor Corp. made its case for a hydrogen future this week, rolling out the hydrogen-powered Mirai and saying that it will grant royalty-free use of thousands of fuel cell patents to competitors.
Sony Hack Should Sound Off Alarm Bells for Industrial Sector
William Ng 
1/7/2015  2 comments
The real silver lining to come out of the Sony hack scandal was the sobering affirmation for both the US government and private sector that we have long-term and persistent cyber enemies from anywhere in the world.
CES 2015: The Inmotion V3 Electric Unicycle Rides the Wacky Wave
Blog 
1/7/2015  4 comments
It’s 2015, and we may not yet have hoverboards like in Back to The Future, but, thanks to a company by the name of INMOTION, we do have bizarre, electric unicycles.
Does a Messy Desk Mean a Creative Mind?
Blog 
1/6/2015  26 comments
Many of the greatest minds in past and current history sat behind very unkempt desks. What does your desk say about you?
Industrial Networks May Be the Next Sony
Blog 
1/6/2015  5 comments
Retail and corporate sites took a beating from hackers in 2014, but 2015 may be the year of high-profile attacks on industrial networks.
When Good Companies Make Bad Decisions
Blog 
1/6/2015  19 comments
Nearly every engineer has a story or two about mind-bogglingly stupid management decisions. The universality of this experience is one reason why Scott Adams’ Dilbert cartoons have enjoyed more than 25 years of popularity.
Who Will Be Gadget Freak of the Year?
Gadget Freak 
1/5/2015  6 comments
Voting in the final round of our annual Gadget Freak of the Year contest is now open. Cast your vote and come back next week to see if your favorite project garnered the $6,000 first prize!
Supercars Go Hybrid
Automotive News 
1/5/2015  8 comments
Consumers like hybrid powertrains because they burn less fuel and cost less to operate. But the hybrid’s growing popularity is taking it into a relatively new realm.
Seaworthy Composite Boat Folds Flat, Flexes to Meet Waves
Engineering Materials 
1/5/2015  11 comments
The use of glass fiber composites in boats is not news. But one that folds up flat in 40 seconds? The secret combines Kevlar and composite hinges, a lightweight PVC core, and strategic design.
4D Printing Self-Assembling, Self-Repairing Medical Implants
Engineering Materials 
1/5/2015  2 comments
Some market analysts are saying that medical device prototypes, especially implants, made with 4D printing techniques could appear as early as the end of 2015.
Engineering Disasters: The Dam Catastrophe That Changed the Profession
Electronics News 
12/31/2014  15 comments
Eighty-six years after America’s worst civil engineering disaster, the lessons appear painfully obvious.
Scary IEEE Tech Predictions for 2015
Blog 
12/31/2014  16 comments
The IEEE Computer society provides 2015 predictions that pose real challenges. What are the trends that will rock your world in the coming year?
Programmable Logic - How Do They Do That?
Blog 
12/31/2014  1 comment
CEC class explores advances in programmable logic devices.
Holland Tests World's First Solar Roadway
Blog 
12/31/2014  32 comments
For a country that doesn’t get as much sunshine as its southern European neighbors, the Netherlands is certainly doing some innovative things with solar power.
Home Sweet Dumpster: How to Transform a Trash Bin Into a Sustainable Living Space
Blog 
12/30/2014  48 comments
If one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, then it stands to reason that one person’s trash receptacle is another person’s idea of a cool place to live.
Agile Robots Will Rule in 2015
Blog 
12/30/2014  36 comments
2015 may become known as the year of the robot, just as 2014 was the year of connected everything. The recent shift in robotics is not centered on mammoth packaging or welding machines, but rather on small agile machines that are safe around humans.
You Know You’re an Engineer If ... You Still Have an IBM XT
Blog 
12/29/2014  46 comments
Do you see a perfectly good design and still insist on changing it? You might be an engineer.
Lexus' New Concept Car Provides Bold Glimpse of the Future
Automotive News 
12/23/2014  52 comments
A bold, gold, open-air coupe may not be the ticket to automotive nirvana for every consumer, but Lexus’ LF-C2 concept car certainly turned heads at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show. What’s more, it may provide a glimpse of the luxury automaker’s future.
Beyond Bits and Bytes: Learning About FPGAs and MCUs Via Online Classes
Guest Blogs 
12/23/2014  3 comments
Perhaps you didn't know that there are a variety of classes, both live and archived, offered via the Design News Continuing Education Center (CEC) sponsored by Digi-Key? The best part – they are free!
Engineers Just Love Team-Building Exercises
Blog 
12/23/2014  39 comments
Engineer comic Don McMillan explains the fun engineers have with team-building exercises. Can you relate?
Cold Flow Analysis for Diesel Engine Optimization
Guest Blogs 
12/23/2014  3 comments
The complexity of diesel engines means optimizing their performance requires a large amount of experimentation. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a very useful and intuitive tool in this, and cold flow analysis using CFD is an ideal approach to study the flow characteristics without going into the details of chemical reactions occurring during the combustion.
Two Big Lessons to Be Learned From the Sony Hack
Blog 
12/22/2014  38 comments
The damage to Sony from the cyber attack seems to have been heightened by failure to follow two basic security rules.
Gadget Freak of the Year Reader Vote: Round 4
Gadget Freak 
12/22/2014  6 comments
Voting in Round 4 of our annual Gadget Freak of the Year contest is now open.
Reshoring Is Happening, but so Is Outsourcing
Blog 
12/22/2014  11 comments
Reshoring is picking up steam, but it's not outpacing the overall continuing growth in outsourcing.
Santa’s Production Facility - a Detailed View
Blog 
12/19/2014  22 comments
Here's a variety of views into the complex production processes at Santa's factory. Happy Holidays!
Video: First Store Staffed Entirely by Telepresence Robots Opens in California
Blog 
12/19/2014  36 comments
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
The Gift of Mobility: Tech Gives Dog & Tortoise New Ways to Get Around
Blog 
12/19/2014  11 comments
Thanks to 3D printing, some custom-made prosthetic limbs, and a Lego set, one lucky dog and a tortoise has learned new tricks.
3D Printing Water-Based, Biodegradable Composites - with Robots!
Engineering Materials 
12/19/2014  6 comments
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Electronic Memories of Radio Shack
Blog 
12/18/2014  47 comments
With Radio Shack on the ropes, let's take a memory trip through the highlights of Radio Shack products.
Beyond Bits and Bytes: MCUs Embrace On-Chip FPGAs
Guest Blogs 
12/18/2014  7 comments
We Have FPGAs with On-chip MCUs, but How About MCUs with On-chip FPGAs?
Parasite Drones Will Suck Up City CO2, Give It Back to Plants
Engineering Materials 
12/18/2014  37 comments
Polish design firm NAS-DRA has proposed parasitic robotic drones that capture carbon dioxide from the air during the day and release it at night to plants growing on their wings.
These Jeans Will Keep Hackers Out of Your Pants
Blog 
12/18/2014  13 comments
Computer security firm Norton has partnered with clothing company Betaband on a pair of jeans that will keep your RFID-tagged credit cards and documents safe from wireless theft.
Watching the Watchmen: The Hows and Whys of Body-Worn Police Cameras
Chris Wiltz 
12/17/2014  27 comments
With erupting concern over police brutality, law enforcement agencies are turning to body-worn cameras to collect evidence and protect police and suspects. But how do they work? And are they even really effective?
Taking a Look Back at the Studebaker Assembly Line
Automotive News 
12/17/2014  8 comments
A half century ago, cars were still built by people, not robots. Even on some of the country’s longest assembly lines, human workers installed windows, doors, hoods, engines, windshields, and batteries, with no robotic aid.
Investment in Equipment Grows As U.S. Manufacturing Booms
Blog 
12/17/2014  1 comment
As U.S. manufacturing booms, companies are beginning to invest in new equipment.
Lamborghini Busts Out a Plug-In Hybrid, the Asterion LPI 910-4
Automotive News 
12/16/2014  18 comments
Automobili Lamborghini is joining the ranks of supercar makers who are moving to greener powertrains.
Alcoa's Micromill Process, Alloy Could Change Car Manufacturing
Engineering Materials 
12/16/2014  10 comments
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
Reshoring Will Continue as U.S. Manufacturing Booms in 2015
Blog 
12/16/2014  5 comments
New research from the Georgia Center for Innovations for Manufacturing shows manufacturing will boom in 2015 as reshoring continues to bring production back to the U.S.>
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