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Mac Mini (Late 2014) — The Teardown
Blog 
10/23/2014  2 comments
It's been two years since the Mac Mini's last appearance on iFixit's teardown table, but a newly revised version joins Apple's lineup this week.
Let Isaac Asimov Lead Your Brainstorming Session
Blog 
10/23/2014  2 comments
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Smart Battery Sensor Provides Warning Before Catching Fire
Blog 
10/23/2014  2 comments
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
How it Works: E-Cigarettes
Blog 
10/22/2014  16 comments
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Kindle Fire HD 6 Teardown
Blog 
10/21/2014  5 comments
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
5G Will Drive Test Equipment Surge
Blog 
10/21/2014  1 comment
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Lithium Battery Charges 70% in 2 Minutes
Blog 
10/21/2014  15 comments
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
12 Robots That Play Sports
Blog 
10/20/2014  19 comments
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
Automation Market Set for Extended Boom Times
Blog 
10/17/2014  5 comments
Automation technology advances matched with expanded fracking and the growing urbanization of Asia, South America, and the Middle East, are fueling a boom in the automation industry.
Engineering Disasters: Deadly Zaps from the Therac-25
Blog 
10/16/2014  30 comments
In this engineering disaster, the Therac-25 radiation machine would go haywire, sending massive, sometimes fatal, radiation overdoses to patients.
MSC Software Spiffs Up Its CAE
Blog 
10/16/2014  2 comments
A recent example of a major CAE revamp is MSC Apex, released last month by MSC Software Corp. In a discussion with Design News, MSC executives noted that its next-generation platform is designed to substantially reduce CAE modeling and process time, “in some cases from weeks down to hours.”
London's Floating Bike Path Would Harvest Energy from Sun, Wind, Tides
Blog 
10/15/2014  19 comments
The Thames Deckway would run for eight miles close to the river’s edge, rising and falling slightly with the tidal cycle. It will generate its own energy from a series of devices that will line the pathway and use a combination of sources to make the path self-sustaining.
2014 Salaries for 10 Engineering Disciplines
Blog 
10/14/2014  25 comments
Here's a breakdown of the 2014 engineering salaries by discipline. We've included entry-level salaries, mean average salaries, and top 10% salaries.
Robert Langer: The Thomas Edison of Biomedical Engineering
Blog 
10/14/2014  5 comments
The numerous, groundbreaking inventions of biomedical engineer Robert Langer may have an impact on life in our century that rivals Edison's impact on the last century.
Understanding the Hardness of Metals
Blog 
10/13/2014  8 comments
When designing metal parts, it's important to specify their hardness. However, many engineers have only a shaky understanding of what hardness actually is, or how it's measured. This article helps clear up that confusion.
Speed to Market With Optimization Tools
Blog 
10/13/2014  1 comment
This Technology Roundup gathers cutting-edge stories about optimization tools that speed time to market.
10 Ways to Fight Hackers
Blog 
10/10/2014  9 comments
Protecting networks against hackers requires a long list of new solutions.
3D-Printed Robot Thwarts Drug Smugglers
Blog 
10/10/2014  8 comments
MIT researchers have used 3D printing to develop an underwater robot about the size of a football that can protect ports by scanning the hulls of ships for suspicious or illegal cargo.
Michigan Brewery Also Serves Solar Energy
Blog 
10/9/2014  46 comments
The Dark Horse Brewing Company teamed with the Patriot Solar Group, The Green Brewery Project, and Contractors Building Supply to create a 40-kilowatt, 140-panel system to generate solar energy not just to power the building but also the local grid. The brew company actually gets paid for the excess solar energy it sends to the local utility.
NI's Online Condition Monitoring Improves Equipment Maintenance
Blog 
10/9/2014  2 comments
NI InsightCM Enterprise is a software solution National Instruments recently introduced to help companies gain insight into the health of their equipment. With years of experience in condition monitoring, NI developed NI InsightCM Enterprise as its first end-to-end software solution that addresses big analog data challenges and builds on the Industrial Internet of Things.
How to Think Like an Engineer
Blog 
10/8/2014  30 comments
Most engineers spend a lot of time thinking about how to solve design problems, but not much time thinking about how we think. Using analogies can help you come up with more, and possibly better, design ideas.
Top 20 US Graduate Engineering Programs
Blog 
10/7/2014  7 comments
As promised when we listed the top undergraduate engineering schools, here are the top 20 US engineering schools based on their graduate programs. We looked at a number of rankings and created an overall list based on an average.
Is Your Star Rising?
Blog 
10/7/2014  1 comment
Help Design News recognize engineers who are ahead of the trends and making big moves in the design engineering community. Nominate a Rising Engineering Star today.
Survey: Women Largely Unaware of Career Opportunities in Manufacturing
Blog 
10/7/2014  20 comments
While job opportunities for women in the manufacturing sector are in line with what young women want from prospective careers, a recent survey has found many women are unaware of the potential for career advancement that exists in the sector.
Engineering Disasters: NASA’s Genesis Probe Got it Backwards
Blog 
10/6/2014  22 comments
The Genesis was a NASA probe designed to gather a sample of solar wind and return it to earth -- the first mission designed to bring samples back since the Apollo Program. Launched on August 8, 2004, the probe did a great job getting close enough to the sun to collect samples. But the return ride turned into a disaster.
MacArthur Genius Grants: Don't Call Them, They'll Call You
Blog 
10/6/2014  4 comments
On Sept. 17, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awarded no-strings-attached fellowships of $625,000 each to 21 people recognized as exceptionally creative. The foundation has given out these “genius grants” every year since 1981.
Samsung's Metal-Framed Galaxy Alpha -- the Teardown
Blog 
10/3/2014  3 comments
After years of research, billions of dollars, and countless hours of development, Samsung has finally landed upon the game changer in its race against Apple -- a Galaxy smartphone with a metal frame.
Stratasys Adds 3D Printing to Next-Gen Smart Appliances
Blog 
10/3/2014  6 comments
Stratasys will lend its 3D printing expertise to GE’s community effort to build the next-generation of home appliances. The 3D printing manufacturer and service provider is providing 3D printers as part of a new partnership of FirstBuild, an affiliate of GE that aims to use the ingenuity of technologists in an online community to build more intelligent appliances.
12 Tech Acquisitions That Made You Say, 'Huh?'
Blog 
10/2/2014  15 comments
Check out these strange technology acquisitions. Many of these mergers became burdens the companies couldn't bear.
Can You Really Slip on a Banana Peel?
Blog 
10/2/2014  12 comments
The 2014 Ig Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Dr. Kiyoshi Mabuchi and his team members for their work measuring the slipperiness of banana peels. Turns out they're slipperier with the yellow side up.
Flexible Solar Cell Can Be Woven Into Energy-Harvesting Fabric
Blog 
10/2/2014  1 comment
Many scientists have been working battery-free ways to power wearable electronics that can replace bulky battery packs, particularly through the use of energy-harvesting materials. Now a team of researchers in China have upped the game by developing a lightweight and flexible solar cell that can be woven into two-way energy-harvesting fabric.
Chew On This: Chin Strap Harvests Energy
Blog 
10/1/2014  20 comments
Researchers in Canada have developed a chin strap that harvests energy from chewing and can potentially power a digital earplug that can provide both protection and communication capabilities.
6 Reasons to Go For the Golden Mousetrap
Blog 
10/1/2014  2 comments
In case you haven't heard, the deadline to enter the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards is coming up fast – Oct. 28! Have you entered yet?
3D-Printed Limbs Turn Kids into Superheroes
Blog 
9/30/2014  29 comments
Enabling the Future is designing prosthetic appendages modeled more like superhero arms and hands than your average static artificial limbs. And they’re doing it through a website and grassroots movement inspired by two men’s design and creation in 2012 of a metal prosthetic for a child in South Africa.
Security Is Going Down to the Device
Blog 
9/30/2014  1 comment
In order to keep an enterprise truly safe from hackers, cyber security has to go all the way down to the device level. Icon Labs is making the point that security has to be built into device components.
India's Mangalyaan Probe Reaches Mars
Blog 
9/30/2014  13 comments
Three days after NASA's MAVEN probe reached Mars, India's Mangalyaan probe went into orbit around the red planet. India's first interplanetary mission, and the first successful Mars probe launched by an Asian nation, has a total project cost of nearly $600 million less than MAVEN's.
Video: Interactive, Arcade-Style Sandbox
Blog 
9/29/2014  17 comments
Sega is releasing a new futuristic sandbox that uses height sensors and projection mapped projectors to cast pictures that correspond to what you're making.
Plant HMI Goes Millennial
Blog 
9/26/2014  17 comments
Plant user interfaces are beginning to incorporate the consumer features such as swipe, double tap, and pinch. The driver is Millennials who expect plant equipment to match the sophistication of the smartphone.
Recycled Tires Find New Use in Car Batteries
Blog 
9/26/2014  10 comments
A team out of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is using materials from old tires to design new car batteries.
Fairchild Pivots to Quicken Customers’ Time to Market
Blog 
9/25/2014  1 comment
Fairchild Semiconductor recently rebranded itself to focus the company’s resources on the development of power products and services designed to help design engineers shorten the time-to-market for mobile devices and wearable technologies, among other products.
Teardown: Apple's iPhone 6
Blog 
9/24/2014  23 comments
Released on September 19, 2014, this 4.7-inch screen iPhone is the smaller version of the iPhone 6 Plus.
iPhone 6 Plus Teardown
Blog 
9/23/2014  31 comments
Released on September 19, 2014, this 5.5 inch screen iPhone is the larger version of the iPhone 6, whose teardown follows tomorrow.
Cigarette Butts Recycled Into Powerful Energy-Storage Material
Blog 
9/22/2014  14 comments
A group of researchers at the Seoul National University have discovered a way to take material from cigarette butts and turn it into a carbon-based material that’s ideal for storing energy and creating a powerful supercapacitor.
15 Great Hacker Movies
Blog 
9/19/2014  35 comments
Hacking has a long history in the movies, beginning with Tron and War Games and continuing through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
DARPA Hopes to Heal Soldiers' Bodies & Minds With Brain Microchip
Blog 
9/18/2014  12 comments
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
Technology Revamps Manufacturing Companies
Blog 
9/17/2014  1 comment
New manufacturing is changing more than just the plant floor. It's changing how manufacturers do business.
What it Takes to Get Capital
Blog 
9/17/2014  6 comments
Venture capital guru Steve Vassallo looks for companies that think about design, not just technology for technology's sake.
Engineers Make Great Comedians
Blog 
9/16/2014  10 comments
In this TED presentation, Wayne Cotter, a computer engineer turned standup comic, explains why engineers are natural comedians.
IBM's SyNAPSE Chip Mimics the Human Brain
Blog 
9/16/2014  1 comment
IBM's new SyNAPSE chip makes it possible for computers to both memorize and compute simultaneously.
20 Top Employers for Engineers
Blog 
9/15/2014  16 comments
We searched far and wide for the top employers for engineers. These companies were ranked by engineering professionals, engineering students, and engineering instructors and professors. Does your employer make the grade?
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It's been two years since the Mac Mini's last appearance on iFixit's teardown table, but a newly revised version joins Apple's lineup this week.
More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
Kevin Gautier of Formlabs describes the making of a carbon fiber mold for an intake manifold, using a $3,300 3D printer, during Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
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