They’re called social utilities. Facebook and Myspace are the best known. My college-age kids have been on Facebook for years and I opened an account a couple of months ago. Ain’t I cool!?
The Facebook Fact Book says precious little about Facebook: Founded in 2004, Facebook has 67 million users who visited their account at least once within the last month. It is the "second-most trafficked PHP" installation in the world. PHP stands for "hypertext preprocessor" and is computer and web site scripting language. It’s inventor, Mark Zuckerberg, will turn 24 in May and attended the same private high school as my son (Phillips Exeter Academy), who tells me Facebook to some degree is based on the school’s internal student network. Controversy seems to find Zuckerberg and there are several claims alleging that he ripped off some of his ideas.
Do engineers use Facebook? Certainly, the younger ones do. Design News has its own Facebook page and of the 57 people who havee friended it, the vast majority are from countries outside the U.S. And when I searched "design engineering," I could not even get through the A’s. I didn’t see many of DN’s bloggers on Facebook. Mechatronics on Campus blogger Stefan Wolpert, a Olin College sophomore, was there of course.
I can’t tell you for certain that Facebook is an essential networking tool for engineers, but I can tell you this. That vast majority of kids (I am more than 2x older) under 25 who I know use it as a key social medium. And there’s no reason why it could not be a professional medium as well. It already is. Stay tuned.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.