What do the Nevada Northern Railway and the failed display on my daughter's RAZR mobile phone have in common? Believe it or not, I can connect the two. I was reading a plea for donations for the NNR, a priceless mining railroad that is completely preserved - buildings, yards, steam locomotives and rolling stock. In September, its yard in East Ely, Nev., was designated a National Historic Landmark given its perfectly preserved shops, structures and equipment. Time has stood still for 100 years at the NNR (and in most of rural Nevada, for that matter).
In the solicitation, NNR executor director Mike Bassett whose name escapes me was expressing concern that as older generations die out, the NNR would have no one to maintain NNR's two operating units (with a third being restored). He decried our "throwaway" society. Enter my daughter's RAZR. After 18 months, the display has quit. She asked if Cingular, our carrier, or Motorola would fix it. I laughed, thinking no way. We'd toss the RAZR and get hosed buying a new one. My assumption was not entirely correct. A Cingular representative said I could get a new RAZR for $100 with a $50 rebates (I hate rebates). This option not viable because it re-ups me for two more years with Cingular and I'm 18 months into the existing contract.
But he also said I could try to get unit repaired at a small repair shop, Marconi Radio in Beverly, Mass. I called. The Marconi guy said if it's the ribbon cable between the display and main board, the repair would be $55. If it's the display, it would be $70. If it's both, do the math. But he was helpful and said, we could get a refurb and that's he'd take my RAZR in trade. So my options were not entirely all bad. I'm headed to Marconi. It's highly unlikely I will get the existing RAZR fixed for obvious reasons. But I won't throw it away, either.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.