Troy David, VP of Keystone Electronics, keeps his ear to the ground for new ideas—literally. Recently, he noticed that more engineers were asking for terminal screws colored green (presumably to denote ground). Keystone offers several styles of terminal screws, which it says is an economical alternative to PC screw-type edge connectors. The screws normally come only with an unpainted finish. Though companies typically silk screen the name of the type of connection on to the circuit board, David surmised that some engineers use the colored screws as a quick visual check. So now he's offering a whole rainbow's worth of color-coded terminal screws, including green, black, blue, yellow, and red. Instead of plating the brass screws with tin plate, engineers will apply a zinc plating and a chromate conversion coating, which absorbs the dye. Keystone plans to offer the color-coded screws as a standard product this coming Fall, and is currently providing sample quantities to engineers. E-mail Director of Sales Richard Weiner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
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.