Anyone who has tried to squeeze a transformer plug onto a power strip will immediately appreciate the Flexity PowerSquid's design, which places the female plugs on flexible electrical cords. Inventor Christopher Hawker came up with his "cephalopod design" after noticing that rigid power strips couldn't accommodate as many power bricks as they have open plugs. The first PowerSquids were simply power multipliers that connected up to five cords to one grounded outlet. Now, Flexity has developed advanced models that offer surge protection. They retain the squid form factor but also "have all the features you'd expect from a premium surge protector," says Hawker. These include MOVs with joule ratings from 1020 to 3280 joules, EMI/RFI filtering, and protection for coaxial cables and phone lines. The flagship Calamari model also features two neon glowing outlets, an audible alarm, and a 360-degree, rotating, flat-profile, male plug. For more information, visit www.powersquid.net. Or visit Hawker's design firm at www.trident-design.com for a look at his other products.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationís recent backup camera mandate could open the door to more vehicle innovations, including better graphical displays, 360-degree camera views, and the increased use of Ethernet.
With support from National Instruments, a group of dedicated students from Connally High School in Austin, where more than 50% of the students are at risk of not graduating, have created a successful robotics team that is competing in the FIRST World Championships.
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