The analogy with record-player motors is very apt. I've restored a bunch of turntables, and the motors tends to not have been designed with long life in mind. Nor are they designed to provide reasonable torque, which is something you'd think would be a requirement. Like so many other things, the prime design requirement seems to have been, make it cheap. So typically the bearings don't maintain lubrication all that well and they get gunked up pretty quickly, reducing torque, and so the motors can't turn the platter. Not as bad as your one-bearing Sears refrigerator motor, but not great design either.
The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
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.