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Content posted in February 2016
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Today, February 29, is a Free Day
Blog  
2/29/2016   1 comment
You get an extra day for your mortgage or rent payments, but you also work for free if you get paid monthly.
Atlas Robot Wows
Blog  
2/27/2016   6 comments
Google's (now Alphabet's) Boston Dynamics' Atlas Robot for DARPA wows, makes sci-fi feel like reality.
February's Top Medtech Megamergers
Blog  
2/26/2016   Post a comment
This month saw a slew of medical device M&A deals, though they were mostly only a “few” billion dollars a piece.
Max's DNA Results Are In -- It's Worse Than We Feared!
Max’s Cool Beans  
2/26/2016   31 comments
According to the ethnicity estimate from Ancestry.com, Max's DNA shows him to be...
Ethernet Picks up the Pace
Blog  
2/26/2016   Post a comment
The industry is counting on getting new Ethernet solutions at a faster rate, according to the chairman of the Ethernet Alliance who reviews what’s in the pipeline.
Friday Quiz: Linear Motion Sensors
Blog  
2/26/2016   Post a comment
Sensing mechanical motion is ultimately an electronic measurement.
Apple, FBI Talks Need Engineers
Blog  
2/25/2016   11 comments
A panel of experts need to study and report to the public on the legal and technical alternatives in security and privacy, and engineers need a seat at that table.
STEM Gets Steamy
Max’s Cool Beans  
2/25/2016   33 comments
There's a move to add the Arts (A) to the existing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math domains, thereby evolving STEM into STEAM.
Operation Dust Storm Hackers Set Sights On Japan's Critical Infrastructure
Blog  
2/25/2016   Post a comment
Japanese energy, oil/gas, and transportation industries the target of stealthy, patient cyber-espionage group.
Is Arduino's random() Function Truly Random?
Blog  
2/25/2016   20 comments
Wouldn't we feel silly if we created a sophisticated effect based on random numbers, only to discover that our numbers aren't as random as one might hope?
The Great Capacitor Plague of the Early 21st Century
Engineering Investigations  
2/25/2016   17 comments
Humongous numbers of capacitors manufactured between 1999 and 2003 started to fail in systems around 2002 to 2005...
The Future of Emulation on Display
Blog  
2/25/2016   Post a comment
Marrying high-performance hardware with "smart" applications will make emulators workhorses for addressing complex system-level design verification challenges.
Leaky Apps Far Riskier Than Mobile Malware
Blog  
2/25/2016   Post a comment
Even top enterprise apps are rampant with data leakage and privacy-invasive behavior.
My First Skirmish with Basic for Android
Blog  
2/25/2016   Post a comment
My first impressions of Basic for Android, a development environment for Android apps.
First "PCB of the Month" Project is Poised to Roll
Max’s Cool Beans  
2/24/2016   9 comments
This project is based on the LM331 voltage-to-frequency converter chip that was designed by the late, great Bob Pease.
Latest Atlas Humanoid Robot Frighteningly Lifelike
Max’s Cool Beans  
2/24/2016   9 comments
Still don’t believe in the robot apocalypse? We'll see who is laughing when you hear the metallic stomping approaching outside your office door.
IoT Library: Cutting the Cord & 'Going Totally Wireless’
Blog  
2/24/2016   1 comment
Look no further than this week’s Mobile World Congress for working examples of this next-wave wireless design trend and its inevitable outcome.
Wearables Don IEEE Standard
Blog  
2/24/2016   Post a comment
A new IEEE standards effort aims to enable immersive shopping and customized wearables tied to the Internet of Things.
Optimize an Arduino-Based DDS Signal Generator
Blog  
2/24/2016   Post a comment
Find solutions for the output amplitude and distortion issues that can plague the Analog Devices AD9851 DDS waveform generator Arduino module.
Book Review: The Inventor's Dilemma by David J. Gerber
Engineer’s Bookshelf  
2/23/2016   19 comments
It's not too much to say that H. Joseph Gerber played an essential role in transforming American industry and boosting the nation's economy.
IoT Security Watchdog Needed
Blog  
2/23/2016   Post a comment
It’s time to rethink the way we design security for the Internet of Things and put some consequences behind those that don’t follow the rules, according to a security consultant.
Linear Technology Expands Test Capability in Singapore
Blog  
2/23/2016   1 comment
Linear Technology is increasing its Singapore semiconductor test capacity by 45%. The shift from consumer products to industrial ICs is driving the expansion.
Amazing T-Rex Illusion Video
Max’s Cool Beans  
2/23/2016   Post a comment
When all is revealed at the end, you will be "blown away" in astonishment.
Designing AC/DC Adaptors for USB Type-C Power
Blog  
2/23/2016   1 comment
After much discussion, products with new USB Type-C (Type-C) ports are finally here! In 2015, Apple’s new MacBook and Google’s Nexus 6P were released with the new USB-C port.
Facebook Friends the Telco Cloud
Blog  
2/22/2016   3 comments
Cellular base stations and other telco gear may go the way of open servers if a new group gets its way.
Autotestcon issues call for papers
Blog  
2/22/2016   Post a comment
The annual conference for test engineers takes place in Anaheim during September, 2016.
Why Apple Is Fighting The Good Fight
Blog  
2/22/2016   2 comments
A court has told Apple to compromise an iPhone owned by one of the shooters in the December San Bernardino attack that killed 14 people. But Apple should not be required to enlist in the war on bad things.
How to Get Wireless Mesh-Networked ESC "Hello There!" Badge
Blog  
2/22/2016   2 comments
In which all is revealed as to how 75 lucky attendees can lay claim to their very own ESC Boston wireless mesh networked 'Hello There!' badges.
Sky's the Limit for Printed/Flexible Electronics Market
Blog  
2/22/2016   1 comment
The printed and flexible electronics market segment is expected to be worth over $69 billion by 2026.
American Power Grid Vulnerable to Catastrophic Failure
Blog  
2/20/2016   Post a comment
Can you imagine what life would be like if a large portion of the national grid was out of action for 6 months or 9 months or even longer?
Battery Storage Systems Shine With Solar Deployments
Blog  
2/19/2016   Post a comment
Homeowners, who may soon store energy from solar cells instead of selling back to the grid, should select storage components wisely.
Power over Ethernet, a Source for Area Lighting?
Blog  
2/19/2016   7 comments
The latest power over Ethernet specification significantly increases the power level and opens up dramatically expanded application options.
7 Trends You'll See at MWC 2016
Blog  
2/19/2016   1 comment
CES is an increasingly common place for cellular industry news, but Mobile World Congress remains the dominant conference for wireless applications. What should you expect to hear announced there? Glad you asked.
Lucky Errors Found in Bitcoin
Blog  
2/19/2016   Post a comment
We found bitcoin mining is inherently tolerant to faults in the mining ASIC that can be exploited to maximize profits by up to 30% -- techniques that could be useful to any application of approximate computing.
Friday Quiz: Turn of the Century Test Equipment
Blog  
2/19/2016   Post a comment
Name these five test products advertised in January 2000.
Parasitic Extraction for Accurate Signal Integrity Analysis
Blog  
2/19/2016   Post a comment
A number of new models have emerged that are useful for parasitic extraction at advanced nodes, including multi-patterning, FinFETs, and resistance and capacitance models.
Make Useful Comment Headers
Break Points  
2/19/2016   Post a comment
Modules should start with great comment headers. Too many don't.
Android, iOS Own 98% Of Smartphone Market, Gartner Finds
Blog  
2/18/2016   2 comments
Apple's iOS and Google's Android leave little more than a pittance for Windows and BlackBerry, according to new estimates from Gartner.
Cycle-Accurate 8088/8086 Soft Processor Core Consumes Only 308 FPGA LUTs
Max’s Cool Beans  
2/18/2016   17 comments
Using a micro-sequencer-based implementation, the designer achieves a cycle-accurate core that's less than one tenth the size of comparable x86 soft cores.
Secret Code Unlocks Discount for ESC Boston 2016
Blog  
2/18/2016   Post a comment
This super-secret-squirrel code is only good for a very short time, at which point it will self-destruct and we will deny it ever existed!
Vera Lynn Meets the Dark Side of the Moon
Max’s Cool Beans  
2/18/2016   14 comments
Dame Vera was trilling away at full throttle just 30 years before we were feasting our orbs and auricles on Pink Floyd's offerings at Knebworth Park.
Apple vs. the FBI: What Would You Do?
Blog  
2/17/2016   34 comments
Would you disable a security feature in your product so authorities could access data from a known terrorist?
Embedded Devices are Building Smart Cities, But...
Blog  
2/17/2016   Post a comment
The future will require increased connectivity, which current wireless protocols cannot support; application-agnostic platforms are required to support upcoming protocols.
Maxim Goes on a Diet
Blog  
2/17/2016   1 comment
The analog power house faces a paradox: Trim down to appeal to investors, but continue to invest in industry-leading products.
IoT Library: Hybrids & Electrics--the Electronic Car in the Modern Age
Engineer’s Bookshelf  
2/17/2016   4 comments
What exactly is under the hood of these hybrid and electric wonders?
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Max’s Cool Beans  
2/17/2016   15 comments
What do you do if you wish to go to the movies, but your spouse favors historical dramas while you feel zombies are the order of the day?
Microsoft Patents A Modular PC Design
Blog  
2/16/2016   4 comments
Microsoft's latest hardware project could involve a modular computer with stackable components, as indicated by a new patent.
Phase Change Memory: The Discontinuity & Melting Question
Blog  
2/13/2016   6 comments
Melting and quenching during RESET are essential to the operation of a phase change memory (PCM) device. This follow-up article explores the role of melting during threshold switching and the post-threshold switching conducting state prior to SET state crystallization.
Soft Machines: Promising, Not Proven
Blog  
2/12/2016   11 comments
Veteran microprocessor analyst Kevin Krewell plumbs startup Soft Machines’ VISC technology following a recent release of updated simulation data of its promising multicore architecture.
Britain is Dragged Kicking and Screaming into the Digital Age
Max’s Cool Beans  
2/12/2016   26 comments
Only in England would they think that transitioning from vellum to archival paper would in any way qualify as "adapting to the digital age."
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Martin Rowe

Test Tool Finds Ethernet Wiring Errors
Martin Rowe
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When my house was renovated several years ago, I had the electrician install network outlets in numerous places, then run the LAN cables to a wiring closet. But he didn't document the ends ...

Martin Rowe

Local Electronics Store Supplies Engineers and Hobbyists
Martin Rowe
5 comments
Rochester, N.Y. — Tucked away in this western New York city known for its optics is Goldcrest Electronics, a local store that's supplied businesses and individuals with electronic ...

Martin Rowe

How to Transform a Technology University (Book Review)
Martin Rowe
1 Comment
The Presiding Genius of the Place by Alison Chisolm. WPI, Worcester, Mass., 234 pp., 2016. Engineers love to discuss, and often criticize, engineering education. They often claim ...

Max Maxfield

Aloha from EEWeb
Max Maxfield
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Just a few minutes ago as I pen these words, I posted this blog about this month's Cartoon Punchline Competition over on EEWeb.com.