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Content posted in August 2011
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Do you learn from your mistakes?
Engineering Pop Culture!  
8/31/2011   9 comments
So it goes to follow that the more mistakes you make, the smarter you are, right?
My own private Frankenstein "monster"?
8/31/2011   22 comments
A power fail/restore cycle at home reminds us of the importance of random power-cycle testing
Technology needed to thwart a bear
8/31/2011   16 comments
Three times in the past two weeks, I’ve poked my head outside in the wee hours of the morning, only to find my garbage cans (and sometimes even yard-waste cans) overturned, contents strewn all over.
Bacon T-Shirts and Doctor Who sonic screwdrivers
Programmable Logic DesignLine Blog  
8/31/2011   4 comments
May 1000 curses rain down on the heads of the guys and gals at Think Geek who torment me with products I never knew I wanted…
What's your ideal (engineering) vacation?
Engineering Pop Culture!  
8/31/2011   24 comments
Is the ideal engineering vacation doing and learning or is it unplugging and chilling?
Holiday from 'technology'
8/30/2011   8 comments
A week in a National Park provides a welcome respite from being connected.
Flirting with disaster
8/30/2011   5 comments
Your company may have a disaster-preparedness plan, but do your vendors?
Audio transport yields mixed success
Engineering Investigations  
8/30/2011   3 comments
In one of my many stints of developing electronic gizmos as a contractor for the government, I was asked to build a transport device that would take in analog audio, transport it a distance, and then output it in a proprietary digital link format.
Free 2-day class for SmartFusion mixed-signal FPGAs
Programmable Logic DesignLine Blog  
8/29/2011   1 comment
If you are based in Silicon Valley, California, you might want to sign up for this free 2-day training course on 6-7 September 2011…
Diamond planet – black hole eats star – life on Mars – lots more “stuff”
Engineering Pop Culture!  
8/29/2011   15 comments
Good grief – it’s early Monday morning and my brain is already reeling with all of the interesting info that is flashing before my eyes…
Beer and Wi-Fi: perfect together?
8/29/2011   23 comments
One of the many things I love about the UK is that no one seems to drink alone.
PCB industry challenges that affect profitability and competitive leadership
8/29/2011   1 comment
The PC board is no longer simply a repository for circuitry, but the opportunity for electronics companies to add its unique value and produce a more competitive product.
Chips in Space: Let’s look inside ARISSat-1 (Part 3)
8/27/2011   9 comments
The third and final chapter on the ARISSat-1’s subsystems, which covers all of the Cs: communications, cameras, control and cabling, along with the university experiment that hitched a ride.
Video: Amazing electronic trick (how is this done?)
Programmable Logic DesignLine Blog  
8/26/2011   46 comments
I have to admit to being seriously intrigued. I just saw an electronics-based trick that I cannot explain…
Tactical Nuclear Penguins
Programmable Logic DesignLine Blog  
8/26/2011   7 comments
Am I man enough to tackle the world’s strongest beer? You bet your Emperor Penguin I am!
Why the guy who fixes your computer hates you!
Programmable Logic DesignLine Blog  
8/26/2011   9 comments
I just saw a funny article on titled “6 Reasons The Guy Who’s Fixing Your Computer Hates You”…
Has Mentor traded its high-level synthesis (HLS) Catapult C organization?
Programmable Logic DesignLine Blog  
8/26/2011   4 comments
I can hardly believe my ears. I just heard a rumor that “Effective on August 31, 2011, the High Level Synthesis organization, which produces Catapult C, will become part of a new entity with Calypto Design Systems.”
New AMD CEO's job: Bringing computing to next 10 billion users
8/26/2011   10 comments
It’s been only a little over 10 hours, way too soon to pass judgment on AMD’s choice of the new CEO. True. But one thing keeps bugging me.
I need help to recreate an amazing color vision experiment
Engineering Pop Culture!  
8/25/2011   22 comments
A few years ago I posted a column about a rather amazing color vision experiment. I’m now a little closer to recreating this, but I could still use a little help…
Free webinar on creating radiation-immune FPGA designs
Programmable Logic DesignLine Blog  
8/25/2011   Post a comment
I’m becoming increasingly interested in the effects of radiation on designs intended for terrestrial applications – especially those implemented using FPGAs.
Sky won't fall on post-Jobs Apple
Semi Conscious  
8/25/2011   15 comments
Relax. Apple will get along fine without Steve Jobs at the helm.
Stand back – I have a ukulele and I'm not afraid to use it!
Programmable Logic DesignLine Blog  
8/24/2011   7 comments
I'm proud to report that I just finished building my first do-it-yourself ukulele kit.
When figuring out what really happened requires some tricky assumptions
Engineering Pop Culture!  
8/24/2011   8 comments
When debugging circuits and systems, sometimes you have to take a step back and look around.
More audio-related iPhone apps
Audio DesignLine Blog  
8/24/2011   1 comment
There's no shortage of interesting audio-related apps for the iPhone and iPad - everything from audio test instruments to music creation tools to games - and some can even be had for free.
Mega-cool new electronics products from SparkFun
Programmable Logic DesignLine Blog  
8/23/2011   3 comments
New product line helps beginners in programming, prototyping, and designing with electronics.
Everyone (still) loves Pasquale Pistorio
Semi Conscious  
8/23/2011   8 comments
Former STMicroelectronics President and CEO Pasquale Pistorio views his 2011 IEEE Robert N. Noyce medal as a reflection of ST's success and the result of teamwork.
Dynamic reprogrammability seems rather static
8/22/2011   6 comments
There are times when a technology that sees quick adoption dumbfounds me as to what people see in it, or why it should become so popular.
Greatest innovation in the world
Engineering Pop Culture!  
8/22/2011   97 comments
Which was more important to history, penicillin or the arch? How about steel, or maybe the printed circuit?
I want impossible balls too!
Engineering Pop Culture!  
8/22/2011   8 comments
I love magic tricks and optical illusions, and these just blew me away…
Renesas building unity out of disaster
8/22/2011   3 comments
Renesas is rolling out several steps to increase redundancy in its supply chain and reduce the impact of any future natural disaster on its operations. The company is not alone, however. Other chip makers, component vendors and OEMs are engaged in similar actions in response to the Japan March earthquake.
Mobile--and I hope--clean tech era is here
8/21/2011   17 comments
I know historians will say we are now in a mobile era in technology, and hope they also find signs of the birth of a robust clean tech era, too.
Chips in Space: Let’s look inside ARISSat-1 (part 2)
8/21/2011   19 comments
Part 2 of our dive into each of ARISSat-1’s subsystems, where I will focus on the solar and battery power systems that are managed by the Power Supply Unit board discussed last week.
Hot iPad app: iCircuit (electronic circuit editor and simulator)
Programmable Logic DesignLine Blog  
8/19/2011   9 comments
My old chum Alvin just emailed me to say that he is really impressed with an iPad app called iCircuit...
Hot iPad app: Notes Plus (handwriting, text, shapes, audio…)
Engineering Pop Culture!  
8/18/2011   7 comments
Notes Plus is in a league of its own – this is the sort of app that fully utilizes all of the iPad’s capabilities and turns the iPad into a tool rather than a toy.
The coffee ring effect revealed
Programmable Logic DesignLine Blog  
8/18/2011   2 comments
Every now and then, some bright spark pauses for a second and says “Just a cotton pickin' moment, I wonder what’s causing that?”
DRAM hits record sales of $2 billion
8/18/2011   3 comments
In a report released by IHS/iSuppli yesterday, Ryan Chien revealed that the mobile DRAM market has exceeded the $2billion level for the first time on a quarterly basis.
To vendors: where’s your ‘community’ spirit?
8/18/2011   15 comments
In the electronics industry, company spokespeople, marketing executives or ad men all love talking about the importance of “community” and “engagement.” Do they really mean it?
Does "crime" pay more than engineering?
Engineering Pop Culture!  
8/18/2011   29 comments
Forget being an EE technician or IT jockey; criminal forensics is the new big thing
Mystery robot dog from the 1950s
Programmable Logic DesignLine Blog  
8/17/2011   5 comments
This is just so amazingly cool. It’s almost a retro version of Doctor Who’s robot dog K-9.
What do we do about the space junk?
8/17/2011   3 comments
Estimates call for some 1200 new satellites to be launched by 2019. Meanwhile, an estimated half-million pieces of space debris currently orbit the earth. Impact seems inevitable.
What do QR codes have to do with a “bad hair day”?
Engineering Pop Culture!  
8/17/2011   14 comments
QR codes storing addresses and URLs may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards, or almost any object about which users might need information.
The Periodic Table of Programmable Logic – Rev #2
Programmable Logic DesignLine Blog  
8/17/2011   2 comments
I’ve waded my weary way through all of your suggestions – accepted some, rejected others, and added some of my own…
The wheelchair siren
8/17/2011   4 comments
All it took was a siren and suddenly people paid attention.
The realities of IP reuse
8/17/2011   6 comments
Long touted as a silver bullet, IP reuse often fails to live up to expectations when it comes to increasing semiconductor R&D productivity and throughput.
Could Intel buy TI's OMAP division?
Semi Conscious  
8/16/2011   17 comments
Intel wouldn't be interested in TI's rumored-to-be-for-sale ARM-based applications processor line, would it?
Viewpoint: Why Microsoft should buy Nokia
8/16/2011   9 comments
After Google's $12.5 billion bid to acquire Motorola Mobility, Microsoft might dig deep to buy the world's biggest handset vendor.
Commentary: Energy Secretary Chu’s visit a glimpse into solar, renewable energy future
8/16/2011   6 comments
When Energy Secretary Stephen Chu, the government’s leading energy policy maker, says that solar is a viable part of this country’s energy future, it tells the country that we’re making progress toward an economy based on renewable energy.
Road to ESC Boston: Samsung Galaxy tablet teardown
8/16/2011   2 comments
Are you ready for ESC Boston? The East Coast edition of the embedded systems arenas' big twice-yearly event will take place September 26 through 29 at the Hynes Convention Center.
Engineering disasters: the Indiana stage collapse
Engineering Pop Culture!  
8/15/2011   17 comments
How would you have designed the scaffolding at the Indiana State Fair to sustain 70 mph winds?
Tell me how exactly Google can 'supercharge' Android
8/15/2011   10 comments
What are Google’s true intentions in buying Motorola Mobility? This is the crux of the issue.
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