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  • Jan 22, 2014
    Commentary

    Good for GM is good for Detroit: Separating wheat from chaff

    What's good for General Motors is good for the country, as they say. In this case, it was essential for survival that GM separated the wheat from the chaff — in the 2009 OldCo-NewCo restructuring — which kept moneymaking brands and divested stinker products losing money. Now, the people of Detroit could do the same thing for their city....More
  • Jan 17, 2014
    blog

    U.S. EE jobs decline --- Should we still encourage kids to pursue STEM? 3

    A recent article in the IT journal Computerworld has fanned the flames of the ongoing debate about the advisability of pursuing careers in engineering. The CW article doesn't bring to light any new data, but it shines a spotlight on the fact that the number of people working as electrical engineers in U.S. declined by 10.4% last year. CW figures that's a loss of about 35,000 jobs. ...More
  • Jan 2, 2014
    blog

    Freshman, you do not deserve to be here

    This morning, the Stanford University community might still be smarting from the outcome of the Rose Bowl, and this missive in the Chronicle of Higher Education by the dean of admissions probably won't improve their mood much. It is a freshman convocation speech he would have liked to have heard. My favorite excerpt:...More
  • Dec 20, 2013
    Commentary

    How I 3D printed my face onto a sphinx, and how you can too 2

    Our office just got our grubby little collective hands on an Afinia H-Series 3D printer. Naturally, the only choice I had was to immediately stop editing articles and monkey around with it to create a goofy statue of myself....More
  • Dec 16, 2013
    Commentary

    Rockwell rewards mishmosh of FIRST student designs

    Rockwell Automation is passing out $10,000 to reward students who won the company's Engineering Our Future video contest. Winners were selected by popular vote....More
  • Dec 16, 2013
    blog

    RIP Charles Vest

    ...More
  • Dec 4, 2013
    Commentary

    Amazon's Air Delivery Ad 3

    Did you see the Amazon commercial this past weekend? You might’ve been fooled (like this columnist ) into thinking it was a serious news item on a new commercial use for drones. But, in fact, it was a press release from Amazon timed for wide distribution right before Cyber Monday, a big day for online shopping. Only a tragic train wreck kept the delivery drones from being the top news item on practically every major TV news program....More
  • Dec 4, 2013
    blog

    How to build lab equipment with open-source hardware 4

    Joshua Pearce, an associate professor at Michigan Technological University, bemoans the "often extreme prices we pay for scientific equipment" and relates this anecdote:...More
  • Nov 19, 2013
    Commentary

    Does this $59 3D-printed figurine make me look fat?

    Artec Group now offers an online service at the website that lets you make accurate figurines of yourself and others. It uses a commercial 3D body sensor sold for use with the popular Xbox 360 gaming console to scope out your body and make a virtual 3D model of you....More
  • Nov 19, 2013
    Commentary

    More science & engineering degrees granted, but look behind the figures

    The number of students earning science and engineering (S&E) degrees is growing. According to a study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, between 2009 and 2013, students over the age of 26 showed a 25% growth rate in S&E bachelor’s degree completion. There was a 19% growth rate in S&E degrees among traditional-age students (those age 26 or under)....More
  • Nov 6, 2013
    Commentary

    Telepresence robot gives me wicked case of the giggles 6

    Yesterday I took a test drive of a remote-presence device made by Suitable Technologies, and met my esteemed colleague and fellow editor, Bill Wong, of Electronic Design. Here's what happened....More
  • Nov 5, 2013
    blog

    Who needs a calculator watch when you can get an oscilloscope on your wrist 5

    First came an oscilloscope small enough to fit in your hand. Now, from the same inventor, comes an oscilloscope built into an ordinary-sized wrist watch. Gabriel Anzziani in Sarasota, Fla. is trying to fund his 'wrist scope' project on Kickstarter. The gizmo is based on the same design as a palm-sized scope he has already devised....More
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