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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

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Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


A.I. Finds Love on Tinder Sylvie Barak
You’ve heard of the Love Boat, but have you heard of the Love Bot? Many romance seekers at the recent SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, were tricked into opening their hearts and pouring out their feelings to what turned out to be nothing more than Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) on the popular dating app Tinder.

Tek Ups the Bar in USB-Powered Spec Analyzers Barry Manz
USB-powered spectrum analyzers aren’t new and some are truly tiny -- just a bit bigger than a flash drive. Some have surprisingly good performance over very wide frequency ranges. The least expensive of these “instruments in a stick” is less than $100. However, every once in a while one comes along that reshuffles the deck, and the latest is the RSA306 from Tektronix. While I rarely extol the virtues of any signal product in these blogs, this one has some features that make it very interesting and suited for applications that are way beyond what instruments like this are typically used for.

SiC of GaN? Wide-Band Gap RAP Session APEC Day 1 Aimee Kalonskas
Your intrepid reporter, a veritable APEC ingénue, felt compelled to take part in the long-held tradition at APEC: Three concurrent RAP sessions closed out on Day 1. The RAP sessions are composed of a moderator, some apparently famous power panelists, topics that foster lively (geek-bait) debates, and historically large audiences blessed with a beer on their way in. The sessions drew large crowds. (Or was it the free beer?)

APEC Day 2: Hot Rod Layouts, SiC Proponents, and New Options for LED Lighting Drivers Aimee Kalonskas
If you weren’t certain by Day 1 of the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) exhibition what the running themes were, you found confirmation on Day 2. High density, low power, SiC and GaN all played out through new products, technical sessions, and papers.

APEC 2015: Powering FPGAs and DSPs Aimee Kalonskas
The Charlotte, North Carolina Convention Center, home to APEC 2015, is a decent size. But with nearly 4500 attendees (a 10% increase over last year), hundreds of technical and industry sessions, and nearly 250 exhibitors, it certainly packed a lot into one space.

Young Eyes Offer Fresh Perspectives on Science Caroline Storm Westenhover
I thoroughly enjoy going to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. I have gone many times with friends, family and dates. Going by myself is OK. Going with someone interested in STEM (Science, Technology and Math) is enjoyable, but going with someone with lots of energy and not as much scientific knowledge is the best.

What Might The Future of “Personal” Computing Look Like? Mike Parks
Predicting the future of technology is a perpetual exercise in futility. But it’s fun. The evolution of personal computing is something that futurists and tech pundits like to try to predict every few years (or months). Like forecasting the weather, you are never completely right or wrong.

Don't Blame Me - I'm Only the Circuit Protection Designer! Kelly Casey
Seen any TV Repair Service trucks on your street lately? No? Have you ever taken a piece of electronics gear to a repair shop? Never? Really?? It's not that electronic equipment doesn't fail - it's just that the repair bill would likely exceed the cost of a replacement product. No one knows how much of the electronic trash in our landfills was put there because of technical obsolescence and how much was tossed before the end of its useful life because it failed.

Weird RF Part One: HAARP Barry Manz
When it comes to strange applications, the “ether” arguably has more than its share. To prove it, in my next few blogs I’m going to look at a few that have caught my attention over the years, and one that definitely meets the criteria for “Weird RF” is the Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), a program administered by the Office of Naval Research and funded by U.S. Air Force and Navy, and DARPA, and located in Gakona, AK (2010 census: population 218). Work began in 1990 and it was made fully operational and instrumented in June 2007. The prime contractor was BAE Systems Advanced Technologies.

Robot Love Steven Keeping
Hiring care for ailing seniors is expensive, and healthcare costs promise to outstrip tax revenues – a problem compounded by a diminishing workforce. Recent developments in technology promise a new generation of “cyberconscious” robots that take on the well-being of seniors from human caregivers, including the ability to determine mood and strategies to alleviate boredom.

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