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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Microsoft Investing $100M In Rio IT Hub

November 8, 2012 10:07 am | News | Comments

Microsoft says it is investing $100 million in a new technology center in Rio de Janeiro. The center is to house an advanced technology laboratory, a research and development platform for the company's Bing search engine, as well as a business incubator aimed at promoting local Internet technology startups.

Experts Concerned About Superhuman Workplace

November 7, 2012 1:19 pm | by Raphael Saer, Associated Press | News | Comments

Performance-boosting drugs, powered prostheses and wearable computers are coming to an office near you — but experts warned that too little thought has been given to the implications of a superhuman workplace. Academics from Britain's leading institutions say attention needs to be focused on the consequences of technology which may one day allow — or compel — humans to work better, longer and harder.

Sweden's Ericsson Slashes 1,550 Jobs

November 7, 2012 8:10 am | News | Comments

Swedish wireless equipment maker LM Ericsson says it is slashing 1,550 jobs in Sweden in a bid to lower its costs, with the bulk of the reductions being made within the company's key networks unit. The Stockholm-headquartered group said the cuts will be made across all work areas, including sales, administration, research and development, supply and service delivery.

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Microsoft Sued Over Windows 8 Elements

November 2, 2012 8:06 am | News | Comments

A small technology company based in Portland, Maine, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft over elements included in Windows 8. The lawsuit claims Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp. is using elements known as live tiles, rectangular icons linked to websites, apps and other items. SurfCast says it developed the elements in the 1990s.

Living Computer Museum Not Just For Geeks

November 1, 2012 1:00 pm | by Donna Gordon Blankinship, Associated Press | News | Comments

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has just opened the Living Computer Museum, with displays of old machines — all in working order — along with a geeky wish list of items he'd like to add, just in case anybody out there has an old tape drive or super-computer sitting around.

Manufacturing Digital Revolution: Exit Clipboard, Enter iPad

November 1, 2012 8:11 am | by Matthew Littlefield. President, LNS Research | Articles | Comments

The trend of new technology and technical services replacing, and cutting the need for, laborious jobs is becoming so significant that The Economist referred to the time as a reincarnation of manufacturing’s Industrial Revolution: the “Digital Revolution.”

Sony Reduces Loss On Sales Recovery, Restructuring

November 1, 2012 4:43 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Sony Corp. reported a smaller flow of red ink for the fiscal second quarter on a sales recovery and restructuring efforts and stuck to its full year forecast for a return to profit from its worst loss in company history the previous year. The Japanese electronics and entertainment company recorded a $193 million loss for the July-September period.

Panasonic's Red Ink Grows

October 31, 2012 1:55 pm | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Panasonic Corp.'s losses ballooned to $8.7 billion for the fiscal second quarter as sales plunged in flat-panel TVs, laptops and other gadgets, and restructuring costs to turn itself around were proving bigger than initially expected. The red ink, announced Wednesday, proved far worse than the loss racked up for the July-September period last year.

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Optimizing Machines Using Programmable Drives

October 25, 2012 1:27 pm | by Kevin Liu, Product Line Manager – Industrial Automation, Kollmorgen | Articles | Comments

By leveraging intelligence in a servo drive, automation designers are able to downsize or eliminate PLCs in many applications.  Architected correctly, machines that utilize these smarter drives deliver higher throughput are more cost effective and are simpler to troubleshoot.

3 Simple Complexities Of Data Protection

October 24, 2012 1:15 pm | by Dennis Wenk, Symantec | Articles | Comments

Data loss, data unavailability and data corruption all have adverse economic impacts on the organization. Not only do we need to ensure that data is usable and available, we also need to ensure that sensitive data is protected from unauthorized use.

Robot Hall Of Fame Gets 4 More Members

October 24, 2012 11:26 am | News | Comments

The Robot Hall of Fame in Pittsburgh has four new members, including WALL-E, star of the 2008 animated film. Carnegie Mellon University created the hall in 2003 to call attention to the iconic status of the machines and the university's own work advancing robotics technology.

Microsoft Gets EU Antitrust Complaint

October 24, 2012 8:12 am | by Sarah DiLorenzo, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The European Union's executive arm formally accused Microsoft on Wednesday of failing to comply with a binding agreement to give customers a choice among Internet browsers. In 2009, the European Commission said it suspected Microsoft of using its dominant market position to foist its Internet Explorer browser on users.

Scientists Making Fishy Robots For Naval Research

October 23, 2012 5:06 am | by Janet McConnaughey, Associated Press | News | Comments

An eel undulating through coastal waters, powered by batteries and checking for mines. A jellyfish is actually a surveillance robot, powered by the atoms around it. Fins pick up intelligence while propelling a robot bluegill sunfish. The Office of Naval Research is supporting baby steps toward making those visions of the future a reality.

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NYC In Quest To Become Tech Capital

October 22, 2012 8:20 am | by Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press | News | Comments

The city isn't there, at least not yet, but it can point to a series of promising signs. Tech titans including Google and Facebook have ramped up their presences in New York in recent years. Some big-name newcomers are headquartered here. Entrepreneurs say New York also faces particular challenges, including spotty broadband access in some areas and a limited tech talent base.

Digi-Key Corporation and Touchstone Semiconductor Sign Global Distribution Agreement

October 19, 2012 4:54 pm | News | Comments

Global electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corporation, recognized by design engineers as having the industry’s largest selection of electronic components available for immediate shipment, and Touchstone Semiconductor, a developer of high-performance, low power analog integrated circuit solutions, today announced the signing of a global distribution agreement in which Digi-Key will distribute all of Touchstone’s analog IC products.

AMD To Lay Off Nearly 1,800

October 19, 2012 8:33 am | News | Comments

Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. says it will cut nearly 1,800 jobs, about 15 percent of its workforce, by the end of the year in order to reduce spending in the face of dwindling sales. AMD is the world's second-biggest maker of microprocessors for personal computers and PC sales are falling.

ASML Looks To Buy U.S. Light Beam Maker

October 17, 2012 11:00 am | News | Comments

ASML Holding NV, the biggest supplier of equipment to semiconductor manufacturers, has offered to buy Cymer Inc. of the U.S. for around $2.55 billion in cash and shares. Cymer's technology makes focused beams of light. ASML uses such beams in machines to trace out the circuits of computer chips.

element14 Drives Raspberry Pi Revolution By Doubling Memory

October 17, 2012 10:49 am | News | Comments

element14, the first collaborative community and electronics store for design engineers and electronics enthusiasts and a part of global electronics distributor Premier Farnell, today announced its continued partnership with Raspberry Pi with the launch of a new 512MB board version of the revolutionary, credit-card sized computer. Now with double the RAM, the new board is suited to multimedia, high-memory and mobile applications.

Do Androids Dream Of Handwriting Recognition?

October 15, 2012 1:35 pm | by Katia Shabanova, Paragon Software Group | Articles | Comments

Engineers and programmers have been trying for decades to teach computers and other electronics to recognize handwritten text. Only in the last few years have the world’s largest software companies made significant progress teaching smartphones and tablets to adequately recognize handwriting and translate it into typed text on the screen.

Renesas To Sell Assembly Unit

October 12, 2012 11:29 am | News | Comments

Financially troubled Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp. said Friday it will sell its Aomori Prefecture-based semiconductor assembly unit Renesas High Components Inc. to electronic component maker Aoi Electronics Co. as part of its restructuring.

Panasonic Stock Falls To 37-Year Low

October 11, 2012 8:23 am | News | Comments

Panasonic Corp.'s stock dropped to its lowest level in about 37 years at one point Thursday on selling triggered by the export-sapping appreciation of the yen and an overnight fall in U.S. shares. "The level of Panasonic's profitability isn't as high as before," a stock analyst said. "Uncertainty has grown over the company's earnings amid a worsening business environment."

Panel: China Tech Giants A Security Threat

October 8, 2012 12:20 am | by Matthew Pennington, Associated Press | News | Comments

American companies should avoid doing business with China's two leading technology firms because they pose a national security threat to the U.S., the House Intelligence Committee is warning in a report. Reflecting U.S. concern over cyber-attacks traced to China, the report also recommends that U.S. government computer systems not include any components from the two firms because that could pose an espionage risk.

Foxconn Denies Report Of Strike At iPhone Plant

October 6, 2012 4:06 am | by Didi Tang, Associated Press | News | Comments

Foxconn Technology Group said Saturday that production at its central Chinese factory that makes Apple's iPhones was continuing without interruption, denying a labor watch group's report that thousands of workers at the plant had gone on strike.

FBI: Workers Hid Scheme To Sell Electronics

October 5, 2012 4:36 pm | by Juan A. Lozano, Associated Press | News | Comments

U.S. authorities have arrested Alexander Fishenko, owner of Arc Electronics Inc., and seven of his employees including Alexander Posobilov, who was the company's director of procurement, accusing them of being involved in a scheme to illicitly sell military technology to Russia.

Applied Materials To Cut Workforce Up To 9 Percent

October 4, 2012 1:28 pm | News | Comments

Applied Materials Inc., facing a sputtering economy and weak demand for its chip-making equipment, said it is cutting its workforce by up to 9 percent. The company said it is offering a voluntary retirement program and taking other actions that will reduce its headcount by 900 to 1,300 around the globe.

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