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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Engineering Newswire 6: Get Lost with Apple's iPhone 5

October 4, 2012 9:16 am | by PD&D TV | Videos | Comments

In this episode of Engineering Newswire, brought to you by PD&D TV: The new iPhone 5 features a thinner, lighter design, with a taller screen, a faster processor, and updated software, everything you’d hope to expect from a new phone – except a suitable map app. Rethink Robotics has unleashed a revolution in manufacturing with the friendly faced, factory robot: Baxter.

Google Plans Wider Job Cuts At Motorola Unit

October 4, 2012 8:37 am | News | Comments

Google says it is expanding its plan to cut jobs from its Motorola Mobility unit outside the U.S. and will take $390 million in charges related to the layoffs. Google Inc. said in August that it would cut about 4,000 jobs at Motorola, three months after buying the cellphone maker.

UA Developing Chip Monitors That Dissolve

October 3, 2012 11:52 am | by David Wichner, Arizona Daily Star | News | Comments

Researchers including a top University of Arizona cardiologist have developed a new kind of biodegradable electronics robust enough for applications such as medical implants yet completely dissolvable in water or bodily fluids. The technology could have broad applications for medical implants, environmental monitors and consumer devices.

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Lenovo To Bring 115 Jobs To NC

October 3, 2012 8:00 am | News | Comments

Electronics maker Lenovo will start making computers at its warehouse near Greensboro, N.C. The company announced Tuesday that it will hire 115 employees to help make the tablet, notebook and desktop computers at its Whitsett facility about 10 miles east of Greensboro.

How To Lose Your Job To A Robot

October 2, 2012 1:19 pm | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

As our society progresses, robotics and algorithms are becoming more advanced at an exponential rate. This has been apparent for quite some time. So, are droids really taking our jobs? In a word, yes. Though, this brings about a much more political issue – job creation.

Samsung Motions To Add iPhone 5 To Patent Case

October 2, 2012 8:20 am | News | Comments

South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. says it has filed a motion with a U.S. court to add Apple's iPhone 5 to their ongoing patent battle. Samsung says it filed the motion Monday with the California court, alleging that Apple's new phone infringes on eight of its patents.

Sony Takes Stake In Olympus

September 28, 2012 7:57 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Sony is expanding its sprawling electronics to movies business empire with a new venture — looking inside the human body. The company said it will spend $640 million for an 11 percent stake in Olympus, an embattled maker of endoscopes, which are the long thin camera-equipped instruments that allow medical professionals to peer inside the body.

Intel Previews Tablets Powered By New Chip

September 27, 2012 6:53 pm | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Intel previewed a wave of tablet computers powered by a microprocessor that the company redesigned to make a bigger dent in the rapidly growing mobile market. All the devices depend on Intel Corp.'s new processor and Windows 8, a dramatic overhaul of the widely used operating system made by Microsoft Corp.

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Isolate, Convert, Extend & Connect

September 26, 2012 7:58 am | by Brian Foster, Product Manager, Serial & USB Product Lines, B&B Electronics | Articles | Comments

As good as it is, USB was designed with safe office and IT environments in mind. When it moves into the real world, as it is currently doing in industries ranging from manufacturing to health care, USB reveals a number of inherent weaknesses.

Apple, Samsung Want Changes To $1B Verdict

September 24, 2012 8:10 am | by Paul Elias, Associated Press | News | Comments

Neither side in a bitter patent battle is satisfied with Apple Inc.'s $1 billion jury verdict over Samsung Electronics Co. after a three-week trial this summer. The two companies filed a blizzard of legal papers late Friday and early Saturday with their demands that a federal judge in San Jose significantly amend — or toss out altogether — the jury's Aug. 24 verdict.

Top Challenges In Electronics Manufacturing

September 21, 2012 1:16 pm | by Mike Roberts | Articles | Comments

The rate of change and advancement in the electronics industry can be startling, especially over the past few decades. The names at the top of the industry today were brand new companies just ten years ago. To survive, an electronics company needs to be as flexible as it is quick.

Sony Planning Slimmer PlayStation 3

September 19, 2012 8:09 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The new PlayStation 3, closer to the size of a laptop, is half the size of the original model, introduced in 2006. It also offers more hard-drive memory at 500 gigabytes and 250 gigabytes, up from the current 320 GB and 160 GB options. The global rollout starts Sept. 25 in North America, where the 250 GB version will sell for $269.

RIM Licenses Microsoft Patent

September 19, 2012 8:00 am | News | Comments

BlackBerry maker is licensing technology from Microsoft to let BlackBerry devices store and transfer large files more easily. Under the deal, Microsoft will license patents to a filing system called exFAT. Microsoft says it improves upon older storage systems in dealing with larger files, such as those used for photos and video.

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Apple Shares Hit $700

September 18, 2012 1:11 pm | by Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Apple's stock reached $700 for the first time on Tuesday, setting a record for the company the day after it announced that orders for its iPhone 5 topped 2 million in the first 24 hours. The stock traded as high as $701.44 in the morning, up a quarter of a percent from Monday's close. It later fell slightly.

LG Unveils Flagship Smartphone

September 18, 2012 4:44 am | by Youkyung Lee, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

LG said Tuesday that the Optimus G will go on sale in Japan next month and in the U.S. in November. That would put LG's new phone, which costs $894 without subsidies from operators in South Korea, in competition with Apple's iPhone 5 and Samsung's Galaxy Note II smartphones during the fall and the winter holidays.

Apple Says iPhone 5 Is Thinner, Lighter

September 12, 2012 1:43 pm | by Michael Liedtke and Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writers | News | Comments

Apple marketing head Phil Schiller unveiled the the year's most eagerly awaited phone Wednesday at an Apple event in San Francisco. As expected, the screen is taller than on the iPhone 4S, making room for another row of icons. Schiller says the screen is 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter.

Philips To Cut 2,200 Jobs By 2014

September 11, 2012 9:40 am | News | Comments

Royal Philips Electronics NV, the largest maker of lights, says it plans to cut 2,200 jobs by 2014 to save €300 million ($383 million) per year. Saving money will lessen "the effects of macro-economic headwinds and changes in pension cost accounting" said Philips Chief Executive Officer Frans van Houten in a statement.

Silicon Valley Isn't Sharing Facebook's Misery

September 10, 2012 2:35 pm | by Barbara Ortutay and Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writers | News | Comments

By most indications, tech companies in this hub of innovation are humming along, even as Facebook and Zynga endure steep declines in their stock prices that have wiped out more than $60 billion in wealth in the past six months. Companies catering to mobile devices, business software and data management products are thriving.

Push-Button Power

September 10, 2012 12:12 pm | by Meaghan Ziemba, Associate Editor, Product Design & Development (PD&D) | Articles | Comments

Industries are experiencing a growing need for sensors, switches and devices that monitor the surrounding environment; for example, in industrial applications, the proximity of devices may need to be monitored for efficiency and sustainability reasons. These applications require sensors to monitor and report conditions that enable an automated system to make intelligent decisions based on the sensor data received.

Kodak Job Cuts Continue As It Aims To Exit Ch. 11

September 10, 2012 11:36 am | News | Comments

Kodak is reshuffling some executives and continuing to cut jobs as the pioneering photography company tries to emerge from bankruptcy protection. Eastman Kodak Co. said it cut approximately 2,700 employees worldwide since the beginning of the year, and plans to eliminate roughly 1,000 more by 2012's end. Annual savings from these cuts should reach about $330 million, the company said Monday in a regulatory filing.

Toys R Us Gets Into The Tablet Computer Game

September 10, 2012 11:05 am | News | Comments

The 7-inch touchscreen tablet comes with 50 preinstalled apps selected for children, including games such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, and a book app called istorybooks. It will retail for $149.99 and runs on Google Inc.'s Android operating system. Toys R Us sells other electronics including Apple Inc.'s iPad, but this is its first store-brand tablet.

Early Laptop Designer Moggridge Dies At 69

September 10, 2012 9:36 am | News | Comments

Bill Moggridge, a British industrial designer who designed an early portable computer with the flip-open shape that is common today, has died. He was 69. Moggridge is credited with the design of the Grid Compass, a computer that had a keyboard and yellow-on-black display that sold for $8,150 when it was released in 1982. It was encased in magnesium and seen as rugged, and was used by the U.S. military.

Freescale Webinars Demonstrate Better Product Design

September 7, 2012 5:16 pm | 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 [LON:PFL], announced today that it is co-sponsoring two free 1-hour webinars with Freescale Semiconductor entitled, “Energy efficient designs made simple with the rich enablement of Kinetis L series microcontrollers."

Premier Farnell Brings Raspberry Pi Manufacturing Back To UK

September 7, 2012 1:37 pm | News | Comments

This deal is a major coup for the UK manufacturing industry and represents a return home for the innovative British-designed Raspberry Pi, which to date has only been manufactured in China. Utilising Sony UK Technology Centre’s state of the art lean manufacturing techniques, the site will be initially produce over 300,000 units for customers across the world and is expected to create up to 30 additional jobs.

LG Front-Runs Sony With Ultra-Definition 84-In TV

September 7, 2012 1:03 pm | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

That means LG Electronics USA is pushing out its set with so-called "4K" resolution before Sony Corp., which will have a similar set in stores in December for $25,000. The set's resolution will be 3,840 by 2,160 pixels, which compares with 1920 by 1080 pixels for today's best HDTVs.

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