Pushing Batteries Too Far?


Reports of battery fires in consumer devices are not abating. The culprit in almost all cases is the lithium-ion battery. In some cases, this is a manufacturing issue, where predictable intervals of failure can point to a breach in the membrane separating the anode and cathode or a metal particle contaminant that causes a short circuit. Those kinds of flaws are well understood, based upon ho... » read more

Internet Security? Not Even Close


This week's outage at Amazon Web Services is yet another reminder that Internet security is still not quite there. Amazon isn't a second-tier cloud services provider. It's one of the biggest cloud companies on the planet. If Amazon can't get it right, it's hard to imagine anyone can. The company's Simple Storage Service, aka S3, was the target, and it took about five hours before this online... » read more

IoT Security Ratings Needed


Concerns about security have been growing alongside adoption of the IoT, and it seems to be making some headway. This is good news, if it continues, because one of the biggest concerns about buying connected devices is that they can provide inroads into personal data. Data security has been a persistent annoyance for several years. Almost anyone who travels or shops at major department store... » read more

Era Of 3D Printing Begins


3D printing has always been an interesting side technology. It's now about to become a mainstream technology. Until recently, the majority of applications for this technology have been limited for several reasons. First, there simply isn't enough history to bet the bank on commercial manufacturing using 3D printers. The initial patent for fused deposition modeling was issued in 1986, but ... » read more

Harder Than It Looks


First Apple scales back plans to develop its own vehicle. Then Intel creates its own automotive chip unit. This kind of two-step movement in the automotive electronics industry is becoming more common. NXP buys Freescale, then Qualcomm buys NXP. Harman buys Symphony Teleca and Red Bend Software, then Samsung buys Harman. All of these moves are proof points that innovation and fleet-foo... » read more

Is Security All Talk?


Security is the No. 1 recurring theme at conferences these days. And given the explosion in the number of conferences this year—up to a half dozen some weeks just in Silicon Valley—that's a lot of attention being showered on security. At nearly all of these talks, there is at least a mention about recent breaches, pervasive and persistent risks, and the growing threat level. The topic of... » read more

The Looming AI War


A recent spate of acquisitions and announcements in AI and machine learning is setting the stage for a colossal showdown across the tech industry. Among those vying for top spots are Samsung, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon, each with a large enough revenue stream to support an M&A feeding frenzy and the sustained investments required to remain competitive. Consider the most recent a... » read more

We’re All Beta Testers Now


There are two distinct camps forming around autonomous vehicles. One group wants to see self-driving cars on the road as quickly as possible because it will save more lives than if people are behind the wheel. Others are wary, insisting there is no way will this can or should happen in the next 10 to 15 years. Time will tell who's right. But what is clear is that the technology has far outst... » read more

Connected Reliability Concerns


Ever since the invention of the integrated circuit, the focus has been on improving technology—making it faster, smaller, cheaper, while also cutting the power budget. With the advent of the IoT and ubiquitous connectivity, the value proposition will change. Rather than just improving the chip, the focus will shift to how that chip behaves in context. How does it work in a connected world... » read more

Sharing Information About Corner Cases


The definition of what is good enough when it comes to new technology is still evolving. In safety-critical applications, as well as a number of other areas such as drones or domestic robots, people will need to watch over all machines very closely rather than the other way around. While these machines may serve a useful purpose, they also need to be monitored to ensure they don't go too far as... » read more

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