Inside The Maker Faire


The Maker Faire is to the Internet of Things what Comdex once was to the PC, what Mobile World Congress still is to the mobile device, and what CES has become to the automotive industry. It's a collection of the latest ideas and unique implementations that point the way to the big shifts in technology. Most of the companies exhibiting at these shows never make it to become household names. S... » read more

What Autonomy Level Is Your Car?


Over the past couple of months, you've probably heard semiconductor industry executives dropping numbers about the levels of autonomy for vehicles. And despite Tesla's highly touted autonomous capabilities, current models are just a Level 2. Or maybe it's a Level 3. If these numbered levels were meant to lessen the confusion, it's not clear the plan is working. Until last September, there we... » read more

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

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