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    DIY Cellphone

    By Richard Wallace | June 30, 2014

    Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 1.12.33 PM

    If the Consumer Electronic Show had been around at the turn of the 20th century the wireless crystal radio would have stolen all the buzz on the exhibit floor.

    Sometimes called a crystal set, the crystal radio is a very simple AM receiver that works through ambient signal harvesting, without batteries. A long wire antenna is used to gather radio signals from nearby transmitters that then power a crystal diode, which demodulates the signals, and plays it back as sound through an earphone or small headset.

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      NASA technology challenge rewards ingenuity in space travel from individuals, teams and companies

      By Richard Wallace | June 22, 2014

      Wright Brothers' first flight

      NASA’s Centennial Challenge was inspired by the Wright Brother’s who invented and built the world’s first successful airplane.

      With an R&D budget of  close to $1 billion annually, the  National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Ames Research located in the heart of Silicon Valley conducts extensive research into space exploration technology.

      The Connected Automobile

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        Open source AGL software targets the connected car with Linux-based platform

        Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a collaborative open source project developing a common, Linux-based software stack for the connected car, has released its first open source software to bring the industry closer to achieving a standard Linux-based software platform for the connected car.

        AGL is building the industry’s only fully open automotive platform, allowing automakers to leverage a growing software stack based on Linux while retaining the ability to create their own branded user experience.

        The Connected Automobile

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          Ambient engine heat, road vibration to replace batteries to power electronics in the connected car

          Engineers have successively been harvesting ambient energy from the environment for years. Witness the number of wind turbines, solar panels and water powered system in use all over the world.

          But when it comes to harvesting ambient energy from automobiles engineers are playing catch up in their efforts to capture wasted heat, vibration and multiple available power sources that automotive applications have.

          Internet of Things

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            Sometimes Smart Things aren’t

            white-cup-dishwash-0194c90d17dfd5df137bd4bbdb363c8aSmart things, as we define them, are connected, customizable and capable of learning. Customization allows users to define preferences and measure and track their usage. Learning is achieved through connectivity with other devices– through their activities, users contribute to populating a shared knowledge base, which makes all such devices progressively smarter.

            Internet of Things

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              The Internet of Things is disrupting semiconductor business models – in a good way

              By Girish Mhatre | June 13, 2014

              31699-KL03_PRODIt has to do with sparse data, sometimes called “thin data.” a term used to describe information coming from sensors which gather real world – analog — data like temperature, noise, humidity, vibration, etc. At the extremities of the IoT, analog data is gathered, converted to digital form, conditioned and processed to some extent and then broadcast to a server or the cloud where more heavy-duty computation can take place.

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                Apple jump starts Internet of all things; now the fun begins

                IFWT_Live-at-Apple-Event-homekit-600x380With the roll out of HomeKit and HealthKit as part of the new iOS 8 software development kit, Apple, in one fell swoop, has goosed both the home automation and wearables markets. The kits will act as communications frameworks for two-way data from a variety of devices through a common UI that sits on top of individual device apps. The boost comes from the fact that Apple has provided a standard user and developer interface and a certification program that assures that certified devices will work with the iPhone.