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The Smarter Grid

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    Microgrids get big boost from new energy legislation

    April 27, 2016

    Proponents of distributed power generation, or “microgrids,” have much to cheer about in the Energy Policy Modernization Act, passed by the Senate last week. As the first broad ranging energy bill in over 20 years, the new legislation is designed to respond to the nation’s rapid, and on-going, shift away from a complete reliance on fossil fuels.

    The bill recognizes three trends: Despite the fact that the US is now vying for leadership in production of oil and natural gas, wind and solar are quickly becoming cheaper than fossil fuels in some parts of the country; environmental regulations now in effect are forcing electric utilities to abandon coal-fired power in favor of alternative sources; and that the national grid is increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks

    The legislation promotes a range of technologies and policies to make the grid more reliable and cyber-secure.

    Robotics & AI

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      The human-machine interface: voice is the new touch

      By Richard Wallace | April 27, 2016

      Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 3.07.01 PM

      When it comes to the human-machine interface, the future is arriving fast, propelled by recent technology advances and a growing interest in voice recognition, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and other hands-off technologies.

      Although it’s been around since the 1970’s, industrial and consumer device makers have been slow to adopt voice interface technology.

      Computer Platforms

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        Intel’s $15 computer board targets low-end IoT developers

        April 17, 2016

        Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 8.23.58 PM

        Intel has introduced a tiny $15 computer, the Quark Microcontroller Developer Kit D2000, that targets entry-level applications in the Internet of Things.

        The D2000 is intended for embedding in wearables, smart appliances, home automation products, and industrial equipment. The single-board board features a Quark D2000 micro controller running at 32MHz, a six-axis accelerometer, a magnetometer, a temperature sensor, a single USB 2.0 port, a coin cell battery slot, and a 5-volt power input.

        Entrepreneurship

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          Equity crowdfunding: a good idea gone ‘pretty much to Hell’

          By Richard Wallace | April 16, 2016

          Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 4.56.58 PM

          Equity crowdfunding is coming to the U.S. on May 15th in the form of new investment options for small-capital public market investors.

          Growth companies soon will be able to raise up to $50 million from unaccredited investors in a mini-IPO style offering serving as a potential alternative to venture capital or other institutional capital. But it’s not much of an alternative critics say, and not likely to be competitive with U.S.

          Innovation

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            Graphene: one atom thick; electronic potential a mile wide

            By Richard Wallace | April 14, 2016

            Graphene: one atom thick; electronic potential a mile wide

            Graphene ink: a good conductor of electricity, highly flexible, optically transparent.

            First isolated in 2004 by two Noble Prize winning researchers at The University of Manchester, Graphene is best known to materials scientists as the fullerene consisting of bonded carbon atoms in sheet form one atom thick.

            Graphene’s unique electrical, electronic and structural characteristics make this lightweight, thin, flexible, durable material ideal for use in electronic circuits, solar cells, sensors and other electronic devices.

            eTechMarketer

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              “Got traffic?” The lament of the B2B content marketer

              By Girish Mhatre | April 13, 2016

              Got traffic

              B2B brands are embracing content marketing ever more avidly. It’s a natural fit: In B2B, where relationships have to be nurtured and a few buy for the many, content marketing, through technical documents, white papers, influential publications, case studies and reviews, is a valuable tool.

              That “content creates customers” is received wisdom today among B2B marketers is reflected in increasing content budgets.