A word about UL and FCC certification

The UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) are two American organizations concerned with the safe and proper operation of electronic equipment and associated power supplies. These organizations, and others like CE, CCC, KCC, etc. do much more than worry about power supplies and electronic equipment but that is my focus today. I […]

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Gun Safety Via Embedded Engineering

This was originally posted a few months ago. Due to a database maintenance error it was inadvertently deleted. Here it is again. There were a few comments, but they have been lost too. ========== I recently saw a short TV special on electronically keying weapons, especially handguns, so they are useable only by the registered […]

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Sacred Tenets of Employment

There are a few sacred tenets of employment.  One that has been emphasized to some extent at every one of my many jobs has been that your salary is a private matter.   Most companies don’t bother to explain why – it’s just taken as common sense.  Well, something I learned many years ago is there’s […]

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Job Interviewing Circa 2012

I recently had lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen for a while.  He was still at the company where we’d worked together some years ago but had started looking for a new job.  After ten years at the same company he was no longer excited by the projects.  He wanted something new and more […]

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Password Protocol

It seems there was recently a security breach at Yahoo that exposed more than 400,000 login credentials.  When this is reported, it seems to always be accompanied by advice on making high quality passwords. Well, I have a password question that challenges conventional password wisdom.   I know some of the readers of this site are […]

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Engineering Safer and More Efficient Stoplights

I read in the paper that, due to the persistently slow economy, QE3 is now a definite possibility.  In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, QE is Quantitative Easing – and we’ve already had two of them.  This is where the government gives money to banks (well, technically they […]

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A Bad Idea From NHTSA

Earlier this year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wrote the latest chapter in our government’s continuing preoccupation with universal safety.  NHTSA has released for public comment “Visual-Manual NHTSA Driver Distraction Guidelines for In-Vehicle Electronic Devices”, Docket No. NHTSA-2010-0053… and this comment period expires soon (04/24/2012). The social phenomenon of government mandated universal safety has […]

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The Personal Computer vs. The Chemistry Set

Recent (and much needed) basement cleaning uncovered a treasure trove of childhood chemistry set experimenter books. Back in the day, there was no Internet.  The only hope for young chemists looking for new experiments was to troll bookstores and newsstands.  Fortunately, chemistry sets were relatively popular when I was a kid and a number of […]

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Continuing Education

I’ve had a couple of teachers in my family for several years.  Recently I became aware (well, I started paying attention to) the rather stringent requirements for teachers’ continuing education.  The specifics of the requirements vary depending on the system in which the teacher works, but the intent of the rules is universal.  That is, […]

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Apple After Steve Jobs

Sadly, Mr. Jobs is with us no more.  Not too long ago I did a commentary on the state of Microsoft after the departure of Bill Gates so it seems only fair that I do one on Apple after Steve Jobs… Except we don’t know yet.  We don’t know what the future holds for Apple.  So instead […]

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