It’s that time again! Join us for our “Ask an engineer” chat – 10pm ET, tonight! – Saturday 9/12/2009. We’ answer your questions about electronics, our kits and more! At the end of the chat (11pm ET) we will give away a
prize too, just get the right answer first to our electronics-related trivia question and you could win!
We have a new section of the Adafruit site call “Chat” you can stop in there at 10 pm ET tonight for chat + video, or kick it old school and visit via IRC. Instructions for IRC are on the Adafruit chat page.
Artificial Paradise, Inc is an experimental film anticipating a future where a major corporation has developed an unique software, based on organic virtual reality, which holds all the lost memories of humankind. A user connects to this database of the forgotten…what is he searching for?
Engineering studies, or lessons on how products are designed and built, have the potential to bolster student engagement and understanding in math and science, despite the topic’s relatively modest and undefined presence in the nation’s schools.
The report was released by the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council, independent, nonprofit entities that are chartered by Congress to provide advice to federal lawmakers on science and technology issues.
Engineering lessons can potentially “act as a catalyst for a more interconnected and effective K-12 STEM education system in the United States,” say the authors, referring to science, technology, engineering, and math education. “Achieving [that] outcome will require significant rethinking of what STEM education can and should be.”
Cool tools asked “What’s the best affordable volt-ohm meter”- here’s what we said... Most people on the internet will reflexively say “FLUKE!@” but really they’re overkill: Anyone who isn’t sure what multimeter to get doesn’t use them often enough to justify spending more than about $50
Strategy & Business magazine has an interesting article on the shan zhai manufacturers in China at the moment. It’s the first business press article I’ve seen in the US that takes a relatively balanced approach to reporting on them. It’s worth a read, as it’s a trend that’s already affecting business, particularly the electronics business. It suggests a new approach to economic recovery as well, one based on small companies well-networked with each other.
I first learned about the shan zhai on a recent trip to Shenzen, China, hosted by PCH International and Bunnie Huang (Bunnie’s got a good blog post describing the shan zhai). The popular image of these companies in the US is that they’re producing cheap knockoff goods based on established multinationals, but there’s more to it than that, as S&B and Bunnie point out.
Look at any recent electronic art installation and the chances are that behind the scenes there’s an arduino. In fact, Deschamps-Sonsino believes more than 100,000 arduino boards have now been sold around the world, although it is difficult to give an exact figure — in keeping with the open ethos of the movement, plans are available that allow people to make their own.