1.) The US still manufactures goods. In fact, the US still manufactures plenty of goods. Take a look at the types of exports in the latest trade data from the Census. It includes exports of industrial supplies, capital goods, autos and consumer goods.
2.) While outsourcing does happen — that is, companies do go overseas to open new factories at the expense of US employees — it is not the primary cause of manufacturing job losses.
3.) Going back to the recent post on employment remember that in this recession the unemployment rate of specific groups was heavily influenced by education level. In fact, according to the BLS, higher education levels (college graduates and above) were remarkably untouched in the latest recession while lower education levels (high school graduates, high school with some secondary education) had higher rates of unemployment. Lower levels of education are typically associated with manufacturing and construction employment — the two areas of jobs that account for the largest percentage of job losses in this recession.
US manufacturing would be greatly helped by two developments.
First, China needs to float its currency. A country that has 10% GDP growth but little currency appreciation is obviously manipulating its currency’s value to a high degree. Given China’s growth rate, investors should be flocking to China driving up the yuan’s value. That is not happening. A real free-floating currency would cure a lot of the trade deficit problems.
Secondly, there have been calls for a US industrial policy — that is, for Washington to essentially “pick winners and losers” by promoting some industries that they feel have a high probability of success. Asian countries have been doing this for years with remarkable success and it is a policy which we clearly need to copy. I’m a big promoter of nano-technology, alternative energy and stem cell research, but those are just my choices. There are plenty others out there that would also make sense.
Tonight, Saturday 2/27/2010 – 10pm ET – “Ask an Engineer” – our weekly LIVE video chat!
What is “Ask an engineer”? From the electronics enthusiast to the professional community – “Ask an Engineer” has a little bit of everything for everyone. If you’re a beginner, or an seasoned engineer – stop in and see what we’re up to! We have demos of projects and products we’re working on, we answer you engineering and electronics questions and we have a trivia question + give away each week.
This week we’ll go through some more of chapters one of the books we stock “Make: Electronics by Charles Platt” We checked out this book before putting it in the shop, its geared towards ultimate-beginners and teaches electronics starting from basic core of analog to some digital to microcontrollers. You’ll learn tools, prototyping soldering techniques, transistors, 555′s, etc. while completing useful projects. A nice and tidy intro! This book is a good accompaniment to learning microcontrollers/Arduino in that it fills the necessary electronics theory and background.
We celebrate the released of the MONOCHRON clock, yay! If you’re around *during* the chat we’ll have a discount code for Adafruit kits (including the clock).
Visit our new “chat” section on Adafruit at 10pm ET, Saturday nights
Plenty of space for mods, a prototyping area for soldering stuff in
Soothing animation of retro arcade style table-tennis for two
Comes with: clock kit (includes all parts, programmed chips and LCD), coin battery, enclosure, 9VDC power supply for 220V or 110V. You’ll need some basic soldering & hand tools that are necessary to assemble it! The good news is that this is a pretty basic kit and even if its your first soldering project, it shouldn’t take more than 2 or 3 hours to put together For much more information including parts list, instructions, videos, etc. check out the MONOCHRON website and you can order one here!
We started shipping and we’ve already had customers making them, the first customer has said “Assembly was a snap and it works great.” – thanks SSquire!
The Fairytale Fashion Collection uses technology to create magical clothing in real life. Electronics, mechanical engineering, and mathematics are used to create clothing with blooming flowers, changing colors and transforming shapes. Research and development for the Fairytale Fashion collection are shared online at FairytaleFashion.org as an educational tool that teaches about science, math, and technology through fashion. Fairytale Fashion was created with the support of Eyebeam Art and Technology Center nonprofit. Diana Eng is a fashion designer who specializes in technology, math, and science. Her designs range from inflatable clothing to fashions inspired by mechanical engineering. She is a designer from Bravo’s Emmy nominated TV show, Project Runway season 2 and author of Fashion Geek: Clothes, Accessories, Tech. Diana is cofounder of NYC Resistor hacker group. Diana is currently a resident artist at Eyebeam.
Great show, nice to see everyone from the maker scene in NYC at the show too!
Openbench Logic Sniffer is an open source logic analyzer. It’s designed to support the SUMP logic analyzer software at the lowest possible cost. Download the source and design files from the Gadget Factory project page.
This project started in the comments on a post. Initial circuit design, PCB layout, development, and testing continued in the forum under the code name Project SUMP PUMP. Many, many people contributed ideas and advice, the Gadget Factory and Dangerous Prototypes coordinated circuit development and routed the PCB. We borrowed heavily from the Gadget Factory’s Butterfly Platform.
The Open Logic Sniffer is a purpose-built logic analyzer board designed to be low cost but high speed. It sacrifices a lot of the features you’d look for in a full-scale development board to achieve our primary goals:
* 70MHz+ sample speeds * 32 channels * 16 buffered, 5volt tolerant channels * USB interface, USB powered * USB upgradable everything * Make it as DIY as possible * Make it as open source as possible * $30-$40 price range
We didn’t quite hit our initial price range, but we got really close.
Adafruit is testing SQUARE payment system – WE HAVE BETA DONGLE. Here are some photos and video! It’s after midnight, this was a 30 sec vid, we’ll do another one later So far we’ve taken payment with the system, works great – SQUARE did a wonderful job, small biz owners and regular folks who want to take payments are going to have a lot of fun with this.
[edit: the dongle is milled & glued, not 3D-printed!]
The Arecibo Message, one of the most famous messages transmitted as part of SETI, loosely translated, says: “Hi! We’re intelligent! We’re made of meat! Here’s where we live!”
Binary designs like the Arecibo message are popular with knitters and cross-stitchers since they can be pixelated easily. We found a pair of fingerless gloves, based on a muffler pattern. We think this type of binary pattern would be good for the message as well. It has also been made into a cross-stitched bookmark. We implemented the embroidered pixels as columns of satin stitching in a single color. The original binary message didn’t have any of the color coding that people have added to help explain it, and it seems more elegant to keep it this way. We machine embroidered the pattern on both ends of a piece of linen about 14″ x 76″. The linen is then sewn together on the back and at the ends, and turned right side out. The edges are stitched down to help it lie flat.
Diana Eng will present the Fairytale Fashion Collection in a technology fashion show on Wed., February 24, 7PM, at Eyebeam. Models will hit the runway while an orchestra of circuit bending DJ’s create music from hacked video game consoles. Seated front row will be celebrity scientists, designers, school children, and traditional celebrities. This event will showcase innovation in fashion through technology.
The Fairytale Fashion Collection uses technology to create magical clothing in real life. Electronics, mechanical engineering, and mathematics are used to create clothing with blooming flowers, changing colors and transforming shapes. Research and development for the Fairytale Fashion collection are shared online at FairytaleFashion.org as an educational tool that teaches about science, math, and technology through fashion. Fairytale Fashion was created with the support of Eyebeam Art and Technology Center nonprofit.
Diana Eng is a fashion designer who specializes in technology, math, and science. Her designs range from inflatable clothing to fashions inspired by mechanical engineering. She is a designer from Bravo’s Emmy nominated TV show, Project Runway season 2 and author of Fashion Geek: Clothes, Accessories, Tech. Diana is cofounder of NYC Resistor hacker group. Diana is currently a resident artist at Eyebeam.
From the ARA International Awards Market in Las Vegas, Epilog Laser, the leading producer of CO2 and fiber laser engraving, cutting and marking systems today announced the release of the Zing 24 Laser Rotary Attachment. The highly-anticipated accessory makes the Zing 24 a popular choice for those seeking entry-level systems capable of engraving cylindrical-shaped items.
“The Zing 24 continues to raise the bar for entry-level laser engraving equipment,” said Mike Dean, director of sales and marketing for Epilog Laser. “The availability of this desirable accessory will allow small businesses and hobbyists to accomplish the same goals as larger, more expensive systems. It will allow engravers to greatly expand their product line and in turn, their profit potential.”
The Zing 24 Rotary Attachment was designed with productivity and ease-of-use in mind. Operators can switch from one item to the next in seconds, without removing the attachment from the engraver. Additionally, the attachment allows for accurate image scaling, so there’s no need to input diameter or circumference calculations.
Cylindrical items such as flashlights, glasses, vases and mugs have always been popular items for customization, and highly profitable for engraving shops. The new attachment for the Zing 24 Laser was engineered to be user-friendly and allows business owners to not only offer more to customers, but to maintain throughput while doing so.
The Zing 24 Rotary Attachment can accommodate items up to 5.25 inches (133.4 mm) in diameter and is now available from Epilog Laser. For more information visit www.epiloglaser.com.
So, an entry-level system is now capable of marking cylindrical items like mugs, flashlights, wine bottles, shot glasses, beer mugs, all that. Good stuff for a small biz to pay for itself.