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Machine Chameleon

A sneak peek inside the handheld of the future

12 min read
Illustration: Richard Tuschman
Illustration: Richard Tuschman


Like the idea of a handheld device that can be any of 10 different gizmos, depending on your mood? You could soon have it if the ideas described in this two-part report become reality. In this article, Diederik Verkest of the Interuniversity MicroElectronics Center in Leuven, Belgium, describes the chameleon-like handheld his lab has been working on.

By year-end 2005, U.S. consumers will have trashed some 130 million cellphones and another mountain of old PDAs, MP3 players, and game consoles. We could, of course, build bigger landfills to accommodate the billions of obsolete gizmos we throw away each year. But here's a much better idea: building a wireless multimedia device whose hardware and software can be easily altered or upgraded so it never becomes obsolete. When a new communications standard or multimedia format comes along, the device could be made to conform to it simply by downloading circuit and software modifications.

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The Aftershocks of the EV Transition Could Be Ugly

To avoid unintended consequences, bring realism to the table

10 min read
CEO of Dodge Brand standing on a podium next to a Dodge Charger Daytone SRT concept all-electric muscle car. Behind him a giant screen displaying the sentence: The Rules Have Changed.

Tim Kuniskis, CEO of Dodge Brand, Stellantis, introduces the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept all-electric muscle car on August 17, 2022 in Pontiac, Michigan.

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The introduction of any new system causes perturbations within the current operating environment, which in turn, create behavioral responses, some predictable, many not. As University of Michigan professor emeritus and student of system-human interactions John Leslie King observes “People find ways to use systems for their own benefit not anticipated by designers and developers. Their behavior might even be contradictory to hoped-for outcomes.”

“Change rides on the rails of what doesn’t change,” King notes, “including people being self-serving.”

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How to Stake Electronic Components Using Adhesives

Staking provides extra mechanical support for various electronic parts

2 min read
Adhesive staking of DIP component on a circuit board using Master Bond EP17HTDA-1.

The main use for adhesive staking is to provide extra mechanical support for electronic components and other parts that may be damaged due to vibration, shock, or handling.

Master Bond

This is a sponsored article brought to you by Master Bond.

Sensitive electronic components and other parts that may be damaged due to vibration, shock, or handling can often benefit from adhesive staking. Staking provides additional mechanical reinforcement to these delicate pieces.

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