Humanitarian programme in conflict-free DRC mining community

Humanitarian programme in conflict-free DRC mining community 2 (1)

KEMET has announced that its Partnership for Social and Economic Sustainability (the “KEMET Partnership”) is making a substantial humanitarian impact in Kisengo, a conflict-free tantalum mining region in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo). KEMET has made contributions to the KEMET Partnership for projects such as a school, medical clinic, fresh water wells, solar street lighting, as well as road and bridge repairs.

Supplies delivered to Kisengo consisted of a variety of medical and school equipment, including 2,000 Duracell LED flashlights intended to enhance reading, safety and mobility for the school children. Flashlight acquisition and delivery was facilitated by Tansoo, based in Boca Raton, Florida.

“Seeing the children in Kisengo hold flashlights for the first time and their reaction of pure joy is impactful,” said Per Loof, Chief Executive Officer, KEMET. “For many of us, we take light for granted. But for the community in Kisengo, a flashlight can profoundly change a child’s life.”

Delivering supplies to the DRC is challenging due to geography, lack of infrastructure, civil unrest and other factors.

“These supplies help the people of Kisengo enhance their standards of living and build a sustainable foundation of lasting prosperity and security,” added Loof. “KEMET is proud of the positive, lasting contributions we are making as we work to overcome the issues that perpetuate conflict and empower the DRC’s mineworkers, their families and communities. We believe the KEMET Partnership can serve as a blueprint for responsible companies worldwide and demonstrate that solutions combining social sustainability and economic interests are not mutually exclusive.”


Onanoff and their BuddyPhones are set to kick off

Children are like a sponge when it comes to absorbing knowledge and learning, and you can be sure that they are also pretty avid followers of their parents. If you were to wear a pair of headphones many a time you head out for your morning jog, or would like to tune in to your favorite music with some privacy, chances are your little ones, too, would like to enjoy a pair of headphones by themselves. Well, there are not too many kid-friendly headphones out there in the market, which is why Onanoff have kicked off their BuddyPhones, which is part of the “Color Your Music” series.

The BuddyPhones happen to be kid-friendly headphones that will sport new customizable color-in sticker packs. In other words, the kids themselves will get to choose just how they would like to design their headphones and color directly onto the stickers using a set of crayons or markers, before sticking them on the BuddyPhones for a fresh and unique look.

Not only that, in order to ensure that your children will still grow up listening to you – not because they are obedient, but because their hearing is preserved, the “Color Your Music” series sports BuddyPhones will come with volume-limiting technology that is perfect for safe listening, in addition to a bendable and flexible headband and a BuddyCable audio splitter so that up to four friends are able to listen to one device at the same time. The base colors which one can pick from will include Yellow, Blue, Pink, Purple, Green and Orange.

The “Color Your Music” series would be the perfect foil when it comes to helping your kids unleash their creativity as they draw, stick and play. Not only that, the included BuddyCable will give assurance to the little ones that they do not need to fight over time with the iPad, and the asking price of $24.99 a pop is definitely something that is extremely affordable for all of your budding artists or musicians.


The Nebia Atomizing Shower Head – who doesn’t want a little science in their lives?

Showering is something we all do on a regular basis (I hope). It’s essential to making sure you are clean, refreshed, and capable of venturing out into public. While a shower head is something so commonplace that few of us would ever stop to think of how it could be improved, several innovators at Nebia have proven us wrong in our assumption that we couldn’t go farther with that technology.

Carlos Gomez Andonaegui was an owner of a fitness company that used a large amount of water for their showers and wanted to approach shower heads with a new frame of mind that was both evironmental and economically friendly. That’s where Nebia comes in. The Nebia uses nozzle technology that was innovated for the medical and rocket science fields, and atomizes water into millions of tiny droplets, which can allow them to cover 10x the area of a normal showerhead while only using a small portion of the water necessitated by the latter. Because of the expansion of the area that the water can cover, it can transfer 13 times more heat into the water and the surrounding air. In addition, Nebia took the time to measure out the exact amount of water used by the average shower-taker, and found that their shower head only used 6 gallons for every 20 consumed by all current competitors.

Nebia can be easily installed at home with an included kit, and is adjustable on a bracket that can be moved up to 27″. It can also be used with a detachable wand. The company took to kickstarter to fund their project, and were met with overwhelming success; their project is over 2500% funded with 15 days left to go. You can still pick up your own on the site for only $299, $100 less than the planned retail price. The inventory is expected to ship in May 2016.


HATS OFF!: Raspberry Pi gains a new accessory

el14raspberrypiHAT (1)

The ecosystem of Raspberry Pi accessories has been extended. element14 has launched the Raspberry Pi Sense HAT, as featured in the ‘Astro Pi’ space mission. The Sense HAT will enable enthusiasts to control the same hardware used in space. The Sense HAT attaches to the Raspberry Pi board, and can be used for many different types of experiments, applications and games, including those due to be carried out on the International Space Station by UK ESA Astronaut Tim Peake.

The Sense HAT is compatible with Raspberry Pi 2, and Raspberry Pi 1 models B+ and A+, and connects to the Raspberry Pi via the 40 GPIO pins.

It has a gyroscope with an angular rate sensor, a linear acceleration sensor, a barometer, temperature sensor, relative humidity sensor, 8×8 LED marix disdplay and a small 5 button joystick.

Claire Doyle, Global Head of Raspberry Pi at element14 commented: “We are really excited to add such an inspirational new product into the Raspberry Pi ecosystem. The Sense HAT is the perfect product to learn about programming and how we interact with the world around us; I’m sure that with its full array of sensors we are yet to discover all the weird and wonderful applications that the global Raspberry Pi community will invent on this planet and beyond with the Sense HAT.”

The LED Matrix displays the data from the various sensors, it can show which way is geomagnetic North by programming a compass using the magnetometer, or simply be used to play games like Tetris, Pong and Snake with the joystick. The joystick can also be used to enable interaction with the programs running on the Sense HAT.

The ‘Astro Pi’ space competition offered students the chance to devise and code their own app or experiment, to run on a Raspberry Pi, which will be taken to the International Space Station as part of Tim’s mission. Themes include space measurements, spacecraft sensors, space radiation, satellite imaging and remote sensing, and data fusion. The Sense HAT uses orientation, pressure, humidity and temperature sensors to measure whether the Raspberry Pi is accelerating, how hot the environment is, how humid it is and which direction the Raspberry Pi is facing.


Politicians visit Infineon in Dresden

Politicians visit Infineon in Dresden 2 (1)

The German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel recently visited Infineon Technologies Dresden GmbH. He was accompanied by Martin Dulig, the Saxon State Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport, and Iris Gleicke, Parliamentary State Secretary and German Federal Government Commissioner for the New Federal States.

Gabriel spoke with Dr. Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG, and the Infineon Dresden management about the importance of the semiconductor industry for Germany as an economic site. Another topic was Industry 4.0, the development of a connected and intelligent factory of the future. Gabriel was able to get a sneak peak of the opportunities of this trend through a live link to the current production of Infineon.

“Industry 4.0 is a great opportunity for Germany if we use it right,” said Ploss. “Data security is critical to the successful implementation of this future-oriented project and to the success of German companies competing in the global market.” Confidence in data security is decisive for the successful implementation of ‘Industry 4.0’. Security chips from Infineon improve system integrity and data security.

Gabriel learned about new product and system solutions and the strategic “from product to system” approach Infineon pursues. Ploss explained: “With a broad understanding of the system, Infineon is contributing to innovations in successful German industries such as automotive engineering, industrial equipment and energy technology. We understand our role as system partners of our clients.”

In Dresden, with roughly 2,000 employees, Infineon runs one of its largest and most modern manufacturing and technology development sites. In the past five years, Infineon has invested around €600m in Dresden. On the one hand, the funds were allocated to production on 200mm silicon wafers. Today, the company’s 200mm production line is the most highly automated anywhere in the world. Also, in Dresden, Infineon is currently building the world’s first high-volume production of power semiconductors on 300mm thin wafers and is also planning on investing several hundred million euros in the coming years.


The Everbright will let you play with toys while looking sophisticated

Being an adult is hard. You have to commit yourself to a job to make money to pay for food, gas, rent, a mortgage, college tuition, and a myriad of other little things that all add up. Most of our time is dedicated to working, and it’s hard to find time for leisure activities. Regardless of where you work, you need to take breaks now and again. It’s always a good idea to do something that takes your mind completely off of the task at hand, and while video games and movies are fun to take in, you probably shouldn’t have them at work.

Something that might be a more acceptable method of play in the office is something that will still engage your brain, be fun, and mindless. We used to play with a myriad of exactly this kind of toy when we were little, but now that we’re adults, no one wants to be seen with them. That’s why Hero Design created the Everbright. This is essentially a modern Lite-Brite that is big enough for up to 5 full-grown humans to play with.

This is a great way to refresh your brain, as all you need to do is turn the dials and pick which color you’d like. You can create patterns, pictures, or just have a solid sheet of your favorite hue on the wall. This is a great way to work, play, and also meet your coworkers, as it’s pretty hard to resist playing with a giant toy like this. This massive wall has either 232 or 464 dials that are all on a board that is 46×93”. It’ll cost you anywhere from $14,000 to 25,000 depending on how many dials you want, and comes with three preset animations.


Prizes to be won in Fluke Legend promotion

Fluke 3000 FC Wireless Digital Multimeter

Could you be a Fluke legend? There is only one way to find out and that is to enter the Legend of Fluke promotion, a way for Fluke digital multimeter (DMM) customers to share their stories for the possibility of winning one of ten state-of-the-art Fluke tool bundles and, of course, the glory of becoming a legend.

There are two ways to enter: share the story in writing (300 words maximum) or create a three minutes or less video. Each entry should describe how a Fluke DMM improved productivity, solved a problem, or improved efficiency. Written and video descriptions must be submitted via the entry form on the Fluke Legends website.

A panel of qualified Fluke employees will review each submission and choose winners based on the explanation of the business benefit provided and demonstration of the creative use of the product.

Winners will win the latest in Fluke tools: either a Fluke Connect General Maintenance Kit or a Fluke Connect Industrial Maintenance Kit.

For complete rules and to share your story and become a Legend of Fluke, go to Entries must be submitted between September 1 and December 31,2015.


The Monoshot helps you take professional-grade photos on your phone

With the rise of the selfie stick, we know that people are wanting better ways to take photos. The framing of your picture is decided by the length and steadiness of your arm, which isn’t always the greatest. Not only that, but getting exactly the shot you want if you’re aiming to shoot video or snap a decent shot with specific lighting isn’t easily accomplished with your arm alone.

If you wish you had a tripod for your phone like you would have for a DSLR camera, then you’re going to need a rather specific piece of equipment. There are a million and one ways to do this, but how many of them use mechanisms you’re already familiar with, are sturdy, and small enough to be tossed in your bag for filming on the go? The Monoshot appears to have all the professional aspects that you would find with a tripod for a DSLR, but comes in a very compact package.

The MonoShot uses a barrel style locking mechanism, is made of aluminum, has tripod feet, and can fold down to 16 inches long. It was made by a golf enthusiast who wanted to improve his form by watching footage of himself, but all of the equipment to make it possible was too expensive or shoddy, so he made his own instead and decided to share it with the world. This is only going to cost you around $49, or you can splurge on a complete set with a GoPro mount which will cost you $55. This would be great for improving your form with working out or sports, taking videos for the Internet, or snapping family photos on your phone.


LeapFrog Epic tablet targets your little one

When it comes to tablets for the little ones, you can be sure that the name LeapFrog would, well, leap into your mind, pardon the reference. They have, after all, rolled out their fair share of tablets in the past that target children, with a robustness to match, and the LeapFrog Epic is the latest model from them to hit the market, as it comes with special play and learning experiences that have been designed to adapt as a child grows up – in other words, to maximize the lifespan of the device.

What makes the LeapFrog Epic stand out from its predecessors? Well, apart from sporting a vast number of award-winning learning content plus amazing new interactive features to an Android-based consumer electronics tablet, it will, for the first time, offer children different methods to explore safely, play, imagine and create like never before.

The LeapFrog Epic tablet was specially built from the ground up in order to adapt as a child grows, where one can access unique personalized learning experiences which auto-level with a child’s progress; an amazing first-of-its-kind, customizable, interactive, playable home screen; kid-safe browsing right out of the box which will adjust accessibility as a child is ready; in addition to easy-to-use parental controls that assist and define the play experience for each individual child.

The LeapFrog Epic tablet will run on the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system, where it is powered by a quad-core processor, a brilliant seven-inch multi-touch capacitive LCD screen, front and back camera, video recording capability, 16GB of internal memory and a battery that will be able to run for half a dozen hours before requiring a recharge. If you do not want it to look all that bulky and unwieldy, you are able to remove the included kid-safe bumper and untether the stylus, hence upping the cool factor by another notch so that it is more in line with that of your professional looking adult tablet.

The LeapFrog Epic tablet will retail for $139.99 a pop, where it will cater for children aged three to nine years old.


Dry-film negative photoresist suitable for use in MEMS

EMS DF-3050

Engineered Material Systems has introduced the DF-3050 Dry-film Negative Photoresist for use in MEMS and wafer-level packaging applications (TSV sealing). This material formulation has been optimised for hot roll lamination and processing on MEMS and IC wafers.

DF-3050 is available in other thickness formats from 5 to 50um, ±5%. The cured chemistry can withstand harsh environments including resistance to extreme moisture conditions and corrosive chemicals. The DF-3050 film is tougher (less brittle) than most negative photoresists on the market with a glass transition temperature of 158°C (By DMA Tan Delta) and a moderate modulus of 3.5GPa at 25°C. It is hydrophobic in nature providing for chemical and moisture resistance. DF-3050 is compatible with and can be used in contact with the EMS line of spin coatable photoresists.