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Electronics

Simple MIDI synth squeezed into a USB plug

A few months after creating what was claimed to be the world's smallest MIDI synthesizer, which was smaller than the capsule at the end of a 5-pin DIN cable, a self-confessed MIDI lover and prolific electronics tinkerer has managed to cram a tone generating circuit into the black plastic frame inside a USB plug.Read More

Disposable laser produced with inkjet printing tech

Most of the lasers used in items such as DVD players or optical mice are inorganic. They last much longer than organic lasers (which utilize carbon-based materials to amplify light), but they're also comparatively expensive and complex to make, plus their range of wavelengths is limited. Developing more durable organic lasers would be one way of addressing the situation, but a European research team has come up with another – just make them really cheap and easily-replaceable.Read More

High performance transistors created on flexible plastic sheets

Using a technique known as nanoimprint lithography, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and partners have created a breakthrough method to allow the simple manufacture of inexpensive, high-performance, wireless-capable, flexible Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors that overcome many of the operation problems encountered in devices manufactured using standard techniques. Created on large rolls of pliable plastic, these MOSFETs could be used to make a host of devices ranging from wearable electronics to bendable sensors.
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Cracking a few eggs to make electronics that dissolve

Durability is often touted as the hallmark of good electronics, but sometimes you want components that don't last all that long. For example, it would be handy if microelectronic systems that delivered drugs to various parts of the body dissolved after their task was done. Or if sensors that monitor pollution simply dissolved after they were finished reporting, rather than contributing to even more environmentally-damaging material. A team of researchers from the UK and China has just figured out how to create one such chip out of eggs.Read More

Google Fiber lights up another big city

Google Fiber officially launched in its fifth American city on Wednesday, when the gigabit broadband service became available in one Nashville, Tennessee neighborhood. Right now, Fiber is only available in four apartment buildings near the city's famed Music Row neighborhood, but expansion is planned across the city. Read More

Circuit Classics revive a golden age of electronics design

Aside from being a treasure trove of information for budding electronics engineers from the 1980s on, the down-to-earth style of Forrest M. Mims' Engineers' Notebook and Getting Started in Electronics series of books was a large part of their appeal. Now a crowdfunding project is looking to bring back some of that original charm by producing a limited set of working circuit boards in the Mims' style, replete with accompanying explanations and a wooden stand to display these electronic works of art.Read More

Review

​Review: Flicks portable boombox packs a projector

When the boombox hit popular culture over 30 years ago, it brought the party outside. For the first time it was convenient to have loud, high-quality sound anywhere you wanted it without needing AC power or having to hook up complicated sound systems. With the proliferation of wireless Bluetooth speakers and the MP3 format, boomboxes have gone the way of the mullet haircut, but a new version called Flicks from Dashbon is bringing it back with a very 21st-century addition: a projector. We got to try one out.Read More

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