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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Consumer Reports: Japanese Are On Top

March 2, 2011 5:52 am

Consumer Reports released its report of the best cars on the market, with the Japanese performing exceptionally well. Honda took the top spot, followed by Subaru and—perhaps surprisingly—Toyota. Ford represented Detroit well, but GM and Chrysler? That's another story entirely. Visit msnbc.

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Americans Get Too Tied Up In Gadgets

February 23, 2011 9:03 am

A new survey with MSNBC and Reader's Digest shows that more Americans than ever are inextricably connected to their gadgets. With more than 95 percent of respondents with access to a computer, it's clear that we're downing as much digital media as possible. Are we getting too connected? Visit msnbc.

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Hail Cannons: Pseudoscience Or Crop-Saver?

February 23, 2011 8:08 am

For decades, farmers have been using acetylene-powered "hail cannons" as a method to protect their delicate crops from the devastating effect of hailstorms. They function, on a basic level, by generating shockwaves that aim to break up falling hailstones. Now in smaller pieces, the fragments melt quickly and fall as rain.

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We Are All 'Makers'

February 23, 2011 8:07 am

At TED@MotorCity, Dale Dougherty, publisher of MAKE , talks about the American tradition of being "makers": the people who play, interact, develop, and innovate new technology, even if only for fun. We can't help but agree with the importance of being "makers." If more people were encouraged to be creative with technology, we wouldn't have the major skilled worker shortage in manufacturing, and we would better be able to continue technological innovation, which helps create jobs and business for the American public.

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Why Is Glass Transparent?

February 23, 2011 8:06 am

Why is glass transparent? Seems like a dumb question, right? Perhaps, but I would wager that most people don't know the real reason. Thankfully, Sixty Symbols  regular Professor Phil Moriarty is here to save us from our ignorance with an explanation that involves photons, electrons, and a little something known as the "electron gap.

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Americans Ask For Luxury, More Power

February 16, 2011 8:53 am

Horsepower, raw speed, and massive gasoline engines are all the rage at the Chicago Auto Show, where automakers from around the world are displaying their latest products. From a new convertible Camaro, to the incredibly-expensive Lexus LFA, and to a Cadillac that can get to 60mph in just four seconds, the show is all about who can go the fastest.

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Taking A Ride On 'The Cloud'

February 16, 2011 8:52 am

You've likely heard about computing in the "cloud," but do you know what that really means? The on-demand, always-on world of cloud computing comes down to massive data centers, where thousands of rack-mounted servers are cooled by powerful cooling units. Even a power outage won't take the facility down, thanks to enough generators to power a small town.

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Cracking The Coca-Cola Code

February 16, 2011 8:50 am

Has the host of a nationwide radio program finally cracked secret recipe of Coca-Cola? This American Life 's Ira Glass claims to have found the original recipe — one of the most closely-guarded secrets in business — in a newspaper, of all places. Of course, Coca-Cola claims that the Glass-produced recipe is a cola, but not Coca-Cola .

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Should We Fear The 'Singularity'?

February 16, 2011 8:49 am

Should we be afraid of the “singularity”? Scientists believe that come 2045, the processing power of computers will become so overwhelming, that mankind will forever be changed. New research will be conducted by computers with super-human intelligence, only furthering their power. Will we end up the enemy, or will we be able to co-exist? If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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Inside Cleveland's Salty Underbelly

February 9, 2011 9:43 am

Anyone who spends time in Cleveland during the winter — or anywhere in the northern half of the country — is well aware of the copious amounts of salt used to keep roads free of ice. But little do most know that Cargill operates a massive salt mine directly underneath Cleveland, with 100 miles of roads and tunnels.

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The Battle Of The Bulbs

February 9, 2011 9:43 am

A new law hopes to phase-out the incandescent light bulb in favor of more energy-efficient versions, and, like everything else in this country, the opposition force is moving to have the law repealed. In case that movement falls through, however, some incandescent-lovers are going to extreme lengths to avoid CFL, LED, and halogen bulbs, such as hoarding five-year supplies.

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Is Detroit Having A 'Renaissance'?

February 9, 2011 9:42 am

Chrysler's Super Bowl ad featuring the "Motor City" and rapper Eminem has received a great deal of buzz in the days following its premiere, and now many are left wondering if Detroit is about to experience a "renaissance." CNBC sat down with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing to discuss some of the new policies he's putting in place to encourage growth in the inner city.

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Toyota Cars Declared Safe To Drive

February 9, 2011 9:41 am

As many of you have heard, the government has said — after a 10-month investigation — that the Toyota recalls were caused by sticky accelerators and floor mats, not any electronic flaws. After 8 million recalled vehicles, Toyota is simply trying to move past the controversy, but some aren't done fighting.

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Tech Companies Side With Egypt Protesters

February 3, 2011 3:54 am

It's been hard to avoid coverage about the massive protests happening in Egypt right now, or the news that the government effectively activated an internet "kill switch," which cut off protesters from spreading images and video to the outside world. In an effort to help foster a democratic, open society in Egypt, technology companies like Google, and groups like Tor, have initiated projects to help get the word out in a variety of ways.

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Should The Gov't Regulate Our Salt?

February 3, 2011 3:29 am

For years, some have been pushing for more strict regulation on the amount of sodium that Americans consume on a daily basis. As everyone knows, a high-sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and countless other health risks. So, should the government step in and force fast food chains and food processors to tone down the salt? If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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Steel Craftsmanship At Its Finest

February 3, 2011 3:27 am

From Steel , a short film from Michael John Evans, documents the process of building a custom steel bicycle at Soulcraft, owned and operated by Sean Walling. As always, we try to honor and appreciate those who perform great work, and we think this is an excellent example of why the U.S. still dominates the rest of the world in manufacturing.

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A Party That Happens To Sell Shoes

February 3, 2011 3:27 am

Zappos, the online shoe retailer, is a unique company in a couple of ways. First of all, they like to say that they're a service company, and that they just happen to sell shoes. Imagine getting that kind of service at most companies. But more importantly, they offer a variety of perks—such as free lunches and ice cream—and they try to maintain a festive, positive atmosphere around the offices.

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Let's Build A Firetruck

January 25, 2011 4:55 am

Ultimate Factories , via the National Geographic Channel, visits Pierce Manufacturing's Appleton, Wis. facility to see how their high-tech and heavy-duty fire trucks are built. The factory is 800,000 square feet of production on a massive scale, where over 1,500 highly-skilled workers build the life-saving tools that our fire departments depend on.

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The Problem With Boys

January 24, 2011 10:00 am

All around the country, boys are tuning out. They're disengaging from school, and they're forgetting what it means to learn and work hard. While this talk from Ali-Carr Chellman focuses mostly on the U.S.'s education system, this issues could have implications in our world, too. Without learning what it means to engage with anything, and work for it, the future manufacturing workers and businessmen won't learn to enjoy engineering and the technical aspects of simply making things.

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Is Elkhart Really Recovering?

January 24, 2011 9:33 am

Recent studies show that Elkhart is in a recovery. RV manufacturing is slowly climbing back toward its golden days, and companies like Navistar are helping put some of the swath of skilled workers back in employment. But to say that the area is recovering? That depends on who you ask. Visit msnbc.

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