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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Bob Lutz Picks His Favorite Cars

June 22, 2011 7:01 am

Bob Lutz, the author of “Car Guys vs. Bean Counters,” recounts some of his favorite cars over the years. To give him credit, he has a wide range of tastes, from the orginal BMW 3-Series, all the way through the current Chevy Malibu. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to mention that he helped design these cars as well.

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Chatting At The Speed Of Light

June 22, 2011 6:58 am

Here, the Engineer Guy uses propylene glycol to show how a fiber optic cable works when sending signals across the ocean. They rely on a phenomenon called “total internal reflection,” which allows the beam of light to continuously reflect on the interior of the cable. This small discovery, combined with some engineering prowess, allows telecoms to lay these tiny lines under the ocean to enable hyper-speed global communications.

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What's The Deal With Graphic Cigarette Labels?

June 22, 2011 6:52 am

As you've likely heard, the FDA has unveiled nine new graphic warning labels that hope to stop current smokers from partaking in their next pack, and discourage potential new smokers. So far, the response to the labels seems to be mixed. What are your thoughts? Are they overbearing, or will they keep people from taking up smoking? Feel free to comment below.

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Dicing Up Chickens At Warp-Speed

June 21, 2011 8:21 am

Mayekawa Mfg. has developed an automated chicken de-boning system that is able to accurately and repeatedly strip breast meat from carcasses that are fed into the machine. According to the company, it’s ten times faster than doing the work manually. Putting aside the debate between robotic and human work, it’s sort of mesmerizing to see the machinery in action.

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Will The Electric Car Revolution Stick?

June 20, 2011 7:05 am

CBS News national correspondent Ben Tracy reports on how consumers are reacting to the numerous elecric car choices that are current on, or coming soon, to the markeplace. It turns out that 57 percent of Americans won't seriously consider an EV purchase, mostly because of the short ranges. The hope is that with more early adopters, the technology will finally get pushed forward, despite similar surges in both 1890 and 1990.

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Gauging The War On NASA, Science

June 17, 2011 7:30 am

Republican presidential candidates are certainly showing their disdain toward NASA, so MSNBC sat down with Neil deGrasse Tyson, legendary astrophysicist, to talk about the larger implications of cutting science funding, even in troubling economic times. Tyson says that abandoning all big science projects will prevent our country from achieving the kind of “zeitgeist” that swept America up in the 1960’s, which will in turn prevent future innovation.

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Did You Know IBM Invented That?

June 16, 2011 5:29 am

IBM has been around since 1911, and in that time, they’ve made some pretty fantastic innovations, like the orginal punch card counting machines, digital calculators, or solid-state memory. Bernie Meyerson, VP of innovation at IBM, walks through some of the company’s best products over the years.

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Bringing Bowling Back To The U.S.

June 15, 2011 7:13 am

Ebonite, a maker of bowling balls and gear for almost 100 years, recently bought a Mexican bowling-pin company to expand their reach into the market. But instead of simply running the factory out of the country, Ebonite decided to bring all the machinery back to Hopkinsville, KY, where they use a dozen workers to do the work of what used to be 27 employees.

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'Car Guys' Take On 'Bean Counters'

June 15, 2011 6:45 am

Bob Lutz was the former vice chairman of General Motors, and deeply considers himself one of the “car guys.” In a new book, he criticizes the automaker’s movement toward people he calls “bean counters,” which generally were incredibly business savvy, but cared little about the actual product they were creating.

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NASA Embraces The Private Sector

June 15, 2011 6:41 am

Astronaut Max Walheim will be the mission specialist for NASA's final shuttle mission, and he sat down with MSNBC to discuss how the agency has come under fire from various GOP presidential candidates. Instead of handing all the power over to the private sector, he wants to build a collaboration when it comes to space.

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Airbus Showcases Flying Of The Future

June 15, 2011 6:39 am

Airbus is looking ahead to 2050 with the unveiling of a new concept plane that pretty much revolutionizes everything we think about flying today. The company has envisioned seats that mold to the traveler’s body and a cabin that’s completely enveloped by glass, or some other transparent material.

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The 'SWITL' Works Its Magic On Ketchup

June 15, 2011 6:38 am

The SWITL in action doesn't exactly seem real. It uses a Teflon-covered plate to scoop up semi-liquid materials, like ketchup or mayonnaise, without disrupting their shape. While the SWITL is pretty cool to watch, it does have some applications in automated packaging, for example. 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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A Musician May Have Solved The U.S. Energy Crisis

June 14, 2011 8:06 am

One Pennsylvania-based musician thinks he has the (right) solution to the country's energy crisis. Soon after Brandon Hollinger managed to turn his old Saab into an electric vehicle, he developed a business to transform other gas-guzzling vehicles into eco-friendly transportation options. 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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Fareed Takes On America's Jobs Crisis

June 13, 2011 6:38 am

CNN ’s Fareed Zakaria has recently been talking up jobs in just about every media format available, whether it’s TV or in print. He says that the absolute key to restoring America's economy—and thereby reducing its debt—is reducing unemployment. This time, he breaks down a proposal for an infrastructure bank, which would push the creation of America’s infrastructure to the private market and ideally create jobs in the process.

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Is Solar Becoming The Cheapest Energy?

June 10, 2011 9:49 am

Thomas Dinwoodie, the founder and CTO of Sunpower, claims that new solar power construction will end up being a cheaper alternative to new coal or nuclear power. He cites the enormous construction costs that go along with a nuclear plant, compared to the plummeting costs of solar arrays. He also takes issue with the government’s assessment that solar is in fact not the cheaper alternative.

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This Is What 'The Cloud' Looks Like

June 9, 2011 5:49 am

CNN's Emily Reuben gets a rare and almost unprecedented glimpse inside the data center of a cloud facility at an undisclosed location in London. The level of security around that data center is somewhat unbelievable, as it hosts the servers of almost 1,200 companies. Check it out... 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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Sunglasses That Blot Out The Sun

June 8, 2011 10:55 am

The Dynamic Eye is a new sunglass technology that uses liquid crystal displays — the same innovation that powers your computer or cell phone's screen — to block out the sun in a smarter fashion. Its inventor, Chris Mullin, says that his company needs another 12-18 months to fully develop the LCD technology, which needs to be made of very lightweight plastic.

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Is The 'Cloud' Safe?

June 8, 2011 6:48 am

With more technology companies pushing their products onto the “cloud” — the distributed network that is powered by thousands of high-performance servers in dark data centers around the country — many are getting more concerned about security. When sensitive information takes flight on the cloud, it can more easily be hacked and taken.

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Tearing Down A Hard Drive

June 8, 2011 6:24 am

Bill Hammack, also known as the “Engineer Guy,” is back, and this time, he opens up a computer to see how a hard drive is engineered. As with many things he tears down, the level of sophistication is incredible, like the small tolerances between the head, which reads and writes data, and the platter of the hard drive itself.

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Blowtorch Your Hand Without A Wince

June 8, 2011 6:24 am

GelTech Solutions, based in Jupiter, Fla., has been marketing FireIce for years now, and seems to be on the precipice of a breakthrough. Their product is a fire suppressant gel that can protect skin from a 2,000 degree blowtorch, or say, a house from an approaching wildfire. In addition, it washes away quickly, and has no impact on the environment.

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