April Fool 2004: news and products I'd like to see

April 1 is April Fool's Day, so watch for a rubber band on the kitchen sink sprayer; test for salt in the sugar bowl; and look for marbles in your sneakers when you get home. For more fun right now, check out these fictional, April Fool's Day products and developments from Control Engineering.

04/01/2004


April 1 is April Fool's Day, so watch for a rubber band on the kitchen sink sprayer; test for salt in the sugar bowl; and look for marbles in your sneakers when you get home. For more fun right now, check out these fictional, April Fool's Day products and developments from Control Engineering .

Environmentalists push power supply standardization: Environmentalists united with end-users to demand that manufacturers unify power supply sizes and related connections. "The average U.S. household has 162 power supplies for various devices and appliances, each completely incompatible with every other one," states Juan Forall, an environmental spokesman for the effort. With a users' group, Justin Wonce, says he'd like to see the movement to plug into plant-floor incompatibilities next. "We'd like to see this kind of waste and frustration end," they said, Wonce and Forall.

Rugged handheld tester checks for unused budgets: MacroMoneyCorp. introduced a new lightweight tester, the BudgeMatic 3000, with unprecedented three-mile sensing range that can sniff out any unused budgets, with dual settings, for planned or actual spending. The handheld unit can alarm to required setpoint or e-mail the name and contact information of the appropriate supervisor, as needed. In the proactive override mode, an appeal can be sent to the appropriate vice president, automatically sending a wireless proposal for budgetary re-allotment, in real-time, before that money disappears.

Refinery on a chip: Alpha tests confirm ability to put an entire petroleum refinery on a single silicon chip, according to a preliminary report from the HT-MEMS (high-temperature microelectromechanical systems) Consortium, working on the project. Cost, packaging, and heat dissipation are among burning issues to work through, according to a spokesperson unable to get too close to the effort.

No foolin': Did you know that control component-type items that Control Engineering editors write automatically feed onto the System Integration channel, along with network-related news and products, and items of interest to system integrators? Take a look-the button for the channel is on the left navigation bar at Control Engineering Onlin e.

—Mark T. Hoske, MHoske@cfemedia.com, Control Engineering editor in chief, MHoske@cfemedia.com





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