Technology Watch

What's hot - and what's not

Technology continues to race ahead - computer power and bandwidth doubling every year, connectivity increasing exponentially, the Human Genome Project yielding significant new bio-tech advances. will give you technology news and reviews, with a links to significant recent articles and news stories on technology that makes a difference.

Current Pinto Technology Articles

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Energy - the Bottomless Well
The technologies used to find, extract, or capture energy from the environment have improved much faster than the estimates of supply have receded. New energy sources have always been developed to meet burgeoning demand. The belief in human ingenuity and progress generates the concept of "the bottomless well." Published by Automation World - March 2006.

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are coming

The Robots are Coming
When it comes to robots, reality still lags science fiction. But the confluence of several advanced technologies is bringing the age of robotics ever nearer. Today’s robots are smaller, cheaper, more practical and cost-effective and are chalking up major gains in the automation world. Published by Automation World - February 2006.

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Cyber Security

Automation Systems Cyber Security
Many of today’s automation & control systems use the same PC hardware (Intel), operating system (Windows) and communications (Ethernet TCP/IP) as corporate office and administrative networks. So automation systems security is an urgent issue, perhaps even a critical one. Published by - December 2005.

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ISA tackles the Standards Dichotomy
Standards are intrinsically difficult to implement and adopt. End-users cannot drive standards; supplier involvement compounds the confusion. The role of standards coordinator is best served by a neutral third-party. For industrial automation, the best choice is the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society (ISA). Published by Automation World - September 2005.

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Networks everywhere - the Global Brain
It turns out that networks are NOT a relatively recent "invention," something that has to do only with computers. They've always been around; even before we humans came on the scene. Howard Bloom's book: "The Global Brain" explains everything. And it’s enlightening to think of networks this way. This article was published by - August 2005.

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cyber threats

Protecting automation systems against cyber threats
Today's networked control systems often use the same hardware architectures, software and networks as corporate office and administrative networks. This means that vital production and process control systems can be exposed to the same spam, virus and security threats that corporate IT departments have been facing for years.
Published by Automation World - June 2005.

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Web Services

Managing Enterprise Performance with Web Services
Web delivery of business and manufacturing process data enhances collaboration between multi-location plants. The facilities that yield the best performance can share results across the enterprise – learning about what works, and what doesn’t. Enterprise performance management using key performance indicators is becoming reality. This article was published by - June 2005.

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Cheaper, Faster, Better - The Productivity Race
Productivity has now become a global race. It’s a fierce, head-to-head competition between regions and nations for the single reason that it is the source of the wealth, the key to improvements in living standards. Those who can make things cheaper, faster, better – win! This article was published by - May 2005.

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Home Robots

Practical home robots - Roomba Floorvac
One wonders when practical robots will be available for home use. Well, I finally decided to buy a robot to do some real work at home and am now the proud owner of Roomba, the home vacuum cleaning robot by iRobot. We have used it for a while, and are pretty satisfied. Published by - March 2005.

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Pervasive Networks
Within the next few years, literally billions of Internet-enabled microprocessors will provide digital intelligence and connectivity for almost every commercial & industrial product and appliance, extending the Internet into almost every aspect of our lives.
Published by Automation World - December 2004.

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M2M - OEM advantage

M2M - the OEM advantage
The next major inflection point of Internet usage is machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. Within the next few years, more machines will be connected via the Internet than humans. This will add significant value for businesses and consumers. Published by Automation World - July/August 2004.

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Sensor networks

Intelligent Sensor Networks
Smart, wireless networked sensors will soon be everywhere, collecting and processing vast amounts data, providing vast arrays of real-time, remote interaction with the physical world. Published by Automation World - May 2004.

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RFID - a significant technology with far-reaching implications
RFID technology is growing by leaps and bounds. RFID tags will soon be built into everything, allowing each individual item to be tracked and traced. The implications are startling. Published by - March 2004.

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Intelligent, optimized equipment

Intelligent, Networked Equipment Optimizes Assets
Imagine every piece of equipment monitoring its own operation, including uptime, downtime, dwell-time, energy usage, malfunction and repair-time. Technologies exist right now that can do that in order to help end-users optimize their assets.
Published by Automation World - November 2003.

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Near-term Nanotech

Near-term Nanotech
The commercial interest in nanotechnology is being driven by visions of a stream of commercial products and applications that will lead to a new industrial revolution. Some significant nanotech products are already on the market.
Published by Automation, November 2003.

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Fully automated factories

Fully automated factories approach reality.
The vision of fully automated factories has already existed for some time now: customers order online, with electronic transactions that negotiate batch size (in some cases as low as one), price, size and color; intelligent robots and sophisticated machines smoothly and rapidly fabricate a variety of customized products on demand.
Published by Automation World - October 2003.

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Tech Trends

Robotics technology trends.
When it comes to robots, reality still lags science fiction. But, just because robots have not lived up to their promise in past decades does not mean that they will not arrive sooner or later. Indeed, the confluence of several advanced technologies is bringing the age of robotics ever nearer - smaller, cheaper, more practical and cost-effective.
Published by Automation, October 2003.

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Cheap revolution
The cheap revolution.
The price of electronic memory and computer storage and will continue fall over the next several years. This will cause a significant revolution in the way many things are done. Your company can find growth through a cheap revolution. Published by Automation, June 2003.

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What's Hot
for Industrial Automation
What's Hot for Industrial Automation
Industrial automation is transitioning from distributed control systems programmable logic controllers and industrial PCs to a new, connected environment of industrial appliances. In a somewhat stagnant business environment, new technologies will bring significant advances and new leaders.
The original version of this article was published in the ISA magazine Industrial Computing - July 2001

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What is 'IT' ?
What is Dean Kamen's 'Ginger'?
An invention by a noted inventor Dean Kamen, continues to generate excitement and mystery. 'IT', is supposedly so extraordinary, that it has drawn the attention of technology visionaries and the investment dollars of pre-eminent venture capitalists. In the meantime, Kamen's iBOT has made good progress - this is an all-terrain wheelchair that can climb stairs, cross sand, and effortlessly balance on two wheels. There are lots of links here - do your own web-sleuthing.....

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ISA InTech
Pinto's Points
InTech eNews - Pinto's Points
ISA InTECH publishes a regular (weekly) eNews, which includes a link to a brief Pinto' Point. Each point is an item which I think will stimulate your thinking - technical trends, market musings, sales solutions, business briefs. Here you have links to the ISA archives on the items that have been published.

Check out Bluetooth
Bluetooth™ is coming
Bluetooth™ is coming....
A low-power microwave wireless link technology, designed to connect phones, laptops, PDAs and other portable equipment. Enables devices to communicate without wires at close range, without the need for direct line of sight or additional communications protocols.

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Intelligent Appliances
The Intelligent, Connected Appliance
Embedded computers are already providing intelligence in appliances. With connection to an expanding network infrastructure, the intelligence of each network-node bringing totally new functionality.

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of the Future

Instrumentation & Control -
on the Frontiers of a New Millennium

In this vision for the start of the new millennium, control happens at the I/O level, products become intelligent appliances, PLC and PC-based software and operating systems are replaced by network applications and components that run from browsers, and adaptive control becomes the norm. Am I right? Only time will tell.

Hot Technology Links

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MIT Tech Review

MIT Tech Review
May June Issue : Artiles on The Ened of Moore's Law, Molecular, Quantum, Biological, DNA Computing. Read it!

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Batelle Forecasts

Batelle Technology Forecasts
A team of top scientists and engineers at Battelle, a world renowned technology organization based in Columbus, Ohio, has compiled a list of the 10 most strategic technological trends that will shape business and our world over the next 20 years.

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Kurzweil Technologies
R&D in pattern recognition, artificial intelligence, evolutionary algorithms, signal processing, simulation of natural processes, and related areas.

Previous Pinto technology writings

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Intelligent I/O

The TRULY Distributed Control Revolution
Distributed Control Systems (DCS) and Programmable Controls (PLCs) are giving way to intelligent I/O systems. Presents an overview of the advantages of new peer-to-peer autonomous I/O systems.

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Copyright 2000 : Jim Pinto, San Diego, CA, USA