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Author: Alvin Scolnik

Technical Experts Needed to Write Systems Standards!

Technical Experts Needed to Write Systems Standards!

Systems standards.   Much of the technology world seems to be talking about systems standards these days.  You’d think we didn’t have any standards that allow products to operate effectively with other products in applications.   But we do . . . and they do.  So what’s all the discussion about systems standards?     The IEC Master Plan 2011 does a nice job of describing the issue—“The multiplicity of technologies and their Read more [...]
A VOLUNTARY Program to Make the Good Guys Pay for the Bad Guys

A VOLUNTARY Program to Make the Good Guys Pay for the Bad Guys

Why should the good guys be made to pay for the mistakes of the bad guys?  Maybe we should just walk away. Case in point.  US big box retailers put a bunch of US manufacturers out of business in the 80's and 90's when they pressed for price concessions that made it unprofitable to deliver out of US factories.  Now, the same retailers are having product quality problems and they expect US manufacturers to pay for a fix.  What's the fix?  Implementing Read more [...]
Here we go again?

Here we go again?

It’s hard NOT to become cynical when you’ve been down the same old road again and again and nothing seems to change.   Then someone tells you “it will be different this time.”   Should I believe him?     A case in point is the RILA Factory Audit Standard being jammed down the throats of manufacturers of consumer products, starting with electrical products, by some of this countries biggest retailers and their Retail Industry Leaders Read more [...]
PEV’s Are Coming But . . . Lots of Questions to Answer

PEV’s Are Coming But . . . Lots of Questions to Answer

Everyday I read something new and interesting about some form of electric vehicle.  Hybrid electric,  Plug in hybrid electric,  Plug In electric, etc.  While they're all using different technologies, the one thing they all seem to have in common is that they are still pretty much in the prototype stage.   Sure, the Prius and other hybrids seems to have gone commercial and owners seem reasonably satisfied.  But, my neighbor just got one to do his Read more [...]
NIST on the Right Track

NIST on the Right Track

The National Institute of Standards and Technology announced last week that it has created a new Smart Grid Interoperability Office to coordinate and accelerate the standardization framework initiative assigned to it under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.  Good move.  An even better move is that NIST has selected Dr. George Arnold, formerly of Lucent Technologies and more recently Deputy Director of NIST Technology Services, as its  new Smart Grid Coordinator.  NEMA Read more [...]
Smart Grid Depends on Standards. . . Soon

Smart Grid Depends on Standards. . . Soon

If you heard the term Smart Grid 12 months ago, you might have wondered what it meant.  Now, the term is everywhere.  Even President Obama referred to Smart Grid in his first address to the Nation after his inauguration.  Newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, domestic and international, are all discussing Smart Grid.  Why?  Because Smart Grid holds the promise of providing electricity to homes and businesses more efficiently, more reliably, and more securely.  Read more [...]
Kudos to the European Commission on Revising the Metric Labeling Directive

Kudos to the European Commission on Revising the Metric Labeling Directive

We've just gotten word from our friends in Europe that the EU metric labeling directive has finally been modified FROM requiring all products (and product packaging, training materials, other collateral materials, etc.) entering the EC after December 31, 2009 to use only metric measures and nomenclature TO an indefinite extension of the current practice of permitting the use of "supplementary indications."  One caveat is that the decision calls for a review of this decision Read more [...]
PHEV’s Can’t Plug In if There’s No Place To Plug Them!

PHEV’s Can’t Plug In if There’s No Place To Plug Them!

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) among other hybrid technologies are being portrayed as the “product du jour” for solving the high-priced gasoline problem internationally and now nationally with our current energy crisis situation at large. Already Toyota, GM, Ford and VW have announced their intent to release PHEVs in the near future. And why not? According to claims, they “just plug into your home outlet.” And, "they can go 40 miles on a Read more [...]
Kudos for Jack–Well Deserved

Kudos for Jack–Well Deserved

Just saw the dedication to Jack Wells in the 2008 edition of the National Electrical Code Handbook.  By now, Jack must have quite a collection of awards from organizations wishing to acknowledge his many contributions to industry over a long and illustrious career.  The award presentations I've seen talk about his vision, his leadership, his commitment to excellence, his accomplishments and more.  All accurate. Often understated.  People like Jack Wells Read more [...]
Environmentalists Planning to Live/Work in the Dark—How About the Rest of Us?

Environmentalists Planning to Live/Work in the Dark—How About the Rest of Us?

A Sunday (Feb 3, 2008) Washington Post article entitled Threat of Power Shortages Generating New Urgency lays out what is unfortunately “the same old story.”  Suppliers of electricity are warning regulators and the public that increasing demand will lead to serious power shortages in the not too distant future.  In the short run, energy costs are climbing dramatically.  In the long run, there simply won’t be enough power to go around.   The article explains:  Read more [...]