• Gypsy gets a collar because she’s the smartest dog in the contest.

    Bob DeSantis gets one because I couldn’t argue with his logic.

    Jim Gendregske gets one because he unleashed the most creative insult.

    That leaves two more stylish sets of lighted University of Michigan collars and leashes. But we’ll treat this like the Academy Awards, and save some of the announcements for later in the show.

    An outfit called Dog-E-Glow in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., just added U-M to its lineup of collegiate pooch accessories. The leashes ($29.99) and collars ($25.99) are constructed of nylon and 100,000-hour LED bulbs, said to be visible from 1,000 feet away.

    When I mentioned them last week, the last thing I intended was to write about them twice. Heck, as much as I love dogs, I don’t even own one. As my wife puts it, “We will never toilet train another living thing.”

    But the chief barker for Dog-E-Glow, the very astute Natalie Mikolich, offered to give away five leash-and-collar combinations to fortunate readers of The Detroit News. Sixty-some people and three dogs wrote to say “Pick me,” and what can I tell you? I’m always intrigued with how owners see their pets, and how their pets impact their lives.

    I liked the responses so much that I rolled over — and nobody even scratched my belly.

    The assignment was simple: Explain why your pet should sport an official, licensed, glow-in-the-dark U-M canine control system.

    Sue Schuon, who works for the university, wrote on behalf of her rescue greyhound. Gypsy was a racer, she says, until the night the track had a power failure and the dogs caught the lure.

    Discovering that the so-called rabbit was a fraud, “she refused to chase it ever again.” For demonstrating deductive reasoning, she can now trot across campus in maize and blue.

    Dearbornite DeSantis has an Australian shepherd named Finnigan who “lights up my life. With the new collar, he could light up everyone else’s.”

    Very poetic — but it’s actually DeSantis’ kid who made the difference. “I put my son through U-M,” he says. “I should at least get a dog collar.”

    Gendregske, who lives in Saginaw, wanted the U-M ensemble for his daughter’s boxer, Shelby. He notes that Dog-E-Glow has not cut a deal with Michigan’s greatest rival.

    “It’s a good thing Ohio State doesn’t have a collar,” he says, referencing a recent scandal. “They would just trade it for a tattoo.”

    In that first category, a shepherd/husky mix named Oliver gets lost in the uncut grass of a Wayne County dog park. Lucy was dog-napped. Bailey is beginning to have eye issues. Lucky has eye issues and cancer. Abby’s original owner died.

    Though they’re all worthy candidates, the collar and leash go to an Ypsilanti couple whose border collie mix is “smart, athletic, ambitious, and just the right amount of arrogant to represent the Harvard of the Midwest.”

    Furthermore, note Scott and Stella Anderson, Sasha is a Katrina rescue dog. “Yes, we’re shamelessly playing the sympathy card, but we really want the collar.”

    So does Zachery Stevens, a U-M wrestler who’d like to take it south when he becomes a college assistant coach. And Paul Beaudry, the transplanted half of a Michigan-Alabama couple who needs to let “these Nick-Saban-lovin’, Big-10-hatin’ Bammers” that life doesn’t revolve around the Auburn game. And Adam Bujalski, a Detroit expatriate in Indiana whose neighbor’s dog wears a Notre Dame vest.


  • Marine Electric Systems, a South Hackensack-based maker of parts for aircraft carriers and other military equipment, had a problem. The company had to find a way to defend itself against a shrinking defense budget.

    It found a solution by building what could be described as a better non-bulb light. It has retooled to sell light panels that use light-emitting diodes — LEDs — to illuminate construction sites, mining operations and other places calling for high-powered lighting.

    Marine was born at the Brooklyn Naval Yards 70 years ago, during World War II, when demand was high for electrical systems for Navy ships. The company had hundreds of workers at its peak during the war years, but it had dwindled to about 30 employees when Harry Epstein bought the company in 1988 and moved it to North Jersey.

    Since then, Marine has been able to post $4 million to $5 million in annual sales, building propulsion systems for aircraft carriers and submarines, explosives detectors and other devices for military use.

    But, as Epstein explained, “because they’re cutting the fleet, there’s a big target on the Defense Department budget.” The Navy, said Epstein, used to build an aircraft carrier every two years. Then it became every three years. Now, the expected timetable is one every seven years.

    “You can’t survive on building an aircraft carrier every seven years,” said Epstein, who is the Northeast director of the trade group the Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition,.

    Three years ago, Epstein began looking for ways to diversify that would keep his 30 workers — engineers and assembly workers — employed and busy.

    Epstein said Marine first began looking at LED applications five years ago, when it was considering making LED lights for Coast Guard buoys.

    “But the LEDs at the time really could not meet the specifications, so we kind of tabled it,” he said.

    Then, about three years ago, Marine was approached about investing in a company that was selling LED panels imported from China.

    “We weren’t interested in selling lights from China because they didn’t meet our standards,” he said. “We were interested in making a better LED.”

    Epstein said LED panels were a promising opportunity because there are many uses for high-quality LED lights that would create energy savings.

    “We were looking at green technologies because green is the place to be,” Epstein said.

    In addition to creating energy savings of as much as 40 percent, Epstein said, the LED panels generate less light pollution, because they provide focused, rather than diffused, lighting. They also do not blind motorists with glare, the way the traditional metal halide lights do, Epstein said.


  • Pat Tura wants to change the way pedestrians and cars interact at intersections. And she’s starting in her own neighborhood.

    A handful of recent pedestrian deaths in the Duboce Triangle and Upper Market areas of The City prompted Tura to look at what she can do. Her solution: adopting a corner.

    The idea seeks to pair residents with the intersections in their neighborhood so they can make observations and eventually put together a plan for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, and its livable streets program, to help make San Francisco a safer place to live.

    “The MTA is good at applying the science of street design and new concepts,” Tura said. “But it’s impossible for them to know the intimacy of the intersection compared to those who cross an intersection every day.”

    Tura said the plan will rely on groups of volunteers just watching what takes place at a given corner at different times of day in different weather. It could be that a crosswalk needs repainting. Perhaps a tree needs to be trimmed to provide cars and pedestrians more visibility.

    “Or it could be problems with cars rolling through stops, pedestrians crossing in the middle of streets, or bikes not even stopping,” Tura said. “We want to take all that information and present it in a way that shows what is currently being broken at the intersection.”

    Paul Rose, spokesman for the transit agency, which is responsible for surface transportation in The City, said officials are working with the neighbors to address problem corners.

    “As a city agency, we use that feedback to make an impact,” he said. “Residents take their community seriously and they often do have ideas to improve the area.”

    Tura said two incidents prompted her to start the initiative — the August death of 23-year-old woman after she was hit by a Muni bus after crossing the street at 18th and Hartford, and then a September accident in which a 52-year-old man was struck by an SUV at 14th and Noe.

    At 14th and Noe, Tura said the community suggested improved striping and lighting at the corner.

    This is the first program of its kind in The City.

    Tura said she plans to personally monitor the intersection of 16th, Noe and Market streets meet because of its odd configuration.

    “It’s one of the top 15 most dangerous intersections in The City,” she said. “Its patterns are unusual, so we’re trying to dissect the intersection and see how it would add value and improve the overall safety of our streets.”


  • Rumors of a new iPad continue to grow, with Citigroup now saying Apple’s next-generation tablet device is on schedule for a February, 2012 launch.

    In a research note released on Thursday, Citigroup analyst Richard Gardner says that Apple will be ready to debut the next iteration of the company’s hugely successful tablet as early as February, reports Business Insider.

    Gardner notes that sources within Apple’s Asian supply chain have seen increased iPad parts orders for the March quarter, attributing the ramp-up to the “launch of a new iPad with double the screen resolution on the current model.”

    The analyst cites several sources who have confirmed the early 2012 launch, and notes that “there do not appear to be any significant technical hurdles remaining” to meet a February release date.

    Rumors have been swirling as to when an anticipated “Retina Display” iPad will break cover, with some alleging that Apple has seen technical setbacks in combining high-resolution panels with LED backlighting. Reports have claimed that the company will employ a dual-LED lighting system to overcome brightness issues seen by the high-dpi displays, which a November rumor indicated as possibly being IGZO panels sourced from Sharp.

    The most recent rumors have come from an Asian supplier saying that the new tablet will sport a thicker case design than the iPad 2, but will retain the same 9.7-inch screen size allowing it to be compatible with existing Smart Covers.

    Rambus is waving goodbye to its founder, Dr Mark Horowitz, who will leave the firm’s board and take a two year leave of absence as chief scientist.

    Horowitz said that his decision to leave the board is due to personal reasons and other obligations, and that he will take his two year leave of absence from 31 December.

    “I feel privileged to have worked with some of the most talented professionals in a variety of technology fields. I feel particularly proud of the many ground-breaking inventions and contributions Rambus has made to the high-bandwidth memory interface industry and am very excited about our recent work in LED lighting and cryptography,” he said.

    “While I will miss being involved with Rambus, it is time for me to focus on my personal obligations. I have full confidence in the Rambus management team and Board of Directors, and will be available to them as time permits for consultation.”

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  • led light 06.12.2011 No Comments

    CSA has expanded its LED lighting testing laboratory operations to a 30,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, 6215 Shiloh Crossing.

    The move from its former 8,000-square-foot building, also in Alpharetta, coincides with new government standards for energy-efficient lighting slated for 2012.

    “This year, CSA has invested millions of dollars in new labs and hired numerous new employees globally to accommodate our clients’ increased demands for energy efficiency qualification and verification services,” said Rich Weiser, CSA Group vice president for U.S. and Mexico operations.

    The new labs have an additional 10,000 square feet set-aside for future growth.

    “We look forward to growing our business and expanding our labs and hiring more employees here in Alpharetta,” Weiser said.

    The south Forsyth County lab tests and certifies LED and lighting products to more than 75 different standards for North America, Europe and Asia as well as required third-party Energy Star evaluation.

    Dynamic testing at the facility includes car lights, boat lighting, airport runway lights and even military application. In addition, the company tests light fixtures, stage and studio lighting, track lighting, flexible light cable systems, household lamps, flashlights, as well as fluorescent and incandescent lamps.

    The opening coincides with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that phases out 100-watt incandescent lights from being sold.

    “Other lights sold in the U.S. will be required to use anywhere from 25 to 80 percent less energy,” Weiser said. “Our lab is on the forefront of new regulation and is poised to address the anticipated growth in the LED market.”

    The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that rapid adoption of LED lighting in the U.S. by 2027 could deliver savings of about $265 billion, avoid 40 new power plants and reduce lighting electricity demand by 33 percent.

    The Alpharetta facility is one of CSA’s more than a dozen locations throughout the world, including one set to open soon in Shanghai, China.

    Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer James McCoy said he’s thrilled at another great addition to county.

    “We are very proud to have them here,” McCoy said. “We appreciate their investment, and I have absolute confidence they will be very happy in our community.”

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  • Genesis Photonics Inc. Chairman K.J. Chong has recently pledged that his company will become ” MediaTek Inc.” of Taiwan’s LED industry, suggesting his company’s goal of becoming No.1 supplier of innards of LED lamps in a single package as MediaTek being the No.1 supplier of mobile phone chipsets.

    Chong pointed out that his company, an LED epi-wafer maker, will help Taiwan’s LED-lighting manufacturers introduce high price/performance ratio products with its light engines to compete with global lighting heavyweights such as Philips, Osram and General Electric.

    Genesis has begun supplying the engines, which are completed with LED chip, phosphor coating, flip-chip substrate board and thermal substrate, in the fourth quarter of 2011 to LED-lighting manufacturers. Chong said the company has won patents on the four elements of the engine, freeing users from threats of patent lawsuits. With the universal engines, lighting manufacturers, he noted, can introduce their products quicker and at lower costs than their competitors.

    Chong pointed out that although some epi-wafer makers like Epistar have introduced products similar to his company’s for a while, their products are still costly and complicated in design, making lighting manufacturers’ product developments inefficient involving their engines.

    Besides light engine business, the company has opened an LED lighting venture to promote its branded lighting products for project and commercial purposes in Taiwan. In mainland China, it is working with several retailers to market its products.

    Chong noted that as Osram, Philips and GE have only controlled a combined 30% of global lighting market his company sill has an ample room to win a larger slice of the LED lighting market by working with brand-name luminaire manufacturers, a strategy similar to the one that has led to MediaTek’s success in becoming mainland China’s No.1 supplier of mobile phone chipsets.

    Other developing markets that the company is tapping also include Turkey and Russia. South Korea and Japan are among the developed markets the company has just started to enter.

    This report forecasts the Global LED market to grow at a CAGR of 7.7 percent over the period 2010-2014. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the demand for energy-efficient lighting. The Global LED market has also been witnessing an increase in the preference for LED lighting in the Government sector and the Public Sector. However, the high price of LEDs could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.

    “Global LED Market 2010-2014″ has been prepared based on an in-depth analysis of the market with inputs from industry experts. The report covers the Americas and the EMEA and APAC regions. It covers the market for LEDs that emit any kind of colored light.

    This report does not cover the market for any product, service, or solution that has LED as a light source. The report analyzes the current Global LED market landscape and its growth prospects. It also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market.

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