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Category: Mechanical Engineering

an open source configuration management database

Lida Li & Saurabh Joshi | Pinterest engineers, Cloud Management Platform Pinterest runs its infrastructure on AWS. Every day, thousands of EC2 instances are launched, stopped and terminated because of auto scaling, as well as new service launches and cluster rotation. To serve as a single source of truth for both hardware and software configuration at the host level, we built Soundwave, a configuration management database (CMDB). Soundwave plays a critical part in supporting resource management, service automation, capacity planning,…

200 years of the bicycle—computer scientists electrify historic ‘dandy horse’

Professor Holger Hermanns riding the Dandy Horse, in the background Florian Schiessl, on the right the Belgian bicycle engineer Dries Callebaut. Credit: Oliver Dietze In honor of the inventor, their prototype is still made completely of wood, but it also contains an electric motor, battery, sensors and mini-computer. As soon as the rider pushes off from the ground, the motor starts and provides additional power during the entire ride. With their “Draisine 200.0” the computer scientists are testing the validity…

New millimeter-wave technology could make future vehicles much safer

Millimeter-wave radars covering several tens of meters could be on cars, bikes, and smartphones. This might create a lot of new applications including games. Credit: Hiroshima University Hiroshima University and Mie Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited (MIFS) today announced the development of a low-power millimeter-wave amplifier that feeds on 0.5 V power supply and covers the frequency range from 80 GHz to 106 GHz. It was fabricated using MIFS’s Deeply Depleted Channel (DDC) technology. This is the first W-band (75−110 GHz) amplifier…

Combining MRI and optical microscopy promising for brain research

Meng Cui, at left, a Purdue University assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, and graduate student Yifeng Zhou, display part of a system that allows the simultaneous use of both a functional MRI and “two-photon microscopy” to study the brain. Credit: Purdue University image/Meng Cui Functional magnetic resonance imaging reveals changes in blood-oxygen levels in different parts of the brain, but the data show nothing about what is actually happening in and between brain cells, information needed to better…

Spark Summit 2017: Research, Open Source, and Community

Next Tuesday marks the start of the Spark Summit Conference in San Francisco. This year, LinkedIn engineers and data scientists are presenting four separate talks at the conference, and we’ll be hosting a meetup at our San Francisco office on the final day. All of this is an indication of the significant impact that Apache Spark has had on the way people process and analyze data at LinkedIn. We are excited to be able to give back to the community…

The Science of Quality Growth

Analyses and A/B testing shows that increasing our Quality Signup rate causes an increase in our long-term engagement rate.   The concept of a custom true-north metric is not unique to LinkedIn. In fact, many other companies have similar measures that serve as their true-north metric for growth. For example, Facebook is known to track users who connect with 10 friends in seven days. Pinterest tracks Weekly Active Repinners. And Slack tracks teams who have sent 2,000 messages. For the…

How Airbnb Democratizes Data Science With Data University

By Jeff Feng, Erin Coffman & Elena Grewal Introduction Data is essential to us at Airbnb. We characterize data as the voice of our users at scale. Thus, data science plays the role of an interpreter — we use data and statistics to understand our users and translate it to a voice that people or machines can understand. We leverage these quantitative insights, paired together with qualitative insights (e.g. in-person user research) to make the best possible decisions for both the business…

Tactile feedback adds ‘muscle sense’ to prosthetic hand

Test subjects were more than twice as likely to correctly discern the size of grasped objects grasped with a prosthetic hand when they received haptic feedback from a simple skin-stretch device on the upper arm. Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University Engineers working to add “muscle sense” to prosthetic limbs found that tactile feedback on the skin allowed blindfolded test subjects to more than double their ability to discern the size of objects grasped with a prosthetic hand. The results will be…

Reflections on Technology in France

My wife and I recently had the privilege of spending a week in southern France, at a conference in the small town of Aurillac (pronounced “AW-ree-ack”).  I say small—27,000 people is about the size of Cleburne, Texas, which is a town I’m somewhat familiar with.  Based on my admittedly very limited and undoubtedly biased observations of what we saw and experienced, I’d like to make some comparisons between the different ways that the French citizens we encountered and Texans have…

New Russian jet takes to air in bid to rival Airbus and Boeing

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in front of the new MC-21 medium-haul jet, which has made a successful test flight, during its roll-out ceremony last June Russia on Sunday held a successful test flight of its new MC-21 medium-haul passenger jet that it hopes will revive its troubled civil aviation industry and challenge giants Airbus and Boeing. The plane, whose prototype was unveiled last June, flew for 30 minutes at a height of 1,000 metres and a speed of 300…