made-by-monkeys2

Good ideas with bad execution, or good execution of what should be bad ideas - an analysis of inferior, off-beat or malfunctioning products, and how other people's failures can help us design better stuff.

Environmental

Storm wind and fire - when wind turbines go wrong

An interesting article on New Scientist takes up the story of the Ardrossan wind turbine that spectacularly caught fire back in December 2011, in extreme weather conditions. Infinis, the operator of the wind farm in question, has just published a report that claims the turbines should be able to withstand…

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Poll Results: On lead-free hand soldering

Time to display the full results of our latest poll. It was one for engineers and the possible shortcomings, or otherwise, of lead free soldering. Thank you to all 313 people who took part (at time of writing, the poll will be kept open), and clearly the largest answer was…

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Video: Where Apple engineers and validates its wireless products

Given all the news about Apple and the performance of its wireless antennas, this is an interesting view behind the scenes of the company’s antenna design and test labs. According to the video, it is the place where Apple engineers and validates all its wireless products. Made up of…

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When is a door not a door?*

“Panda” is a good friend of the Made By Monkeys blog and he’s recently sent us this one. He asks: “Are the doors wrong or the balconies? Conflict between planners, architects and builders?” A good question, as I’ve seen this repeated elsewhere (for example, modern flat blocks in…

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Driver Run Over by Own Rig -- Corrosion the Culprit

In this real world engineering who-dunnit  from Design News– you couldn’t write a TV script better than this! — corrosion and wear-and-tear on a key component of the lift cylinder on a tractor-trailer caused the rig to run over its own driver. Forensic engineer Myron Boyajian…

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Boots Busted for WEEE violations

Sister publication Design News reports in its Lead Free Zone Blog that The Irish retailer, Boots, has the dubious honor of becoming the first company in the EU to prosecuted for violating the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, which aims to divert electronic devices away from landfills: “The…

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Solar Powered Kayak Extends The Meaning of Green

EDN Editor Margery Conner brought the Solar Powered Kayak, helpfully outfitted with outriggers, to our attention as a candidate for most ludicrous green marketing claims. Or, you could just leave it at most ludicrous. Read her Powersource blog…

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The Lead Made Me Do It

First it was the twinkie defense. Now it’s the lead one? The NYT reports in its article Criminal Element that a new environmental theory of criminal behavior described in the B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy suggests that the Clean Air Act (which got the lead out…

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