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The CR4 Admin Blog keeps you up-to-date with what's happening on CR4: The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion. Read about site updates, the site moderation team, and more.

2016 Year in Review & Farewell

Posted March 07, 2017 10:50 AM by SavvyExacta

It’s a little late for a 2016 year in review but I thought it was a fitting subject for my final CR4 post. You see, I’m moving on to a new job at a new company, and won’t have the opportunity to share from this perspective again.

2016 was a great year for CR4. The community site received more than its usual share of attention at GlobalSpec and we were able to accomplish a number of projects related to improving your experience. Here are some of the highlights:

Mobile Responsive Version

You can now use CR4 from your smartphone! The software development team worked very hard for several months in order to improve your CR4 experience from a mobile device.

Read more about the responsive version and learn how to add a shortcut to CR4 to your smartphone’s home screen.

Improved CR4 Daily Digest

The CR4 Daily Digest email newsletter received a makeover. Like the site, it’s also responsive, and will resize to be easy to read from your mobile device. Moderators now have the ability to feature a post at the top of each issue and customize the subject line so you can have a hint about what you’ll find inside. Some work was done to improve deliverability, too.

Having trouble receiving your subscription? Try this post, which has some troubleshooting tips.

New Text Editor

Along with the responsive rollout we also introduced a new text editor toolbar. It’s a little easier to use than the old one, and more importantly, it eliminated that pesky custom right click menu!

Read about the new toolbar.

CR4 Account = More Places to Comment

Late in 2016 we rolled out the ability for you to use your CR4 account to comment on other types of content from Engineering360 and Electronics360. We heard your feedback about not wanting to sign up for yet another account/plugin and so now you can use your CR4 handle for commenting across all three platforms.

Learn where you can comment using your CR4 account.

More Content for You

In 2016 we welcomed several new bloggers to the CR4 team. From the response to their posts it looks like you have been enjoying what they have to say!

Meet the new bloggers.

2016 also marks a year since we began posting sponsored blog content on CR4. Thank you for being respectful to our sponsors and taking the time to read and comment on their posts.

2017 and Beyond

2017 is shaping up to be another great year for CR4. I’m sad to announce that I won’t be here to help with it.

After 12 years with GlobalSpec I am moving on to a new opportunity. I’ve been a part of CR4 since 2008 and have enjoyed writing blog posts and interacting with all of you. My time here has been less lately, as my official job was as a senior product manager and CR4 is something I’ve worked on as time allows, but nevertheless it’s been one of my favorite parts of my work.

CR4 members have a wealth of knowledge across so many topics and I hope that you continue to be respectful of conflicting opinions.

Who to Contact

Need assistance with anything related to CR4? Here are two places where you can get help:

P.S. I regret that I won’t be able to improve on last year’s April Fool’s Day scavenger hunt!

16 comments; last comment on 03/09/2017
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Across Five Years (A CR4 Clip Show)

Posted December 28, 2016 9:57 AM by HUSH
Pathfinder Tags: Admin Blog clip show CR4

It certainly doesn’t happen as much today, in the age of streaming services and binge watching. But up until recently the ‘clip show’ was a staple of primetime American sitcoms. It was a cheap way of stretching already-filmed footage into another episode without incurring the costs of actors and their supporting staff. Clip shows were often used to mark milestones, such as 100 episodes or season finales.

Yours truly has been drafting and publishing entries on CR4 weekly for the past five years. Every Wednesday (or sometimes Thursday on a busy week), including holidays and vacations, you can find a new post from HUSH in the blogging column on the community front page. By my recount, there have only been two weeks where I haven’t posted a weekly blog, but there have been occasions where I’ve posted more than two in a week. The result is 288 blog entries posted since my first post about making rink ice on 12/14/2011 (but just one good answer—about tennis of all things!).

What follows is a self-referential, nostalgic look at the good, bad, weird and wrong blog posts I’ve conjured up over the past five years, along with comments where I have something to add. For all intents and purposes, this is a CR4 clip show.

But first, a major thank you to anyone on CR4 that has read, commented or shared any one of my posts. You’ve had a more profound effect on my career than what may be apparent, even when the entries have been boring or blasé.

On with the [clip] show. Iron bathtubs not included.

Top 10 most viewed/commented:

· Is Climate Change the Beginning of the End? Posted April 2, 2014; 270 comments and 1,924 views.

· Do Engineers Make Good Terrorists? Posted May 21, 2014; 163 comments and 1,363 views.

· USS Zumwalt, The Navy’s Newest Masterpiece? Posted September 14, 2016; 133 comments and 1,632 views.

· Red Light Cameras: Is It Time To Admit Mistakes? Posted June 25, 2014; 109 comments and 890 views. (HUSH’s note: Guess I was on a roll in mid-early 2014.)

· A Guide to ‘Getting Off The Grid’ Posted June 19, 2013; 75 comments and 889 views. (HUSH’s note: Kinda surprised to see this one up so high. It felt like a throw-away blog post at the time.)

· Do Women Like Jerks? Posted July 19, 2012; 15 comments and 3,422. (HUSH: Ahhh, from the failed Courtship Chemistry blog. Can we scrub that from the Internet? No? Ok then.)

· Coaster Creation: Building Scream Machines Posted Sept. 19, 2012; 2 comments and 1,868 views. (HUSH: Another surprise. Lots of reads but little to say.)

· Which 007 Car is For You? Posted Sept. 6, 2012; 17 comments, 1,820 views.

· Trying to Find ‘Fabulous’ Light Curtains Posted April 1, 2013; 2 comments 1,778 views. (HUSH: A half-joke entry on April Fool’s that some people missed the point of.)

· A Suggested DIY: The Ghost Phone Posted August 22, 2012; 2 comments and 1,692. (HUSH: Pseudo-science does really well for a STEM community, just sayin’.)

Top 5 least popular (per star-rating system)

· Velocitas Eradico (I, Who Am Speed, Eradicate) Posted Feb. 11, 2015; 1-star rating.

· Will the U.S. Navy Build the World’s Only Supercavitating Ship? Posted December 10, 2014; 1-star rating.

· NASA’s Need for Closed Ecology Posted April 23, 2014; 1-star rating

· The Most Dangerous Weapon Ever? Posted January 2, 2013; 1-star rating. (HUSH: Probably the only one here that I don’t understand the 1-star rating. Oh well.)

· Selecting Your Mixed Tapes Posted January 17, 2012; 1-star rating. (HUSH: Another ol’ GlobalSpec promo blog.)

Top 5 personal faves

· The Sailboat Diaries: Ahoy! Posted October 12, 2016. (HUSH: An ongoing backyard project gets an Internet homage.)

· Da Svedanya, Chernobyl Posted December 21, 2016 (HUSH: A personal interest in many things Soviet or nuclear.)

· In Defense of GMO Posted June 5, 2013.

· HUSH Loves Airships, Part 4 Posted Nov. 2, 2016. (HUSH: An industry I enjoy keeping tabs on.)

· The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Posted October 24, 2012

Top 5 underrated

· Sinkholes Happen Posted November 23, 2016. (HUSH: Posting the day before Thanksgiving will do that to you.)

· Engineers Save the World—June 6, 1944 Posted June 4, 2014.

· Hemp is the Healing of Industry Posted August 14, 2016.

· At the Movies (with HUSH) Posted May 1, 2013

· Operation Eliminate Landmines Posted Feb. 27, 2016


Cheers to five more years of blogging on CR4!

3 comments; last comment on 12/30/2016
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New: CR4 Commenting on Engineering360 & Electronics360

Posted November 30, 2016 2:00 PM by SavvyExacta

Starting December 1, 2016, CR4 users will be able to comment on articles from both Engineering360 and Electronics360 with their CR4 accounts! A piece of feedback we've heard again and again since launching our editorial sites more than a year ago is the annoyance of needing yet another login for the Livefyre commenting platform.

We heard you... and are excited to announce that commenting on Engineering360 and Electronics360 articles is now powered by CR4. If you are logged into CR4 you will be logged in for commenting on either of the editorial sites. You can access the articles via the links above or from the CR4 homepage or from the CR4 Daily Digest newsletter.

The view of comments on any of the article pages is a "light" one that mimics what you see on the mobile responsive version of CR4. You will be able to add and reply to comments and subscribe to discussions.

We will continue to add more functionality to the comments on the articles. If you prefer the "full" CR4 experience when reading the comments on the articles, you will find a view on CR4 link at the bottom of each one.

Non-CR4 users who would like to comment on the articles will be required to registered for a CR4 account before their first post.

4 comments; last comment on 12/01/2016
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Welcome New CR4 Bloggers!

Posted November 16, 2016 8:54 AM by SavvyExacta

CR4 has welcomed several new bloggers over the past few weeks... and some veteran bloggers have also rejoined us. Be sure to check out their posts!


M-ReeD - new blogger


Tourmaline - new blogger


lmno24 - new blogger


MaggieMc - new blogger



John Loz - returning blogger


amichelen - returning blogger


IronWoman - new blogger coming soon


See all blog entries

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Managing Your Subscribed Discussions (Part 3)

Posted September 12, 2016 12:00 AM
Pathfinder Tags: CR4 Tutorial

CR4 discussions are like real life conversations. They start off on topic, and later veer off track as the discussion evolves. Maybe you are subscribed to topics you don't care about anymore. Or you might have returned from vacation and don't have time to read through all of the replies. You want to turn off the new comment indicator (who doesn't love clearing notifications?) but want to remain subscribed. Either way, there is a place on CR4 where you can manage your subscriptions.

Before we get started, here is another post on how to subscribe and unsubscribe to discussions from each discussion's page. It also explains how to change the setting for whether you want to be automatically subscribe to any discussion where you comment.

Accessing Your List of Subscribed Discussions

What am I subscribed to, anyway? Each user has a list of all the posts that he or she is subscribe to. This list can be accessed in several different ways:

  1. Click your user name (near the upper right of each page, beneath the IEEE logo) and then click the View Subscribed Discussions button.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the menu on the right hand side of the page. Under More Options there is a link for My Subscribed Discussions. The Subscribed Discussions link also appears in the Logged In section.
  3. On your smartphone, tap the triangle on the lower right of the screen to expand the menu. Tap CR4 Profile and then View Subscribed Discussions.

Managing Your Subscriptions

Once you make it to your subscribed discussion page, you are able to view the list of posts you are subscribed to. The page shows the title of the post, the date you subscribed, and the date of the most recent comment.

Click the check boxes next to the discussions you want to manage. Scroll to the bottom of the page to take an action. You have two options:

  1. Mark as read - remove the notification for the existing comments to those discussions, but remain subscribed to future comments
  2. Unsubscribe - stop receiving notifications to comments for those discussions

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