Latest Blogs

Whether it’s comment on a recent story, a slightly irreverent look at the latest news or an expression of complete disbelief, the New Electronics editorial team brings you their views on the latest from the electronics industry, putting these developments into context.

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I’m allergic to batteries!

Every so often, we see a story that is immediately classified under the heading ‘you couldn’t make it up’.

Over the years, these stories have included the idea that a lobster’s eye could be used as part of a lithography system, the similarity between the nervous system of a nematode worm and computer chips, a computer based on the swarming activities of soldier crabs, a slime mould that might be used to perform basic computing operations and, one of the more ...

More electric planes, maybe, but just how much electric?

Air travel, despite the efforts of some to discourage its use on environmental grounds, is big business – not only for aircraft manufacturers, but also for operators. Its popularity is indicated by the fact that, at peak times, around 10,000 commercial aircraft will be aloft. Yet the economics of air travel are such that everyone involved in the business is looking for ‘efficiencies’ – everything from less expensive aircraft to those which consume less fuel.

There are wisps of smoke, but is there any fire?

Last year, Toshiba was engulfed in an accounting scandal following the discovery in April 2015 that it had overstated profits by nearly $2billion during the preceding seven years. The reason was, apparently, that aggressive profit targets set by the management could not be met without a spot of 'creative accounting'.

Points to consider when selecting external power supplies for home healthcare applications

With life expectancy rates rising and the associated costs of patient care soaring, medical providers are looking at ways of reducing costs while still maintaining a high level of treatment. With this, the solution of treating and monitoring patients in their homes is gaining prominence. Medical regulators recognise that there are implications and unique risks associated with these home devices but what point should we consider when selecting the external power supply?

Updates to Xilinx execs' employment agreements fuel acquisition speculation

Last year saw spent semiconductor companies spending more than $100billion in the acquisition of other organisations – whether market rivals or those who brought complementary technology. As the year closed, industry watchers wondered whether or not the so called ‘merger mania’ would continue into 2016 and the general view was ‘yes’.

Predictable passwords remain too popular

You would think that, with all the horror stories about computers being hacked into, people would make at least some effort to protect their information by using a strong password. But no. The latest list of the most popular, compiled by Splash Data from 2million leaked passwords, show the old favourites remain, well, favourite. But it is encouraging to see some effort being made to throw hackers off the scent by adding a zero to the end of 123456789 as well as the use of qwertyuiop.

From Makerspace to Marketplace: unlimited possibilities to change the world

For decades, most new products have been developed by trained engineers and brought to market by well funded companies. But things are changing. Today, many breakthroughs are being developed by ‘Makers’ – anyone from inventors to children. One Maker with his own Kickstarter funded business is 13 year old Quin Etnyre, while ALS patient Patrick Joyce and his 2015 winning Hackaday team of Makers created an eye-controlled wheelchair system. Another, a vineyard owner, took on the California drought with a sensor-driven system that saved 430,000 gallons of water in its first year.

Ask school kids what problems they want to solve

It seems that everyone agrees the UK doesn’t have enough engineers to meet industry’s current needs, let alone the needs for the coming years. In case you haven’t been following the debate, EngineeringUK says manufacturing industry will need another 182,000 people per year with engineering skills in the next five years, but notes there is a current annual shortfall of 55,000 skilled workers. If these jobs were filled, it contends, the UK’s economy could benefit to the tune of £27billion per year.

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