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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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For consumer electronics, read consumable electronics

Britain is becoming a throwaway society, according to a recent survey which found consumers shun repairs to broken phones, TVs, kettles, laptops, tablets and consumer electricals. Hands up anyone who is surprised by the findings, which seem to suggest that devices such as phones and tablets are now consumables.

According to the survey on behalf of Teleplan, 68.8% of respondents had broken at least one electrical item in the last two years. And more than one in ...

The UK faces a 'wake up call' when it comes to engineering skills

Another month, another warning on the current state of engineering in the UK. EngineeringUK's 'The State of Engineering 2015' says a drastic shortage of engineers is having a significant impact on the future growth potential of the economy and that, unless the UK doubles the number of places for graduates and apprentices in universities, colleges and training centres, we will be surrendering future growth, undermining vital industries and putting the country's infrastructure at risk.

Clever keyboard knows who's using it

Georgia Tech scientists have developed a keyboard that identifies computer users by the way they type. It senses the pressure applied to keys and typing speed – parameters that can, apparently, distinguish one individual user from another. Even if someone knows your password, the thinking goes, they cannot access your computer because they would input the data differently to you.

20 worst passwords revealed

Hands up anyone who is surprised to find out that '123456' is the worst password of 2014. The list was compiled by SplashData from a collection of files dumped after accounts were hacked. Hot on the heels of '123456' is 'password'. Sony, you may remember, was recently hacked and made the hacker's job easier by keeping thousands of internal passwords in a folder called passwords. Whether or not that folder had 'password' as the password is unclear.

Anniversary: RIM announces the BlackBerry in 1999

On 19 January 1999, Research In Motion issued a press release which included this paragraph: 'Research In Motion announced the introduction and availability of BlackBerry, a breakthrough wireless email solution for mobile professionals. As part of the BlackBerry offering, RIM introduced its newest wireless handheld device based on an embedded Intel architecture. The BlackBerry Handheld is optimised for mobile email use and incorporates a 32bit Intel 386 processor, 2Mbyte of Intel flash memory, integrated wireless modem, full keyboard, triple DES encryption technology and email/organiser software. It is designed to be wearable, operate 24 hours per day and run on a single AA alkaline battery'.

Has France taken the UK’s start-up crown?

Radio 4's Today programme recently reported from the Consumer Electronics Show, the monster Las Vegas event. The report covered drones, wearables and the like, but it also touched on technology innovations coming from European firms. Yes, there were lots of small UK based companies present, but the big surprise was the number of French companies there.

Does Britain want to be open to international students or not?

We can all agree that innovation is fundamental to the UK's growth and prosperity and much of that innovation is derived from the skills and knowledge of its scientists, engineers and researchers. The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report for 2013/14 ranked the UK among the top five when it came to the quality of its scientific research institutions, but a lowly 23rd when ranked for the availability of scientists and engineers.

Why aren't you knocking heads together Vince?

Yet again, the value of engineering to the UK's economy has been quantified. This time, EngineeringUK's latest report says the shortfall of engineering staff may cost the UK's economy £27billion a year in 2022 and beyond.

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