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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, New Electronics' editorial team brings you its views on the latest from the electronics industry, putting these developments into context.

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Breaker, breaker …

An email in this morning’s inbox mentions CB radio, causing me to cast my mind back to the late 1970s, when significant efforts were made by the government to stop people communicating.

Don't just pass rules, enforce them

People in the UK are getting the right to force social media companies and online traders to delete their personal data under news laws that will be brought forward over the summer.

The tale of the tape

The recent focus on creating solid state drives based on multilayer, multilevel flash memory could convince you that other means of storing data are redundant. But they aren’t. While SSDs are becoming popular – particularly in the enterprise sector – many other storage formats remain in use.

Broadband upgrade

BT has made an offer to the government to spend £600million to deliver 10Mbps broadband access to everyone in the UK by 2022. Whether the government accepts the offer or decides to use its regulatory powers to push BT further has yet to be seen.

Can the Government build an industrial strategy?

It’s fair to say that politicians, with a few noticeable exceptions, have never really ‘got’ technology. Whilst they have often attempted to make the right noises – Harold Wilson’s allusion in the 1960s to the ‘white heat of the technological revolution’ is an example – their actions have proved very different to their words.

Should industry help UKRI deliver a ‘joined up’ approach?

One element of the Government’s forthcoming Industrial Strategy is a sharpening of the UK’s R&D efforts. Previously handled by a number of research councils, the work is to be coordinated by the newly formed UK Research and Innovation, or UKRI, to be headed by Sir Mark Walport, currently the Government’s chief scientific advisor.

UK R&D: is the focus too narrow?

Last week Prof Sir Mark Walport, who will be the first chief executive of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a new umbrella body that will oversee the distribution of £6bn of research funding, praised the UK government for the additional £4.7billion in funds it has made available for UK Research & Development up until 2020-21.

Will graphene based spinFET break through the CMOS wall?

Graphene has been regarded as a wonder material since Manchester University academics Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov managed to create thin sheets of the 2D allotrope of carbon using adhesive tape. Since then, it seems to have been de rigeur to use graphene for as many applications as possible.

Robotics Week - A Call to Arms

Last week saw the second UK Robotics Week. Coordinated by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s UK-RAS (Robotics and Autonomous Systems) Network it involved 20 universities and over 200 schools and included public lectures, open labs, hackathons, tech weekends, conferences, and a state-of-the-art robotics showcase held at the IET in London.

Living happily ever after?

New research published today by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF) has found that a significant majority of professionals believe that improvements in design, to enable robots to better understand and interact with human behaviour, will be key if we are to reduce the risk of workplace mistakes and accidents that could arise from the introduction of new technologies.

Can Gorillaz’ Noodle help to break the mould?

Readers of New Electronics will be familiar with the continuing expressions of dismay, exhibited by a range of organisations, at the shortage of engineers. Readers will also be familiar with the calls for ‘something to be done’ – whether that’s retraining people from other industries, improving STEM education in schools or refocusing the content of university courses to better suit employers’ needs.

Security flaws continue to be exposed

We all think that connected devices are secure, but one report after another shows the situation is very different. Only recently, New Electronics highlighted vulnerabilities in medical and connected factory devices. Before that, we saw the infamous Jeep hack. And the WannaCry hack affected people and companies alike around the world.

Will Apple buy Imagination?

The ‘For Sale’ sign has gone up outside Imagination Technologies’ Kings Langley headquarters north of London. The news follows quickly after the company said that its MIPS and Ensigma business units were available.

Turning pee into power!

An unexpected energy source, urine could be used to generate enough electricity to ‘slowly’ recharge your smartphone, as well as power smart displays or lights in portable toilets.

Technology to make us super 'men'

What superman could do with his x-ray vision, man can now do with technology. A big leap has been made for 3D through-wall imaging, say researchers at UC Santa Barbara, as it is now possible ‘in flight’ using drones and Wi-Fi.

The battery technology ‘gold rush’

The number of research projects exploring the various aspects of battery technology seems to have increased dramatically over the last year or so. And there’s good reason; pressure from consumers for longer run time, as well as pressure from designers for smaller batteries is demanding new solutions.

Medical devices need better protection against cyberattacks

More than 65% of medical device makers questioned in a recent survey believe an attack on one or more of the products built by or in use in their organisation is likely over the next 12 months. Yet only 17% of respondents are taking ‘significant’ steps to prevent attacks. Alarmingly, 32% of medical device manufacturers believe that no one person or function in their organisation is ‘responsible for device security’.

Post-election the ticking clock of Brexit negotiations grows louder

With the Brexit negotiating clock ticking louder, last week's election has raised more questions than answers for UK business and science. Both have a lot to lose from a hard Brexit and Theresa May's failure to win a majority could mean that a softer Brexit is now more likely. Could her failure have transformed the Brexit negotiating landscape?

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