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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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Ultra's flat battery

Sir Ian Orr-Ewing's 'bitter disappointment' in June 1970 was understandable as early Sonobuoys were fraught with problems

Richard Noble's Bloodhound Project diary

I apologise – my web updates always seem to be late and I feel I am letting you down! The reality is that with a team hell bent on achievement, Bloodhound moves at a massive pace and we find ourselves working all hours.

DSP specialist tries to silence vuvuzelas

In response to unprecedented complaints from FIFA World Cup tv viewers and broadcasters, digital signal processing specialist Waves Audio has announced a solution which it claims dramatically reduces the continuous noise of the vuvuzela horn.

Are we heading for over capacity again?

The semiconductor industry is probably the one sector that defies conventional economics by continually failing – or at least being unable – to match supply with demand. The consequence is a long history of boom, followed by bust. Are we set for another round?

Time for a fresh look at manufacture

The double whammy of the global financial crisis (GFC) and subsequent financial melt down in Europe has challenged the very core of how we do business, both locally and on a world scale.

Heroes or zeroes?

The 'noughties' – the first decade of the Millennium – has been called a lost decade for the semiconductor industry, with effectively zero growth. But things are about to change, if you subscribe to the bullish outlook of Future Horizon's chairman Malcolm Penn. Here are his predictions for semiconductor revenue growth in the next few years.

What on earth is going on at Foxconn?

As bad publicity goes, Chinese contract manufacturer Foxconn has had its fair share in the last few months. Since January, the Shenzhen based contract manufacturer – whose customers include Apple, Dell and HP – has had to contend with no less than nine employees jumping to their deaths from the factory roof.

How will BIS fare when Government cuts come?

"My department will be the department for growth. We need to develop a stronger, more balanced economy that is less dependent on the City by building on the strengths of our manufacturing and knowledge industries." Strong words from Vince Cable, the new business secretary. But how easy will it be for him to deliver on that statement?

Andy Green's Bloodhound Project diary

We've been talking about the move from 'research programme' to 'build phase' for the last few months. Having proved that we can build the world's first 1000 mph Car, it's time to get on with it. For reasons I can't really explain, the change has happened quite suddenly and noticeably. In military terms, we're now on a 'war footing' – the preparation is largely over and it's time for action!

Manufacturing is a priority

Now the political horse trading is over, it's time to get on with running the country again and the consensus is the economy - and reducing the country's borrowing - is priority number one.

I make documents…

A friend of mine spends most of his working hours designing huge steel contraptions that mount on the back of equally huge earthmoving vehicles – things like multi-baffled tanks, earth scrapers, lifting jigs and so on. They're heavy duty, but nonetheless quite sophisticated designs, as it happens.

Hoping for change

On the day when the country goes to the polls, regardless of our various political views, it must be hoped that whatever government emerges from the process appreciates and supports manufacturing industry.

Flash in the pan?

A war of words is underway between Apple and Adobe about the former's decision not to allow Flash technology on many of its products.

The worm hasn't turned

Every once in a while, you look at the results of a research project and ask yourself how the participants managed to come up with the topic.

Why would Apple buy ARM?

The Silly Season normally opens for business around the end of July and lasts until early September. It's the time when newspapers fill their pages with stories that wouldn't make it to the page at any other time of the year. But the rumour that Apple is about to buy ARM, according to the London Evening Standard, suggests the season has opened early this year.

As NXP starts IPO process, other companies watch with interest

NXP has experienced what can certainly be called 'interesting times' since it was acquired from Philips in September 2006 by a consortium of private investment companies led by KKR. Even in what were then seen to be good times, the purchase price of more than €8billion – more than $10bn – was seen as generous and a good whack of that ended up on NXP's balance sheet as 'leveraged debt'.

The greater the challenge…

Last week, the first solar powered aircraft designed to circle the globe successfully completed its maiden flight. Chief designer, Bertrand Piccard enthused that exploration is not just about breaking records, but breaking preconceptions. "The greater the challenge, the better the technology needed to meet it," he observed.

The MicroTAC lingers on

Are you nostalgic for the mobile phones of yore, which weighed a lot, had little battery life and could only access patchy coverage? Strangely enough, almost 5% of respondents to a recent survey expressed a preference for Motorola's MicroTAC, pictured, a 20 year old analogue mobile phone.

Web power

As we head towards April, Christmas seems like a distant memory, but you may recall the not-so-seasonal number one single by Rage Against The Machine. The 2009 Christmas 'message' being, "We've had enough of the string of Christmas number ones produced by Simon Cowell."

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