Archive for January, 2008


What can you expect in your new job?

If the pundits are to be believed, as many as one in four of you reading this newsletter will change job this year. And that is at the conservative end of prognoses for the turnover rate in the electronics industry. So what can you expect in your new job? And what can you do to improve your chances of making a move for the better? (more…)


Electronics industry in the dock

Judgement day looms this week for a quartet of electronics manufacturers who have been called give evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee as part of its ongoing inquiry into waste management.

Senior representatives from Sony, Panasonic, Philips and Hewlett Packard will give evidence on Tuesday 29th January on what measures the electronics industry is taking to reduce waste.

The committee began its enquiry last August, and seems to have clearly defined its objectives. The companies will particularly be asked to explain how waste-reduction strategies affect product design, as well as detailing the use of recycled materials in their products.

Its findings will prove interesting, if nothing else providing a progress report on the impact of the RoHS and WEEE Directives.


The phenomenon that is the games console market

The old adage that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is all well and good. But in a world going madder by the minute, it’s worth remembering that the electronics industry (usually) has a serious purpose. (more…)


GPS to become a handset must-have

It’s funny how the public perception of certain technologies changes with time. Not so very long ago, the “Big Brother is watching you” syndrome was still a very real fear for many consumers. Yet now, with CCTV accepted in our cities as an antidote to security threats, the idea that somebody up there knows exactly where you are is almost becoming a security blanket.

And this is the backdrop that is enabling location-based services to permeate society to the extent that within the next year or so, GPS will become a must-have in all manner of portable electronics. Indeed, analyst Berg Insight is predicting that global shipments of GPS-enabled handsets will grow from 175 million units in 2007 at a CAGR of 26.2% to reach 560 million units in 2012.

Such rapid adoption of GPS technology will certainly enable a range of new location–based services. But will the “man in the street” ever be truly convinced that he isn’t being tracked by an undesirable agency?


2008 could be a very happy new year

The Electronicstalk Newsletter returns (almost) to normal this week with the highlights from the website since our last regular issue on 18th December 2007. And while the question of whether the industry will be hit by the crisis affecting global credit markets remains valid, in the intervening period there have been a number of encouraging signs. (more…)


Blu-ray ahead in format war

Regular readers will know that I am a keen follower of all format wars. Perhaps this fascination on my part may come from having bought not one but two Betamax VCRs in the early days of the format!

For manufacturers, though, the costs of backing the wrong horse can be catastrophic, and so anyone considering designing an HD-DVD drive into their latest project might do well to take five minutes to reconsider.

Sony, for once, appears to be in pole position in the high-definition DVD race with the news that Universal Studios – which had previously devoted itself exclusively to the HD-DVD format – has agreed to start producing movies in Blu-ray format. This, coming on top of the decision by Warner Bros to abandon HD-DVD altogether, seems to put Blu-ray firmly in the lead in the software end of the battle.

One company that has come up with a neat way of helping software distributors to hedge their bets is Ritek, which has begun producing the perfect media for those who can’t make up their minds. The company’s new recordable DVD has both formats covered, with HD-DVD on one side and Blu-ray on the other.


AFDEC endorses National Electronics Week

Although not quite as competitive as the US presidential primaries, the publicity barrage between the UK’s two major electronics exhibitions seems to be warming up as each party gathers more support.

The latest move comes from the newcomer, the National Electronics Week (or NEW), which has enlisted the support of AFDEC, the Association of Franchised Distributors of Electronic Components, in addition to the previously announced support of global trade association IPC which will be running a series of high-profile seminars during the event.

The AFDEC signing is particularly apposite, as the NEW is billing itself as focusing on all aspects of the electronic components supply chain. And given that AFDEC’s membership spans both the UK distribution community and their principals, it will be interesting to see how this support will affect the number and calibre of exhibitors at the exhibition. Surely, it would only take a handful of top line component manufacturers to make NEW a must-attend event for a large audience of component buyers and specifiers.

National Electronics Week will be held at Earls Court, London, from 17th to 19th June 2008.

About the Author

Electronicstalk and this Editor's Blog are edited by Laurence Marchini

Laurence Marchini

Laurence Marchini began his career in the electronics press with the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1980, cutting his teeth on a variety of learned and member publications, ranging from IEE Proceedings to Electronics and Power. He moved on to join the launch team of the innovative weekly Electronics Express in 1986, and became Editor just 18 months later. Sadly, Electronics Express lasted just four and a half years, wound up by the infamous Robert Maxwell. However, Laurence had already jumped ship and joined the world of electronics PR with the agency of the 1990s, Smith and Jones Communications. It seemed Laurence was lost to the world of journalism. But after 11 years we managed to lure him back as launch editor of Electronicstalk. Laurence is married to Sally and has a young son, Alexander.

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