Archive for June, 2008


A shortage of baby boomers

The baby boomer generation has been blamed for many things, and now it seems retirement is one of them. So just when you thought that skills shortages were part of a self-regulating mechanism - along the lines of shortages leading to increased remuneration, in turn attracting more students studying to plug the gap - the baby boomers retire en masse, creating a massive shortage at just the time when high-tech industries were looking to expand. (more…)


Reference designs: removing innovation?

It’s rare that an entire new class of equipment springs up, seemingly overnight. But this does appear to be the case with the MID - or mobile Internet device to the uninitiated. And while “springing up overnight” may be something of a cliche redolent of Jack and the Beanstalk, the market predictions for MIDs suggest that the magic beans may well have something to do with the matter. (more…)


Roadrunner wins again

It certainly raised a few eyebrows when it was first mooted, but the decision to use a processor derived from the PlayStation 3’s Cell BE as an accelerator for supercomputing has been vindicated with the unveiling of the Roadrunner - a machine built by IBM for the Los Alamos National Laboratory. And while “world’s fastest” tags are inevitably temporary, the new beast has achieved more than twice the speed of the former title holder (Blue Gene/L), and is the first supercomputer to break the petaflop barrier - and to avoid any confusion, I make that 10 to the 15th power floating point operations per second. (more…)


Other things remaining equal

As one who studied economics during the 1970s, I find it increasingly reassuring that although an undergraduate economics degree is generally awarded as a BSc these days (rather than the BA for which I studied) the subject retains its mystique as an “inexact science”. (more…)

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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