Can We Trust the Future?

The Oxford Dictionary defines trust primarily as the “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.” Brief history of trust When you really think about it, society could not function or expand without trust. Every day before you get into your car for your daily commute, you effectively trust it…

The Gap Between Politics & Common Sense

MADISON, Wis. — I’m a political aficionado. I follow the vicissitudes and intricacies of politics like baseball fans follow the results, standings, and stats of the Major Leagues. Like any true fan, I linger addictively over the “inside baseball” aspect of politics — the clash of ideologies, unlikely alliances among apparent opponents, the demographics of…

The Perils of Cyberwar Rhetoric

The US government is ratcheting up its rhetoric against China, claiming that state-sponsored Chinese hackers are involved in massive-scale campaigns to steal trade secrets over the Internet. The Chinese government denies this, of course, while claiming that it has discovered numerous attacks against its networks and infrastructure originating from the United States. The allegations fired…

Buyer Beware: Identifying Types of Counterfeit Components

In our previous article, Components Direct EVP of marketing Anne Ting outlined the ongoing problem of gray market and counterfeit components in the electronics supply chain. (See: With Counterfeit Components, Buyer Beware.) Despite the increased emphasis on regulation and enforcement, the porous nature of the supply chain still presents many opportunities for unauthorized components to…

Q&A: Conflict Minerals – Define Your Policy, Start Now

To add clarity to the new conflict minerals requirements, I interviewed Dr. Chris Robertson, Head of Regulatory Compliance at ERA Technology, a UK-based consultancy and a consultant to Compliance & Risks, which provides on-line compliance advice. Dr. Robertson focuses on a wide variety of environmental issues, including RoHS, WEEE, REACH, Conflict Minerals, Eco-design, Sustainability, material…

Tallying the Cost of Compliance

It was never going to be cheap, but adding up the cost of compliance with government rules and regulations is proving to be quite exasperating for businesses and researchers alike. There is no precise price tag. It varies from one company to another even in the same industry and depends on a variety of factors,…

Dead Pigs & Horsemeat: A Supply Chain Wake-Up Call

On the day 3,000 dead bloated pigs were found bobbing in Shanghai's water source, a UK report on the country's horsemeat scandal lambastes supply-chain management practices. The international trade body Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply said supermarkets have “fallen woefully short” in the management of their supply chains, according to the Daily Mail. The…

Sequestration Impact for the Supply Chain, Part 1

Unless Republicans and Democrats see eye-to-eye on government spending over the next couple of days, a practice called sequestering is going to kick in. Under sequestration, all government agencies will see their budgets automatically cut by between 9 percent and 13 percent to save an estimated $85 billion. Even if sequestration is somehow averted, budget…

Want Energy Innovation? Think Tarpaper

BROOKLYN — While I was running a weekly newspaper in Massachusetts, I wrote about a guy named Salvatore who lived next-door on School Street. His response to the first great American oil crisis, when the cost of heating fuel soared to almost a dollar a gallon, was to staple tarpaper to the eastern and southern…