Is Your Supply Chain Protected Against Cyberattack?

When you think about supply chain risks, what's often mentioned is not something related to the physical supply chain. Rather, it's the growing number of IT-related cyberthreats that could do serious damage. A recent report from the Georgia Institute of Technology on emerging cyberthreats, for instance, includes information around exactly this theme. Give the report…

Technology Enters the Gun Debate

Even though it was a bit off topic, David Benjamin's blog Need a Reminder? Prohibition Doesn’t Work! has generated a lot of discussion. The topic is guns, and there actually is a high-tech angle to this debate: smart guns. A New York Times report says technology could play a role in gun control: Technology exists,…

E-Waste: Not Easy at All

As I was waiting in line at a retailer last month to pick up a new laptop and tablet, I noticed a number of people standing around dollies loaded with old, dusty CRT TVs. They waited patiently — even longer than I waited for my new electronics. Since I did not see any notices of…

How Patent Trolls Stifle Innovation

The latest figures on lawsuits filed by patent assertion entities (PAEs) reveal a frightening trend that suggests this activity will remain a threat to American high-tech innovation and competition in 2013. In the first 11 months of 2012, PAEs initiated 61 percent of US patent lawsuits, after initiating 45 percent of them in 2011 and…

NDAA, DLA, DNA… Still Clear as Mud

Industry and government continue to hammer away at anti-counterfeiting measures. Dan Deisz of Rochester Electronics recently presented at the Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) & Standardization Conference, which focuses on government-related matters. Deisz shared the following observations. NDAA Henry Livingston of BAE reported on the impact of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA),…

Conflict Minerals: Electronic Firms Aren’t Slacking on Compliance

The global marketing and analytics company IHS Corp. recently issued a press release titled “Vast Majority of Electronic Companies Not Yet Ready for U.S. Conflict Minerals Law.” IHS surveyed large electronic original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and found 90 percent haven't yet produced the necessary data, declarations, or documentation needed to fulfill regulatory requirements. Only 11.3…

Patents War: First to File vs. First to Invent

There's a little known court case that could have significant implications for US patent law, and the electronics industry should know about it. The case, which was recently filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Tampa Division), involves Florida businessman Mark Stadnyk who is suing the US government over…

The Anti-Science of Anti-Regulation

Last week, I mildly mocked the efforts of the mobile phone industry to “self-regulate” the idiot practice of texting-while-driving. This prompted way more comments than I usually get, reminding me that anti-regulation — an ideology long promulgated by the forces FDR once aptly labeled “Organized Money” — has been so well marketed that we all…