Underestimating Uncertainty

The art (or is it science?) of forecasting has failed the electronics market numerous times. As the year ends and forecasters roll out their predictions for 2012, there are no reasons to expect these outlooks for the year ahead will prove any more reliable than previous ones. So, how should the industry approach the turbulence…

Country Watch: Indonesia Carves a Stable Niche

What does the continuing uncertainty of a stubborn global financial crisis mean for Asia's electronics manufacturers? To answer that question, Asia Time is taking a country-by-country look at the region, following the supply chain to see which links are strongest, which are weakest, and where the strains are. Today's stop: Indonesia. If you want to…

A Glimpse Into the Future: Self-Driving Pods

Sometimes I can't help but feel like I'm witnessing the real-world arrival of The Jetsons, a science fiction cartoon I watched with an embarrassing amount of regularity as a kid. In my lifetime, huge leaps forward have been made with computers, robots, the Internet, smartphones, digital cameras, tablets, MP3 players, electric cars, monorails, renewable energy…

It’s About Time

More than a decade ago, electronics distributor Marshall Industries — which was acquired by {complink 577|Avnet Inc.} in 1999 — ran a marketing campaign using the slogan, “It's about time.” Distributors were then, and are now, all about helping customers better manage their schedules. If you think time management has gotten any better in a…

Israel, Barcelona, & High-Tech Glory

As I've previously mentioned, I'm curious about what seems to have become an international obsession with finding the next great Silicon Valley. I don't understand the need for an over-the-top branding effort to give one's city, province, or country a special high-tech tag. Nevertheless, I like watching how innovation moves across regions, wins financial investment,…

The Post Capitalist Society

To paraphrase Peter Drucker in his book, Post Capitalist Society , what Karl Marx envisioned has been achieved in America, and true capitalism is alive today in China. Marx wanted the wealth of companies to be in the hands of the workers. This has been achieved in the West through the holdings of pension funds.…

Celebrating 40 Years of Email & Ray Tomlinson

Who is Ray Tomlinson, and what is he famous for? Tomlinson invented email 40 years ago this summer, in 1971. Tomlinson was born in New York state and attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he participated in a program with IBM. Tomlinson received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from RPI in 1963. After…

Nokia Plans for Growth Despite Dropping Sales

Does {complink 3847|Nokia Corp.} need another manufacturing facility, considering the embattled company is embarking on a major restructure that will involve big headcount cuts? Should Nokia even seek to expand its manufacturing footprint in an environment where industry observers expect shipment of its mobile handset devices to continue dropping ahead of the launch of Microsoft's…

Felix Zandman: The Man Who Wouldn’t Quit

Felix Zandman, founder and chairman of passives components vendor {complink 6199|Vishay Intertechnology Inc.}, faced great odds early in life. But he went on to achieve great things, not least of all founding and nurturing a $3 billion revenue company, thanks to his tenacious attitude. Zandman lost members of his family under Nazi Germany. He lived…