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AM signals: Zumwalt at sea, hairdryer blowback, supply-chain complexity

Dec. 8, 2015

“Thin, flexible and printed batteries have the potential to be widely used in wearable and medical devices and will reach a market of over $400 million in a decade,” reports Dr. Xiaoxi He, technology analyst at IDTechEx. Companies working on the technology include Blue Spark, Enfucell, FlexEl, Imprint Energy, ProLogium, and STMicroelectronics (EnFilm). The IDTechEx report “Flexible, Printed and Thin Film Batteries 2015-2025: Technologies, Forecasts, Players” has details.

Boston.com has photos of the 15,000-ton USS Zumwalt cruising from Bath Iron Works to sea trials yesterday. According to the Portland Press Herald, “It’s a momentous occasion for Bath Iron Works and the Navy, which have invested an estimated $4.3 billion and more than four years building the first version of a next-generation ‘stealth’ destroyer.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that IBM “faced blowback for asking women to re-engineer hairdryers to get women interested in science….” Some women on social media reported they were too busy working on robotics and DNA sequencing to #HackAHairDryer.

Alberto Della Chiesa, vice president for supply chain solutions at STMicroelectronics, warned at a Future Electronics conference in Leipzig that OEMs must rethink how they manage electronic-component demand. As reported in Electronics Weekly, he cited “…the increasing complexity of the interactions among semiconductor manufacturers, foundries, packaging facilities, test establishments, OEMs, and end users….”

Politicians and some technologists say social media companies do not do enough to shut down the accounts of terrorist organizations, according to the New York Times. However, David Green, director for civil liberties at the Electronic Frontier Foundation says that government should not be delegating decisions about free speech to private enterprises.

Electronic health records are disliked by some doctors and could pose security risks, as previously reported. They are also expensive. The Boston Globe reports today that the switch to a new EHR system has contributed to the first budget shortfall in over 15 years at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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