As analysts predicted, more environmental laws are headed toward the electronics industry. At a November meeting in France, the European Parliament backed a bill entitled Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH). The law is designed to make companies prove that substances in everyday products such as cars and computers are safe. The properties of roughly 30,000 chemicals produced or imported into European Union (EU) countries would require testing and authorization to be used.
The EU passed the legislation 407 to 155 with 41 abstentions. The rules still need to be agreed upon by EU members and the bill will come back to parliament before it becomes law. REACH will force companies to substitute safe chemicals for hazardous ones when alternatives are available. The bill does not specify whether the RoHS directive renders electronic products clean enough to pass REACH. Industry analysts have argued there are more chemicals in electronic products that will come under scrutiny.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.