Mike Hastings, marcom manager for Texas Instruments Standard Linear and Logic Semiconductor Group, had a really big phone bill recently. Due to a computer glitch, several design engineers who ordered samples of TI logic parts received something else instead: An automatic reply tersely advising them that their order had been kicked out of the system for review. Why? Because they had exceeded their sample quota. Complaints from some extremely irritated engineers quickly made their way up the corporate hierarchy to Mike, who suddenly went from having a good day to a bad day. "Talk about a stupid error," says Mike. "Our goal is to get samples into the hands of engineers." To make good on his word, Mike personally called every engineer and apologized. They got their parts the next day. And, presumably, as many more samples as they want.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
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