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Oil, paper, clouds and, eek... Brexit

25th November 2019
Joe Bush

Steve Rogerson looks at some of the news that may have missed the front page.

Regular readers will know my dislike of companies ditching their traditional name for something dreamed up by a marketing team, but in reality sounds like an idea written on the back of a beermat after a few pints. Well, one company that seems to be shunning that trend, at least for the time being, is Analog Devices.

At its recent press event in Limerick, Senior Vice President Martin Cotter was asked directly if there were any name change plans in the offing as, after all, analogue sounds a little old fashioned in this digital era. Someone even said maybe it should be Mixed Signal Devices.

“The world is analogue,” Cotter responded. “A true representation of the world is more analogue today than it has ever been. We are very happy with where we are and we will stay true to what we are.”

All well and good, but then he spoiled it by adding: “Maybe we will change it one day.”

I remember once, during a particularly prolonged period of bad weather, overhearing somebody suggesting it was because people kept uploading things to the clouds - I kid you not. I suspect Leo McHugh from Analog Devices had heard something similar as he was quick to tell journalists at the press event: “There is no cloud. Sorry to disillusion you but the cloud is just someone’s big PC.” That could explain why the weather was quite nice in Limerick.

There were some slick presentations at the ELIV electronics in vehicles conference in Bonn. First we had Siegmar Haasis, CIO for R&D at Mercedes-Benz Cars, describing data as the new oil. Christoph Grote, Senior Vice President for Electronics at BMW, then said it was software that was the new oil, but added: “It is like a gold rush.” And, continuing the theme, Joachim Langenwalter,

NVidia’s Director of Automotive Software, said either way it was crude oil and needed processing. Let’s just hope they don’t slip on it.

I was amazed to discover there is a European Paper Bag Day – 18th October, apparently. Now, I have managed to avoid mentioning Brexit in the years I have been doing this column, but I have to step into the waters now and wonder how we can possibly leave something that has a Paper Bag Day. If this had been publicised, it would have swung the poll the other way.

Am I the only one who was a bit worried at the announcement that Russian scientists have printed a helicopter? I am not talking a toy helicopter here but one of those big things that people fly in. OK, reading further, they have only printed the case that goes round the engine. However, when I think of printers I think of paper jams and messy ink cartridges. Not what I want to fly in.

Image: I must admit when I read the headline on the press release that said ‘massage robot’, this was not what came to mind. Apparently, as the picture shows, you lie on a specially designed camp bed from Gtech and the robot trundles along underneath using its rollers to ease away those pains. Looks fun though

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