Hawkshead Designs' Blog
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At the beginning of November the UK government invested £60m into a hypersonic jet capable of taking you anywhere in the world in around four hours. The investment into BAE Systems and Reaction Engines super plane is a massive step forward for the project, and could make the Skylon reality within the next decade.
Printed Electronic Labelling
Earlier this year we blogged about Functionalize, the US-based 3D printing startup and their revolutionary printable filament. The Functionalize F-Electric filament was more conductive than any other 3D printing filament on the consumer market at the time, and worked extremely well with the most popular 3D printers.
Hackers are usually portrayed in one light in the media: using their savant-level computing knowledge to break, enter, steal, disrupt and generally cause malice. They are also usually portrayed as loners, downbeats, recluses, and worse, the general assumption being that you could only act in such a manner if you have issues.
8 Steps to Manufacturing
New product idea? New to electronic product design? If you’re pursuing your inventive streak, we’ve 8 simple steps to push you and your product in the right direction. Follow these and you’ll save time, money, and stress.
Nanobots functioning as part of our bodies and controlling parts of our brains is straight out of sci-fi. There are countless boundaries to cross before this time, though scientists are confident nanobots will form a central pillar in the future of learning.
Steel. The backbone of industry for decades, the workhorse of transport networks, the spine of skyscrapers, the core of turbines, is set to receive a modern makeover. Stronger, lighter, cheaper…better. Steel has been a focal point of industrial strength for many moons, but as our understanding of materials science increases, we are seeing more and more construction staples altered for the better.
The Peeple App
Peeple reminds me of the central tenets to many of my favourite dystopian future novels. An omnipresent central database curated by the people, for the people, with no option to exclude yourself from the service.
The app, launching in November on iOS is literally Yelp for humans, rating and tiering our lives for all to see. The only stipulations? You must be over 21 to review, have an established Facebook account, and use your real name to leave the review (because only people under-21, without Facebook accounts, who also use false-names cause trouble!). Positive reviews will be shown immediately whilst negative views will sit in a holding queue for 48-hours to resolve any conflicts.
Military Modular Product Design
Modular design has been flirting at the edge of popular electronic design. It is enticing: the pace of technological development can force obsolesce on relatively new products, generating e-waste, as well as the time, money, and resource cost.
We haven’t had an e-waste article since early February, so I thought it was about time we looked at the global struggle to cope with the ever-growing mountains of discarded technology. E-waste is one of the single fastest growing global industries, spanning nearly all nations, encapsulating the flow of raw potential material from the West to the rest. We are at an impasse with the world’s e-waste production and the means for recycling.
The Future of Public Transport: Part 5
The final installation in our five week series has arrived. The Future of Public Transport has taken us through four of the most commonly used public transport services: Cars, Buses, Trains and Ships. In this final article we’ll take at the future of air travel, look back at the four services we’ve covered, and consider what it all means.
Wikipedia Editing Extortion
One of the single largest collections of human knowledge, Wikipedia, is again caught in the midst of an extortion scandal whereby editors secretly charge businesses and individuals in order to “protect” articles from future changes.
Due to a quirk of English law, ever popular media centre and focal point of Apple-users' digital lives, iTunes, has been made illegal. Quite by accident, I might add, but it is a move that should have even the most ardent anti-piracy stickers spitting tea at their screens.
Your Latest RAM Upgrade
How big was it? I upped my laptop from a measly 4gb to 8gb, in an upgrade that took all of half an hour to complete. When reading about varieties of RAM I stumbled across a computer with a truly stupendous amount of memory. Mind-blowing amounts. Let’s take a look.
Windows 10 Arrives
Windows 10 has finally arrived! The July 29th release date heralded the culmination of years of Microsoft development, and the arrival of one of the most widely-speculated operating systems throughout the past few years.
The Future of Public Transport: Part 4
We’re back with the Future of Public Transport blog, this month focusing on Shipping. We’ve already covered Cars, Buses, and Trains, bringing us to the penultimate feature in this five-part series. Ships are vital to the ebb and flow of cargo between the continents, and as an island nation we rely heavily on transport ferry services to maintain relatively cheap transport links with Europe.
How are these services evolving? And what does it mean for you and I?
We are delighted to announce that we've added a new string to our business bow. We now have Solidworks capability in-house, meaning that we can fulfill your industrial and mechanical design work on your products seamlessly all under our roof.
Not only can we design casings to fit the electronics we design for you, we can design all aspects of your new product's mechanical structure. We can also provide you and your clients with sketches, drawings and 3D visualisations of your new idea. Pictures speak a thousand words and it's often useful to be able to present images of your projected ideas to get your stakeholders and funders on your side and on board in the early stages of your project.
If you have any questions about Solidworks or about our design services in general, please do give us a call on 01209 216 878.
Cheap Chargers Are A Real Danger
We’ve had my partner’s father to stay recently. He lived with us for around a month, as he does from time to time, when he is back from his Canarian farm. It is jolly nice, and the kids love having him around, as do I. He travels light: a bag, some clothes, toothbrush, etc, and his phone, but never a laptop (the one I gave him years ago is still chugging along, but weighs more than a house-brick), so he uses our iPad2 to communicate with his partner.
The Future of Public Transport: Part Three
Planes, trains, and automobiles. That is what we are looking at in our five-part series evaluating the future of public transport over the next 30-or-so years. We’ve already covered Cars and Buses, and this month we’ll be looking at the future of Trains, and the transport network they run on.
EU Backtracks on Net Neutrality
A very double-edged sword was delivered to European citizens at the end of June. At the end of a somewhat extended period of deliberation European Union representatives voted to end mobile roaming charges throughout the 28 member states. It is a move many, including myself, have long pushed for and the success is jolly nice. Come June 2017, roaming charges will be removed, and you’ll be able to browse the web as you like, wherever you are in the EU.
Grexit Boost to Alt-Currencies?
By the time you read this, Greece will have defaulted upon its international debt obligations and, depending on the outcome of this issue, could have been removed from the shared Euro currency. Depending on who you are, this could be bad, or really bad. I don’t believe there are too many winners in this situation, other than currency traders shorting the Euro vs USD, Yen, or Swiss Franc.
A free virtual private network provider (VPN), Hola, has been selling unwitting Internet users home networks to the highest bidders – usually coming in the form of malicious botnets. Whilst some users may use the free VPN to access restricted sites, such as the US version of Netflix from anywhere else in the world, it is clear that this discrepancy is much, much worse.
A $100,000 Cheque
A $100,000 cheque awaits a mystery women who accidentally passed off a working Apple 1 to a recycling firm, following the death of her husband. The boxes, full of electronics, were removed as part of a massive clear-out. Cleaning firm, Clear Bay Area, only discovered the vintage Apple a couple of weeks later once they had cleared their own backlog of boxes.
Watson Holds the Meaning to Life
IBM supercomputer Watson has been chomping through TED talks at a rate we could only dream of. Some 2,000 TED talks, in fact, making Watson jolly intelligent. You see, Watson isn’t like any other supercomputer. Watson is an artificially intelligent supercomputer that learns over time, organising and structuring data so that it can accurately answer a massive amount of questions, contextual, existential, and more.
The Future of Public Transport: Part Two
We are back, focusing on the second installation of the Future of Public Transport series. Our first edition explored the potential evolution of cars within the next 30-or-so years, and we came to the conclusion that flying vehicles will happen, but without a definitive timeframe due to the limitations of existing technologies, and certain advances required in safety and traffic management.
The Future of Public Transport: Part One
Public transport has long been noted as a catalyst for economic and societal growth. Mass transit systems and long-distance travel, be that by rail, air, water or land, have consistently enabled our civilisation to expand.
Consider the earliest sailors. Their ability to traverse great distances in unlikely vessels forged a deeper mystification of exploration, and whilst much of the globe is now entirely debunked, we still rely on the most common forms of travel to reach our chosen destinations. With that in mind, I thought we’d take a quick look at how transport may evolve in the next 30-or-so years, in a five part series.
Graphene in the Processing Arms Race
Last week we discussed the possibility of processing prediction Moore’s law coming to an end within the coming decades. Moore’s law states processing power will double, whilst the size of the processor will decrease in size each and every year. Some believe this already coming to an end, others believe we have some way to go yet. Either way, the cost of processor development is always growing – understandably, considering the power, size and years of R&D in every chip.
Processing Arms Race
The race to stay at the forefront of processing power has seen the biggest and best in the field fork out billions of dollars on sprawling design/manufacturing campuses located around the world. Processor designers are up against it. As our desires for technology to rapidly evolve, to be faster, smaller, stronger, better in every way ramp up, so must the design work behind the scenes.
Translating F1 to The Real World
I’m a huge F1 fan. I have been since I was very, very young, and I think unless something drastic ever happens, I will be forever. I remember being woken up by my Dad on a Sunday to watch races in Adelaide, Suzuka, Brazil and Argentina, and I remember the loss of my first hero, Aryton Senna, with a pain that still holds true today.
Still one of the fastest growing global markets, e-waste is an ongoing issue for consumers and those lumped with the clear-up, too. It is estimated only 25% of global e-waste is regularly collected, with residents in many countries simply unaware that schemes are available to help them dispose of their electronic goods. It can be done safely, securely and responsibly.