The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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A Dutch scientist has discovered that of the new electronics products returned to retailers for not working properly, half in fact work perfectly well. Their users just can't figure out how to operate them.

Elke den Ouden, a Ph.D. candidate at the Technical University of Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, found that 50 percent of product complaints for consumer electronics such as cellphones and home entertainment systems are being logged in as design issues. But manufacturers simply ignore these gripes as nuisances--they don't go back to look at whether they've inadvertently built something that is too complicated for its intended use.

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The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

2 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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