U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia Judge Richard J. Leon has determined that electronic cigarettes are tobacco products and thereby ruled that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cannot block their importation, says a story in the Washington Post.

The Post says that the FDA had confiscated the importation of e-cigarettes since at least 2008, but that two suppliers of the e-ciggies sued.

The Post quotes from the Judge's opinion that, "This case appears to be yet another example of FDA's aggressive efforts to regulate recreational tobacco products as drugs or devices."

The opinion, which is fascinating to read, also makes it very clear that the two e-cigarette suppliers who brought suit are apparently more than happy to keep e-cigarette smokers hooked on nicotine, and that they have little intention of helping smokers quit. In fact, if the suppliers had heavily advertised their products as smoking cessation products, the FDA would have had a much stronger case to ban their importation or at least regulate them.

There are also other dangers with e-cigarettes the FDA says, as I noted last year.

And I still think they look like someone is smoking a small flashlight.

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Digging Into the New QD-OLED TVs

Formerly rival technologies have come together in Samsung displays

5 min read
Television screen displaying closeup of crystals

Sony's A95K televisions incorporate Samsung's new QD-OLED display technology.

Televisions and computer monitors with QD-OLED displays are now on store shelves. The image quality is—as expected—impressive, with amazing black levels, wide viewing angles, a broad color gamut, and high brightness. The products include:

All these products use display panels manufactured by Samsung but have their own unique display assembly, operating system, and electronics.

I took apart a 55-inch Samsung S95B to learn just how these new displays are put together (destroying it in the process). I found an extremely thin OLED backplane that generates blue light with an equally thin QD color-converting structure that completes the optical stack. I used a UV light source, a microscope, and a spectrometer to learn a lot about how these displays work.

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