A new invention by Xerox
researchers will allow electronic circuits to be printed on fabrics and plastics, according to an October 2009 press release from the printing brand. The new conductive silver ink paves the way for e-readers that can be folded like newspapers, or circuits that can be integrated into clothing and worn. It may make redundant the silicon chip, on which electronics have been dependent.
The Xerox silver ink has a uniquely low melting point for a metal, essential for printing on plastics. While normal metals have a melting point of 1,000 degrees, plastic melts at 150 degrees. Yet Xerox’s silver ink
melts at 140 degrees, meaning the circuit can be printed, before the plastic is compromised. This opens the way for countless applications. Xerox’s press release for example raises the possibility of pill boxes that can measure their remaining contents, ideal for medication.
Speaking in the press release, Laboratory Manager at the Xerox Research Centre in Canada Paul Smith said: "We've found the silver bullet that could make things like electronic clothing and inexpensive games a reality today. This breakthrough means the industry now has the capability to print electronics on a wider range of materials and at a lower cost."
According to an October 2009 post by Dean Takahashi at VentureBeat.com, the silver ink has been in development at Xerox since 2001. The silver ink enables circuits to be printed like an everyday printer, using an ongoing feed. It doesn’t require the clean rooms necessary for making a silicon chip, and bypasses the cost of production. For the first time, circuits could be almost weightless, integrated into the fabric of a shirt.
Scientists have sought this development for some time: Hewlett Packard for example has been working on plastic electronics since the 1990s. Having created a silver ink viable for commercial use, Xerox intends to “aggressively seek interested manufacturers and developers by providing sample materials to allow them to test and evaluate potential applications.” Expect to see electronic billboard t-shirts before the end of the next decade.
No one ever said it was easy to stay within budget in politics. However, a local official of Middlesex, Mass. was recently convicted of employing unconventional means to increase his gains. The bostonchannel.com
reports that John Buonomo, 56, ‘a career politician’ was taped accessing the copier machine to take the office revenue. He repeated this eighteen times over a three month period, in addition to stealing $102,792 from campaign buckets meant as donations.
Buonomo has twice campaigned to become Mayor of Somerville, and ‘spent years working for state and local governments.’ According to Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone: ‘This is a brazen violation of public trust,’ serving to undermine the already shaky relation between voters and their public officials. Among the list of Buonomo’s offence: larceny, the wilful misleading of interrogators, theft of public property, and personal use of campaign funds. He is expected to serve a thirty month sentence.
This is not the only case of ink-related larceny to occur this year. In April, Ayad Al-Musawi of Aloha was convinced of stealing Xerox
ink sticks and selling the cartridges on Ebay. Portlandtribune.com
reported that Al-Musawi was found in possession of 9946 ink sticks by police, amounting to $275,000 in value. Meanwhile, lawyers.com
yesterday reported about Kelly Marie Lipinski, a 41 year old woman accused of making almost $6000 in false ink cartridge returns. It seems where the printing industry is concerned, the entrepreneurial spirit will drive people to almost anything.