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26 The PCB Design Magazine • January 2015 You know that feeling of excitement after the holidays are over? Getting up with your alarm, digging out clothes that are a little (or a lot) tight after the holiday binge, staring at the bags under your eyes as you brush your teeth, getting into a freezing cold car, and driving in to work for the first time this year? Sure you do. Well, to quote a song by Death Cab for Cutie, "Well, this is the New Year. And I don't feel any different." We've all read about the surge in the U.S. job market, the recovery of the real estate market, the jump in the Dow Jones and the NASDAQ, our renewed strength as a world power with our abundance of oil. So, when are all of these posi- tive events going to lead to greater things for our industry? Without going into too much economics, I think we're seeing a bit of a balancing out. A surge in the American markets is met with volatility in the rest of the world, and we are more of a global economy than ever. Americans are no longer as fearful as they were during the recession of years past, but I still don't feel like partying like it's 1999. From what I've seen here at Intercept, I think it's fair to say that 2014 was a year of building new trends and pouring efforts into research- ing new technologies, but not exactly getting to capitalize on them—not yet! We've seen some larger customers break new ground with more complex projects, while others have simply been working on new revisions of their tried- and-true staple products. Larger, more cash-rich companies are still forging ahead, and smaller businesses are taking it more carefully. Regardless of economics, innovation con- tinues in electronics. Sometimes the changing of methods or materials produces even better innovations than would otherwise have come about. Industry continues to mold itself around its economic conditions, and when times are tenuous, it sometimes serves to humanize an otherwise cold machine. Let's take a look at feature coulmn by Abby Monaco InTerCePT TeChnoloGy SOFTWARE BYTES 2015: A Look at Moving Trends Figure 1: The trend line of the Global Dow in 2014 shows -1.24% growth.

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