Editorial: Your new E&T - Good enough to eat

"Now, with new, tastier pages" promises the cover of this relaunch issue. And to make good on that promise, someone had to take a bite out of the cover for our new chief designer to use as a template - and, yes, that person was me.

Well, it's best to put your mouth where your money is. But I'd like to point out that the bite has been blown up several times - my mouth isn't really that big!

I can reveal to anyone with even the most adventurous tastes that standard laser printer paper doesn't match up to the 'printed food' that is served up by Homaro Cantu's restaurant in Chicago - which is the subject of this issue's cover story.

“This type of technology could help solve hunger problems around the world,” he told us. However, I'm not so sure his understanding of Third World issues matches his creativity in the kitchen or the lab.

After all, if you can send starving people print cartridges filled with food why not just send them the food? That way they can eat it straight away without having to find somewhere to plug in a printer, struggle with the cartridges, clear the paper jams (no pun intended this time) and wait for it to warm up...

The buzz is about the Web right now, but rest assured print is quietly evolving too. Publishers are starting to print books 'on demand' (p27), and engineers are pushing print into three dimensions (p24). But is the future flavoured? Moto's sounds like fun but if edible print or printed food has a future beyond his restaurant it will be in marketing - perhaps in flyers or magazine adverts.

Our printers would have to meet a few hygiene laws before we can make our magazine literally better tasting. But we have taken the seven fascinating flavours of our bi-monthly magazines and gently folded them into the monthly Engineering & Technology to cook up one well-rounded, much meatier main course every fortnight. The features range right across the industry sectors.

It starts with electronics, where Chris Edwards has compiled his own data on device density and come up with some surprising facts that challenge Gordon Moore's most famous law. The control and automation pages raise some issues for air traffic control. You can read about the surprising potential of osmosis in the power section or how to hack a human in the IT pages. A special report on India fills the manufacturing section. And, to round off our main course, the communications pages catch up with Formula 1 telemetry. Phew!

But first there's a starter of news and views, including our new 'corridors of power' dispatch which kicks off with Paul Dempsey in Washington (p14). Like a good dessert to finish, Michael Chu continues this issue's food theme with the first of his new column, 'Cooking for Engineers'. He'll take turns in the last page slot with our own features editor, Vitali Vitaliev.

As you can see from the cover, I've literally got my teeth into the new Engineering & Technology. Now it's your turn.

Bon appétit.

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