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Tech Smorgasbord Archives - 11

RF Cafe University"Factoids," "Kirt's Cogitations," and "Tech Topics Smorgasbord" are all manifestations of my rantings on various subjects relevant (usually) to the overall RF Cafe theme. All may be accessed on these pages:

 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36

Black - Not Green - in the OPEC Countries

(source: Reuters, et al)

RIYADH, Nov 16 - "The malls are full, the cars are fast, the fashions are sharp - conspicuous consumption is king as Saudis enjoy the benefits of oil at almost $100 a barrel."

So, the countries that design and produce things are told to ride bicycles to work and use fluorescent light bulbs, while the fat-cat oil cartel countries that produce almost nothing live it up. Do you think they buy carbon credits like our own domestic hypocrites do to make themselves feel good?



"Poor Richard's Almanack" Weather Forecasts Never Missed

Benjamin Franklin, known for his wit as well as for his ingenuity, proclaimed the following in his 1737 edition of the publication after being criticized for the forecasts not being spot on: "We modestly desire only the favorable allowance of a day or two before and a day or two after the precise day. If it does not comes to pass accordingly, let the fault be laid upon the printer." In other words, his weather forecasts were always accurate - it was just a matter of when they would come to pass. Today's meteorologist must operate on the same principle.


America's Most

Data-Wired Cities

(source: Forbes)








San Francisco








San Diego






Los Angeles


New York


Boston, MA


Washington, D.C.


Portland, OR


Baltimore, MD









Starbucks Detector

My 2007 Chevy Cobalt has a built-in Starbucks alert. It must, because while driving through Pittsburgh at night this week, I found myself in dire need of caffeine. Problem is, my tolerance for bad coffee is very low, so I have to pass up a lot of opportunities from quick stops and all-night diners. Just as I thought I would need to break out the NoDoz tablets, an audible alarm in the dashboard began chiming. After the initial shock from unexpectedly hearing the alarm, I looked out the window and there was a Starbucks sign. I immediately pulled off the exit and got my caffeine fix. Crisis narrowly averted. I then filled my nearly empty gas tank at the Sunoco station across the street and went on my way.


The Average Engineer

According to the latest Electronic Design survey with about 3,000 responders, here is what constitutes the average engineer.

- Male

- Married

- College graduate

- 49 years old

- Earns $102,748/ year

- 24 years experience

- Works 53 hours/week

- 11 years w/company

- 7 years in position

- Earned 2 promotions

  at current employer

- Has worked for 2 or 3

  different companies

These stats might be un-PC, but they are what they are.



Equivalent College Degree Titles from Around the World

Country Title
U.S.A. Bachelor
Australia Bachelor
Brazil Bacharelado
Canada Bachelor
China Bachelor
Denmark Candidatus
Egypt Bachelor
France Maitrise
Germany Bakkalaureus
India Bachelor
Israel Bachelor
Italy Laurea
Japan Gakushi-go
Netherlands Getuigschrift Hoger Beroepsonderwijs
Norway Candidatus
Poland Licencjat
Russia Bakalavr
Spain Licenciado
Sweden Magisterexamen
U.K. Bachelor
Here is a much more comprehensive list.


How Much of Your Company's Design

Work is Outsourced?

(source: Design News)

Design News' 2007 Salary Survey turned up the following numbers from a pool of 1,125 responders.
Amount Companies
None 22%
1-10% 25%
11-20% 17%
21-30% 9%
31-40% 4%
41-50% 4%
>50% 7%



Top Patent Winners

for 2006

(source: IEEE Spectrum)

478 Boeing, U.S.
288 Lockheed Martin, U.S.
221 Raytheon, U.S.
221 Northrop Grumman, U.S.
152 EADS NV, Netherlands
131 Safran S.A., France
112 Snecma, France
107 Rolls-Royce, U.K
93 Airbus, France
86 Smiths Group, U.K.
86 BAE, U.K
80 Thales, France
61 Goodrich, U.S.
56 Pratt&Whitney, U.S.
53 Rockwell, Collins, U.S.


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    Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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