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Tech Smorgasbord Archives -  18

RF Cafe University"Factoids," "Kirt's Cogitations," and "Tech Topics Smorgasbord" are all manifestations of my ranting 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 | 37

2008 Electronic Design Salary Survey

(source: Electronic Design)

ED just released its 2008 results based on nearly 3,000 responses. Here are numbers by age for total compensation.
24 $54,989
25-29 $73,445
30-34 $84,917
35-39 $93,666
40-44 $108,594
45-49 $109,218
50-54* $117,768
55-59 $114,739
60 $108,544
* This is my age group. Boy am I ever pulling the average down! My apologies.



An Impressively Nerdy Use of the Google Android

(source: RF Cafe)

Received in an e-mail: "This toy [Android  G1 phone] is a real nifty piece of technology. The nerdiest feature I've found so far is that you can use the internal accelerometer as a control for a Pac-Man download (instead of the trackball)... you tilt the phone as if Pac-Man were a ball in one of those kids toys, and he moves in the direction a ball would roll. One of the cooler features is another download that lets you change settings depending on where you are -- for instance, when I'm close to home (by GPS), I have it turn on Wi-Fi, turn my ringer down at night and up during the day... etc. Anyway -- back to work for me ... Lance"


Ever Heard of a Graphechon Tube?

(source: RF Cafe)

RF Cafe: RCA Graphechon Tube ad in the July 8, 1950 Saturday Evening PostNeither had I, until I saw it mentioned in an ad for RCA televisions in a 1950 edition of The Saturday Evening Post. My curiosity was piqued enough to do some research.

Text in the ad declares, "Scientists at RCA Laboratories work with split-seconds of time too infinitesimal for most of us to imagine. Their new electron tube, the Graphechon, makes it possible." Sound like the forerunner to the high persistence CRT?



2008 EU Top 50 R&D Investment Scoreboard

(source: EC IRI)

Here are rankings as reported by the EU's annual Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard.



1 5600 Microsoft
2 5500 GM
3 5500 Pfizer
4 5400 Toyota
5 5300 Nokia
7 5200 Ford
8 5000 Roche
9 4900 Volkswagen
10 4800 Daimler
12 4500 Samsung
13 4400 Glaxo SmithKline
18 3600 Matsushita
21 3300 Alcatel-Lucent
22 3300 Siemens
27 3100 Motorola
30 2700 EADS



How Bell Labs Creates Star Performers

(source: Harvard Business Review)

In the 1990s Bell Labs found that its most valued and productive engineers were not those with the highest IQs, but those who excelled in personal and group cooperation skills. In fields like computer programming, an 8:1 difference between the productivity of stars and average workers was reported. Prior to the study, managers assumed star performers must have higher IQs, be better problem solvers, or be driven by an enormous will to win.



(source: MS MVP)

RF Cafe: World DVD regions mapThe world is a segregated place as far as DVDs are concerned. The 6 DVD "regions" are shown in the map. Region 0 plays on all drives. 1st gen (RPC1) DVD drives can play any region, depending on installed software. RPC 2 drives come normally with a 5-change limit on regions, after which your drive is permanently locked to the last region it was set to. Resetting with pirate software is difficult at best. Many travelers have been burned when buying DVDs while abroad, then getting locked out back home. Caveat emptor.


Air Force Cyber Command

(source: AFCCYBER)

Secure communications have always been a major concern for national security. Lives, fortunes, and civilizations have depended on it. Message encoding, protection from interception, and vigilance against espionage have been the primary methods used by security and defense agencies. Air Force Cyber CommandDue to the advent of the Internet and similar technologies, the challenge has grown in such magnitude that on September 17, 2007, the Air Force Cyber Command (AFCYBER) was officially born. It is tasked with protecting the nation's secret information against unauthorized access from the realms of cyberspace.


Greenpeace Ranks Electronics Manufacturers

(source: Conformity)

Scores are assigned (10 is best) based on efforts to eliminate harmful chemicals from products, and to recycle products once discarded by consumers.

Company Score
Sony Ericsson 5.1
Sony 5.1
Nokia 4.8
Samsung 4.5
Dell 4.5
Toshiba 4.3
Acer 4.3
Panasonic 4.3
Motorola 4.3
Hewlett Packard 4.3
Sharp 3.9
Lenovo 3.9
Philips 3.7
Fujitsu Siemens 3.7
Microsoft 2.15
Nintendo 0.8

Keep in mind that these folks have a history of acts of piracy on the high seas (and terrorism in other places).



Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century

(source: NAE)

Results are in. The National Academy of Engineering's publication, "A Century of Innovation: Twenty Engineering Achievements That Transformed Our Lives," placed these ten technologies at the top of their list.

Here are the rest.

1 Electrification
2 Automobile
3 Airplane
4 Water Supply and Distribution
5 Electronics
6 Radio and Television
7 Agricultural Mechanization
8 Computers
9 Telephone
10 Air Conditioning and Refrigeration


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