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Tech Smorgasbord Archives - 20

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

Nuclear Fission Event Reported in Earth Orbit

(source: Space.com)

RF Cafe: Iridium satellite constellationA news report on February 11, 2009, told of a "very low-probability" impact between an expired Russian Cosmos satellite and one of the operational Iridium satellites. Both were traveling more than 16 kmph at an altitude of 491 miles. Total destruction ensued, with two clouds of debris to be added to the ESA's animation. The Iridium System originally was to consist of a constellation of 77 satellites - think Bohr atomic model of the 77th element in the periodic table. Budget cuts forced a reduction to just 66 satellites - the Dysprosium System. We now have the Terbium System (65). Can you hear me now?


2009 Economic Freedom

World Rankings

(source: The Heritage Foundation)

Ten freedoms are factored in, from property rights to entrepreneurship.
Rank Country Score
1 Hong Kong 90.0
2 Singapore 87.1
3 Australia 82.6
4 Ireland 82.2
5 New Zealand 82.0
6 United States 80.7
7 Canada 80.5
8 Denmark 79.6
9 Switzerland 79.4
10 United Kingdom 79.0
19 Japan 72.8
25 Germany 70.5
35 Taiwan 69.5
40 South Korea 68.1
64 France 63.3
132 China 53.2
146 Russia 50.8
179 North Korea 2.0
100-80=Freest, <50=Most Repressed


Conspiracy Uncovered

(source: Sky & Telescope)

Is there a common theme with these two images? Maybe that both are religious symbols seen all throughout the land? One is a church building, and the other is... a power distribution pole. I smell an ACLU lawsuit here demanding the removal of such blatant religious symbols as are these poles - at least those on public land. Separation of Church and State requires as much (is that really in the Constitution?). The source of the images? Sky & Telescope magazine; it is part of their monthly all-sky star chart. Those fanatics at S&T must be sending a subliminal message.

Remember, you heard it here first!


More Print Tech Media Admits to e-Pain

(source: Military & Aerospace)

"...We've switched from a tabloid format... It fits easily into a briefcase... or even folded into a jacket pocket. This is what we're telling everybody, anyway. When we deliver this schpeil[sic] to friends at trade shows and other gatherings, they listen patiently and politely. Then comes ... 'Yeah, yeah, that's all nice; what's the REAL reason you're changing the book from a tabloid to standard magazine?' Here's the honest answer: We're keeping our print magazine relevant in the Internet age.

Some folks say print is dead. We say print is as important as it ever was–except that it has to reinvent itself to live happily and productively beside that 500-pound gorilla we know as the Internet."

- John Keller

Print might not be dead, but it is on life support.


The Average Electronics Asian Engineer in 2008

(source: EDN)

When you boil down all of the statistics, here is what the average EE looked like in 2008:

• $47,585 salary

• 7.4% raise

• 4.7 yrs in current job

• 5.3 yrs w/employer

• 51 hours/week

• years of experience

• 32% ≥Master's degree

• Works at big company

• Wears many hats


U.S. Trade Balance in High-Tech Goods 2000-2004

(source: NSF Website)

If you think that the U.S. has gotten into the bad habit of importing more high tech products than it exports... then you are correct. It is not difficult to extrapolate to the next few points through 2007, but seeing the 2008 and 2009 data will be very interesting.


30 Best Small Electronics Companies

(source: Electronic Business)

This list represents the 2004-2006 timeframe. Rankings are based on yr/yr revenue increases. I picked a few RF Cafe visitors might recognize.

Company Δ%
1 SunPower 370.1
2 Acme Packet 129.3
5 Tessera Technologies 69.4
9 IPG Photonics 53.6
12 Sirenza Microdevices 49.3
14 Hittite Microwave 45.3
15 Measurement Specialties 42.0
20 Volterra Semiconductor 30.4
26 Pericom Semiconductor 26.3
28 Spectrum Control 25.0


Top 20 Semiconductor Suppliers of 2008

(source: iSuppli)

iSuppli released their preliminary list of the top IC producers in 2008. #1-5 are the same as in 2007. Total revenue was $267M, which is down 2% from 2007.
1 Intel
2 Samsung
3 Texas Instruments
4 Toshiba
5 STMicroelectronics
6 Renesas
7 Sony
8 Qualcomm
9 Hynix
10 Infineon
See the complete list here.


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