Cometh the Funny Bluetooth Logo?
you thought the Bluetooth logo was the product of a curvophobic artist or one simply lacking any
imagination. Not so. 'Bluetooth' is an anglicized version of the Danish Blåtand, 10th-century king
Harald I of Denmark and Norway (nicknamed Bluetooth). The logo design merges two Germanic runes
analogous to the modern Latin letters H
and B (Blåtand) to form a bind rune.
|You Know It's Really Bad Out There
of all things analog, Bob Pease, gets laid off.
That is not a typo. I was just kidding when I made a comment about National Semi's massive layoff
headline a couple days ago.
Design News confirms it. If Bob is most famous for his seemingly unlimited knowledge of analog circuits,
famous for his disdain for computers and simulations. He sketches circuits in his head,
transfers them to napkins and envelopes... and they work. Bob's monthly articles will continue.
|I Read Through the List
now we have all heard of infamous financier Bernard Madoff and his multibillion dollar scam that left a
few thousand people broke. When the list of victims was releases the other day, I searched through it for
electronics industry notables. The only one I found was
Corporation Employee Profit Sharing Trust (page 74). It does not say how much they lost. So, if you order
parts from the good people at Keystone Electronics, be especially nice to them; they are living with the
results of bad decisions by those they entrusted with their well-being.
|The "Monty Hall Paradox"
of us have taken at least one statistics course. The calculated results of most exercises usually
jibed with expected result. The famous "Monty Hall Paradox" involving whether the contestant should
switch doors after the first opened door is shown to contain a goat. Should the player stick with his
original door, or change to the remaining unopened door in order to improve his chances of winning?
PhDs have argued philosophy vs. mathematics over the situation. Here is an online applet that
demonstrates the possibly surprising best choice. I say based on evolving conditions, the best answer
is 50/50. You?
|Foreign vs. Domestic Patent Awards
read an article recently about the distribution of patents to U.S. and foreign inventors. No numbers
were presented from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), so I used their data to create this
chart. Note the fairly constant track in number of awards beginning around 1978, and the significant
dip occurred in 2005. Do you know the reason for either?
|What Will Be
"The Next Big Thing?"
chart shows the cycles that the electronics industry has experienced from 1970 through now. Mainframes,
PCs, cellphones, and consumer apps defined the peaks. We are now in the right-most nadir. The extrapolated
curve predicts "the next big thing" waiting somewhere. Some say it will be alternative energy
technologies. Others say medicine.
interactive map displays RFID deployments in different parts of the world. The goal is to show how
widespread RFID adoption has become, and to help you find information regarding deployments relevant to
your own RFID applications. You can add deployments not currently on the map by filling out the form on
RFID Journal's webpage.
the Key to
stuff of science fiction gets farther from fiction and closer to fact every day. Such is the case with
advances in cloaking technology. A mere 4-5 years ago cloaking required special cameras and props - more
like magical illusions. Now, structures are being developed with negative refractive indices that can
cause microwaves and visible light to wrap around objects as if they were not there. The scale is small
now, but then the Chinese's first rockets
were finger-size and
Kilby's first IC had a
single transistor, resistor, and capacitor.
|Which Display is Greener:
|A lot of people believe that switching from their old energy hog CRTs to a nice new high-definition
flat-screen TVs and computer monitors is the neo-responsible thing to do. Not so according to results of
a study by the CEC.
* Average size TVNews stories have appeared recently where
governments are seeking to
ban large plasmas.
|Does One Twitter or
Does One Tweet?
seems to be some misunderstanding of the proper verb for describing what one is doing when using the
Twitter.com website. Do you twitter, tweet, or something else? Inc. magazine went to the source to find
out. According to co-founder Biz
Stone, "Ultimately, whatever gets used more will probably win out, but my personal thought is the
Twittering is the verb that refers to the act of creating a tweet, which is the noun. However, you may
catch me tweeting one day, so don’t hold me to that."
|Best Engineering Colleges by Salary
is no secret that the school from which you hearken can make a difference in opportunities that avail
themselves to you. It is akin to owning an academy ring as an officer in the armed services. Experience
eventually overrides pedigree if you are outstanding in your field, but let's face it, having an advantage
from the start can really make the upward climb easier. PayScale.com has collected the data. #1 for
fresh-out: CIT; #1 for mid-career: MIT.
|Prismark, for which I have much respect, has issued a "2009/2010 Short-Term Outlook" report
summarizing their prediction for the electronics systems and components markets. Basically:
market to decline at least
12% in 2009 (largest ever),
* The last electronics
recession occurred in
* Semi industry declined
in 2008, 23% expected for
2009, recovery in late 2010
* 2009 IC volumes to drop to
* PCB industry declines by
16% in 2009, recovery to
2008 levels by 2012
Please contact Prismark for detailed charts and tables.