These items are an archive of past Topical Smorgasbord items that have appeared on the RF Cafe homepage. In keeping with the "cafe" genre, these tidbits of information are truly a smorgasbord of topics. They all pertain to topics that are related to the general engineering and science theme of RF Cafe. Note: There is also a huge collection of my 'Factoids' (aka 'Kirt's Cogitations') that might interest you as well.
What a Concept!
Top 20 Defense Contractors
Defense Systems recently published their list of the top 20 defense contractors. Topping the lineup are the familiar stalwarts of the industry - Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, etc. Rankings are based on revenue, which by nature, is your tax dollars at work. Sure, it is a lot of money, but they are performing a vital service for the country, as opposed to the billion$ spent on social welfare programs that produce mainly votes for politicians that dole it out.
|11||Booz Allen Ham.||$2.3B|
Toxic Air: Our Other
Import from China
The bad news is that as pollution control got better, companies found continuing manufacturing operations in the U.S. was unprofitable based on what people were willing to pay for their products. Steel, the literal <more>5-12-2011
The 10 Most Valuable
|Bank of America||$30.6B|
Top 10 Thriving IndustriesLinkedIn recently published a report on which industries thrived during the 2000-2010 decade. It compliments a list by IBIS World listing those that declined during the same period. VOIP tops the thriving list while wired telecom tops the dying list (although VOIP on cable is still wired). Eco consulting, insurance, and correctional facilities lead the growth list as well. Unfortunately, the need for additional prisons does not include having to lock up those responsible for the ruining of the economy. They still head the government.
|5||Media, Game Rent||35.7%|
EE Life's 2011 Job
|Trust Company Leadership|
|Trust Team Leadership|
|Management Honest w/Me|
|Mgt. Honest w/Each Other|
Δ Employment '01-'11Here is a sobering - and enraging - chart of how employment in key sectors has changed in the last decade. The top chart is change in number of jobs; bottom chart is % change. Health care, educational services, and real estate are among the clear winners. The Biggest Loser? No surprise - Manufacturing. That's the pitifully lonely line heading in the wrong direction in the top chart. The manufacturing line covers everything from electronics to furniture to clothing to planes, trains, and automobiles. In one form or another, engineers and technicians have lost opportunity in every one of those industries. A look at thriving sectors - mostly services - reveals they are largely ones that have received government subsidization and policy support. You might conclude that our government has purposely damaged manufacturing since policies have hamstringed manufacturers by discouraging and/or penalizing cheap energy production, imposing crippling environmental restrictions, denying permits, and regulating small businesses to death.
Sleep Less, Do More
You have seen the commercials for products like 5 Hour Energy, Reload, and Screaming Energy, that promise that essential pick-me-up needed to start the day, continue the day, or finish the day, or all three. Mere mortals like the majority of us might need such assistance occasionally (I personally only use strong coffee). There is a small percentage of the world's population that does just fine - and in fact often excels - on just a handful of hours of sleep each night, aka the Sleepless Elite. According to research, only about 5% of people who claim to be members of the short sleepers club actually are. The other 95% either get by with the help of drugs (caffeine is a drug) or are chronically sleep deprived - I lived like that for decades. Winston Churchill, Jay Leno, Madonna (yep), Nikola Tesla, Florence Nightingale, Michelangelo, and Thomas Edison are a few of the most well-known short sleepers. While nappers often are extremely productive overachievers, I would rather be a well-rested, rich, supergenius.5-26-2011
Arthur C. Clarke
Wireless World Oct. 1945
Component Engineering Website
Back in my days of working in the defense electronics industry,
when COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) was the plural of what you slept on in a tent, every component - screws, resistors, ICs, gaskets,
knobs, PCBs, etc. - that went into a system required an accompanying specification document. One time while at Westinghouse (Oceanic Division,
Annapolis, MD), we needed a video recording system for capturing images from a towed sonar array. Standard modus operandi for the era
was to design and build a system from piece parts, but the schedule did not for allow that. Systems engineers instead chose to integrate a commercially
available Beta recorder in the rack. A nightmare of testing and documentation ensued for the
Component Engineers as they worked to qualify the unit. We even
ended up replacing the manufacturer's markings (logo, S/N, P/N, etc.) with Westinghouse markings. Fortunately, a lot has changed,
but Component Engineering is still a big part of the design cycle for industrial,
commercial, aerospace, and defense products. Thanks to 30-year veteran Douglas Alexander's new website,
Component Engineering, heretofore hard to find documents instructing on how
to fill out required forms, qualification procedures, derating components, generating part number, and much more, are now available... with
many more are in the queue to be written. Do your friends in the CE department a favor and send them this link!