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Tech Smorgasbord Archives - 21

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

Whence Cometh the Funny Bluetooth Logo?

(source: Wikipedia)

RF Cafe Smorgasbord: Bluetooth LogoMaybe 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 RF Cafe: H (Haglaz) runeRF Cafe: B (Berkanan) rune(Harald) and B (Blåtand) to form a bind rune.

You Know It's Really Bad Out There  When...

(source: Design News)

RF Cafe: Bob Pease - Analog Circuit Czar...czar 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. RF Cafe: National Semi's Bob PeaseNow, Design News confirms it.  If Bob is most famous for his seemingly unlimited knowledge of analog circuits, he is RF Cafe: Computers not welcome heresecond-most famous for his disdain for computers and simulations. He sketches circuits in his head, RF Cafe: Bob Pease's trademark circuit sketchthen transfers them to napkins and envelopes... and they work. Bob's monthly articles will continue.


I Read Through the List

(source: NY Daily News)

Bernard MadoffBy 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 Keystone Electronics 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"

(source: Applet)

RF Cafe: "Let's Make a Deal"Most 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

(source: USPTO)

RF Cafe: Click to view full-size chart for USPTO Patent Awards - Foreign vs. DomesticI 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?"

(source: Electronic Design)

RF Cafe: Electronics industry historical cycleThis 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. Your Opinion
Worldwide RFID

Deployment Map

(source: RFID Journal)

RF Cafe Smorgasbord: Worldwide RFID Deployment MapThis 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.

Negative Refraction

the Key to Cloaking

(source: Scientific American)

RF Cafe: Negative refraction experimentThe 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:

CRT or LCD/Plasma?

(source: LA Times)

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.
Type Watts*
CRT 101
LCD 144
Plasma 361
Projection 245

* Average size TVNews stories have appeared recently where governments are seeking to ban large plasmas.

Does One Twitter or Does One Tweet?

(source: Inc.com)

RF Cafe Smorgasbord: TwitterThere 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 Potential

(source: PayScale.com)

RF Cafe: Best Engineering Colleges by Salary PotentialIt 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.

2009-2010 Outlook

(source: Prismark Partners, LLC)

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:

* Overall electronic systems

   market to decline at least

   12% in 2009 (largest ever),

    modest growth in 2010

* The last electronics

   recession occurred in


* Semi industry declined 2.8%

   in 2008, 23% expected for

   2009, recovery in late 2010

* 2009 IC volumes to drop to

   2005 levels

* PCB industry declines by

  16% in 2009, recovery to

   2008 levels by 2012

Please contact Prismark for detailed charts and tables.

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