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Berkely Nucleonics Academy

Tech Smorgasbord Archives - 7

A huge collection of my 'Factoids' can be accessed from my 'Kirt's Cogitations' table of contents.

Tech Topics Smorgasbord, another manifestation of Factoids, are be found 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 |

All pertain to topics that are related to the general engineering and science theme of RF Cafe.

Corporate Censorship

A couple years ago, technicians working for a well-known defense / aerospace firm managed to tip over a very expensive satellite by forgetting to replace a few 'borrowed' bolts from its transport platform. I included a thumbnail of it in the Cool Pic spot on the RF Cafe homepage. Recently, a former employee of a Midwest company that built one of the electronics packages on the satellite told me that enraged managers there had their IT department block access to rfcafe.com because of it. I wonder if they also blocked access to the website where I found the story?


Reverse Polish Notation RPN

This notation system was named in honor of a Polish mathematician and logician named Jan Łukasiewicz. Polish notation (PN) places the operators in an expression before the numbers. RPN places them after the numbers (which is why it is called Reverse Polish Notation).

HP50g Graphing RPN Calculator (Reverse Polish Notation)The new HP50g calculator is one of the remaining holdouts for using RPN. They are quickly becoming an extinct species.


Mean 2006 Salaries H-1B vs. U.S. Citizen EE Times Research

Electronics Engineers


Electrical Engineers


Computer Hdw Engineers


H-1B = Labor Condition Application (LCA)

Citizen =  Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

Computer & Electronic Products R&D Spending

Science & Engineering Indicators Research

New York2,0194.1
New Jersey3310.7
Other States16,44933.7
All States48,757100
Note that 53% of all R&D spending is concentrated in just 3 states.


Ways That Engineers Continue Their Educations

Electronic Design Research

Tech Pubs84
White Papers55
In-House Training26
Prof. Assns.25
User Groups18
College Courses13
Chat Rooms9


Scott Adams Finds His Voice Again

Did you know that Dilbert creator Scott Adams seemingly inexplicably lost the ability to speak? It began with a tremor in a finger (causing him to have to draw on a digitizing table rather than with a pencil) and ended with a diagnosis of Spasmodic Dysphonia. Strangely, he could only speak in rhymes (or singing) or while pinching his nose. Of the 30k people afflicted, few recover as remarkably as Scott has. Out of nowhere, his voice miraculously returned in 2006.

Search for Your Name in π

Dr. Michael Hartley, at one time of the University of Western Australia School of Mathematics and Statistics, has written a script to search for your name in the first 31,415,929 digits of Pi. How? "I converted pi to base 27." Why base 27 and not 26? "Base 27 is the neatest way which allows me to represent the digit 1 as A, 2 as B, ..., and 26 as Z." It found KIRT 57 times, but could not find RFCAFE. Lots of interesting π facts there, too. He will search in the first 27,182,818 digits of e as well.


Mandelbrot Sets (Fractals)

Benoît Mandelbrot fractal patternBenoît Mandelbrot discovered and named "fractals" in 1961 when studying fluctuations in the cotton market, of all things. He noticed a plot of the seemingly random price variations over the course of a month looked just like a plot of the variations over a decade. Further investigations revealed such patterns in many natural and human-influenced situations; e.g., a graph of the rise and fall of the Nile over a week resembled the graph over a century. The word "fractals" comes from from the Latin word for "broken" or "irregular," which describes the self-similarity of his patterns.


Spotting a Lie in E-Mails

According to Cornell University professor's Study, here is how to tell if someone is lying to you in an e-mail:

- More third-person references than first-person references (they, them vs. me, I)
- More words associated with negative emotions (bummer, sucks vs. great, wonderful)
- When people know they are being lied TO, they often use shorter sentences and ask more questions
- When people lie in e-mail or in IMs, they tend to use 28% more words than normal.

NASA's Watch

Omega Speedmaster Professional - NASA's Watch1965, the Omega Speedmaster Professional chronograph was "flight-qualified by NASA for all manned space missions." It remains the only watch qualified for extravehicular activities - digital watches need not apply.  On July 20, 1969 at 02:56 GMT, it recorded man's first steps on the Moon's surface as part of the Apollo 11 mission. Price: $2,200.


Ph.Ds Awarded in Engineering & Science (in thousands)

If you're an American, what's
wrong with this picture?

2006 Richest People Forbes' Billionaires

1William Gates III
2Warren Buffett
3Carlos Slim Helú
4Ingvar Kamprad
5Lakshmi Mittal
6Sheldon Adelson
7Bernard Arnault
8Amancio Ortega
9Li Ka-shing
10David Thomson
:   :
890Faruk Yalcin
891Kostyantin Zhevago
See their homes.
Windfreak Technologies withwave microwave devices - RF Cafe
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Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster
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    Kirt Blattenberger,

RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...

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