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.
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another term to your wireless lexicon: Bluejacking. If you own a BT-enabled wireless device and have not yet been
Bluejacked, your time is coming. Bluejacking is mostly a harmless way to prank someone, but it can be intimidating.
Popular "victim" spots are on trains and in coffee shops. One trick is to Bluetext someone a "free latte offer"
and watch when he tries to collect at the counter. Sending, "I like your pink top," to someone who knows you must
be within 10 meters of her is probably not a good idea. Not that I am encouraging it, but there are lots of stories
to read for ideas on Bluejacking, Bluechatting, Bluedating, and other things Blue.
Caveat Emptor: Résumé Fraud on the Rise
According to recent news reports, incidences of résumé
fraud are on the rise. Most directly assert, or at least imply that it is due to the global economic slow-down,
but the fact is it goes on even in the best of times. Recall the 2006 case of former
CEO David Edmondson, who made up two degrees he never earned. Studies indicate that more than 20% of résumés
have claims of academic degrees never earned, and 60% exaggerate their professional accomplishments (title, salary,
etc.). Extensive background checks can cost many thousands of dollars. Experts suggest the best defense is to pick
up the phone and verify any claims important to you as an employer.
Does Your Company Do Facebook?
the popularity of the social networking websites, it seems only natural that companies have created presences in
hopes of exploiting the concept. Younger engineers are almost certainly Facebook savvy.
AWR recently had a press release
announcing their official Facebook page. It contains, among other things, press releases.
Analog Devices also each have
an official page. Other companies like
RFMD have Facebook pages set up by employees, but are not sanctioned by the company.
Science & Engineering Body Art
(source: RF Cafe)
have taken a decided turn toward the cerebral. A growing trend of science and engineering themed tattoos are appearing
on the trendy streets and college campi. Professor
Stevens Johnson sent me this photo of his
newly minted photon wave tattoo. He also sports a custom "Planck Scales" design, with "Gauss' Theorem and Stokes'
Theorem in a tribal motif" being nearly ready for prime time.
Women in science
have adopted the practice as well, thus helping to quash the tramp stamp nomenclature.
10 Most Difficult Jobs to Fill
Now might be a good time to ask for a raise or seek out a new job - in spite of the recession. As always, skilled
people are highly sought after. Per
research, "While talk has slowed in the U.S. about the pending talent shortage, it is becoming more
clear that there is a talent disconnect."
What is the easiest job to fill? Probably Politician
||Machinist / Operator
How My Heisenberg Light Came On
of us have heard of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, which states that both momentum and position of a mass
cannot be precisely determined simultaneously. I never quite conceptualized the idea until recently when reading
an article where it was alluded to without explicit mention. Basically, in order to measure momentum (ρ=mv),
you need movement from location A to location B - two different locations to establish velocity - hence the inexact
determination of position when precisely measuring momentum. Vice versa for precisely measuring position.
Free Advertising Advice
(source: an RF Cafe original)
engineers, technicians, and hobbyists, RF Cafe visitors' interests tend toward hands-on themes. We like to
learn how to do things ourselves, and few venues facilitate learning better than a video. That is one reason the
TV show How It's Made
is so popular with techies. I cannot find any RF product or service companies that have videos demonstrating how
they do their "thing." How about shooting a 5-minute video of how to manufacture a cavity filter, tweak an amplifier
for optimal gain & noise figure, or measure the radiation pattern of an antenna in an anechoic chamber? It might
be the next viral hit with YouTube nerds, and invaluable free advertising for you!.
R&D guys are working on a system allowing vehicles to talk to each other via headlights and taillights. Traffic
lights will be in on the conversation as well. As envisioned, a processor will interface with distributed sensors
and transceivers to alert drivers of impending hazardous situations, even taking automatic evasive action if necessary.
Warnings will be provided with displays and audible signals - including through wireless multimedia devices. Reader
comments include, "I'd rather have a system that let me send a message to the bozo ahead that his turn signal has
been flashing for the last 5 miles."
IC Manufacturer Top 20 Ranking
According to an IC Insights report, 2009 saw a major reordering of rankings in the IC world. Only 3 of the top 20
kept their 2008 positions. They blame the recession.
Lightning + Wind Turbines
wind turbines into the established electrical grid is a tough job. Voltage and current synchronization for such
an inconsistent motivation force (wind) requires complex equipment. Severe weather is a great concern as well -
lightning strikes. Those 100+ meter tall towers with blades extending another 100+ meters into the sky are perfect
opportunity for a discharge. Mitigation schemes like embedding lightning rods in the blades and installing robust
overcurrent and overvoltage protection do a good job, but it all comes at great cost. Billionaire
T. Boon Pickens
recently abandoned his $2B investment in wind power because of unforeseen cost issues.
Top 2009 Recipients of Government $$$
you are part of the mere 50% of citizens that actually pay income taxes, do you want to know where your tax money
is being spent? These are number straight from the Fed website.
* Challenge: Try to find Savannah
River Remediation's website (an eco company)!
|Top 10 Defense Contractors
|Savannah River *
** Health care & pharmaceuticals7-2-2009
IMS 2009: RF Cafe Will Be There
Tuesday, June 9, both Melanie and I will be attending the IMS show in Boston. We will be there as spectators, and
will be roaming the exhibit hall most of the day. Our plan is to visit as many of our advertisers (the folks who
help deliver RF Cafe to you), and as many of our website patrons (like you) as possible. Please stop us to say hello.
If you hand me a card or paper with your name and contact info, I will put you in for an RF Cafe prize drawing.
Click on the image above for how to identify us while there.