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Posts Tagged ‘science & technology

On taking a lightning strike and the EMP(Electro Magnetic Pulse)

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Or, don’t mess with Mother Nature

About  a decade ago at home, during a thunderstorm, I was using a computer with a CRT monitor.  All of sudden there was a huge loud cracking sound.  In an instant, my CRT monitor was a rainbow of colors. 

Long ago, having experimented with a magnet and a television set, I know that placing a magnet close to a television (CRT) and turning the magnet can produce this same rainbow of colors. 

Some CRTs had a degaussing feature that would remove any significant magnetism from a CRT.  There used to be degaussing loops used to accomplish the same for televisions.  These are also used to erase magnetic tapes.

During that crack of lightning, in addition to creating a rainbow of colors on my computer CRT monitor, I found that a VCR was fried as was my C Crane radio.  The computer continued to work as normal even though it was on during the event.

After this event, not wanting to mess with Mother Nature, I purchased surge protectors, and a UPS for some of my equipment.

However, this was not enough to protect my equipment from a second attempt by Mother Nature to destroy my electronic equipment

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Written by frrl

May 9, 2010 at 5:28 am

Dave, The Mechanical Turk, and the fate of ordinary people

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A few days ago I had a conversation with “Dave”.  This was part of an assessment of processes and software tools in use by a Fortune 100 Insurance company.  During the interview, I asked Dave some questions about what he did, how he did it, how what he did fit into the larger picture of the business unit that he was in, and what the future was for the applications and software tools he was using to do his job.  I also asked him what ideas he had to improve (make more efficient, easier, create more value for his effort, etc) the work he did or the work of the business unit in general.

Dave was an expert at what he did and how he did it.  As far as answers to the other questions, I got mostly “don’t know” or silence regarding ideas for changes or improvement.  When Dave recognized that he did not have answers to some of the questions he seemed annoyed that I was asking these things of him.  Dave said a very profound thing to me.

“I just do what my boss tells me to do”

The question to you is, … Is Dave the perfect employee?

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Written by frrl

April 22, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Teardown Analysis of the Apple iPad – What’s inside and what does it cost to build?

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Materials for the iPad, which went on sale on April 3, include a touch-screen display that costs $95 and a $26.80 processor designed by Apple and manufactured by Samsung Electronics Co., according to El Segundo, California-based ISuppli.

Analysis by ISuppli indicates that components of the lowest-priced, 16-gigabyte iPad amounts to 52 percent of its retail price of $499. That leaves the iPad on par with other Apple products, including the iPhone 3GS. A high-end 64-gigabyte version of the iPad, which retails for $699, contains components that cost $348.10, according to ISuppli.

Much of the iPad’s component costs went toward making…

Read the full story – http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a6fOHHpcJv7w

Now see what’s inside – http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPad-Teardown/2183/1#s11066

And inside the inside – http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Apple-A4-Teardown/2204/1

More teardowns of popular products – http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown

Written by frrl

April 7, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Technology Adoption Curve

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Speaking of the Apple iPad – here is a typical technology adoption Life cycle

Here are the six stages to consider:

Early Market. When a disruptive innovation is first introduced, it initially attracts the attention of technology enthusiasts (who see it as cool) and visionaries (who see it as potentially disruptive). The category is given a name, but it is not yet clear if it will be just a flash in the pan.

The Chasm. Having now been in the marketplace for some time, the offer has lost its novelty; visionaries no longer see it as a source of dramatic competitive advantage and pursue disruptive opportunities elsewhere. As a result, the market stalls.

Crossing the Chasm. The only reliable way to exit the chasm is to target on the other side a niche market made up of pragmatists united by a common problem for which there is no known solution. These pragmatists are motivated to help the new technology cross the chasm if it is packaged as a complete solution to their problem.

Bowling Alley. In this phase, the technology has gained acceptance among pragmatists in multiple-niche markets where it enables genuine solutions to uncommon problems. Within adopting niches, the new paradigm builds a loyal following among those who see a market in the making. Outside the niches, it is becoming more widely accepted by the general public.

Tornado. The technology has proved its usefulness in niche markets and, in the process, a killer app has emerged — something that makes it both broadly applicable and highly attractive to a mass audience. Overnight it becomes perceived as necessary and standard.

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Written by frrl

April 6, 2010 at 4:53 pm

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