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Tech Smorgasbord Archives -  15

RF Cafe University"Factoids," "Kirt's Cogitations," and "Tech Topics Smorgasbord" are all manifestations of my rantings 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

U.S.A.'s Top 10 Trading Partners in 2007

(source UPS)

  Country Amount
1 Canada $248B
2 Mexico $137B
3 China $65B
4 Japan $63B
5 U.K. $50B
6 Germany $50B
7 S. Korea $35B
8 Netherlands $33B
9 France $27B
10 Taiwan $26B

N. Korea saw the greatest % increase at 55,414% (that's right)



eBay & Craigslist Provide a Market for Stolen U.S. Military Items

(source: GAO Report)

RF Cafe: Stolen military items purchased on eBay and CraigslistHere are a few examples of sensitive items purchased by undercover investigators on eBay and Craigslist. Winning bidders on many of the auctions were located in countries such as Bulgaria, China, and Russia. Sellers offered to ship "no questions asked."

- F-14 Tomcat antenna

  on eBay

- Nuclear biological

  chemical gear on


- Body armor plates on


- Night vision goggles on


- Army combat uniform

  items on eBay

- Blackhawk helicopter

  antenna on eBay



_Engineers of Jihad_

A sociology paper from the University of Oxford has suggested there is a tie between the mindset of Electrical Engineers and that of extreme Islamic terrorists.

"Abstract. We find that graduates from subjects such as science, engineering, and medicine are strongly overrepresented among Islamist movements in the Muslim world... We also find that engineers alone are strongly over-represented among graduates in violent groups... Do engineers have a 'mindset' that makes them a particularly good match for Islamism..."

I suggest printing out the entire 90 pages and using it as bathroom material - not necessarily for reading.


...and Another One

Bites the Dust...

Yikes, another stalwart of the RF engineering realm has gone the way of Applied Microwave and Wireless, et al! RF Design's website is still active, but the last monthly published edition was February 2008.

"RF Design is no longer published as a stand alone magazine. The magazine will be published quarterly and mailed to subscribers of Microwaves & RF magazine."

Adieu, and farewell.

Subscribe to

Microwaves and & RF.



China is Doing Things in a Big Way

China is home to the world's largest shopping mall: the 7,000,000 ft2 South China Mall; the world's longest sea-crossing bridge - the 32 km-long span over the East China Sea; the world's largest hydroelectric dam - the Three Gorges Dam project; and the world's highest railroad - the Qingzang Railway crossing the Tibetan permafrost 5 km above sea level; and now the world's largest airport - the Feng-Shui-compliant Beijing International Airport, which covers 2x the area of the Pentagon. That's a lot of resources and huge carbon footprints - good thing for them that they are a "developing country" and are not subject to the Kyoto Protocol.


EDN 2007 Annual Base Salary Survey

(source: EDN)

Samples represent Canada & the U.S. 19% of respondents were management. The overall average was $90,000
Salary ($) Portion
30k - 39k 2%
40k - 49k 4%
50k - 59k 7%
60k - 69k 10%
70k - 79k 13%
80k - 89k 12%
90k - 99 k 13%
100k - 110k 13%
110k - 120k 7%
120k - 129k 5%
130k - 149k 7%
150k - 250k 6%



It's Not Your Father's World

(source: Daily Mail)

Remember the old saying, "If you snooze, you lose?" Well...
Then: ¼ of mankind lived under the British flag in the largest empire the world had ever known; many parts not under Britain's rule had been created by her. Britain dominated worldwide science, manufacturing and trade.

Now: The IMF just warned that the West faces the largest financial shock since the Great Depression, while Asian economies (mainly China & India) are powering ahead. China spends 35x as much on crude oil as it did in year 2000, and 23x as much on copper. ½ of the world's new buildings are being built in China. As it builds endless rows of skyscrapers on former farm lands, China consumes ½ the world's cement and a 1/3 of its steel.

Read the entire article.


Project GRE2AT

(source: LeapSecond.com)

The General Relativity Einstein/Essen Anniversary Test was conducted in September of 2005 by Daniel Kleppner and his kids. They took several very accurate cesium atomic clocks from home and parked 5,400 feet up Mt. Rainier for a full two days. The goal was to see if the clocks actually gained time as predicted by Einstein's general theory of relativity. Gravity at 5,400 feet is less (by about 0.1%) than at home at 1,035 feet, and therefore the clocks should run 22 ns faster over the two days.

Project GREAT atomic clock plotsDid they? The plot to the left shows the results. Click on the image for full details.


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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 World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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