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And late this week Intel again surprised observers by acknowledging for the first time that it would investigate developing its own DDR chip set” to support its upcoming mainstream Pentium 4.

CDCF5801ADBQ_Datasheet PDF

And late this week Intel again surprised observers by acknowledging for the first time that it would investigate developing its own DDR chip set” to support its upcoming mainstream Pentium 4.

We expect that Fab 30 in Dresden, Germany will contribute significantly to sales in the second half of this year as we substantially increase the availability of 1-GHz and faster versions of the AMD Athlon processor,” Anixter said.

WASHINGTON — Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, is using her notoriety to promote U.S. science and engineering education. Ride also wants more women to pursue careers in engineering. This is a good thing since the profession needs all the new blood and fresh ideas it can get.

CDCF5801ADBQ_Datasheet PDF

When I was a girl, I had a teacher who encouraged my interest in science,” Ride recalls. She helped build my self-confidence. All these things helped me to become a scientist and and astronaut.”

While studying physics at Stanford University in the 1970s, Ride says she still remembers the day NASA ran an ad in the student newspaper seeking astronaut candidates. She made it into Earth orbit aboard the shuttle Challenger in June 1983.

Among Ride's engineering initiatives is the Sally Ride Science Academy. Three academies are underway this summer, including one this week in the Washington, DC, area.

CDCF5801ADBQ_Datasheet PDF

Here's a link to the astronaut's Web site, Sally Ride Science.

Raising awareness of the importance of science and engineering education is laudable. There are many similar efforts around the country — EE Times is a media sponsor for the inaugural USA Science and Engineering Festival on the Mall in Washington in October. But one reality is that it took an earth-shaking event — the launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union on 1957 — to reinvigorate American science and engineering education.

CDCF5801ADBQ_Datasheet PDF

Ride recently appeared on a radio talk show to promote her engineering education initiative. At least one female engineering student called in to say she was not optimistic about finding a job. This is another reality: Many U.S. companies, including technology companies, have chosen to sit on huge piles of cash rather than investing it in new engineering talent. This short-sighted gimmick for propping up company stock prices (and executives' stock option portfolios) is delaying an economic recovery and harming U.S. competitiveness.

We continue to support any and all efforts to promote U.S. science and engineering education. Technology companies should do the same, preferably with cash and new hires.

For me, it is factors such as the latest jailbreaking” ruling, see here, for example. I know Apple likes to run a tight ship in terms of what they allow, opening up their system, and related factors. To me, that's a strategic choice they make. As a potential customer, you know about those factors before you buy into their world, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to buy the product. (Whether it's a good idea or not to be so tight and controlling is a good subject for a lively debate, but not relevant to my concerns.)

In addition, Apple now has to deal with the equivalent of the FCC in all the countries it intends to serve, and this goes far beyond basic channel assignment and spectrum usage; it goes to what services are offered at what levels, to whom, and how, the terms and conditions of service, and more.

So now Apple has all these friends” who will help define their product, its functions, and its marketing Many of these friends are unaccountable bureaucrats who are absolutely convinced that they know what's best. Sometimes they do, and sometime they don't, but we'll never know, that's for sure.

I do know that the ability to take chances, and even fail, has been one of the key attributes of the IC and larger electronic industry. Along with this ability has been the flexibility of vendors to balance and trade-off among their product's many technical and non-technical parameters: features, costs, product extensions, upgrades, partners, and add-ons, to cite just a few. Sometimes companies lose out, sometimes even their customers lose out (hey, Microsoft just dropped their Kin” line of phones, after a mere 48 days on the market!). So it goes.

But when well intentioned” bureaucrats and agencies, who answer to no one, start helping you with your product, this sort of risk-taking becomes secondary to keeping them happy, and trying to be almost everything to everyone. Certainly some market segments have lived with this situation already: medical instrumentation, for example, is tightly regulated. But even for medical equipment, it's been mostly about safety and effectiveness, rather than what features to add in, or what access you have to allow the user.

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