Archive for December, 2008

Green Electronics

Greenpeace has released it’s newest rankings on how “green” certain electronics companies are. Nokia leads the way with it’s take-back program, while Nintendo finishes last.

See all the rankings here

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Too many solar panels

Unfortunately, even the relatively new industry of solar panels is seeing the Boom – Decline curve. Are we getting too good at mass production? In a relatively short time–despite the increasing customer demand–we have made too many solar panels. Or do companies just love jumping on the next big thing? See this EE Times article for more details.

Senate Appointments?

Really Mr. Harper? This is what you do with your prorogue? I have no words…

Why, I’ll prorogue you, you little….

With so many serious posts, and all the serious news out there, I thought I might take a step back.

One thing that I will always be able to thank 2008 for is adding a totally awesome word to my vocabulary:  prorogue!

What a great obscure verb!  It came out of virtually nowhere.  I’m going to try and use it once a day.

Boom, decline, maintenance.

The semiconductor industry is seeing a decline in demand for many products–this is especially prevalent in DRAM.  Currently there are talks with DRAM manufacturers about bailouts from the Taiwanese and South Korean government.  A colleague at EE Times, Mark LaPedus, writes about this being a bad idea as any bailout will temporarily save jobs but not increase demand for DRAM products.  See the article here .  The same thing could be said for the big 3 automakers from Detroit.  Being in the high-tech field with it’s endless possibilities for the future, it makes me wonder what really happens when a game changing technology is introduced.

Obviously a game changer (the cell phone itself, the iPod, the iPhone, ebay, google, amazon, etc.) will have an initial boom where the market does a quick uptake of the new technology.   Then, if everyone is reached in the home market (US for instance) then the technology expands around the globe.  But after it is everywhere, there is obviously a limit that is reached.  At this point an inevitable decline occurs, then the market is just for replacements/upgrades.  Do some of these companies really forcast the decline and maintenance part of this cycle?  With fabs expanding but never contracting, it would seem that semi companies would have us believe that the electronics industry will forever be expanding.  Is that reasonable?  Or are they counting on more game-changers?  Does being a publicly traded company force this issue?  It very well could as many short-term CEOs are looking for constant growth.  Maybe more leaders of companies should look at a long-term idea of boom, decline, maintenance.  And maybe, this is part of the reason that we are in the predicament we are in…

More Lay-offs

I just found out that a friend of mine was laid off yesterday.  It doesn’t seem to be dying down at all.  How far will this downward spiral continue?

Company lays off employees, laid-off employees cut back spending, less spending causes poor company results, company lays-off more employees to cut expenses.  You can see the vicious cycle.

How long before all the false money is gone?   Will it go beyond the false money, then jump back up?  Time will tell.

Another interesting look at the economic crisis.

Must really get back to work, but it really is on my mind.  When it is all over (if over can be defined) it will be interesting to look back on this period.

Here’s an interesting article from Alexandra Swann of the McGill Tribune.