Archive for June, 2009

Ottawa City Urban Tree Conservation By-Law Passed!

Good news from the City of Ottawa.  But they did have to take away the $50 permit fee (nobody likes fees these days).

Here is a press release.

Here is a story from the Ottawa Citizen. 


Space exploration–is it worth it?

Interesting debate on whether space exploration is worth it.  I think it is a worthwhile investment, but don’t put too much money into it now.  Bigger fish to fry.  Keep funding the exploratory rockets and robots–humans can wait.  See the early debate here.

Intel and the Tonight Show

On the lighter side of things, Conan O’Brien visited Intel for his show. This ended up being a humourous clip of his time there.

The Puritan Gift

I’ve been listening to podcasts now when I’m walking my dog.  I’ve tried out No Agenda, but what I’ve really caught on to is the Invisible Hand podcasts.  Very interesting books that the host Chris Gondak reviews.  One that I found particularly interesting is the Puritan Gift, a book I will purchase.  Anyone else read this book?

Anyway, just wanted to leave you with this one quote from the book:

Far too many people … believe that being bright is a substitute for knowledge.
Peter F. Drucker, Boston, Massachusetts (1999)

Maybe we’ll see a return of managers with knowledge of their industry, and less young consulty-types running the show.

Virtual conferences

Don’t like to promote too much work stuff on this blog, but I’m really intrigued about EE Times Multicore Virtual Conference, and virtual conferences in general.  Will these virtual conferences start to replace some (never all) regular conferences?  And, speaking as an idealist here, could this open up conferences to more people in less prosperous parts of the world?  And save some jet fuel, helping the environment? 

I’m not advocating the end of personal contact, still the best way to really know one another and really share information.  But, if done right, virtual conferences could be a good thing for connecting the world.

Will semiconductors ever get an auto style bail-out?

As I become ever busy with my job, son, dog, two cats, and the inevitable travel to visit family during the summer months, I let my colleague Dr. Don Scansen do some of the writing for me.  He was just in D.C. and has some pretty interesting ideas on the auto bail-outs, and if the electronics industry would ever get the same consideration.  Read his blog post here.

What’s old is new again

As this recession continues (except for the short rally on Wall Street),  people will be starting to preserve the items they have, and look to buy used goods at discount prices.  In fact, a new consignment shop just opened down the street from me.  I can’t help but wonder if this mentality will be good for the environment in the long run.  Keeping the things you have running, working, and generally in use, will help keep stuff out of the land fills.  Buying used items from others also helps in this regard.  So all seems good from the environmental point of view.

But what does that mean if our great manufacturing facilities slow down?  I’m not an economics major, but having no new goods produced is probably not a good thing.  Maybe we need to look at making manufacturing more environmentally friendly, as opposed to just making more stuff faster and faster.  There will always be a need for newly produced items–you can’t maintain everything forever.  After this recession might be a time where society can find a balance –and hopefully the environment will benefit from the outcome.