Posts tagged ‘engineering’

The last of Nortel’s legacy sold off

Nortel’s patents sold for 4.5 billion dollars–a true indictment of the many dollars and years of R&D investment.  Some of Canada’s top scientists worked there–it truly was an innovative company (unfortunately with bad management).

It is also very sad that Nortel’s leadership, including Mike Zafirovski, did not know the true value of what they had in the company.  Also sad is the fact that our governments (federal and provincial) didn’t realize the value of this innovation to our country.  I still believe that investment into high-tech is more forward looking than investment in the automobile industry, and expecially construction.  Highly skilled knowledge workers are great for the future of the country.  Here is an article that I think sums up the loss pretty well: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1016391–family-jewels-frittered-away

Hoepfully this is a lesson that can be learned.  RIM is a true Canadian tech anchor–let’s hope we take to heart some of lessons from the down fall of Nortel.  I’m not talking a future bailout, but some manner of protecting the intellectual capital (patents, workers, skills) that is being developed at RIM.

Here’s hoping.

New Ontario Liberal Commercial

I just saw the new Ontario Liberal commercial and I must say that I really like it.  I’m not sure it will help the election, but it really instills some Ontario pride.  Many Canadian provinces have strong identities, and some are having a strong economic resurgance, largely based on resources.  But Ontario can claim to be province of high tech and manufacturing–an exporter of finished goods.  With our strong Canadian dollar really affecting the Ontario manufacturing sector, it’s good to put a positive slant on things.  A good spot.

It made me think of another recent commercial I saw that I really liked, the Chrysler Super Bowl commercial by Eminem:

An Aside – Engineers in Politics

Just saw an arictle in EE Times, a kind of article that started this blog! 

From south of the border, a call to run for office for the nation’s engineers.

Lot’s of stuff going on…

Been some busy months in my life that have kept me from posting.  My brother was in a life-threatening cycling injury in the US, I’ve had a two week work trip to China, all the while trying to keep the family happy…but enough of all that…experiences that could fill a blog on them alone.  But from now on I’ll try to keep going with some regular commentary on the world of engineering.

As I end this post–one comment, Apple did mess up with their antenna design.  Oh well, we all make mistakes every now and then.

iPad is coming! How about paper reduction?

Coming soon to stores on April 3rd, the iPad is causing quite a stir.  Will it be “all that”?

The most interesting part about the iPad, the Kindle, and other tablet PCs and e-readers (and yes I know e-readers and tablet computers are really different things!) is what it might actually do to the print (newspapers and books) industry.  It seems logical to me  (someone who reads quite a bit online, but not much printed material) that we may finally see less trees being converted to paper.  I bold the “may” because people have predicted the paperless office in the past.

It will be hard to fully get rid of paper, but the e-reader/tablet idea might reduce some paper usage.  We shall see how this all progresses in the next few years.

Craig Barrett on regional innovation

Was just reading an article on The Next Silicon Valley website that details some of the talks that Craig Barrett (formerly of Intel) was giving in Ireland.   He has some strong opinions on how a real technology sector can grow.  I think he has a lot of good things to say, with the biggest being that Foreign Direct Investment is probably not the best way to grow a regional technology hub.  Growing from within is longer, but really the only way for a sustainable technology park.  Worth a read.

Outsourcing–the debate rages

I just read an interesting article on EE Times about outsourcing.  The comments section brings out some of the passion of the engineering community in North America.

I actually think the comments from Nirav Desai, Graduate student have some merit.  Place manufacturing in the country of the consumer, and he uses the automotive industry as an example (strange to use the automotive industry as a positive example!)    The automotive industry has some extra protection in the form of tariffs (I believe), and a car costs much more to ship than a cell phone.  But maybe tariffs on electronics could work?  And maybe extra taxes on companies that outsource could be a better idea.  Although I do know that some companies get tax breaks if they can guarantee so many local jobs.

Anyhow, it will be interesting to see if this outsourcing trend continues in the electronics industry.