Business


Here are a few RTLS and RFID news updates… Here’s a great article in xconomy|Boston on RFID innovator, ThingMagic. ThingMagic co-founder, Matt Reynolds, was one of the first to consider using low frequency signals for indoor location. He’s now a professor at Duke University pursuing an interesting line of research […]

RTLS/RFID News Updates


Mark Papermaster, formerly Senior VP of Devices Hardware Engineering and in charge of iPhone4 hardware has left Apple. No word on whether his departure is more antenna fall-out. Here’s the Ars Technica coverage. As TechCrunch points out, “The iPhone4 Antenna Issue Won’t Die – Because Apple Won’t Let It.”

iPhone Boss Leaves Apple



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The Huntsville Times has a great write-up on Q-Track’s recent successful test of prototype Firefighter Location and Rescue Equipment (FLARE): HUNTSVILLE, AL — Q-Track, a wireless tracking technology company in Huntsville, unveiled its firefighter location system prototype last week in Worcester, Mass., where six firefighters died in a warehouse fire […]

Q-Track’s Tracking System Prototype Successful in Trial


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From the “continuing-to-beat-a-dead horse” department, the antenna blogging world’s top story refuses to die: According to Simon Tonks, the consultant who led the testing, “Our tests indicate that the ‘death grip’ issue is real, and is worse for the Apple iPhone 4 than for other smartphones.” I summed up my […]

Still More on the iPhone Antenna



Wal-Mart made a business model out of streamlining distribution networks. Now Wal-Mart is about to implement item level RFID tagging beginning with jeans (see the article from  RFID Journal). Wal-Mart has had difficulty in the past implementing RFID for inventory control. Previous efforts appear to have been hamstrung by poor […]

Wal-Mart Moving to Item Level RFID Tags


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Mathew Lasar writing over at Ars Technica has an update on San Fransisco’s new cell phone law requiring cell phone vendors to post Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) data for all models. The SAR is rate at which a phone can dissipate power as heat in the head of  a user. […]

SAR Labels for Cell Phones?



The *real* story behind Steve “Darth” Jobs and the iPhone incident, from this (Chinese?) animation (with English subtitles). The funniest aspect of this over-the-top animated “documentary” is that some of the anti-Apple ranting sounds just like this.

Steve “Darth” Jobs Strikes Back!


Idaho is so famous for its potatoes, the slogan "Famous Potatoes" has long been standard on Idaho license plates. Either that or the Idaho Potato Commission has a lot of pull with the Idaho DMV. Source: State of Idaho, DMV.
Leonard Read’s classic economics essay “I, Pencil“ tells the story of  a simple pencil. By tracing the far flung and complex origins of this seemingly trivial device, Read’s parable teaches a powerful lesson: that the unfettered, distributed wisdom of the market trumps the abilities of any centralized controller or regulator. […]

The Story of the Pencil, I Mean, Potato Chip



Explorer IV technical details. Source: Wikipedia.
Apple has been justly criticized for not responding promptly to the iPhone’s antenna problems, and for problems in the way they handled the crisis. But with so many piling on Apple for their iPhone antenna problems, I’d like to reiterate and expand on what I said Monday: The antenna design […]

The iPhone Antenna’s Space Age Origins


Source: David Chartier "Don't Hold It." 2
Apple’s competitors were not happy with Steve Job’s attempt to paint the iPhone’s antenna problems as similar to those faced by other smart phones. This Wireless Week piece presents feedback from Samsung, RIM, HTC, Motorola, and Nokia. An industry source I contacted declined to comment, saying his company’s testing was […]

iPhone Antennas – The OEM’s Weigh In




Apple resolved the iPhone antenna problem as anticipated on Friday by handing out plastic bumpers free to customers. The MSRP $29 bumpers are of negligible cost to the company and well worth the expense to solve the problem. The antenna design on the iPhone really is quite clever and innovative. […]

iPhone Antenna Problem Solved



Apple will hold a press conference later this morning on the iPhone antenna problem. This comes in the wake of a Consumer Reports test confirming that the problem with the antenna and not just a software problem as Apple had originally claimed. When a finger makes contact with the gap […]

Apple to Discuss iPhone Antenna


Gizmodo released a (doctored) photo of the iPhone 5 with improved antenna. 2
Gizmodo’s latest scoop – photos of a prototype iPhone 5 with improved antenna.This is a spoof, but it does raise interesting questions about the sacrifices accepted in antenna performance for the sake of aesthetics. I actually *would* do this to my cell phone because the factor of four improvement in […]

Fixing the iPhone Antenna?



Huntsville, AL based Intergraph agreed Wednesday to be purchased by Swedish measurement technology company Hexagon AB for $2.3 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. Intergraph, a leading geospatial and CAD software company, will remain a separate division of the company. Local coverage and comments are here.

Intergraph Sold for $2.3B




Here’s a selection of some of the most interesting features we’ve seen on the Internet this week: Physicist Frank Tipler observes that a couple of the most prominent physicists – including Einstein and Feynman – owe their success not so much to raw intelligence or “brightness,” but rather to an […]

Quick Picks


“Static, like the poor, will always be with us,” radio engineer John Carson famously quipped in the 1920s. The crackles, pops, and hiss on the AM radio band were thought to be an inevitable part of radio technology. Then along came Edwin Howard Armstrong who invented wideband frequency modulation or […]

More Power for AM Radio?



Updating last week’s post on the Rise and Fall of UWB,  the Huntsville Times reports that Time Domain’s new president, Adrian Jennings, is upbeat about the future. Update: a slightly reworked version is here.

Time Domain Boss “Upbeat”




Some updates on items previously discussed or mentioned on AetherCzar: The “Froot Loops” plaintiff also had a law suit alleging false advertising.  Believe it or not, there is no such thing as a “Crunch Berry,” and no real berries in the eponymous cereal. Alas, his appeal was dismissed for lack […]

The Rest of the Story


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Guest Post by Kai Siwiak, TimeDerivative, Inc. Unless otherwise indicated, all quotes are from: K. Siwiak and D. McKeown, UWB Radio Technology, (Wiley, 2004) We pause to reflect on the rise and fall of ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, and especially on the recent reorganization of Time Domain Corporation, a UWB pioneer […]

The Rise and Fall of UWB



A few quick picks… The National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) is welcoming public comments on dealing with contraband cell phones in prisons. Submit your comments before June 11. Hat tip: Ars Technica. Elliot revisits the cell phone ban on airplanes. Chiropractor in Frederick, MD cleanses “EMF toxins” using ancient […]

Quick Picks


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So what happens in an emergency when you tune to local radio stations for information and all you can get are automated stations with the same pre-recorded music and off-color DJ chat? Residents of Minot, ND found out the hard way in 2002 when a train derailment released clouds of […]

In Case of Emergency?