ÆtherCzar: Best of July 2010

This post reviews and highlights my ten favorite posts or threads from the past month.

  1. There’s nothing like a genuine antenna controversy to brighten the day of an antenna blogger. Apple’s iPhone antenna problems and aftermath filled ÆtherCzar with material in July. The month began with “Apple Hiring Antenna Engineers.” I passed on Gizmodo’s spoof of an external antenna fix for the iPhone in “Fixing the iPhone Antenna?” Then I actually started seriously following the issues associated with the iPhone antenna. I reported on Steve Job’s impending press conference on the subject in “Apple to Discuss iPhone Antenna,” and recommended the free bumper fix. This was in fact the solution Apple pursued, as described in: “iPhone Antenna Problem Solved.” In “iPhone Antennas – The OEM’s Weigh In,” I forwarded some grumbles from other manufacturers about Steve Job’s claim that antenna problems were common in smart phones – and a website that compiled user manuals for iPhone competitors with warnings about how to hold the competitive phone so as not to impact antenna performance. My favorite and most significant iPhone post of the month was “The iPhone Antenna’s Space Age Origins,” an examination of the historical origins of the iPhone antenna concept in antennas implemented in the first U.S. satellite: Explorer. Finally, I ended the month on a lighter note with an over-the-top animated documentary I passed on in “Steve “Darth” Jobs Strikes Back!
  2. I discussed some of the anti-corporate science undertones of the recent ScienceBlogs kerfuffle in “Corporate Science = Evil Science?,” and added some additional thoughts in “More on the ScienceBlogs Debacle.” I also suggested that the folks at Pepsi’s FoodFrontiers blog spice up their content a bit in “The Story of the Pencil, I Mean, Potato Chip.”
  3. I’ve continued a series of posts on the history of real-time location systems (RTLS) with: “Improved Direction Finding,” “Direction-Finding Goes to War,” “Adcock’s DF Array,” and “RF-Based Location and Navigation Comes of Age.”
  4. On Memorial Day, I kicked off a series of posts to commemorate my grandfather, Paul Farnum, and his WWII experience. The posts follow him day-by-day waiting in England for deployment, crossing Utah beach a few days after D-Day, and participating in the capture of Cherbourg which surrendered 27 June, 1944. His unit, 1st Battalion, 313th Regiment, 79th Infantry Division is currently following in the wake of the 6th Armored Division along the far west of the Allied lines. ÆtherCzar will continue to report the events of August 1944 each day, as events warrant.
  5. I disputed the concept that Scientific Consensus = Scientific Truth? by explaining the erroneous consensus about the Age of the Earth and about Eugenics.
  6. In my post, The Northern Lights, I reviewed the epononymous book by Lucy Jago: The Northern Lights: the true story of the man who unlocked the secrets of the aurora borealis.
  7. I shared my personal experience in “TSA and Suspicious Electronics Prototypes.” Bottom line: my colleagues were subject to extra scrutiny, but in a courteous fashion.
  8. I also passed on a heartwarming story about how the Czarina’s Baby Dipper bowl helped an almost five year old girl with developmental delays eat with a spoon for the first time in “Can a Bowl Make a Difference?
  9. Sorry Brits, and meaning no disrespect to your sovereign, but the “Queen’s English” actually turns out to be a degenerate form of the common tongue we once all spoke. I pass on the story from Nick Patrick in “Is American the “True” English Accent?
  10. Q-Track conducted radio propagation testing at “Cave Mountain Cave, Alabama.” Since then we’ve been in storm sewers and in a coal mine. I hope to share more soon.
  11. In “SAR Labels for Cell Phones?,”  I argued that San Fransisco’s regulations requiring Specific Absorbed Radiation (SAR) measurements be posted for cell phones is misleading, because it assumes more safety is achieved at lower SAR levels when complete safety already exists at the maximum limit.
  12. Finally in “Are the Poor Better Off in the U.S.?,” I recalled an anecdote from Russian defector Viktor Belenko, as told in John Barron’s MIG Pilot: The Final Escape of Lt. Belenko. Belenko became disillusioned with the Soviet system and in 1975 he flew his MIG-25 to Japan to defect. Belenko described how he became suspicious about the anti-American propaganda he viewed in Russia from various inconsistencies.

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