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Photo by Alana Harris on Unsplash

The algorithm Donald Trump applied to the policies of his predecessor, Barack Obama, was simple: anything Obama had done, Trump rescinded, canceled, or did the opposite. Joe Biden might be tempted to play turnabout with Trump, and in many cases that would make a lot of sense. In matters relating to areas such as the Paris Agreement on climate change, policies with respect to immigrants, and adherence to the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, Biden would be perfectly correct in reversing course.

But, from an industrial policy perspective, it would be worth examining closely how to deal with China. China was one of the large national rivals that took advantage over the past four years of the Trump administration’s inability to keep its eye on the ball. Russia found our blind spots like an expert squash player dropping a shot where his opponent isn’t, using Trump’s (almost) inexplicable softness toward Vladimir Putin to promote its agenda. While we were watching for election disruption, Russian hackers popped open SolarWinds like a can of Mountain Dew and entered the computer networks of thousands of organizations. Iran and North Korea edged merrily toward greater nuclear capabilities. But China, among them all, boldly and directly, went about the business of displacing the United States in as many domains as possible, maneuvering itself into position to become the next great industrial and military superpower. …


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Comparing the blue channel map on the right with the green and grey ones in the middle and on the left, you can see how much more bandwidth 6GHz will introduce to the WiFi experience (Image: Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.).

Like many shoemakers, I should be ashamed that my children are running around barefoot. Actually, no. That’s a metaphor. It’s my communications infrastructure that’s running around barefoot. I’m a tech analyst with an embarrassingly ancient network and connection to the outside world.

How did it get this way? Neglect and time, as always, were big factors. Laziness was also in there somewhere. Hey, it was great in 2005 when I got Comcast cable. A few years later, I threw in an Arris cable modem and a LinkSys switch. Although most things in my office are connected by wired Ethernet (what’s that?), the wireless networks around the house are a hodgepodge of power-line distribution and 2.4GHz and 5.GHz access points of venerable vintage. …


A Portrait of Human Character

Decades ago, when I was hopping from continent to continent as an international marketing executive for a large electronics manufacturer, I developed a model of human character or personality, a portrait, if you will, specifying how we are similar and how we differ. Essentially, it went like this: 70% of who we are is shared among all people, 25% is cultural, and 5% is individual. A graphic of it would look like this:

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In the current era, scientists compare how close homo sapiens’ genes are to, for example, those of chimpanzees (96%), cats (90%), or bananas (50%). This is not that. This is a heuristic model of personality and behavior — soft science, at best. …


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Sandra L. Rivera is executive vice president and chief people officer at Intel Corporation.

Updated Jan. 17, 2021

Intel Believes It Can Do Well by Doing Good

Last week, Pat Gelsinger came back to his alma mater to take the helm from Bob Swan. When Swan took over as CEO of Intel in 2019, he began to steer the company toward doing more activity directly in the public interest. This was not the sort of behavior one normally expects from a for-profit company in a capitalist society, but he seemed to be making some headway when the board replaced him with Gelsinger.

Gelsinger has deep knowledge of semiconductor technology (in comparison to Swan, who is a finance guy). While I have no doubt that Gelsinger is the right choice now for the company, which has lost its crown as the silicon process-node leader, I do hope that he retains some of Swan’s programs. …


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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Qualcomm is a firehose of product and standards announcements these days. On Oct. 20, I think I received something like a dozen announcements of one sort or another. I’ve written before about how the company manages to maintain its focus, even when under great stress. And now that Qualcomm is out from under a heap of lawsuits, it’s back in full flower as a technological cornucopia.

Of all the possible choices of what to highlight from among various recent developments, I found the joint announcement by the company and a small firm named Jacoti to be the most compelling for the simple reason that it involves the technology of hearing, and, as mine gets progressively worse, the topic has increasingly attracted my attention. …


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Landscape in Provence, Paul Cézanne, 1900

Years ago, as I was cycling through the Swiss Alps, I had time to observe the local goings-on while riding uphill for what could be a dozen kilometers in one go. Because I was hauling 20 kilos of pack, I had to grind slowly up these stretches in a tiny granny gear.

On more than one occasion, I passed through public works: the road, bridge, and tunnel repairs necessary at all times in a region of moving tectonic plates and constant water drainage from glaciers, fast rivers, and weather. One day, on my way toward a pass to Italy in the far south of the country, I passed a roadwork, initially unassuming, the tableau of which etched itself more and more deeply into my mind over the years. The project was being done right. …


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It ain’t pretty

We normally don’t get to see this stuff. It happens behind closed doors off the hush of carpeted hallways. But in the recent public hearing in front of the U.S. House Antitrust Subcommittee, an email trail from 2016, dug up by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, was read into the record. …


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Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash

I used to think public outreach by private companies was just hot air, but my view is changing.

I am a cynic from way back. When I was 10, my parents assembled the kids in the living room and explained to us that my dad was moving to an apartment across the river to be “nearer to his work.” Within a few short years, I learned that my mom kicked him out because he had been having multiple affairs and she was fed up with it. I started distrust young.

The protection of cynicism was a good survival mechanism and a comfort until it wasn’t. At least half the things that haven’t gone right for me over a lifetime were the result of excess suspicion. I assumed the other party wasn’t acting in good faith. One in 10 times, they weren’t, and I probably saved myself something. …


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Businessmen should no more make public policy than the Pied Piper should run a daycare.

Elon Musk, who has never since the day he was born taken a breath that wasn’t in his own personal interest, is now purporting to make public policy.

That’s right. He’s going to make decisions that affect you and me. This past week, California Governor Gavin Newson had to remind Musk that he remains in the private sector, subject to regulation at all levels, including the county. But that didn’t stop Musk from declaring that he would open the Tesla plant in Freemont, despite an Alameda County order not to do so. …


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Lawn crews wield gas blowers in Spring

Yard Crews: Symptom of a Society Gone Overboard

During this period of corona-lockdown, the soundscape out here in the soon-to-be-leafy suburbs west of Boston has changed dramatically in the past month or so. We lost two high-level contributors of machine noise when the pandemic hit: commuters and airplanes.

I’ve been here more than four decades, and we’ve always had cars, but the scrum, the manic sprint in and out of the city has gone off the charts in the last 15 years or so. …

About

RogerKay

Technology Analyst

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