Friday, September 18, 2009

Is Obama Apeasing the Russians with a Change in Missile Strategy?

Appeasing the Russians or making a smart strategic move for the US? Obama announced yesterday that he has modified the previous Bush administration's missile defense strategy by changing it from a long range, fixed system based in Poland and the Czech Republic to a mobile short/medium range defense system. This could ease tensions with the Russian's who strongly objected to such a system in their back yard and possibly help the US convince them to put pressure on Iran to curb their nuclear efforts.

I think this change in strategy seemed to be presented poorly (or sensationalized by the press) as a scrapping of the Bush strategy rather than a modification of Bush's strategy as the threats have changed. Iran seems to have adapted to the initial Bush era system and bulked up its production of short and medium range missiles after we started working on a system to intercept long range missiles so the threat changed (assuming our intelligence is accurate which in the past has proven to be wrong). Therefore a more mobile, short/medium range intercept system could be the right strategy now and it should save money which is another benefit. Coupled with the improvement in Russian relations which could put pressure on Iran, this seems to be a very smart move providing our intelligence is accurate. It also protects our troops fighting in the area and our allies in the middle east such as Israel and Turkey. Having a mobile system (sea and land based) also makes it more flexible by being able to move the missiles around the globe to where the threats exist at the time.

How will this affect our industry? Do you think it is a better strategy or a mistake?? Below is video coverage from MSNBC.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

M2M Markets Seeing Life

ABI Research has new M2M report out showing how the market grew rapidly from 2003-2007 but collapsed in 2008. They began tracking the cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) module market in 2003, and for five years shipments increased on average more than 25% per year. In 2007 module shipment growth peaked at a phenomenal 45%. The economic collapse of 2008 put an end to such double-digit growth rates, but the M2M market was still up 4%.

Feedback from vendors indicates that most feel the market bottomed out in the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. Starting in 2Q 2009, they report that activity seems to be picking up again. ABI Research now forecasts that 2009 will show modest growth, with unit shipments projected to be about 16% higher than in 2008, and revenue up 10%. Below is a graph of projected growth for M2M module shipments by application:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cell Phone Radiation Report Out

Last year around this time there was some renewed concern that cell phone radiation could be dangerous, especially to kids. The Environmental Working Group has brought up the subject again with their release of the best and worst phones for radiation emissions and bringing up their concerns of the possible dangers. But there still does not seem to be any scientific evidence that they are dangerous and non-ionizing radiation is not known to be dangerous to the human body at the levels one would experience in everyday use of cell phones.

It is interesting that Samsung dominated the top 10 best phones list with 5 out of the 10 that have the lowest emission levels with the Samsung Impression taking the top spot. Motorola seems to dominate the top 10 list of the the worst rated phones with 5 out of 10 on that list (they do have one in the top ten best list also so it seems to be phone specific).

As I said in my entry last year, the FCC does limit the radiation levels of cell phones to a maximum specific absorption rate (SAR) of 1.6 W/kg (European limits are 2.0 W/kg). You can find the measured SAR values for many cell phones on CNET's website (one of my favorite sites for Tech Info.).