More Info About Automotive Ethernet

As a followup to BMW Announces Ethernet Plans, Automotive Engineering International has more information about in-car Ethernet.

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DCF for Coach revisited

In my post DCF Analysis For Coach I opined that the the DCF value for Coach was $40.24. COH is trading above $50 now. I’m sure glad I didn’t buy a short-term put on this position! I think in the next year, the effect of higher labor costs in China and lower ASPs in emerging markets (where their sales are growing) will cause the gross margins to decrease.

How to improve unemployment at the state level

Out of curiosity I tabled the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ September 2010 unemployment statistics with whether the state is a right to work state or not:

Rank State Unemployment, % Right to Work?
1 NORTH DAKOTA 3.7 Y
2 SOUTH DAKOTA 4.4 Y
3 NEBRASKA 4.6 Y
4 NEW HAMPSHIRE 5.5 N
5 VERMONT 5.8 N
6 HAWAII 6.3 N
7 KANSAS 6.6 Y
8 IOWA 6.8 Y
8 VIRGINIA 6.8 Y
8 WYOMING 6.8 Y
11 OKLAHOMA 6.9 Y
12 MINNESOTA 7 N
13 MONTANA 7.4 N
14 MARYLAND 7.5 N
14 UTAH 7.5 Y
16 MAINE 7.7 N
16 ARKANSAS 7.7 Y
18 ALASKA 7.8 N
18 WISCONSIN 7.8 N
18 LOUISIANA 7.8 Y
21 TEXAS 8.1 Y
22 COLORADO 8.2 N
22 NEW MEXICO 8.2 N
24 NEW YORK 8.3 N
25 DELAWARE 8.4 N
25 MASSACHUSETTS 8.4 N
27 ALABAMA 8.9 Y
28 PENNSYLVANIA 9 N
28 WASHINGTON 9 N
28 IDAHO 9 Y
31 CONNECTICUT 9.1 N
32 WEST VIRGINIA 9.2 N
33 MISSOURI 9.3 N
34 NEW JERSEY 9.4 N
34 TENNESSEE 9.4 Y
36 NORTH CAROLINA 9.6 Y
37 ARIZONA 9.7 Y
38 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 9.8 N
38 MISSISSIPPI 9.8 Y
40 ILLINOIS 9.9 N
41 OHIO 10 N
41 GEORGIA 10 Y
43 INDIANA 10.1 N
43 KENTUCKY 10.1 N
45 OREGON 10.6 N
46 SOUTH CAROLINA 11 Y
47 RHODE ISLAND 11.5 N
48 FLORIDA 11.9 Y
49 CALIFORNIA 12.4 N
50 MICHIGAN 13 N
51 NEVADA 14.4 N*
       
       
  Right To Work States, Average 7.95  
  Non-Right to Work, Average 9.04  

*Even though Nevada is a right to work state, Clark County is defacto Union and Clark County makes up 75% of Nevada’s population. For example, see a Casino’s Neutrality Agreement

Unemployment has affected all of the US. Some right to work states such as Florida and South Carolina are suffering, but on average, right to work states have lower unemployment than non-right to work states. It appears that a politician could improve the rate of employment of his or her state simply by making the state a right to work state.  Will this happen?  Of course not.

Corruption Ratings from Transparency International

Transparency International ranked the world’s countries in terms of corruption. None of the news stories I saw reporting on the US’s slip to 22nd place cited the actual location of the survey results. Annoying.

An Apples to Oranges Comparision of a Gigabit Ethernet PHY to a General-Purpose CPU

Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition i980EE Broadcom BCM54980
Type 6 core CPU 8 port Gigabit PHY
Geometry 32nm 90nm
Operations Per Second 127 Billion instructions per second 4,800 Billion operations per second
Power 130W 4.0W
Operations Per Watt 976 Million Ops/W 1.2 Trillion Ops/W

Of course, this is an unfair comparison, but it shows you:
1) how much processing power goes into PHY (physical layer) products
2) how specializing a chip for a particular task can increase the number of computations per second
3) how ASICs can reduce power for certain applications over a general-purpose architecture by running an algorithm hard-wired rather than in software

John Sculley Interview

I read John Sculley’s interview with Leander Kahney. John Sculley was the CEO of Apple Computer from the mid 80s until the mid 90s. I appreciate Sculley’s candor and analysis, but I feel that while Sculley got the big picture of pervasive technology (The Newton), he didn’t and still doesn’t get the details. Sculley said a couple of things interview that I think were completely wrong. First, your digital watch is not, “at least 200 or 300 times more powerful than the first Macintosh” (!). Your cell phone, though, is definitely about that powerful. Maybe he was misquoted. The second thing is I think he was wrong saying he was wrong with regards to the PowerPC. Which, Sculley claimed, was a great mistake. It was, but not for the reasons he thinks.
Apple used Motorola SPS for its CPU chips in the Macintosh. SPS was constrained as a stepchild of the Motorola organization, which underinvested in the division. The 68040 was about a year late in being released, compared to its main competitor, the 80486. In those days, you were an integrated manufacturer, you designed the chip and manufactured (fabbed) it yourself, and Motorola’s own fabs had terrible yield. This was due to a combination of lack of investment in fabs and lack of discipline among the fab employees. When the 68040 went from 1 good DPW (die per wafer) to 2 good DPW, they threw a party. Think of a wafer of silicon as baking sheet. If you bake 108 cookies per sheet and you throw out 107 of them, you have a serious problem, except that you won’t eat them, which might be a good thing! Motorola couldn’t do a die shrink which would allow them to reduce the power and shrink the size of the cookie because their fabs couldn’t support it.
Now, Intel themselves thought CISC was going to be replaced (which is why they built the i860 and i960 in the late 80s. Sun had come out with the SPARC and MIPS had started up as well. Apple was not proactive about their options beyond the 68040. Motorola had released the 88000 series which was kind of late to the RISC party and had some architectural problems. They got back on track with the 88110. Apple had actually designed a system around the Motorola 88110 source but at the last minute switched to IBM’s POWER processor very quickly source source, because of a lack of confidence in Motorola’s execution. So Sculley made a choice to go with IBM. They switch to the PowerPC and then what does Sculley do? He brings Motorola in as a partner to the alliance to help design and manufacture the chips — with their lack of execution and dirty fabs. Unbelieveable! The 60x bus [the bus from the 88110] was added to the PowerPC and the rest is history. Of course, Motorola never changed the bus for its PowerPCs, up to and including the G4, while Intel and AMD moved their processors to faster, higher-bandwidth buses that allowed more instructions and data to pass.
So Sculley’s big mistake was not going with RISC, but not being decisive. At the time, RISC seemed a good choice for the desktop, and can’t be faulted. Even Microsoft was developing Windows for multiple platforms (including Alpha, MIPS, and PowerPC) around the time. The 88110 they tentatively selected did have some interesting features for desktop applications. Switching from 88110 to PowerPC delayed the release of faster Macintoshes for at least a year, and the 68040 did not get faster (like the 80486 did) during that time.

No more welfare cash withdrawls at Casinos and Cruise Ships

Good to know California is always looking out for the taxpayer’s best interest. According to the LA Times, you will not be able to use your debit card to withdraw cash at casinos and cruise ships outside of California. Of course this only came to light because a newspaper brought it to their attention. My question is, how come someone can receive welfare benefits outside of the state of California? And why are welfare recipients allowed to withdraw cash at ATMs? I hope the guys who rocked on my dime up until June had a good time.