Re: [SI-LIST] : What's your favorite Screwy SI Concept?

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From: Michael Vrbanac (vrbanacm@swbell.net)
Date: Sun Jan 16 2000 - 17:26:35 PST


Adrian,

Thanks for your reply.

Understood. And I do that as well at symposia and other industry meetings.
I never give out the "data" that my employer paid good money and time
to acquire. I might say that a certain thing was accomplished (and that can
be enough of a hint at times to encourage a competitor to continue to search
along a certain line of thought) but I have to weigh it very carefully not to
give it away. An example that comes to mind is when I had a chance meeting
with some folks from a competitor (a very large one) who were working on
the same problem that I was (practical ESD immunity). They weren't getting
anywhere but I (and my team) had already figured out how to protect any port
on the device to "direct injection" threats to 25KV (if we desired) and had
proven it in 200 test units already that had gone through massive screening
and testing and we were even writing specifications to a component vendor
on how to build the devices necessary to accomplish this feat. (Fortunately,
they didn't believe me.) Along with that, we knew exactly how to "tweak any
design" so that it would work. We were clearly in the lead on this. That was
before IEC 801-2 was approved (now EN61000-4-2 I believe) (along w/ the
CE mark et al) and so we were ready for anything. Had the standard been any
stricter than it was, we would have clearly had the lead to the market with a
"truly compliant product". As it was, it wasn't and we rapidly chose a different
approach with less immunity (and less cost) but comfortably met the standards
as they were. (BTW, did you ever wonder where the "grounding bar" came
from that you sometimes see on some DB-xx style connectors?) A vendor
now uses that for some of their products and I am happy for them. If we
weren't number 1.00 to suggest it, we were probably 1.01 if you get my drift.
Now that was done around 10 years ago and I have just noticed some folks
starting to discuss a vaguely related matter elsewhere which I was already a
part of and had solved. Now that's holding the secrets a long time... but that's
what I've promised to do. I have held "simple secrets" that allowed my
employer to hold the lead in the market (at nearly 100% market share)
for over 9 months at a critical point in their history and they are a very large
corporation today. Had info like that gotten out .... well, history might have
been much different. It even goes the same with measurement and test
techniques ....

The difference I see with standards development is that the players "in the
room" have already done the "things" necessary to be there or are certainly
capable of doing them rapidly or hold some core technology related to
it. So its the jewels that I speak of... while not particularly patentable
still can be strategic even though they might seem small and insignificant.
And as you said, it can be a trick to protect those things in that situation.

So perhaps in the eyes of most, I'm being too tight with the info but I'd
rather err on the conservative side but I have no trouble being able to translate
such discoveries into new work and new efforts without divulging details
I shouldn't.

BTW, in case you were wondering.... I left the data at my former
employer! <grin>

Best Regards,

Michael E. Vrbanac
.

Adrian Shiner wrote:

> Michael,
>
> With your outlook I am surprised you dare talk to anyone outside of the
> company..only joking!. In my role as Director of Technology of a fairly
> large company, I even have to sit around industry association committee
> tables discussing things with my competitors. That is how standards are
> made. In that sort of forum, we are always drawing on our experience. The
> clever bit is to isolate those jewels of knowledge which you know are not
> protected by patent or copyright & which you know are in the "development
> pipeline". I must say that I am speaking with UK & European outlook. I have
> seen many cases of US patents which are the equivilent of "patenting the
> wheelbarrow" reported in magazines. Most of them would have trouble being
> defended in Europe.
>
> Best wishes
>
> Adrian
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Michael Vrbanac <vrbanacm@swbell.net>
> To: <si-list@silab.eng.sun.com>
> Sent: 14 January 2000 21:50
> Subject: Re: [SI-LIST] : What's your favorite Screwy SI Concept?
>
> > Adrian,
> >
> > I appreciated Bradley's response because I have often been in the position
> > of creating an answer which has put my employer in an advantageous
> > position and discussing even the "textbook" engineering might have been
> > enough to give it away. This is as much to say that some ideas are really
> > ripe for picking and nobody else notices them but in spite of their
> sometimes
> > incredible simplicity, they are "proprietary". And that is true if you
> move
> > to another employer. In this case, the data is proprietary ....unless,
> the
> > new employer wants to say... understand the 20H rule ... and funds the
> > research, then the new work would establish the new data set as
> proprietary
> > for them.
> >
> > If I am therefore holding something that I know is like that regardless if
> > my employer realizes it or not, it is my ethical duty to protect my
> employer
> > if for no other reason than I promised I would do it. If I hadn't done
> this
> > for years, I certainly could have written a huge number of papers and made
> > myself "famous". So ... few know who I am nor know the impact of what
> > I have done over the years as an indirect product of my work. I know it
> > and can see some of it even just now developing in many discussions on
> > this forum. Obscurity is perhaps the price for ethics. But then, I can be
> > proud of whom I see in the mirror every morning and I think that is more
> > important .... and BTW, I can just forget the lawyers altogether.....
> >
> > Michael
> >
> > p.s. Bradley.... hang onto your integrity... its the only thing that
> can't
> > be taken away from you unless you give it away....
> >
> >
> >
> > Adrian Shiner wrote:
> >
> > > It is one thing to disclose the intellectual property of your ex
> employer.
> > > it is another for lawyers to try & gag you on discussing textbook
> > > engineering and general experience which supports your ability to put
> food
> > > into your mouth and a roof over your head! Come and live in the UK, the
> > > taxes might be high but we have a certain understanding of lawyers and
> their
> > > ilk.
> > >
> > > Adrian
> > >
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: Bradley S Henson <bhenson@notes.west.raytheon.com>
> > > To: <si-list@silab.eng.sun.com>
> > > Sent: 10 January 2000 15:55
> > > Subject: Re: [SI-LIST] : What's your favorite Screwy SI Concept?
> > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Michael,
> > > >
> > > > For those who have not been through one of those exit interviews with
> the
> > > > corporate lawyers, it may seem like a convenient excuse. However, I
> can
> > > testify
> > > > that those lawyers *don't* mince words about what can and cannot be
> > > disclosed
> > > > upon termination. When in doubt, keep silent on the subject.
> Inconvenience
> > > is a
> > > > small price to pay considering the havoc those folks could cause to
> your
> > > > personal pocketbook.
> > > >
> > > > Brad Henson,Raytheon
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Michael Vrbanac <vrbanacm@swbell.net> on 01/08/2000 07:36:14 PM
> > > >
> > > > Please respond to si-list@silab.eng.sun.com
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > To: si-list@silab.eng.sun.com
> > > >
> > > > cc: (bcc: Bradley S Henson/RWS/Raytheon/US)
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Subject: Re: [SI-LIST] : What's your favorite Screwy SI
> > > > Concept?
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Lee,
> > > >
> > > > I can explain it and have but I won't as I explained before. I have
> had
> > > > laboratory
> > > > evidence but could not retain it as it was left at a previous place of
> > > > employment.
> > > > Sorry! That was in accordance with my work agreement. And, of course,
> as
> > > > many have said to me before... "that's such a convenient excuse!"
> Again,
> > > sorry!
> > > >
> > > > As a consolation for those disappointed, I will give only one final
> hint.
> > > For
> > > > those
> > > > who love simplicity, it indeed is. For those who love the complex, an
> > > important
> > > > piece of it can be seen in a section in a highly revered tome written
> by a
> > > well-
> > > > respected author but it is not in a form that you would normally
> expect.
> > > > After seeing that, and considering its implications, compelling
> supporting
> > > > evidence
> > > > can be seen in many texts. ( Those of you who already know, don't give
> > > > it away! You'll spoil the learning experience for everyone else.) Ok,
> one
> > > more
> > > > hint and its the very last... and this I will credit to Michael
> Chan....
> > > think
> > > > of WHY
> > > > someone might have needed to do something like this, what they needed
> to
> > > > accomplish, and where it just might make some sense.
> > > >
> > > > Have fun! <grin> Hopefully, the search might prove fruitful for many
> > > looking
> > > > for it
> > > > even beyond learning about the 20H rule and where it really applies.
> And
> > > > maybe...
> > > > just maybe, we can "unscrew" one "screwy rule" AND we might just all
> be
> > > > in agreement about it!!!
> > > >
> > > > Once you figure it out, you will probably agree with me when I say
> that
> > > the 20H
> > > > rule
> > > > may not provide significant benefit for every application in every
> design
> > > but it
> > > > does have its uses.
> > > >
> > > > Michael
> > > >
> > > > Lee Ritchey wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Michael,
> > > > >
> > > > > If you cannot explain the 20h rule, do you have any laborator
> evidence
> > > to
> > > > support it?
> > > > >
> > > > > Lee
> > > > >
> > > > > Michael Vrbanac wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > > Hi, Michael,
> > > > > >
> > > > > > That is my point exactly. The "screwy rule" was driven by some
> need
> > > > > > at some time and place and more than likely be viewed negatively
> in
> > > > > > an industry segment where the need to use it is much less. The
> funny
> > > > > > "human thing" to do is to therefore deny the existence of anything
> > > we've
> > > > > > never seen or attempted to simulate.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > As I have, over time, attempted to "thoroughly explain" what I
> believe
> > > > > > the 20H rule is "doing and what it is meant to do", I never seem
> to
> > > get
> > > > > > folks to accept that explanation for whatever reason even though
> there
> > > > > > have been designs which have benefitted from it. So I don't offer
> > > > > > explanations anymore. Now I just let folks figure it out for
> > > themselves.
> > > > Its
> > > > > > a whole like trying to argue about "grounding methodologies" with
> > > someone
> > > > > > who is intently opposed to your position. You can't possibly
> create
> > > any
> > > > > > scenario to convince them otherwise. So the discussion is useless
> > > > especially
> > > > > > in a public forum. Perhaps you might understand what I mean if I
> > > > > > asked you to defend exactly why it wouldn't work and let the
> process
> > > > > > go from there.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > I was serious about the point about being careful of what one
> claims
> > > as
> > > > > > "non-applicable" or "nonsense" from a global sense (i.e. all
> > > disciplines and
> > > > > > sub-disciplines) unless it clearly violates Maxwell Equations. By
> > > doing
> > > > > > so, it amounts to a claim of infallibility both in reasoning and
> test
> > > > vehicle
> > > > > > methodology and measurement. That's a pretty arrogant position
> and
> > > > > > I try to stay away from that. The best anyone can say is that,
> based
> > > on
> > > > > > their testing and particular methodology and measurement, the
> > > principle
> > > > > > will or will not be applicable for that particular situation.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Again, the creation of some of the "screwy rules" came from a
> need to
> > > > > > address a certain type of problem and it was apparently successful
> > > > > > enough to gain a widespread audience in its application. Was it
> all
> > > > > > hoopla or was it a practical solution for a particular problem
> that
> > > many
> > > > > > of us still don't understand? Either one is possible.... you must
> > > decide.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Michael E. Vrbanac
> > > > > >
> > > > > > "Chan, Michael" wrote:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > > My 2 cents is to find out how a "screwy rule" being drawn out. A
> > > > > > > rule ( no matter it is good or bad ) has to come out from some
> > > initatives
> > > > > > > and/or motivatives. I don't think a rule can come out from
> nowhere.
> > > I
> > > > > > > believe
> > > > > > > a rule based on solid fundamental concepts cannot be wrong by
> that
> > > much
> > > > and
> > > > > > > any derivative from real world observations can be corrected
> and/or
> > > > > > > improved.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > I believe building some test structures in order to see whether
> a
> > > rule
> > > > will
> > > > > > > break or not cannot help to try to understand how a rule being
> drawn
> > > up
> > > > and
> > > > > > > whether a rule make sense or not.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > For example, take the famous " 20H RULE " as a case. Can anyone,
> > > > especially
> > > > > > > the originator(s) ( if there is some ) of the 20H Rule explains
> the
> > > > physical
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > concepts behind how this rule is being drawn up?
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Michael Chan
> > > > > > >
> > > > > >
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