Engineer In Need Of A Little Wow
I read your editorial in the May 15 issue \["Does The Fire Burn And The Wonder Still Exist?" p. 52\]. I've had my own company for ten years or so. I quit my job because there was no thrill anymore, just more of the same. What I need is the excitement that you talk about, and to say WOOOOOW! Yes, I get excited when a problem targeted at me is turned into a solution. These last months I've had a student working here and I can see that he gets more excited every day.
Oh, yes, I could have been a millionaire, probably by now. I get paid about half of what I should considering my age, knowledge, and the fact that I run this company. I don't care. Instead, I invest in machinery and people to keep the fire burning and to keep the job interesting. Technology is great and making things work the way you imagined is even greater. I was struck by your column and that's why I replied, even though it's about half a year old.
Tjark van Dijk
Tildesign BV, NETHERLANDS
Don't Remain Silent
In my 15+ years of reading industry and scientific publications, I've never seen such disappointing and journalistically risky behavior as the Editor-in-Chief's silence in the face of apparently documented plagiarism \["Setting the Record Straight," Sept. 5, p. 78\]. Staff Scientist Jim Williams of Linear Technology Corp. outlined, in some detail, his accusation that Electronic Design (ED) published an article containing material inappropriately taken verbatim from a Linear Technology Corp. Application Note. That the Editor-in-Chief is unwilling to publicly address this accusation is perhaps unique in the publishing industry.
What message is intended by this silence? We might infer that the ED editorial staff takes no responsibility for the content of its articles, or at minimum, that the silence reflects an unwillingness to investigate plagiarism. In either circumstance, readers would be wise to mistrust the content of ED.
A more frightening possibility is that the editorial staff doesn't take a stand against theft of intellectual property. Some readers might be willing to ignore the "borrowing" of circuits and text from a 14-year-old data book. But more astute players in the electronics field should be frightened by the realization that this apparent editorial apathy encourages unscrupulous writers to steal and publish more cherished intellectual property.
Next time, it might be your IP that ends up unwontedly and unexpectedly on the pages of ED. Any way you look at it, when the editorial staff of ED is willingly silent in the face of purportedly publishing stolen IP, it lessens both the value and credibility of the magazine.
Andrew R. Mitz, PhD
Thanks for your comments regarding the article that was, in effect, a plagiarized copy of material previously published by Linear Technology. Electronic Design does make every possible effort to ensure that the material submitted by authors is their original work. Once a situation like this occurs, however, and we can pinpoint someone who blatantly ignores our publication rules, there's little we can do aside from publicly acknowledging that we were misled, withholding the plagiarizer's honorarium, keeping a sharp eye out to make sure that the author doesn't submit any other material, and allowing the author of the original material to set the record straight.
I apologize if you feel that I wasn't vocal enough in the pages of the magazine. But I felt that the response by Mr. Williams was sufficiently strong and needed little additional comment.
Dave Bursky, Editor-In-Chief