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By Jack Ganssle
Pablo Bleyer Kocik recently emailed an interesting note about Google Trends (http://www.google.com/trends), a tool I was not familiar with. It displays graphs showing the number of searches made on various keywords. The results are pretty interesting. Consider "embedded":
Do Google searches somehow mirror the society we live in? Can we monitor the flow of memes by searching the searches? Does the decline in searches on embedded topics reflect a slackening of interest in the subject? Could that decline be related to a maturing of the market? If so, one would expect rising interest in hot topics like "quantum computing":
. which looks almost quantized itself.
The "iTunes" meme continues to spread:
Results for critically important topics like "Lindsey Lohan" spike at times, probably heavily correlated with rehab sessions:
Britney Spears' star appears in decline, except when she implodes:
I'm not discouraged that the public is far more concerned about celebrities than firmware. And it's totally appropriate that the products we create, the iTunes, iPhones, and Crackberries garner more user mind-share than their enabling technologies. After all, engineering is about building products that people want, need and use, and is not an end in itself.
But I sure wonder why searches for embedded, FPGA and firmware have been in such steady decline. Any ideas?