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The (Pre) Fix Is In

With Tecplot 10, what you've got is what you see

3 min read

Slapping a prefix onto an existing term is probably the easiest way to coin a new word, and it's a linguistic tool that technologists aren't shy about using. This is particularly true when the neologism identifies something that differs in some specific quality from a preexisting thing. For example, many new technological inventions are electronic or online versions of familiar objects or services, so the innovations are easily named by tacking on one of the half dozen common technological prefixes: e- , cyber- , Net- , i- , info- , and techno-.

Unfortunately, it's so easy to use those prefixes that a movement against them has developed. The backlash has been going full throttle since the tech meltdown of 2000, but it began before that. For example, in their 1999 book, Wired Style (Broadway Books), authors Constance Hale and Jessie Scanlon pleaded for some restraint in their entry for the prefix e-, frequently seen attached to commerce , trading , cards , and so on: "Please, resist the urge to use this vowel-as-cliché."

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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