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Current Topic: Tech Industry

Choose to Compete - What the IT industry told Congress today
Topic: Tech Industry 10:44 pm EST, Jan  7, 2004

Decius's response: The US IT industry cannot employ the people domestically that it has available to it today, and it has no plans to employ more people domestically in the future. That is the reason that it is beginning to fall under political pressure. Their response is to pretend that this problem does not exist by quoting statistics developed during the dotcom boom, and then, with a straight face, request assistance with moving money across international borders, assistance with R&D expenses, and the training of EVEN MORE engineers ("We can't use the resources we have, so please give us more resources.").

This country does not produce as many Engineers as China because Engineering bears a stigma in this country of being an undesirable profession. Numbers increased in recent years because that perception began to change, but its going right back down again. This is because the IT industry has failed to make a compelling case that people should WANT to be Engineers. If they wish to see the US produce more and better engineers, they need to sell teenagers on the idea that being an Engineer is worth all the work. They need to demonstrate to people that there are real opportunities.

How many of those 61,000 Engineering graduates from the class of 1999 do you know who have been underemployed or unemployed in the last 3 years? What kind of message is that sending to people who are considering following in their footsteps? If the IT industry really wanted more Engineers domestically they would be addressing that concern directly instead of getting up in front of Congress and asking for lower taxes. The fact that they chose the later option further contributes to the idea that this is all a big crock. It should surprise none of you that this is the same industry group that cuts deals with the RIAA to sell DRM into your house.

This sort of complete leadership vacuum does not bode well. Leadership vacuums get filled, inevitably. Sometimes by dangerous people.

Choose to Compete - What the IT industry told Congress today

Tech Firms Defend Moving Jobs Overseas (
Topic: Tech Industry 9:41 pm EST, Jan  7, 2004

] Intel chief executive Craig Barrett said the United
] States "now has to compete for every job going forward.
] That has not been on the table before. It had been
] assumed we had a lock on white-collar jobs and high-tech
] jobs. That is no longer the case."

They are smarter. They are hungrier. They have a better work ethic. Their dollars go futher, and they are used to having less stuff. Their labor regulations are looser. This isn't about tech jobs, this is about service/knowledge jobs. This is only the beginning. American dominance is over. There are too many skilled people, no one knows how to utilize all of them, and you are far from the most attractive of them. Ever wanted to know what life was like in the 30s? You will.

Tech Firms Defend Moving Jobs Overseas (

Globes [online] - No favors
Topic: Tech Industry 1:55 pm EST, Dec  2, 2003

] In recent years, there have been quite a few
] entrepreneurs wandering around with good ideas (at least
] in their heads), but unable to raise capital. There are
] no more angels willing to invest hundreds of thousands of
] dollars. The number of venture capital funds making seed
] investments has sharply contracted, and those still
] willing to invest do so only after long and painstaking
] study, especially in cases of entrepreneurs without prior
] experience.

Interesting interview with the founders of Huminity...

Globes [online] - No favors

The Register :: DRM stores a money pit
Topic: Tech Industry 12:16 pm EST, Nov 22, 2003

] Apple is leading a race of lemmings into the zero-profit
] business of closed music downloads, says the founder of
], Michael Robertson.
] "It seems kind of crazy to me, the economics don't make
] sense," Robertson told us Thursday. "Why are all these
] guys like Microsoft and Wal-Mart rushing into a business
] where the industry leader says 'we cannot make money with
] the contracts that we have'?"

I don't fully agree with the conclusions this article makes, but I found it an entertaining perspective nonetheless.

The Register :: DRM stores a money pit

Slashdot | Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik Responds
Topic: Tech Industry 1:16 pm EST, Nov 21, 2003

] As more large customers move to distributed computing
] architectures, firms will want to leverage the
] flexibility and independence a integrated stack can
] create for a business. Our product line is being built
] through the delivery of software sold modularly. For
] example, our cluster suite.

Red Hat's answers were not very good.

Slashdot | Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik Responds

The Fedora
Topic: Tech Industry 12:33 pm EST, Nov 21, 2003

] Red Hat’s use of the Fedora™ brand name and its assertion
] of ownership over that name are of considerable concern
] to the Cornell and Virginia Fedora™ project team. Red
] Hat’s guidelines for use of the Fedora™ brand place
] restrictions on use of a term for which the Cornell and
] Virginia team have over five years of prior use. This
] position seems inconsistent with Red Hat’s stance on open
] source and its prominence in the open source community.

Sounds like redhat is aware of the concern here and is moving forward anyway. Stupid. They'll settle eventually, or they'll loose the name.

The Fedora

Ars Technica: Fall 2003 CPU roundup
Topic: Tech Industry 10:05 pm EST, Nov 20, 2003

] The recent Microprocessor Forum produced some great
] details on forthcoming processors from a variety of
] companies for a whole range of market segments. This
] article originally started life as an MPF CPU roundup,
] but it has evolved into more of an overview of three
] specific upcoming processors: IBM's POWER5, Sun's
] UltraSparc IV, and Transmeta's Efficeon.

ARS on the near future of the computer industry from the perspective of a CPU architect. I love these articles.

I will say putting a transmeta chip next to two high performance CPUs is a little odd. They are designing for very different markets, and their divergent designs reflect that.

Ars Technica: Fall 2003 CPU roundup

High-Tech Jobs Are Going Abroad! But That's Okay
Topic: Tech Industry 12:48 pm EST, Nov  5, 2003

There's good news and not-so-good news in the American workplace. The economy is growing, but high-tech jobs have not come back.

Lots of people are worried about it. The fear is understandable. The trend isn't surprising.

So why don't I believe the outsourcing of high-tech work is something to lose sleep over?

Our economic future is wedded to technological change, and most of the jobs of the future are still ours to invent.

This op-ed by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich appeared in the Sunday edition of the Washington Post.

High-Tech Jobs Are Going Abroad! But That's Okay

BW Online | October 27, 2003 | The Hidden Costs of IT Outsourcing
Topic: Tech Industry 8:39 am EST, Oct 30, 2003

] Indeed, offshoring -- sending work overseas -- isn't
] always all it's made out to be. Particularly with
] information technology, which can be a lot more
] complicated than moving traditional manufacturing
] operations overseas. IT quality is much more difficult to
] gauge, says Atul Vashistha, chairman and CEO of info-tech
] offshoring consultancy neoIT in San Ramon, Calif. And
] since IT is an integral part of every business process,
] it requires more communication and management.

Its good to have this out there, because the CEOs that back outsourcing are fond of talking about the quality level that they get, but anecdotally thats not what I've heard from people. I'm not sure what to think about that. It could be isolated experiences, biased observers, and whatnot. It could be a temporary situation while the offshore houses get their operations setup right. If this problem IS real, then how long will it last?

BW Online | October 27, 2003 | The Hidden Costs of IT Outsourcing

Who wins when jobs move offshore? | CNET
Topic: Tech Industry 9:51 am EST, Oct 28, 2003

Answer, not you...

] Nonetheless, from 1979 to 1999, 69 percent of the people
] who lost jobs as a result of cheap imports in sectors
] other than manufacturing were reemployed. The mean wage
] of those reemployed was 96.2 percent of their previous
] wage.

And this article is pro offshoring. They spend paragraphs spinning the hell out of it like a high school cheer leader. Look to your left, look to your right, one of you isn't going to work again.

Who wins when jobs move offshore? | CNET

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