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How America Can Get Its Tech Mojo Back

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the did-anyone-ask-dr.-evil dept.

Businesses 380

jfruhlinger writes "The American tech industry is hobbled by a poor education system, misguided spending priorities, and a byzantine patent system. But America can still come out on top, not least because of its longstanding tradition of individuality and private R&D investment. 'Open, distributed projects have the potential to outperform the traditional closed, controlled research model by reducing costs and duplication of effort, making it easy to collect and analyze masses of data from diverse sources, and allowing the best brains to participate no matter where they live.'"

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amerika is a 3rd world couintry (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667218)

Let's start another war. What the hey.

Re:amerika is a 3rd world couintry (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667312)

Who wants to work when we can enslave the dearkies DOOD we can rulez those Indian/Iranian/Burmian SLAVES! Isn't it SPECIAL.

Ok the blue curacao is not helping my anti-idolitarianism.

I'm so ashamed.

Re:amerika is a 3rd world couintry (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667352)

God damn pink commie bastard ! U are what is turning this country to shit.

Me kountry riot or roung.

YOU GOTTA FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667222)

Beastie Boys are BACK !!

Well (2)

Nukedoom (1776114) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667228)

...That's all fine and dandy, but I'm pretty sure open distributed projects won't help America's poor education system. It's a start, and it might give way to some progress, but collaborative researching doesn't help Billy Bob Joel learn how to advance technology if they don't know shit about it.

Re:Well (1)

Mitiaj (641435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667452)

Our education system is not poor, it's incredibly rich. Actually it's just another bubble where newcomers are paying for old-timer’ wealth.

Republican Debt Default Plan (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667240)

With their more subtle attempts at economic sabotage failing, Republicans have moved on to more direct methods like sending the US Government into default.

This will raise interests rates for all sorts of loans, and should drag the economy into a very deep recession, completing the GOP's plan to destroy the economy.

It's a great plan, if you want the American economy to crash and burn.

Democrat Debt Default Plan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667356)

With their more subtle attempts at economic sabotage failing, Democrats have moved on to more direct methods like sending the US Government into default.

This will raise interests rates for all sorts of loans, and should drag the economy into a very deep recession, completing the Dem's plan to destroy the economy.

It's a great plan, if you want the American economy to crash and burn.

There, fixed that for you.

Re:Democrat Debt Default Plan (-1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667446)

blah blah blah whine lie blah blah meme booger-fling blah blah blah

There, that's all you said.

Re:Democrat Debt Default Plan (4, Funny)

telekon (185072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667820)

I may disagree with what you say, sir, but I will fight to the death for my right to punch you in the face for saying it.

Re:Democrat Debt Default Plan (1)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667468)

Except the last 20 years say otherwise....Ooops, damned those pesky facts and history, always getting in the way of GOP dreams.

Re:Democrat Debt Default Plan (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667520)

Both sides suck, and are paid off by the same corporate interests, maybe with slightly different flavorings on each end. Partisan support is the most stupid, destructive, and completely asinine mindset you can possibly have at this point in time.

Re:Democrat Debt Default Plan (1)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667572)

I wont argue with you on that point aside to say that to some extent they have slightly different corporate masters. They need to make it so that financial support for a candidate is limited to a certain amount, and that only people can contribute. They also need to make it an act of treason to accept any type of kickback.

Re:Democrat Debt Default Plan (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667656)

Or make representation a lottery system, like jury duty. It'd get true random sampling of the citizenship.

Re:Democrat Debt Default Plan (1)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667730)

OR, make the representative size so large as to make it financially too costly to try to bribe them all. Limit terms, increase the size of senate 20 fold, increase the size of the house of representative 100 fold.

Re:Democrat Debt Default Plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667522)

Please, give us some links to your "facts." I'd love to see them. Seems to me that right now the GOP is trying to cut back spending, while the Dems want to double our debt.

Re:Democrat Debt Default Plan (1, Informative)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667596)

Re:Democrat Debt Default Plan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667682)

Shut up you cunt. Clinton presided over the tech bubble, of fucking course the deficit was controlled under Clinton.

Re:Democrat Debt Default Plan (1)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667760)

Oh right...because if the GOP had been in control and cut corporate taxes during that 8 year span, everything would have been just as hunky dory. Is that what you trying to say?

Re:Democrat Debt Default Plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667712)

One party proposes cuts to the other parties programs with absolutely no concessions is hardly admirable, meaningful or politically honest. The dems need to introduce a bill that cuts even more but all on the right side of the aisle. Already the republicans won't even discuss closing the loopholes that allowed a certain company to pay 0 taxes on 12 billion dollars. It's such a sham now.

Re:Democrat Debt Default Plan (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667538)

It's a great plan, when you want any economy holding too many US$ to crash and burn.
Historically the US got oil, sold a lot of weapons systems and traded in raw materials cheaply via the impressive US $.
Many parts of the world are now left holding near empty oil wells, export quality tanks/jets, a few very expensive dams/roads/mines and a pile of US paper to show for all their unique export wealth.
What have the US elite got to lose? They can buy up a crashed world for cents in the new $US.
Want an island, new mine, new dam, the big telco, a country?
The US Government will win, just not in a nice way for your savings account as the old US$ your holding fails.

Re:Democrat Debt Default Plan (1)

telekon (185072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667824)

With their more subtle attempts at economic sabotage failing, Democrats have moved on to more direct methods like sending the US Government into default.

This will raise interests rates for all sorts of loans, and should drag the economy into a very deep recession, completing the Dem's plan to destroy the economy.

It's a great plan, if you want the American economy to crash and burn.

There, fuck this fuck you.

There, FTFY.

Re:Republican Debt Default Plan (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667436)

And why do they want the economy to crash and burn?

Because they're shorting it and stand to make a bundle. [dailykos.com]

Re:Republican Debt Default Plan (2)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667634)

Ah Kos. The bastion of fringe leftwing non-journalism. Go into debt, then try to spend your way out of it, using other people's money. Let me know how that works okie? Even loan sharks eventually break your bones for failure to pay.

But it won't, ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667248)

Sad, but America is doomed due to lack of concerns nationally about education to have the workforce and ability in industry to produce wonderful things and ideas. Its a lost generation, and only in its own wallow and downfall can it have any chance to come back with the next generation. The generation here today, nearly and close to worthless.

Mojo? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667258)

Take it back from the guy who steals action figures^W^Wdisplay statuettes from other people's cubicles. I had my X-Men all arranged with a battle against Mojo, Magneto, and Apocolypse, and Mojo is clearly missing. He doesn't seem to belong with Neo, Emperor Palpatine, and Winnie the Pooh. %*&$ing Clepto, stealing bees' honey.

The education system has been bad for tech for a l (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667266)

The education system has been bad for tech for a long time. China is the other side MASS Cheating.

The theory over loaded parts need to go and we need to cut down on filler classes.

Re:The education system has been bad for tech for (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667408)

"Theory" is very important. The reason why the majority of software developers are crap is that modern degree courses are too vocational, and this leaves students without a sound theoretical basis.

The fact that the US high-school system churns out functional illiterates doesn't help, either.

Re:The education system has been bad for tech for (2, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667514)

We need the OPTION of "pure technology" programs with no filler and no other goals than giving the student customer as much information and training in the field of their choice.

Re:The education system has been bad for tech for (3, Interesting)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667754)

We need the OPTION of "pure technology" programs with no filler and no other goals than giving the student customer as much information and training in the field of their choice.

We have that, see trade schools, even community colleges to a degree. Expand these areas, but do not lower the bar on the university system. The point of the university is to produce a more well rounded person who also has those technical skills(*). Believe it or not, some geeks will need to be able to effectively communicate with people in business, the humanities, medicine, science, etc in order to fulfill the computer needs of these groups. They might even need to lead a group of people with diverse backgrounds representing those various fields.

(*) Whether universities are accomplishing this goal is a different conversation.

Mojo back? (4, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667300)

Get our tech mojo back? Errmm, what? Last I checked, tech giants like Apple, IBM, Dell, HP, Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Google, and Facebook --to name a few-- are all American companies staffed mostly with American citizens.

Re:Mojo back? (0)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667382)

Exactly - go ahead and list the top 50 fastest growing tech companies of the last 5 years and I bet 40 of them are in the US.

There are a lot of areas that American industry is hurting, but the tech is NOT one of them.

Re:Mojo back? (3, Insightful)

Mitiaj (641435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667418)

Those employed are mostly MBAs and LLMs. The real stuff is produced overseas.

Re:Mojo back? (4, Insightful)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667484)

I often wonder, and I'd like to see an article about that. It seems to me that when some health insurance company wants a web portal because they have to, or a city wants a new payroll system, they call an american consulting company to handle it... who farms out all the actual work to other countries and keeps the 90% difference. They call it "project management", and nobody actually cares if the project ends up being any good.

But when a high profile tech company develops something important that a billion people are going to use, do they really farm much out? If so, what are all those american thinkers doing employed at Google, Facebook, etc? I don't get the impression that those companies are all MBA's.

Re:Mojo back? (2)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667592)

I have had to work on projects that use outsourced resources and ever single one of them has been a gigantic cluster fuck. The developers have lacked the skill sets needed to build sophisticated applications. I spent so much time answering questions about basic programming that I might as well did it all. The time difference and language barrier also complicate things. Anyway I have noticed that most of good developers from oversees work in the US.

Re:Mojo back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667392)

Hot damn, yankee tech really is at a loss, all they got going for them is these whiring puter things.

Kinda answered your own question didn't you?

Re:Mojo back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667398)

Get our tech mojo back? Errmm, what? Last I checked, tech giants like Apple, IBM, Dell, HP, Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Google, and Facebook --to name a few-- are all American companies staffed mostly with American citizens.

I'm wondering how the America haters are going to reply?

Re:Mojo back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667560)

I don't know, more importantly, why are you asking other people if you're wondering about something?

Re:Mojo back? (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667424)

and Pfizer, Merck, Abbott, Boston Scientific, General Electric, Boeing, Lockheed, United Technologies, etc.

Re:Mojo back? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667430)

As an employee of one of the companies you listed I would counter that most, if not all, of those companies are all multinationals with R&D centers all around the world.

Re:Mojo back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667442)

It's not about whether you're ahead or behind. It's about whether you're accelerating or deaccelerating.

In addition, to some people in the world, mostly the world outside of America, Google and Facebook have no effect on their daily lives.

those are all multinational companies (4, Insightful)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667540)

and they all have massive portions of their corporate bodies lying outside the jurisdiction of the united states.

Re:those are all multinational companies (0)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667736)

Can you name an equal number that are not US based and founded that are also massive multi-national tech companies. They US needs about lossing it's lead not getting it back. That is the key. Even in space while the US seems to be falling behind it is the US that is sending probes to Pluto and a new massive rover to Mars. It is you basic FUD and other nations trying to spread fear and shake US confidence.
There are lots of problems. The biggest problems in my opinion is the broken patent system. The US needs to drop software patients. Another is the telcom infrastructure. Mobile and Internet are as important to growth today as the railroads where in the 1800s and highways where in the 1900s They are too important to be in the hands of few mega corps with a vested intrest in keeping their old business models intact. Education is improving believe it or not. Compared to the 80s it is much better now.

Re:those are all multinational companies (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667800)

Wonderful. Where are they based, where is the majority of their R&D based?

Youre not going to convince me that Intel doesnt count as a US tech giant.

Re:those are all multinational companies (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667844)

I listed Intel. Most of their employees are on the west coast of the US...Bay area and Portland, OR come to mind.

Apple is 95% in the Bay Area and Austin TX, with some folks in Ireland. Microsoft is almost entirely in the Seattle area.

Google is predominantly in the Bay Area. IBM is mostly everywhere, but even then, mostly within the US.

This is such a tired and stupid argument. Even if the "tech" people aren't in the US (even though they are), what good is tech without good business and management? Why do all you techie code monkeys need managers? Exactly.

Re:Mojo back? (1, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667702)

If you look a little closer, these are _global_ companies, that were historically founded in the US, mostly employ non-US citizens and often do not even have the major mart of their operations in the US. But I guess that is a bit too much for you.

Re:Mojo back? (4, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667832)

You telling me that most of Google's research takes place outside the US?

What about microsoft, mostly based in India? Or would one say that Redmond is their center of operations?

What about Intel, can you cite sources showing the majority of their ops outside the US? Everything I could find showed the majority of their operations occuring in the US (or at least more operations in the US than in any other country).

Some sources would be nice.

Re:Mojo back? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667708)

Get our tech mojo back? Errmm, what? Last I checked, tech giants like Apple, IBM, Dell, HP, Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Google, and Facebook --to name a few-- are all American companies staffed mostly with American citizens.

Apple: Made in China IBM: An Indian consulting company which also still makes servers (probably in China). Dell: Made in China HP: Made In China AMD: Spun off their foundry operations to Global Foundries, which I believe is a Singapore corporation.

Re:Mojo back? (2)

jo42 (227475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667746)

tech giants like Apple, IBM, Dell, HP, Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Google, and Facebook --to name a few-- are all American companies staffed mostly with American citizens.

And all have their hardware, or use hardware, manufactured in China...

Re:Mojo back? (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667822)

Where are the intel chips DESIGNED? Where is the R&D taking place?

Just because the fab is in southeast asia doesnt mean that southeast asia contributed to the design.

techno-corpo-babble (1)

wes33 (698200) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667316)

It is thinking such as that exhibited here -- at least judging by how it is
expressed -- which is more the problem than the solution.

Uhh (3, Insightful)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667338)

Open and Distributed just opened up the project to the whole world. That helps America specifically how?

We opened up the white house in 2008... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667732)

and got an Indonesian in it for president!

shoot all the lawyers and patent trolls (4, Interesting)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667358)

then people won't be afraid to invent again.

Re:shoot all the lawyers and patent trolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667804)

Don't shoot them, just send them to China.

Re:shoot all the lawyers and patent trolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667836)

Mod up. I kicked a lawyer unconscious last year and I encourage you all to do the same. Just make sure he doesn't know who you are.

Tech needs Apprenticeships! (3, Interesting)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667360)

There is so much that can't be learned in a class room yet for stuff like help desk level 1 they want 4 years or more.

Re:Tech needs Apprenticeships! (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667774)

Skilled manual trades have intensive, multi-year paid apprenticeships, often assisted by their unions.

The price of Capitalism (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667378)

One of the biggest reason - the US is paying price for blind obsession with capitalism.

Money does not count for everything. Some of the cool technologies were group effort, incubated in universities around the country and not by corporates. By branding all altruistic efforts with Communism/socialism, the country has alienated a lot of creative types.

Start by counting Steve Jobs a salesman and not an innovator and that would be a good start.

Re:The price of Capitalism (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667428)

Altruism is volunteering your own time and money, not those of others. To call communism and socialism altruistic is a very long stretch. And before some idiot rushes in barking false dichotomies, this isn't an endorsement of any opposing philosophy, merely a correction of the parent post.

Re:The price of Capitalism (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667574)

To call communism and socialism altruistic is a very long stretch

Demanding an end to private property is about as greedy as you can get.

'That is not your Ferrari, it is the People's Ferrari. Now give me the keys or else!'

Re:The price of Capitalism (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667714)

'That is not your Ferrari, it is the People's Ferrari. Now give me the keys or else!'

And that's hypocrisy on its face.

If its the peoples Ferrari why should you get the keys?

Most families are quite socialist. They often share cars, houses, food. The ones that are employed cover the expenses of the ones that are not. If someone is ill, the others pick up the slack. If grandma gets sick, she comes to live with you... or you bring her care packages and pay her bills...

Yeah, that's pretty greedy.

Socialism is saying it doesn't end at the family, my community should be treated the same way, or why just the community my countrymen should be treated the same way.

In practice, it works fine up to a small community.

Larger than that... well... nobody's got a good solution for that yet.

Uh, yeah, America would come out on top. (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667384)

'Open, distributed projects have the potential to outperform the traditional closed, controlled research model by reducing costs and duplication of effort, making it easy to collect and analyze masses of data from diverse sources, and allowing the best brains to participate no matter where they live.'"

Open and distributed also means 'share this research with everybody outside of the USA'.

I'm going with fix the listed problems. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667386)

The only advantage the US has is liquid capital. Unfortunately it doesn't like spending it in the US, so I say add that to the list of things to fix.

One Day Late (2)

rueger (210566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667406)

But America can still come out on top, not least because of its longstanding tradition of individuality and private R&D investment

I was kind of hoping that the over the top "Team America" proselytizing would all get done on the Fourth....

FUCK YEAH! [youtu.be]

Re:One Day Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667610)

Yeah I guess you're right, now that the rest of the world has finished stealing our IP and fucking us over, let's just open our arms and give it away.

The cult of individuality (2)

Chicken_Kickers (1062164) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667416)

How does the tradition of individuality and private R&D investment" = open access and sharing? America was built on people being shameless opportunists who found a niche and quickly exploited it. Everyone for themselves, the defining characteristic of "individualist".

Re:The cult of individuality (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667506)

And furthermore, how does "open access and sharing" give you millions of dollars to do research into advanced rare materials property research, or construct testing facilities? At some point, you need a good amount of money to actually progress past the current cutting edge. Sure, there are some simple ingenious ideas from somebody in their garage, but those are milestone events, not the majority of continual tech progress.

Re:The cult of individuality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667542)

More importantly, you need a huge patent portfolio backing you or all of your work is essentially useless and will be stolen by someone else at no profit to you.

Simple (4, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667426)

1. Stop being xenophobic gits and get back to the melting-pot culture that made this the best fucking country on Earth in the first place.
2. ???
3. Tech!

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667614)

Terrorist.

Re:Simple (5, Insightful)

aekafan (1690920) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667638)

Could could you remind me exactly when this country, or for that matter, any other were not xenophobic gits? Hell when was that great fairy tale melting pot supposed to have occurred? Immigrants would come to this country, settle in an immigrant enclave, and then move to other areas of the country with similar immigrants. Welcome to Human Nature 101:Tribalism. There is no melting pot.

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667726)

The melting pot does exist. It just happens slowly over generations...

Re:Simple (1, Flamebait)

gweihir (88907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667690)

"Best fucking country" about sums it up. Who in their right mind would like to go to to a country with this type of supremacy complex? Almost like joining the 3rd Reich, they also thought they were the Herrenrasse.

Re:Simple (2)

Kohath (38547) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667738)

Who in their right mind would like to go to to a country with this type of supremacy complex?

Someone who wants to be the best?

Maybe you wanted to post about how a third-rate country could somehow narrowly avoid becoming fourth-rate. That's not really what this topic is about.

Not that tech in particular is too badly off, but (-1, Flamebait)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667438)

If you really want to bring technological dominance back to the US, reduce or eliminate the corporate income tax. Right now, the US rate is crippling pretty much every industry that relies on large-cap businesses and forcing them outside the country.

Even Barack Obama [factcheck.org] and Bill Clinton [politico.com] favor a cut in the corporate tax rate.

Re:Not that tech in particular is too badly off, b (0)

rueger (210566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667490)

Name ONE serious tech co that has moved it's operations offshore? Call centers don't count.

Re:Not that tech in particular is too badly off, b (1)

Mitiaj (641435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667504)

Absolutely. I always thought, that both of them are actually GOP agents.

American Education (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667494)

For all the failings of the secondary education system, isn't American higher education still the envy of the world? For example, American schools still dominate Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities and my own anecdotal experience confirms that more foreigners seek affiliation with American schools than vice versa.

Re:American Education (3, Informative)

gweihir (88907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667662)

Having seen some of this so-called "higher education" in the US as a guest, I have to say it cannot be the envy of anyone knowing the US system. What I saw was rather pathetic, both on master level and on PhD level. Sure, there are a few good universities, but the rest of the world has them too. And, at least in the systems I know (Germany, Switzerland), the average University, is much, much better than the average in the US.

Why not share an infinite pie? (2, Insightful)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667496)

I'm sure I'm not the only one tired of the reflexive nationalism. The benefits of science and open-source technology can be shared by everyone, everywhere, and the more wide these things are shared, the more they grow.

Sure, I'd like to see better technical education in the US, and an environment more friendly to innovation, but I'd like to see that everywhere.

You need duplication of effort (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667524)

reducing costs and duplication of effort

For one, if results can't be duplicated, they're questionable.

Then there's the "accidental discoveries" when people are pursuing the same goal, using mostly the same methods ...

Having one official project is so "Soviet Russia". Like having one OS, one browser, one type of car, one political party, one employer ...

I thought US Univ. Educ. was as good as it gets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667528)

I only built a background picture of this from whichever US universities uploaded video lectures to Youtube. You guys have {lectures, tutorials, labs, recitations, exam preps, exams}. It'd seem that they are aware you're paying for a product and they give you an in-depth package. Over here in the UK, it's {lectures, tutorials, labs, exams}. Very often tutorials and labs are badly run and rushed. There's no accountability for the teaching staff. Even if you pay top fees, you feel that they are happy to teach sloppy sub-standard material and don't care much about important follow-ups like tutorials. For me, I felt it was a waste of money to learn computer science or electronic engineering in the UK. When asked about pure virtual functions, downsides of inheritance or static vs class initialisation in my first Interview, I felt really lost almost like I lied that I knew C++. I didn't even bother with engineering jobs because I felt I didn't learn anything. Overwhelming feeling of being a fraud.

If it's bad in the US, then it's worse in the UK. Welcome to the land of farmers, middle-men & salesmen. There's no development here, just de-skilled consumers.

Re:I thought US Univ. Educ. was as good as it gets (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667772)

The ones you see online are typically from the best professors and/or the best schools in the nation. Might not be that representative of your average state university.

Of course, if you can learn on your own and have good self-initiative, the US higher education system does have a lot of flexibility with internships, and buddying up with the research or interesting projects going on at your school, or even just pushing your own learning & exploration in general. It's not great at all for people who just want to slot in to job training. (Besides, that's what trade schools & colleges are supposed to be for, but everybody wants "university" education.)

Easy (3, Interesting)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667568)

Easy. Abolish patent law and copyright law. [mises.org] (PDF here [ucla.edu] )

Historically, those two concepts have probably been the biggest impediments to the advancement of human civilization.

Re:Easy (3, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667718)

Please then explain why the industrial revolution took off when England instated a patent system.

Re:Easy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667808)

you got it backward

Re:Easy (4, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667810)

Obligatory: Correlation does not imply causation.

Please explain why the Internet took off* when its technology was placed in the public domain, unprotected by patents.

*In the face of several competing systems promoted by everyone from AOL and Compuserve to Microsoft.

Computing and windmills aren't high tech. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667580)

The "article" is just a rant that goes off on spending priorities.

Software and computers are now low tech - it's not really cutting edge. Computing is a low margin commodity. Sure there will be breakthroughs (optical) but nothing like the 90s.

"Green" tech isn't really tech - it just rehashing stuff from the 70s. Real energy tech is happening with transportable energy; replacements for gasoline and diesel such as fuel cells. Cheap solar cells. Not necessarily high output, but cheap enough to spit them out and put'em on everything.

Biotech is another area. Bacteria that synthesizes chemicals and drugs and hormones and whatever.

When you look at the "fringier" technological research and things that could make huge sums of money, you see plenty of innovation.

tl;dr - If it's being done in China, it's not really high tech. It's low margin commodity tech.

Requires a professional (1)

Mitiaj (641435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667584)

Let's wait until Sarah Pailin becomes president.

But really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667618)

...who wants it to?

But not by Marketing-BS-Speak (1, Interesting)

gweihir (88907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667632)

The article is not part of the solution, it rather illustrates the Problem. And no, the US cannot come out of this if foreign talent stops coming. Not enough US citizens have what it takes.

Leading Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667648)

I was asking this question just the other day. I mean how can we drag ourselves out of the middle ages get them fancy roads, bridges and toilet paper like China or India?

Buy hey! we aint the only ones suffering why fer instance when I drive past my local university and all those poor Chinese and Indian students who obviously could not afford to go to the awesome schools with all the smart people in China or India... why, it enough to get me all misty thinkin that them poor basterds have to come here to the U.S of A to study engineering and medicin an stuff with us stupidfucks.

But hey! like I told my sister last week... thanks for the sex!

Do we want to though? (1, Informative)

Kohath (38547) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667654)

It doesn't seem like we want to get it back. I hear people want things like:

- More pay for less work. Less work is going to lead to progress?
- Green tech. Because regular tech never got anyone anywhere.
- Coding for a cause. Feel good about going through the motions. Produce nothing of any particular value.
- Hacking. I made this cool bot that does XYZ-super-geeky thing. For hacker cred. What does "productivity" mean?
- Envy. I want that thing the other guy has, but I don't want to earn it. Can't we just take it from him?
- Lazyness. "I was going to go to school to design games. But it was hard, so I decided to be a games journalist instead."

It takes people of a certain character to do great work in any field. America increasingly lacks those people -- at least among the native-born American population.

We also have problems with misguided elitism based on credentials, too much risk aversion, a culture that doesn't value achievement, too many licensed "professions", too many lawsuits, too much government regulation, an entitlement mentality, and too many opportunities to exploit societal systems for unearned gains.

Wait ... so individuality is good now? (3, Funny)

Alaska Jack (679307) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667670)

I mean, sure, maybe in the OLD days of Slashdot. But the comments are a lot different now than they were then. We've grown. Evolved! I thought we now all agreed that individuality was a bad thing, and that top-down central planning was the way of the future.

    - aj

we COULD... but we won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667678)

Until we do something about the unchecked greed and letting our country be run by big business, america will continue it's long slide as an empire on the decline.

But it seems that those with the power to do anything, have no interest in fixing things. So we might be screwed...

captcha: comrade

Foxxconn it! (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667748)

1.) Pay American workers as much as the Chinese
2.) Arrest anyone who protests
3.) Price fix
4.) Think Differently!

Re:Foxxconn it! (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667834)

So your alternate strategy to achieve greatness is to whine about Foxxconn?

Mirror, Mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36667768)

The US through the mouthpiece of Hilary Clinton has declared that Al-Qaeda is past its peak. This may be true but I've also learned that when someone attacks someone else they're usually talking about themselves in some way.

The new dot com bubble is just the same old wheeze of trying to talk up the US economy on the back of stupid foreigners money. Like an unreformed drunk the US hasn't learned.

Bullying by US corporations and wars abroad, and trying to ram own laws and social attitudes down everyone's neck didn't put the US in my good books and the latest talk of invading Europeans data privacy is the last straw.

I'm not going to bomb or threaten the US in any way but I can call for the rest of the world to grow its own alternatives and ignore the US. I wish things were different but you did it to yourself. Boo hoo.

Innovation: It's All About The Benjamins (1)

furytrader (1512517) | more than 3 years ago | (#36667794)

'Open, distributed projects have the potential to outperform the traditional closed, controlled research model by reducing costs and duplication of effort, making it easy to collect and analyze masses of data from diverse sources, and allowing the best brains to participate no matter where they live" .... I guess I'm a little unclear on how you're supposed to make boatloads of money through that approach ...
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