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US No Longer Technology King

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-coulda-been-somebody dept.

United States 815

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that according to a recent report from the World Economic Forum the US has lost the leading spot for technology innovation. The new reigning champ is now apparently Denmark with other Nordic neighbors Sweden, Finland and Norway all claiming top spots as well. "Countries were judged on technological advancements in general business, the infrastructure available and the extent to which government policy creates a framework necessary for economic development and increased competitiveness."

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Telecomm (5, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521077)

It appears it's mostly based on that... but then we all know this country sucks there in regards to Europe and Asia. As soon as the FCC stops sucking up to the big telecom corps and opens up the spectrum, the game is on again.

Re:Telecomm (3, Insightful)

DCheesi (150068) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521119)

Keep in mind that all of the countries that are listed above the US are much smaller than the US, with higher population densities. Thus it's easier to reach high broadband penetration rates in those countries.

Re:Telecomm (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521211)

Wireless can take care of the problem rather neatly if it's allowed to exist. Satellite could take care of the problem, too, if they had more capacity. If the former is being blocked by the FCC (they do sell spectrum to the highest bidder, which is not necessarily in the public interest, and thus a violation of their charter) then it's an artificial limitation, not a natural one. I don't know what's stopping the latter, unless they simply can't afford to loft another bird, or they're just waiting for them to be built. SkyBlue in particular is oversold... And I'm told that Hughes has their own problems as well. DirectTV won't sell me satellite service for some reason, must be oversold as well...

Re:Telecomm (3, Informative)

Chainsaw (2302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521267)

Sorry, that might be correct for Denmark, but not for the other nordic countries. Population density in the US is 31/km2. Denmark is very dense with 128.48/km2, Sweden has 20/km2, and Finland 16/km2.

Re:Telecomm (5, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521409)

What's interesting is not the mean, but rather the standard deviation. The U.S. has a large concentration along the coast, but a third of the population is rural. That's very unusual. Most countries with low population density tend to have very high density along the coast and almost nobody anywhere else. Sweden, for example, has 84% of its population spread over only 1.4% of its land area. The U.S. has 80% of its people in urban areas, so a lower percentage, and spread across a whopping 3%. Thus, assuming the definitions of urban vs. rural are similar between those two statistics (I'm not certain), the urban areas are only about half as dense, and the rural areas are roughly 25% more populous.

Re:Telecomm (4, Informative)

mixxu (1076713) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521317)

all of the countries that are listed above the US are much smaller than the US, with higher population densities
Untrue. According to wikipedia:
usa Density 31 /sq km (172nd) 80 /sq mi
finland Density 16 /sq km (190th) 40 /sq mi
sweden Density 20 /sq km (185th) 52 /sq mi

Re:Telecomm (1)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521319)

> Keep in mind that all of the countries that are listed above the US are much smaller than the US, with higher population densities.
> Thus it's easier to reach high broadband penetration rates in those countries.

Higher population densities? Really? Let's have a look at that.

Density/km for some countris mentioned here:
1th Denmark: 128.48
2nd Sweden: 20
3rd Singapore: 6208
4th Finland: 16
7th USA: 31

Ok, I could give you Denmark and Singapore, but you are still losing for Sweden and Finland, and actually according to your own arguments, you should be clearly leading them.

Source: Wikipedia

Re:Telecomm (0, Flamebait)

Jhan (542783) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521509)

Population densities: [studentsoftheworld.info] (people/km^2)

Denmark: 125.8
USA: 30.8
Sweden: 20.1
Finland: 15.5
Norway: 14.2
Iceland: 2.8

Denmark is indeed more densly populated than the US, as is Singapore, the Netherlands and what-not. The other nordic countries are very sparsely settled, yet they all have excellent broadband and rank highly on this list. Time to find a new excuse for the excreable broadband situation in the US...

Re:Telecomm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521537)

Yes, yes, we hear that all the time.

Now explain why we still can't get VoIP plus TVoIP plus 100mbit+ fiber in our densest cities, otherwise the idea and it's parroters are full of shit.

And don't tell me there's no need for that much bandwidth, since the phone companies started this whole network neutrality bullshit so that they could squeeze other companies for cash to compete for bandwidth against their TV service.

Re:Telecomm (-1, Troll)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521121)

Well, having the country run by religious nutcases who believe there's no need to learn about science because an invisible superhero made everything can't help.

Re:Telecomm (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521341)

Bush is a religious troll, not a nutcase. Disobeying the one commandment means not being christian by definition, no matter the amount of bible verses one utters. According to the tale, even the devil tempted Jesus using the scriptures.

Re:Telecomm (1, Offtopic)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521519)

Bush is a religious troll, not a nutcase. Disobeying the one commandment means not being christian by definition, no matter the amount of bible verses one utters.

Actually, all that's required to be a christian is to accept jesus christ as your personal savior, and to avoid heresies (like not believing that god is three in one: the father, son, and the holy spirit.

Note that I am not a christian, but they did attempt to indoctrinate me for years. My mother sent me to a christian day care in spite of being a recovered catholic herself (this was a baptist church) because it was the cheapest day care around. I do remember some of the fun little stories from the felt board...

Re:Telecomm (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521349)

I wish I had mod points. I'd mod you as troll. I'm sick of everyone throwing this shit into every topic, whether I agree with them or not.

Re:Telecomm (-1, Offtopic)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521157)

Oh... by the way - frist post!!!

My first =)

Nice shootin', Tex (1)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521271)

Only missed it by 5 minutes.

Vi er de bedste, os kan ingen tæske (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521213)

Vi elsker vort land,
når den signede jul
tænder stjernen i træet med glans i hvert øje,
når om våren hver fugl
over mark under strand
lader stemmen til hilsende triller sig bøje:
vi synger din lov over vej, over gade,
vi kranser dit navn, når vor høst er i lade,
men den skønneste krans
bli'r dog din, sankte Hans,
den er bunden af sommerens hjerter så varme, så glade,
- men den skønneste krans
bli'r dog din, sankte Hans,
den er bunden af sommerens hjerter så varme, så glade.

Vi elsker vort land,
men ved midsommer mest,
når hver sky over marken velsignelsen sender,
når af blomster er flest,
og når kvæget i spand
giver rigeligst gave til flittige hænder;
når ikke vi pløjer og harver og tromler,
når koen sin middag i kløveren gumler:
da går ungdom til dans
på dit bud sankte Hans!
ret som føllet og lammet, der frit over engen sig tumler,
- da går ungdom til dans
på dit bud sankte Hans!
ret som føllet og lammet, der frit over engen sig tumler.

Vi elsker vort land,
og med sværdet i hånd
skal hver udenvælts fjende beredte os kende,
men mod ufredens ånd
over mark, under strand
vil vi bålet på fædrenes gravhøje tænde:
hver by har sin heks, og hvert sogn sine trolde,
dem vil vi fra livet med glædesblus holde,
vi vil fred her til lands,
sankte Hans, sankte Hans!
den kan vindes, hvor hjerterne aldrig bli'r tvivlende kolde,
- vi vil fred her til lands,
sankte Hans, sankte Hans!
den kan vindes, hvor hjerterne aldrig bli'r tvivlende kolde.

Vi elsker vort land,
og vi hilser den drot,
som har prøvet og valgt sig den rette fyrstinde:
på hans eventyr-slot
kan hver kvinde, hver mand
et eksempel for livet i kærlighed finde!
Lad tiderne ældes, lad farverne blegne,
et minde vi vil dog i hjertet os tegne:
fra sagnrige nord
gaar en glans over jord -
Det er genskær af vidunderlandets fortryllende enge,
- fra sagnrige nord
gaar en glans over jord -
Det er genskær af vidunderlandets fortryllende enge!

Re:Vi er de bedste, os kan ingen tæske (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521335)

Mod Op !

First we take Danmark, then we take SlashDot ! /Nørderne ;)

Re:Telecomm (3, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521293)

Not wanting to be nasty or anything, but America is going through a bit of a religious experience at the moment, with people rejecting science by the million.

That cannot happen and the US retain their technological advantage.

Point of interest, America was having similer problems pre Sputnik, and when it flew overhead Congress ordered that Science be given a priority in the classroom, and that evolution be taught everywhere. The result? America's rise to technological dominance in the information age.

Now its happening all over again.

You have to ask yourselves, what will the next Sputnik be?

Re:Telecomm (4, Interesting)

paitre (32242) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521437)

Fairly easy to answer -

The Chinese or Indians (or both in concert) landing a man on the moon.
I fully suspect that is what it's going to take.

Re:Telecomm (3, Interesting)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521487)

I would love it if the Chinese did that. I was a kid when man walked on the moon last. We had a TV in my classroom when Armstrong and went for their first walk.

I thought the moon was a place in the outback where people hadn't been before (I was only four).

Re:Telecomm (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521473)

You have to ask yourselves, what will the next Sputnik be?

We also have a big technological upswing after major wars. So if we ever get out of this one, then the tech that is useful to the private sector will find it's way into industry and improved products. There is alot of military R&D work going on right now.

I for one... (5, Funny)

rez_rat (1618) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521081)

I for one... aaaaahhhhh, nevermind.

Re:I for one... (4, Funny)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521129)

What you DON'T welcome your new Nordic overlords? Don't make me come over there!

Re:I for one... (1, Troll)

rez_rat (1618) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521187)

I'll welcome Kari Traa [karitraa.com] anyday!

Re:I for one... (1)

dduck (10970) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521383)

Ahhhh... But you WILL welcome us!


Kom nu! Du vil jo gerne! :D

what, are you not up to the challenge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521505)

I, for one, welcome our new DMCA-crippled, outsourced-market underlords.

well... (3, Funny)

zeromusmog (260817) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521093)

I'm sure the RIAA and/or MPAA and/or Microsoft are to blame for this somehow.

Re:well... (5, Informative)

Dan Slotman (974474) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521145)

Actually, according to the article, "A deterioration of the political and regulatory environment in the US prompted the fall." However, "Despite losing its top position, the US still maintained a strong focus on innovation, driven by one of the world's best tertiary education systems and its high degree of co-operation with industry."

Don't mod me informative; it is just copy-and-paste magic for people as lazy as the parent poster.

tertiary focus (2, Interesting)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521343)

I read that part as well and the most prominent thought in my mind was to wonder at what level that focus on innovation is being counted. Sure, the US purports to spend lots of money on some of the important things but very little of that actually makes it to the level of the researchers who would actually do something with it. Most of the venture capital is perpetually recycled back to the upper levels of people who invest it thanks to the "sophistication of financial markets".

Well, that's not really unexpected (4, Insightful)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521097)

Since the eighties, when Japan began to take over U.S. role on technology, and U.S. started to focus more on services, this was something predictable. Sometimes people forget that there is no way to be prosper doing each others laundry [typepad.com]

Re:Well, that's not really unexpected (3, Informative)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521239)

Interesting that the link seems to claim exactly the opposite that you're stating- so which is it? Are we growing jobs in a variety of sectors, roughly half above and half below the average wage? Or if we lose our technology lead, will we end up doing each other's laundry (only having service jobs paying far below $15/hr)? Me, I'm in the second camp with what you're apparently saying in this message, but the link throws me off on what you are saying.

Re:Well, that's not really unexpected (1)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521393)

Well, I officially suck. Should have read the article beforehand, before to post it here, I misinterpreted it (based on the title). Of course I believe that it is not possible to a closed system to survive doing each others laundry. U.S. is only doing this far because they control the world's supply of currency (dollar). Wasn't it for the dollar, who knows what place would U.S. rank.

Re:Well, that's not really unexpected (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521255)

Since the eighties, when Japan began to take over U.S. role on technology, and U.S. started to focus more on services, this was something predictable. Sometimes people forget that there is no way to be prosper doing each others laundry
Your idea of "services" is skewed. Chip design for example is both technology and a service, as is contracted programming. With modern mass production, the value of goods is in their design, not the acutal labor involved in making them.

Re:Well, that's not really unexpected (5, Funny)

ez76 (322080) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521257)

Sometimes people forget that there is no way to be prosper doing each others laundry

It all comes down to quality, and at Fjord, quality is job 1.

US focus on brands and marketing (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521387)

This position is a result of economic trends. Even though I am a geek, and it pains me to say this, companies don't make money out of the technology in their products. They make it out of marketing and branding. The actual electronic/menchanical/software development is largely comoditised.

All the electronic design + manufacturing for phones, PDAs, MP3s etc can readily be outsourced to China etc, leaving the branding to be done by the US company. As companies get more and more profit driven and offshore design/manufacturing services become more prevalent this trend will strengthen. There is already a huge market driven by rebranding with companies like LiteOn doing all the product design/ developmnet/ manufacturing and the US OEM just designing the badge and putting in an order.

This is a highly effective strategy for many companies since much of the commercial value in the product is just in the brand (eg. Coke, ipod,...).

In the long term it means a significant reduction to western geekdom.

Re:Well, that's not really unexpected (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521411)

Bingo. I could never figure out why everyone just nodded and thought nothing of it.

Both trade and to some degree budgetary policy was altered and manufacturing was bid a fond farewell. I'm not saying we should be erecting trade barriers because history shows that is _really_ bad.

America has to have _something_ to trade that they bought low and sell high to other consumers in the world. I don't see how services fits into that picture.

Blame Canada! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521101)

Or Al Quaeda or Bin Laden or /bin/sh or anybody... just don't blame US
Everybody else is ganging up on US because they hate our freedom.

Re:Blame Canada! (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521159)

In some respects that's not too far from the truth, but at the rate we're losing those freedoms I figure they'll eventually stop hating us.

What else do you expect? (5, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521123)

When a society decides that corporations are priviledged citizens, corporations decide that profit [fastcompany.com] and Tax Evasion [wikipedia.org] matter more than Education [ocpp.org] , how can the country NOT fall behind in technology?

Re:What else do you expect? (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521305)

When a society decides that corporations are priviledged citizens, corporations decide that profit and Tax Evasion matter more than Education, how can the country NOT fall behind in technology?
If that were the case we would have fallen behind decades ago.

Re:What else do you expect? (2, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521499)

A fall takes time- the tax revolts didn't start until the late 1980s. 20 years is just about right.

Re:What else do you expect? (3, Insightful)

paitre (32242) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521525)

It takes decades for the mistakes and policy changes made 20 and 25 years ago to really start to show, particularly when we're discussing education - you have to essentially flush the system.

So, no - it's only been in the last 15-20 years that we've -really- seen a lot of corporate abuse of their position (not that it didn't happen earlier, but it didn't necessarily happen at the same scale), and the predictable, to some, results. /shrug.

Re:What else do you expect? (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521497)

When a society decides that corporations are priviledged citizens, corporations decide that profit [fastcompany.com] and Tax Evasion [wikipedia.org] matter more than Education [ocpp.org], how can the country NOT fall behind in technology?
So let me get this straight. You're blaming failed State controlled education on corporations? Hmm, makes sense to me.

Re:What else do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521529)

We don't need science and technology when we have God on our side. God will help lead us back into the forefront of great things. All hail the leader!

A Lot More Than You Expect (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521531)

No matter the naysaying on slashdot, the United States of America is still the mightiest, richest, most powerful, most influential nation in the world. So I guess we're doing something right.

I for one... (0)

linux_geek_germany (1079711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521137)

...welcome our new Scandinavian overlords.

SHUT UP! ENOUGH WITH THE OVERLORDS! (0, Offtopic)

dildo (250211) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521199)

oh for the love of god just please shut up!

I can't decide which I hate more: Slashdot, or myself (for reading Slashdot.)

Re:SHUT UP! ENOUGH WITH THE OVERLORDS! (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521291)

I for one welcome our new dildoes....

Re:SHUT UP! ENOUGH WITH THE OVERLORDS! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521329)

Imagine a beowolf cluster of you hating slashdot!

Re:SHUT UP! ENOUGH WITH THE OVERLORDS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521443)

All your hate are belong to Slashdot

Re:I for one... (4, Funny)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521217)

As you should. We're not a bunch of panty wastes. If you don't welcome us properly we'll get in our longships and row our tall, blond asses over there and.... um.... call someone on our cellphones.

Re:I for one... (1)

jonasj (538692) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521311)

:-D

Re:I for one... (1)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521233)

Cue the right wing rants on those dirty hippie socialists and their inferior economic system...

Military Industrial Complex (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521143)

At least we know how to make missiles and $1 million terrorism response vans in the USA. Thank God for our advanced technology.

Fuck off (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521407)

Subject says it all...

April fools? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521147)

Denmark is the tech capital of the world... uh yeah, ok... what did they do to achieve that, come up with the unified theory of global warming?

Re:April fools? (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521489)

I don't know if they came up with the unified theory of global warming.

But they did come up with this.

http://www.speedbandits.dk/ [speedbandits.dk] (flash)

Invasion Imminent (1)

SupermanX (1042838) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521151)

This is not something that can be tolerated. Time to invade Denmark. I am sure that President Bush would agree.

Re:Invasion Imminent (1)

jonasj (538692) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521279)

An invasion is not necessary; the current prime minister of Denmark beats even Tony Blair when it comes to kissing George Bush's ass. The white house dictates so much of Danish foreign policy that it feels like the country is invaded by the US already. (I'm not a Danish citizen, I just live there.)

Re:Invasion Imminent (1)

DillyP (1075379) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521375)

We may not be #1 in technology, but I'll wager that if the world took a vote for the top war monger...we'd top the list! We cannot be #1 technologically, but we can still bomb you into the stone age! So sad...

Re:Invasion Imminent (1)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521469)

Well, technically you would probably end up bombing the entire planet back into the stone age, or the return fire would. Luckily, I have prepared a cave with 47 computers and a satellite uplink high in the Canadian Rockies for such an eventuality. I'll still be playing WoW while you scrounge through nuclear waste for clothing and food.

Re:Invasion Imminent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521461)

Yes sir!
Preparation will start as soon as the president figures out where Denmark is on the map...

Validity of the criteria? (3, Insightful)

redelm (54142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521161)

I see lots of these "Top 10" type lists, and I always chuckle: The list makers apply whatever criteria they think makes for a good society, then think up a clever name for what those criteria might represent.

One small think they left off -- marginal tax rates. High rates like Sweden positively drive innovators away.

Re:Validity of the criteria? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521277)

One small think they left off -- marginal tax rates. High rates like Sweden positively drive innovators away

Denmark has high tax rates too.

Re:Validity of the criteria? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521321)

I agree, the article seems to be nothing but a collection of vapid buzzwords "network readiness" "innovation" etc. First and foremost it's an incredibly sensationalist headline based on a survey...a SURVEY! Of economists! Furthermore, "technology" is not a monolith that can be assigned a number very easily. What "technology" are we talking about here? Space? Biotech? Computer chips? Anything you can think of will be pretty arbitrary. For example, if we base rankings on the number of deep space robots, the US would win hands down. The US is the only country currently with a land rover on another planet(well, functioning one anyway). Does that mean the US "leads" in technology? It doesn't preclude it, but not much else. What is this obsession with ranknings anyway?

Thats not to say nothing needs to be done in the US, quite the contrary. They can start off by making college remotely affordable for people who want to go into science/engineering but aren't minorities and don't have rich parents etc.

Re:Validity of the criteria? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521403)

The interesting thing is: How come the countries with some of the worlds highest taxes (scandinavia) are among the richest countries in the world?

Re:Validity of the criteria? (4, Informative)

dduck (10970) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521471)

++

Also, there are several ways to avoid the high marginal taxes - at least in Denmark. The only thing that is really expensive is conspicuous consumption here and now - if you save it up for your old age, you will get a substantial tax discount. Also, there are significant tax breaks for companies.

I am in fact a successful innovator (not taking over the world any time soon tho), and I'm staying. Denmark has been very good to me, both growing up, and as an environment for innovation. Hey, in some countries I understand you have to pay for your education. In Denmark I got paid, both during my masters and during my PhD. That's pretty hard to beat.

Re:Validity of the criteria? (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521439)

Sweden's corporate tax rate is just 28%, which is lower than the US. Its effective tax rate on capital is just 12.1%, compared with 37.7% in the US.

http://www.finfacts.com/irelandbusinessnews/publis h/article_10003326.shtml [finfacts.com]

So the article didn't leave off any small "thinks".

The trend will continue (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521165)

The reason why is that we are quickly sending our manufacturing elsewhere. As long as America continues to do that, it will make it much more difficult to do small scale start-ups. As it is, I have been trying something none-technical, and am finding that lack of manufacturing capability is making this difficult. Interestingly, I hear from all potential sales that I should send the manufacturing to china, but never to another country. Sad state of affairs. It is good that EU and Japan have figured it out that they need manufacturing it (and good schooling).

This is a bogus study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521167)

When the "world" ranks the tech of a country by its "politics" and "regulatory environment" then we have to judge the world. IMO, tech exists outside of said constrictions. Gee, would anyone consider say Indonesia ahead of China technologically? By politics and regulatory environment they may - heck, in China there is limited democracy and the gov't owns most of the businesses. I would still put China ahead of Indonesia in tech. though ;-)

Re:This is a bogus study (2, Insightful)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521363)

When the "world" ranks the tech of a country by its "politics" and "regulatory environment" then we have to judge the world. IMO, tech exists outside of said constrictions.
Right, how could the political and regulatory climate possibly be affecting things like broadband penetration and pricing, sharing of technological advances, and the like?
You might have a machine that solves any problem you give it, but if nobody has access to it, it may as well not be there.

Ehhhh..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521173)

We don't need no stinkin' lead....

And their robotic voices echoed under the aurora (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521191)

[b o r k !] [b o r k !] [b o r k !]

Agreed. (4, Insightful)

burning-toast (925667) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521203)

If anybody doubts that we have lost our edge in the technology arena let me ask you one question:

Name one complete sub-assembly inside of your computer which had the majority of the R&D and Fabrication done in the USA.

Of that sub-assembly (assuming you have named one), which components are utilizing NEW technology developed here in the USA.

I would like to know why the USA (given a dedicated effort) could not take back the crown of technology power house without doing so by stifling our competition over seas.

There has to be enough room in the future technology development for us to foster and train our citizens to come up with new concepts which will not rely on foreign brains, labor, or money to develop, market, and sell.

Re:Agreed. (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521307)

Where are Intel and AMD from? NVidia? (ATI is canadian)

Cisco? Linksys?

Just because it's cheaper to manufacture in malaysia or taiwan doesn't mean it's developed there.

Re:Agreed. (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521479)

It's actually not really "manufactured" there either. For example, the packaging of a lot of CPUs(which tends to be the most labor intensive) is done in Malaysia and by US rules it is therefore "made in Malaysia" even though the chip itself may have been made in a fab in the US. IIRC, something has to be more than 70% of its value created in the US for it to legally carry the "Made in the USA" tag.

Re:Agreed. (1)

matt21811 (830841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521419)

"Name one complete sub-assembly inside of your computer which had the majority of the R&D and Fabrication done in the USA.
Of that sub-assembly (assuming you have named one), which components are utilizing NEW technology developed here in the USA."

err, the Intel Pentium CPU.

Re:Agreed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521453)

The israeli-developed one?

Re:Agreed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521511)

Which is moving to China?

Re:Agreed. (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521545)

Name one complete sub-assembly inside of your computer which had the majority of the R&D and Fabrication done in the USA.
Most of the R&D is still done in the USA, and depending on the complexity of the component the R&D for how to manufacture is also done in the US. The mass production which is less technically intensive is done in other countries.

There has to be enough room in the future technology development for us to foster and train our citizens to come up with new concepts which will not rely on foreign brains, labor, or money to develop, market, and sell.
There is plenty of training already here, the difference is it is much cheaper to produce goods elsewhere. In many cases that allows the brains/labor/money to go on to more value added things.

Priorities (5, Insightful)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521231)

A deterioration of the political and regulatory environment in the US prompted the fall
Our leaders aren't allowing American scientists to innovate. If it doesn't fit into a corporate ledger, or if the return on a research investment can't be forecast in terms of dollars, then the venture capitalists have little or no interest in it. Scientists, increasingly, are finding themselves denied staffing and funding requests because they're not salesmen. Especially over the last ten years I've seen a trend where MBAs, accountants, marketers, and salesmen are bidding for the highest salaries while the scientists and innovators are seen almost as a necessary evil for doing business.

Until the US fixes its priorities we're going to continue to fall. Perhaps the US can keep buying talent from other nations, with H1-B visas, but unless the scientists are given fruitful environments they simply aren't going to come up with anything new or revolutionary. What encouragement do the nation's thinkers have to keep improving their ideas when the laurels and rewards are going only to the people who manage them like a column of assets? It's plain demoralizing to continually refine a product for a year only to see executive support lost and funding slashed. Graduate students and post-docs, while they provide a significant source of intellectual labor, cannot compete with happy and eager experienced scientists in other parts of the world.

Extreme levels of government regulation, oversight, interaction, and micromanaging are probably a significant contributor to the death of American technological innovation as well.

Metric critique #1 (3, Insightful)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521235)

The first thing I would critique about this (amongst many others) is that it is a ranked list. At least in the BBC summary, it doesn't describe the objective rankings of the countries.

For example, if it was on a 100 point scale, the US could have slipped from, say, 99.9 to 99.8, and that would have been enough to slip from first to seventh. Or maybe the objective score would have been a much larger slide. Maybe the US objectively climbed, but just not at the same rate as the other countries. Being that all ten of the top countries have the same mature technological apparatus, I am imagining that whatever shuffling took place in the ratings was rather minor. The actual differences between technology adaption between the US and Iceland might be almost indistinguishable.

Well, you deserve it (1)

had3z (1064548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521241)

I don't want to look like a troll or (gasp) anti-american (read enemy combatant). But you had it coming for a long time now. All that "sue your family and your dog, while we're at it", all that "pay us royalties or die" crap, all that "if i can't have it, than nobody will", all that "crush the little guy to protect our margins", all that "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" mentality, all these are finally taking their toll. Mix this with lots of ignorant people, that could care less about life itself if they have their hi-def plazma tv sets and the oprah or football channel, and there you have it.

This is not news, it's reality.

Re:Well, you deserve it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521385)

And it will stay that way until a Captain Cook floats into the harbor and drops the anchor and exposes the reality of an ignorant USA.

"Dumbing down of America" (4, Interesting)

MarkWatson (189759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521245)

My wife has been mentioning this for years: it seems like the 'owners' have been cutting back on educational funding, industrial infrastructure, etc.

I am starting to agree with my wife, given evidence like: Bush family buying massive amounts of land in South America, Dick Cheney primarily investing his own money overseas, etc.

I believe that people with real power in the USA are "cutting loose" the middle class and lower class. I write about this in my blog a lot: the best thing to do is to invest heavily in yourself: education, personal learning, pay off debt, invest, and save.

Key Words (1, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521261)

... the extent to which government policy ...

This isn't about technology, it's about politics. This is a damning of Bush, not of the American scientific and tech communities.

Ho-hum, it gets so tiresome. Wah wah America we hate you, you suck..... (can we have some more money?)

WHY? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521269)

It's because of the Nazi-Ass current president....

broadband (1)

planckscale (579258) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521297)

While the US sticks it's head in the sand and waits for WiMax to become a reality, I'm sure Nordic countries all have fat pipes going into every home. Not that bandwidth is the cause of technology advancements, but imagine if the cost of broadband in the U.S. was cut 3/4 with government subsidies. For that matter, free to all students in public schools, etc.

I think if the US wants its competitive edge back it needs to buy the dark fiber and make sure it's super cheap if not free.

Whatever... (3, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521303)

Isn't it a global marketplace now? Who cares what 'your country' is doing. Just be the best you can be in your field and you'll be fine. Life will go on even if you can't wave a big flag saying your country is better than somebody else's. Be proud of what *you* can do.

Re:Whatever... (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521441)

Be proud of what *you* can do.
*Chant* We can nuke the planet... USA... USA!
Kidding aside. The article was about "measuring the impact of technology on the development of nations." So the nordic countries are deriving more growth from their technology sectors. That doesn't necessarily mean they are technologically more advanced. Technological advancement tends to go in waves, in the 80's Japan probably derived more growth from technology, during the 90's the dotcom boom probably meant the US was growing more due to technology.

Re:Whatever... (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521455)

Hear, hear! Whoever makes the best tech in the world, I can still buy it just about anywhere I want. And I've already changed countries once to find the best job in the world that I can.

No surprise... (2, Insightful)

Taelron (1046946) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521339)

I live in the Sillicon Valley and we use to be the big Tech center, after the Dot Com burst people began shunning Technology based companys. Now the big focus in the area seams to be BioTech companys. They are quickly out pacing the IT companys in the area. But thanks to short sighted politicians there are to many bans and restrictions in this country on this type of technology.

Something like only 20% of the availble stock of Stem Cells are still viable but the government makes it illegal to harvest more. Maybe I missed something, but every article I have seen on the process seams to make it appear no life is destroyed getting the stem cells. Its simply the old Science vs. Religion debate and the Religious Zeolots are winning and running the country into a sad deluded existance.

Production (1)

AnotherAnonymousUser (972204) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521357)

The US has made a lot of remarkable technological advancements, but a lot of their power lies in their ability to make things economical. Take steel manufacturing, railroads, electricity, the automobile industry, telephone systems, and the internet - the US is a true powerhouse for getting these industries spread far and wide by making them cheaply available to everyone. There's innovation that goes hand in hand with their development, but most of the process is just improving efficiency. The US is a great model for how to industrialize a nation to develop enormous infrastructure - once these are in place and spreading ideas and technology around, then the brilliant minds in the population have access to the science behind them and use them as their own springboards to advance the sciences further and further. Other nations have profited from the model we established for industrialization; what we're getting now is the unique advantages of each national community having their own perspectives and areas of expertise. Nation A may be good at Science A, and now has the tools to pursue it, while Nation B may be good at Science B, but couldn't truly revolutionize it until it had the infrastructure to back it up. The United States made a lot of things easily accessible for the global community, which was no small feat. And mind you, there's still no dearth of creativity flowing out of the US at present day when it comes to science and the arts.

Technology is not information technology. (1)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521379)

What exact technology sectors are these people looking at?
From this:

"Denmark, in particular, has benefited from the very effective government e-leadership, reflected in early liberalisation of the telecommunications sector, a first-rate regulatory environment and large availability of e-government services,"

(leaving off the question of how seriously we can take someone who uses a term like "e-leadership")

It seems like when they say "technology" they mean "information technology". Which of course, to most people, maybe especially on Slashdot, seems like a given. But of course there is technological innovation beyond informational technology. Did they take into account advances in medicine, agriculture, construction, aeronautics, machinery, or fabric production? These technological fields aren't perhaps growing at the exponential rate that information technology is, but they are still very important.

It seems like this study might have been paid for by an electronics industry group.

e-gregious jargoneering (1)

hesby (130050) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521535)

"Denmark, in particular, has benefited from the very effective government e-leadership, reflected in early liberalisation of the telecommunications sector, a first-rate regulatory environment and large availability of e-government services,"

(leaving off the question of how seriously we can take someone who uses a term like "e-leadership")

Indeed...someone definitely needs an e-slap

The U.S. Is: +1, PatRIOTic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18521413)


is Corruption King [whitehouse.org] .

I hope this helps the criminal indictments.

Seditiously,
K. Trout, C.E.O.

The whole report (1)

caffeine_monkey (576033) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521415)

here [weforum.org]

This comes as no surprise to me (1)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521447)

Thanks to companies such as Comcast (for example), we're falling so far behind the rest of the world, this comes as no surprise to me.

It's interesting to see that Denmark and Sweden understand they need highspeed broadband to make things happen. Now they are seeing the benefits of this investment [wikipedia.org] .

Here [newrules.org] is one report talking about public ownership of fiber to the home. If our Government could only understand the concept of fiber to the home, we may be able to recapture the number 1 spot. It's like roads. Having public roads was the big thing in the 20th Century IMO that pushed us forward. I'm thinking fiber to the house should be our focus for the 21st.

Education, immigration? (5, Insightful)

nermaljcat (895576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18521507)

Like software, Education and Immigration should be free and open. Providing innovation a fertile breeding ground.

I think that the cost of Education in the US has a big impact on this too. Sadly, a college degree has become a status symbol in the US for "upper class" citizens. A lot of people can't afford a student loan that is sometimes more than their mortgage!

A lot of European countries offer good incentives for people to study, including paying a state allowance for university students.

I'm not up to date on European immigration policy, but I'm sure it would be much more relaxed than the US when it comes to skilled labor. I couldn't imagine it being any more tighter.

Well, that's my 2 cents worth anyways...

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