×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

sjbe Re:4 million people disagree (325 comments)

So by this time next year a couple thousand of those 4 million will be dead.

"Couple thousand"? By your own numbers we should expect around 360 murders (48/100,000*750,000), most of which will not occur anywhere near where most people actually go. Tens of thousands work downtown and Ford Field, Comerica Park, Joe Louis Arena, Detroit Institute of Art, Cobo Hall, Wayne State University, several casinos and quite a few other attractions are downtown. Few people ever have a problem. Get a clue.

There's a lot more to avoid in Detroit than the snow.

Why would I want to avoid either Detroit or the snow? Literally millions of people go to Detroit every year without any incident whatsoever. Most of Detroit City is no more dangerous than any other major metro area in the US. An most people DON'T LIVE IN DETROIT CITY.

Plus I like to ski and skate. Why would I avoid the snow?

yesterday
top

Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

sjbe Re:4 million people disagree (325 comments)

I know what the weather is like, the last year that we lived there the first week in February the temperature never got above 10 below, and six months later the first week in August never got below 97 (even at night).

Wow. One week of cold and one week of hot. However did you manage to survive? [/sarcasm]

Wuss.

yesterday
top

Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

sjbe Software is just a small part of tech (325 comments)

I'm sure that's true if you're counting traditional engineering fields, meaning not including software engineers. I'm not sure it would still be true if you included software

Not as much software as some other places but that is changing FAST. Cars are getting a lot of software these days and so is the equipment used to make them. Plus a lot of software companies have a presence in the area including Google and some other big names. University of Michigan produces a lot of pretty good software talent and places like Ann Arbor are great places to start tech ventures.

Software is just a small, though important, part of technology. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook hardly comprise the entirety of the technology universe.

yesterday
top

Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

sjbe Where? (325 comments)

It may not be as bad outside the city, but in my experience, it was nearly so.

Bullshit. Where did you live? Oakland, McComb an Washtenaw counties are all very nice places to live.

yesterday
top

Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

sjbe 4 million people disagree (325 comments)

I take it the executives of these companies will be living somewhere the weather is livable and the food is decent.

The weather in Michigan is tremendous unless you are a complete wuss about a little snow. If you actually like to go outside the weather is terrific, particularly if you like boating. Never more than 80 miles from one of the Great Lakes anywhere in Michigan. In the summer I never been anyplace with better weather. Detroit Metro has about 4 million residents who think you are a big old wuss.

Furthermore there are terrific food establishments and markets in the Detroit Metro area. Roast, Zingermans, Eastern Market and lots lots more. There are high quality grocery stores and farmers markets everywhere. The fresh produce is tremendous.

yesterday
top

Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

sjbe Re:Wanted (325 comments)

Wanted: People who are smart enough to work in tech, but dumb enough to live in an unsafe place.

Wanted: People who are smart enough to work in tech AND smart enough to actually get facts before making stupid public statements.

Seriously, few people actually live in Detroit City and that isn't where most of the jobs are - most live outside and it's perfectly safe most places. I'm pretty sure there are neighborhoods in San Francisco and Boston and Austin that the tech workers avoid. No different in Detroit.

yesterday
top

Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

sjbe Not so different (325 comments)

The problem is, Texas has been electing politicians that while they apparently are exactly what Texas thinks is good, look to the rest of the non-red country as not so hot.

You mean like how the rest of the country elected George Bush twice?

yesterday
top

Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

sjbe Profits (325 comments)

a lot of car makers can build cars in the USA profitably. even small cars. except GM and Ford

Given that Ford earned $7.2 Billion in net income in 2013 and GM made a $3.8 billion profit over the same period I think GM and Ford will be very surprised to hear that they cannot make cars in the US profitably since most of their profit comes from US operations.

part of the problem is the factories are old and there is no more room to expand.

You don't need to expand factories to make the efficient. Inefficient factories get shut down and those that remain are doing just fine. I have visited numerous Ford and GM assembly plants (as well as Toyota and Honda) and for the most part they are as efficient and profitable as those of their leading competitors.

yesterday
top

Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

sjbe Re:Nothing new - Always had tech jobs (325 comments)

which would of been picked up by the next, possibly innovative, auto company to come along an buy up all the union heavy, bloated, bureaucratic, bankrupt companies assets at rock bottom prices

Wouldn't have happened because the supply chain would have imploded. GM gets liquidated and it would have dragged Ford and Chrysler down with it because they all share the same suppliers. Even the CEO of Toyota publicly admitted that liquidating GM would have been a bad idea because it would have hurt them badly too. GM being liquidated puts Delphi and Lear and a bunch of other Tier 1, 2 and 3 companies out of business. My company would have folded and not come back.

you don't stop being valuable or employable because the company you work for goes out of business.

When a company the size of GM + its supply chain goes under, the jobs go away too and aren't easily replaced. There are a lot of very talented people who had a hard time finding work after 2008. Some still do.

as for moving to Detroit, no thank you. too many union types lurking around up there.

Pretty clueless comment there. You can easily work your whole career in Metro Detroit without having to deal with a union even once. Most workers in the area do not belong to a union of any sort and in fact the state just became a right-to-work state (for better or worse).

yesterday
top

Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

sjbe Irrelevant to jobs (325 comments)

List of the most dangerous cities in the US for 2013. Detroit is 3rd, right after Flint, Michigan.

So what? 80% of the population of Detroit Metro lives outside the City. Most of Detroit Metro is actually quite safe, similar to any other large metropolitan region. Very few people live in the City and most of the near-term economic opportunity and jobs is not in the City either. I've lived near Detroit and very rarely had any reason to visit the City itself. If I dropped you off in nearby city like Birmingham you'll find it to be as nice a place as just about anywhere in San Francisco and VERY safe.

yesterday
top

Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

sjbe Natural rebound (325 comments)

It's a number ploy by a marketing firm...

It most assuredly is not a marketing ploy. There is a HUGE number of technology jobs in and around Detroit Metro and always has been because guess what? There is a LOT of technology that goes into manufacturing cars. Robotics, computers, automation, coatings, materials science, welding, forming, stamping, chemicals, etc. As the auto industry has bounced back from 2008-2009, job growth has rebounded too. It's actually not surprising at all that Detroit's job growth is rather high at the moment.

Trust me, you DON'T want to live anywhere near there..

Only morons who have never actually come to Michigan think that. Look, 80% of Detroit Metro is outside the City. Oakland Country which is immediately to the north of Detroit is one to the ten wealthiest counties in the US, has a AAA credit rating and is a genuinely nice place to live. Ann Arbor (20 miles west) is one if the nicest college towns you could ever want to visit and has some really cool business activity going on.

yesterday
top

Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

sjbe Clueless (325 comments)

What makes ME laugh about such articles is that Detroit is in the midst of some *serious* financial issues.

Detroit CITY is in the midst of such issues. Detroit METRO is largely unaffected. Oakland County immediately to the north of Detroit City is one of the ten wealthiest counties in the US and has a AAA credit rating. Guess where 80% of the population of Metro Detroit lives? (hint - it isn't in Detroit City)

Who would want to live anyplace near such a situation?

Because most people who live NEAR Detroit City don't live IN Detroit City and haven't for a long time. Metro Detroit is actually a very nice place to live and Michigan is absolutely beautiful. I know because I've lived there.

It's like a third world country in decline, with the crime, blight and debt in abundance.

If you think that then you really know nothing about it and clearly haven't visited the area. Yes there are some parts of Detroit City that are pretty crappy. That doesn't describe much of the rest of Michigan.

Nope, articles like this are just the dying gasps of the marketing company hired to try and attract new business to a sinking ship.

Automation Alley is not a marketing company. They are a sort of tech transfer organization/incubator that helps Michigan businesses grow. It's actually a pretty neat operation and I've been to events they hold. The studies they cite are actually well researched and factual. There are a HUGE number of tech jobs in Michigan and Metro Detroit has more engineers per square mile than all but a handful of cities in the US. There is an enormous amount of technology that goes into manufacturing and about 50 of the largest manufacturing companies plus their supply chains are headquartered in Michigan, most fairly close to Detroit.

yesterday
top

Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

sjbe Saint Louis (325 comments)

Funny, because Detroit isn't that far removed from St. Louis weather-wise, and STL is the tech hub of the midwest.

I've lived both places within the last 10 years plus I got my education at WashU. St Louis is decidedly NOT the "tech hub of the midwest". Plenty going on there and some pretty good talent and a nice place to live but there is WAY more tech going on near Detroit than in St Louis except for a few areas. If there is a "tech hub of the midwest" it is either Chicago or Detroit depending on how you want to measure it.

Dice ranked Missouri as the fastest growing state in regards to tech jobs last year.

Not hard to grow fast when you don't have all that many to begin with. Plus a lot of the tech jobs in Missouri are in Kansas City.

yesterday
top

Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

sjbe Nothing new - Always had tech jobs (325 comments)

Over the past few years, the growth rate in Detroit tech jobs has been twice the natural average.

It's not just growth. Detroit has had lots of tech jobs for decades. It's been in the top 5 markets for many types of tech jobs for a long time. There is an ENORMOUS amount of technology that goes into automobile manufacturing. Robotics, CAD, industrial automation, materials science, welding, forming, coatings, chemicals, software and more. There are very few places in the USA with a higher density of engineering talent and opportunity.

Oh and before someone makes yet another ill informed remark about Detroit City, don't confuse Metro Detroit with Detroit City. Oakland County, immediately to the north of Detroit is one of the 10 wealthiest counties in the entire USA and has a AAA credit rating. Michigan is actually a really nice place to live, especially if you love the outdoors. Ann Arbor which is close by is a fantastic college town too if that suits your sensibilities.

yesterday
top

Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

sjbe I use both quite a bit (276 comments)

People who do "serious" work with Office have real problems migrating.

I'm one of those people who does "serious" spreadsheet work. By and large switching between the Excel and OOo/LO works pretty well. Occasional formatting issues and the odd formula incompatibility but mostly it works fine. I try to use macros as little as possible so I can't speak to compatibility there but I would expect it to be something of a creeping horror.

Write and Word do have incompatibilities.

Sadly yes. Quite a few of them in fact.

I never tried to open a MS Access database in OpenOffice Base,

I have and it generally works but probably not exactly the way you expect. Base isn't really the same thing as Access. It's more of a connector application than a standalone database product. I use it primarily to do ODBC connections between spreadsheets and a database. Unfortunately they tend to break their ODBC code between versions so I've been stuck on a pretty old version of OO for quite a while.

Switching from MS Office to OpenOffice / LibreOffice is not easy at all for power users. To put into geek terms: imagine switching from Apache to Lighttpd. For most things, it will be great. But, if you have some serious .htaccess magic going on or are relying on mods which exist only for Apache - well, you are out of luck and you are probably not going anywhere.

Bingo. If you have a heavily macro'd set of Excel spreadsheets or the like you probably aren't going to want to switch. Just way too painful. But most people could probably switch with only modest problems here and there.

2 days ago
top

Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

sjbe Still need Microsoft Office unfortunately (276 comments)

We're thankfully long past the days when an emailed Word document was useless without a copy of Microsoft Word

Sadly that isn't really true. My company has standardized on LibreOffice and we use it for most things. However I get Word and Excel files all the time that cannot be accurately read by OpenOffice or LibreOffice. Particularly .DOCX and .XLSX files. Many are just fine but the more complicated ones tend to have moderate to severe formatting corruption. Sometimes to the point of unreadability. Google Docs and other doc viewers frequently don't do any better of a job of it. I have to keep a seat of Microsoft office available for those documents that I can't read any other way even to this day.

2 days ago
top

Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

sjbe Re:Please automate accounting more! (416 comments)

The standardized format part appears to be a solved problem.

It isn't solved I assure you. EDI is useful but not easy or simple enough to be universally implemented. EDI generally only gets used by rather large organizations and it doesn't fit so well with the sort of spot buys that smaller companies tend to engage in. It tends to require a lot of process change rather than being an adaptation of existing processes. Setup is generally too hard and expensive. Think of it a little like using FTP vs email for file transfer. FTP better designed for the actual transfer of files but it's harder to set up, has more transaction handshake overhead for the user, not as useful for one time transfers, requires more training, and users already have email and know how to use it. Despite the fact that using email is technologically worse in a lot of ways it fits people's workflows a lot better so it gets used. Current EDI implementations suffer from basically the same problem.

Given my allergy to "screw the customer as hard as possible" business models,

That's why some sort of open software here would be a huge blessing. Few companies really want to be tied to some proprietary software if it isn't necessary. I would be delighted to see some EDI equivalent to Apache - an open source solution that works well for most and is relatively easy to put in place. Hell it could be as simple as emailing and receiving documents from some piece of middleware which requires relatively minimal changes by users.

I'd sooner write a system that takes advantage of communication systems businesses already have, rather than try to collect extra.

Nothing wrong with that if it gets the job done. I certainly would prefer something that is based on something already well understood and preferably more open. No sense reinventing more wheels than necessary. In fact you would have to at some point implement some way to talk with existing EDI systems because a lot of them are already implemented and they aren't going to get torn out.

To be honest, if Intuit had a brain in their skulls they would implement some form of EDI directly into their software that made document exchange easier and reduced paper shuffling. But they don't seem to be interested. Hell their ODBC drivers were developed by a third party, even the ones they include with their more expensive packages. You would think that would be something they would want to control and use but they don't. Their internal databases appear to be some sort of non-standard home rolled junk.

3 days ago
top

Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

sjbe Re:Please automate accounting more! (416 comments)

The problem there is getting everyone to use the same system, or at least a standardized format for exchanging invoices, delivery paperwork, etc.

Yep! Total chicken and egg problem though perhaps not an unsolvable one. You'd basically have to make something that is easy to start and easy to use and falls back gracefully for customers not using it yet. Plug in to popular accounting software packages and maybe a web interchange. Once companies start to use stuff like this they tend to stay with it so the user stickiness would likely be rather high if the experience is good.

3 days ago
top

Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

sjbe Re:Please automate accounting more! (416 comments)

I want to make a fortune, but when I looked, I found all links to PeachTree's SDK are dead.

Honestly I'd probably start with Quickbooks which has an active SDK as Intuit is actually the bigger player here. More small businesses use quickbooks than anything else. I do know that Sage works with a lot of third party software but I don't work with their products enough to know many details.

I want to make a fortune, but when I looked, I found all links to PeachTree's SDK are dead.

Of course they are. However that is not incompatible with a tool for exchanging documents and data more easily. I understand and respect your distaste for some of their business practices. I deal with Quickbooks all the time and some of the restrictions are just absurdly arbitrary. For instance you cannot do any sort of inventory costing except for Average Cost (no LIFO, no FIFO, no Standard Cost unless you buy expensive add ons from third parties). It's not like they don't know about these things either.

3 days ago
top

Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

sjbe Re:Please automate accounting more! (416 comments)

What scared me away from publishing any accounting software before was the lack of a CPA. Do companies not care if the software is verified as long as it is transparent?

I am a Certified Management Accountant (another type of certified accountant somewhat like a CPA but focused on internal corporate accounting rather than public accounting). Short version is that companies care that it works. If you need accountants to review bits of it, that isn't hard to arrange. There are plenty of plug ins to software like Quickbooks (I'm a Quickbooks Proadvisor too) and the majority of small businesses use some form of Quickbooks with most of the remainder using Sage products. Quickbooks would seem to be the logical place to start but you might even be able to do most of the work through some sort of neutral online exchange.

But if you're serious, I'd love to know more.

Happy to chat on or off slashdot and share my perspective on things even if it comes to nothing ultimately. I'm quite serious about the problem though I can't promise the solution will be easy. The biggest challenge probably isn't actually writing the software, it's getting multiple parties to use it. Kind of a chicken and egg problem. However kind of like social networking sites if you can get it working and groups using it the network effects will be REALLY strong.

4 days ago

Submissions

top

Creationists Editing Darwin's Origin of Species

sjbe sjbe writes  |  more than 4 years ago

sjbe (173966) writes "Proponents of intelligent design have been distributing an edited version of Darwin's "Origin of Species". The edited version reportedly contains a 50 page introduction written by Ray Comfort favoring creationism. The full original text of the book is included with the new version. Over 1000 copies were allegedly handed out near Washington University in Saint Louis without any notice to or approval from the university. The author reportedly draw connections between Hitler and Darwin so Godwin's Law may need to be invoked."
top

XM Sirius Merger approved by DOJ

sjbe sjbe writes  |  about 6 years ago

sjbe (173966) writes "A year after announcing the merger the Justice Department has given the thumbs up to the proposed merger between satellite radio companies XM and Sirius. The FCC still has to give their approval but historically the two organizations rarely contradict each other on proposed mergers. It will be interested to watch if the merger can stop all the red ink from these two money losing companies."
top

Ziff Davis Files For Bankruptcy

sjbe sjbe writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sjbe (173966) writes "Ziff Davis Media Inc., publisher of PC Magazine has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The filing is reportedly to reorganize the company's capital structure, particularly with regard to subordinated debt. Papers were filed in the US Bankruptcy court in Manhattan. The company's parent Ziff Davis Holdings Inc. also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Full details are available from Bloomberg."
top

Lax TSA Website Exposes Traveller's Information

sjbe sjbe writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sjbe (173966) writes "According to a January 2008 report from the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, from October 2006 through February 2007 traveller's who utilized the TSA website to attempt to remove their name from the No-Fly list risked having sensitive data, including social security numbers, exposed due to poor security practices. The contractor responsible, Desyne Web Services was awarded a no-bid contract to design the website. The TSA's technical lead on the project reportedly had a conflict of interest having been a former employee of Desyne. The security vulnerabilities were pointed out by Chris Soghoian, a Ph.D. student at the University of Indiana's School of Informatics. The TSA has since taken action to remedy the vulnerabilities but no action was taken to sanction the responsible parties for the vulnerabilities."
Link to Original Source

Journals

sjbe has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...