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A Sobering Look at Computer Science Research

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 16, 2005

It’s easy to be complacent about the state of technology today when you see venture capitalists starting to invest in startups again, traffic worsening in Silicon Valley, and blockbuster IPOs like Google creating new wealth. But most of tech today exists only because decades ago, some far-sighted folks persuaded the federal government to spend amply on computer science research. Amazon Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels points to a new warning in Science magazine that steady cutbacks in computer science research will be disastrous. “Where will the next generation of groundbreaking innovations in IT arise?” ask authors Edward D. Lazowska and David A. Patterson. Their depressing answer: Unless current trends change, not in the United States.

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Reader Comments


November 14, 2009 04:40 PM

The good folks of the USA have no idea how much of the IT sector it has lost. Frankly I don't think they care in general. Capitalist supply and demand models allows essential industry to fail at a local level. Once the local sector is decimated, foreign industry has free reign to do as they please. This is not too different from the monopolies in US history only at a global scale it cannot be regulated. Allowing local tech industries to wither on the vine will lead to a painfully slow ramp up if the need should arise. The talent that was originally displaced will be reluctant to engage second time as the pain of completely redefining their skill set is too costly.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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