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Dot-Com Bubble v2.0? 200

Posted by Cliff
from the oh-no-not-again dept.
eldavojohn wonders: "With the recent acquisition of YouTube by Google, there has been a lot of speculation (on both Slashdot & The Toronto Star) that we are nearing the second economic bubble created largely in part by growth in the digital sector. While one may be able to debate that the revenue from advertising and sales can indeed back this growth, are we headed towards the second bubble and, if so, how hard is it going to pop? Keep in mind that popular voodoo economic theory has attributed the first bubble phenomenon to 'a combination of rapidly increasing stock prices, individual speculation in stocks, and widely available venture capital.' I think we're experiencing all those, although it is not as flagrant as it was during the first bubble. What do you think?"
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Dot-Com Bubble v2.0?

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  • OMG! v2.0 (Score:4, Funny)

    by creimer (824291) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @07:42PM (#16494353) Homepage
    It's "Dot Com v2.0" and no one took out a patent?! Where's my attorney!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by 2.7182 (819680)
      Actually the best predictor is how many Herman Miller chairs your office has.
      • by jallen02 (124384)
        Thats not true at all. They are only about $500 dollars and they last a good bit longer than your cheap $100 chair. Not to mention they are quite configurable and worth the money. If they allow people to get more comfortable and work more efficiently what does it matter? $500 is just a drop in the bucket for the cost of your average tech worker making $55,000 / year. Same with dual monitors etc. It makes people feel appreciated and they will very likely be more happy if you show them you care. Or you can re
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by stevesliva (648202)
          $500 is just a drop in the bucket for the cost of your average tech worker making $55,000 / year.
          $55000 is probably what your average tech worker's family healthcare premiums cost these days... now let's hope that chair's extra ergonomic.
        • by Cylix (55374)
          Except...

          I bought a rather nice chair for around a $100 nearly four years ago. It's still in great shape and still as comfy as ever.

          I had to look around for one that was built nicely *roomy too*, but it was worth the time and testing.

          Anyhow, sure you could blow $500 on a good chair or put in some diligence and save a good bit.

      • Re:OMG! v2.0 (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Xeger (20906) <`ten.regex.rekcart' `ta' `todhsals'> on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:40AM (#16497881) Homepage
        When I first went to intern with the company I'm working for now, they accidentally gave me an $800 Steelcase chair reserved for full-time senior engineers. They felt bad about the mistake, so they let me have it for the entire summer.

        That very winter, I came back to to a project for them, only to find a cheap POS "executive office chair" at my desk. Yes, it was leather; yes, it was very flashy looking and fit well with my pressboard laminate desk -- but it wasn't very comfortable to sit in.

        After four weeks of working 12-16 hours a day sitting in that damned chair (what, I didn't mention this was a tech job?) my spine was twisted in knots, my neck ached constantly, and my elbows hurt persistently. My productivity dropped essentially to 0, I had to see a chiropractor on a weekly basis and I chose to work from a noisy dorm room most of the time rather than deal with that chair.

        Eventually, I took up the issue with the HR department who instantly caved and gave me back my fancy Steelcase chair. To them, $800 is a huge bargain when you consider the cost of disability payments, surgery to alleviate carpal tunnel synrome, etc.

        I've had that chair for four years running now; I don't work quite as hard now as I did that first winter, but I haven't had a single back complaint, I'm free of carpal tunnel syndrome despite being a constant keyboard user, and I'm rarely the worse for wear despite spending all day in this chair, five days a week.

        As a software developer, your chair, desk, keyboard and mouse are the physical tools of your trade. A carpenter doesn't skimp on his hammer; an assassin doesn't carry around a water gun. Why should *you* suffer with inferior tools?
        • "I'm free of carpal tunnel syndrome despite being a constant keyboard user"

          Believe me, I know the value in having proper furniture, posture and habits to avoid back, leg, neck and shoulder problems, but carpal tunnel syndrome's link to computer work is not strong.

          From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

          "However, recent studies and peer review articles have found no relationship between carpal tunnel syndrome and office-type work. Recently the Harvard Medical School published a report in which it addressed carpal tunnel syndrome. Th
  • by dsginter (104154) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @07:42PM (#16494355)
    Methink's Taco's VA Linux stock [yahoo.com] hasn't quite rebounded yet.

    Does anyone know if any of the slashdot ownership was realized as cold, hard cash or did it all go down the pipes and stay there?

    I'm waiting for the third bubble, myself.
  • by Jazz-Masta (240659) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @07:42PM (#16494359)
    Seems to me the Internet is starting to mimic other economic systems, such that it is now subject to the whole boom and bust cycle. Just that they call it a bubble. There will be many of them in the years to come.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I agree- the bubble idea just makes it seem wierd. Unique. In reality, capitalism itself just isn't stable- it fails to have enough information transfer to become so.

      Anybody know of a stock trading BBS based on slashcode? In such a database may be a solution....
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        Anybody know of a stock trading BBS based on slashcode? In such a database may be a solution....

        Finally a good use for mod points! Mod SCO and Microsoft down ...
  • Economic Growth (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dracocat (554744)
    If by bubble you mean a time of ecenomic growth, then yes we are headed there.

    The economy is on the upswing, and people (perhaps minus slashdotters) are generally optimistic.

    It is very possible to have ecenomic growth without a hyperinflated economy resulting in the proverbial bubble. After the economic growth will be a time of economic slowing and finally a recession of the economy.

    You can count on it, although unfortunately you can't set your watch by it. Timing of the whole thing is still not very prec
    • It is very possible to have ecenomic growth without a hyperinflated economy resulting in the proverbial bubble. After the economic growth will be a time of economic slowing and finally a recession of the economy.

      A recession to me indicates a failure of the market to correctly predict fair prices, in other words, hyperinflation. So what's the difference between economic growth and a bubble? And is the optimism ever really justified in the long run, or are we always fated to have hyperinflationary markets
      • by RKBA (622932)
        , or are we always fated to have hyperinflationary markets controling our every move like so many dictators?
        See here: Money, Banking and the Federal Reserve [google.com]
      • by scoove (71173)
        So what's the difference between economic growth and a bubble?

        There's an exceptional (though very long and occasionally dry) book called "Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises" [amazon.com] on this specific issue by the noted historical economist Charles Kindleberger [wikipedia.org], Robert Aliber and Robert Solow [wikipedia.org].

        In a nutshell, bubbles are unsustainable excessive growth not explained by underlying fundamentals. Kindleberger's historical analysis strongly suggests that excessive speculative credit is usually the bes
        • In a nutshell, bubbles are unsustainable excessive growth not explained by underlying fundamentals. Kindleberger's historical analysis strongly suggests that excessive speculative credit is usually the best method for creating bubbles. When credit gets loose and easy, credit quality also degrades quickly and it becomes a highly elastic dynamic like a slingshot that snaps back very quickly when it is finally realized that the underlying fundamentals don't provide for the credit environment.

          The thing is, I
    • Re:Economic Growth (Score:5, Insightful)

      by argoff (142580) * on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:23PM (#16494829)
      If by bubble you mean a time of ecenomic growth, then yes we are headed there.

      First off, the economy is not on the upswing. While we don't seem to have another dot.com bubble, we absolutely have a housing bubble and that is worse! If your stock tanks, you still aren't making monthly payments on it and it's a lot more liquid. The record low savings rates and record high debt rates are not symptoms of a healthy economy. Neither is the account deficit over 6%. So far the US is the only country in history to have that high of an account deficit and not have a currency collapse. The fact that it is increasing rapidly is not good. (BTW, I know it's political season, so let me just say it's not Bush's fault, but structural - for people who think I'm bashing Bush)

      It is very possible to have ecenomic growth without a hyperinflated economy resulting in the proverbial bubble. ....

      Not in the US, not since 1911, the year of the federal reserve act. You can't keep printing up money and loaning it into the economy and expect nothing bad to happen. In fact, the efficiency of the information age means that when the money passes thru, that adjustment will be far more extreme, not less extreme. The worst part is that the Fed thinks they have lernt the lesson of the great depression - that the solution is more liquidity. No it's not! It will just change it from a great depression to a hyperinflationary great depression. I don't think people have any idea what they're in for.

      Why is everyone so sureal. Any look at the numbers is just terrible, do people understand that the dollar can't make it as a global reserve currency for more than a few more years and likely can't make it as a currency at all within the next decade? Can your family afford a debt of about 480K that is increasing at the rate of about 30K per year? Well, between all the obligations and systemic debt it already must.

      • The worst part is that the Fed thinks they have lernt the lesson of the great depression - that the solution is more liquidity.
        Don't forget the FDIC. If you think hyperinflation is better than deflation, tell me what happens to the average indebted american when wages decline, unemployment rises, and yet the mortgage, student load, credit card and car payments don't decrease? Ooooh yeah, that's bad.
        • Re:Economic Growth (Score:5, Interesting)

          by argoff (142580) * on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @10:15PM (#16495871)
          In a hyperinflationary depression the economy reaches a point where investors won't invest in businesses, so they then put all their money into commodities. This causes commodities to skyrocket, unemployment to go up, and pay to be pressured down. So everything goes up in price except for pay and profit. That makes the defaults on debt worse, makes the drive to commodities even more, causing a vicious circle. This happened in the late 70's in the US and we were able to break out of it by offering 21% interest on bonds to get investors to stop dumping cash. But this time a 21% prime will rip the US economy to shreds. BTW, over the last 5 years commodities have trippled while pay has done nearly nothing.
      • by pimpimpim (811140)
        So far the US is the only country in history to have that high of an account deficit and not have a currency collapse.

        do people understand that the dollar can't make it as a global reserve currency for more than a few more years and likely can't make it as a currency at all within the next decade?

        That's one thing I didn't realize before I read about it in the newspaper about 2 years ago. A side-effect of the introduction of the euro, is that a relatively stable currency was introduced, which attracted p

        • by argoff (142580) *
          I once herd a person say that both the Euro and the Dollar are pieces of trash trying to find their value relative to each other. The Euro will probably out last the Dollar, but an economic collapse in the US will probably force a Euro collapse too.

          If all levels of government quit going into debt, cut back drastically on all programs and taxes, and the fed quit loaning out new money, and they remonitized all cash and debt with gold. That would starve off a total collapse at the cost of a drastic and painf
      • by CrazyTalk (662055)
        How is the housing bubble worse? (in the short term). If you have a place to live already, just hold on to it. And if you REALLY need to sell, unless you bought withing the last few years you will still turn a profit. If you are looking for a place to live, housing prices are cheaper! It's mostly win-win!
      • You know why the currency hasn't collapsed yet? Well, the dollar is not quite fiat money. It is backed by oil. The only way you can buy oil is with petrodollars. Every country in the world has to have a rather large sum of dollars in their banks to buy and sell oil. In a way, the whole planet is being leveraged against the price of oil and the dollar. It's a dirty little secret when it comes to the dollar. It won't collapse because every nation in the world that buys oil is propping it up with its dollars.
      • Why is everyone so sureal. Any look at the numbers is just terrible, do people understand that the dollar can't make it as a global reserve currency for more than a few more years and likely can't make it as a currency at all within the next decade?

        I add to a list of quotes every so often, and I noticed this one a couple days back:

        Greg: Another chapter in your book is, "Death by Denial." People seem to be in total denial as far as what's making them sick and overweight. Is that what you touch on in this c

  • by PepeGSay (847429) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @07:47PM (#16494417)
    Rises and falls in every sector happen all the time. We don't need to over analyze every rise in the market like it's the second coming. Things will inflate and deflate over time in all areas. The fact is the first dot com bubble burst wasn't that big of a deal. It's not like we had soup lines. Some *speculators* lost money. Enterpreneurs in *speculative* businesses lost their jobs. Really, it had not delitirious effect other than to correct the market and kick out some losers that needed to be kicked out anyway.
    • by khallow (566160)
      OTOH, it got pretty large before common sense returned to the land. There was an overall drop of 50% in capitalization of public firms. But I otherwise agree. The dotcom burst wasn't the problem, but having things get that out of hand was a real problem. In comparison, I just don't see a similar level of insanity going on. Doesn't make sense to keep expecting another bubble burst when the markets just aren't whacked out.
    • "Not a huge deal"? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SuperBanana (662181) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:20PM (#16494781)

      The fact is the first dot com bubble burst wasn't that big of a deal. It's not like we had soup lines.

      Wow, talk about revisionism. The first bubble burst was HUGE deal; dozens of major banks grossly violated their 'chinese wall' policies while underwriting the IPOs of clients and looked the other way when internet companies were engaging the shadiest accounting practices known to man. Companies swapped "shares" and both counted it as revenue based on projected stock prices, for example. Tens if not hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs in "layoffs", and it had a massive ripple effect in places like SF. The crash and delisting of hundreds of "internet" companies destroyed "investor confidence" on the stock market, and affected all manner of investors, from individuals to massive retirement accounts.

      Christ, man! It was enough to destroy Arthur Anderson Consulting. Why do you think they're known as Accenture now? Having your top officers lambasted by Congressional investigators for conspiracy, fraud, etc on national TV doesn't exactly bolster confidence in a business where clients are trusting you...

      • Christ, man! It was enough to destroy Arthur Anderson Consulting. Why do you think they're known as Accenture now?

        Funny, I thought it was Andersen (busload of kiddies) that named itself Accenture.

      • The dot-com collapse didn't destroy Anderson. Their consulting arm was spun off before the Enron fiasco in their accounting arm, just as a branding device I might add. This saved all of their jobs when a few bad apples from the auditing division decided to collaborate with Enron regarding hiding their numerous scams, which caused a total collapse of everybody still wearing the Arthur Andersen (note spelling, incidentally) label. This was despite them having over 10,000 partners (that is, partners as "we
      • by StikyPad (445176)
        Detecting whether a interviewee has MacOS experience prior to OS X: yell "Frog blast the vent core!" If they run, yes.

        Sure, if you don't mind lots of false positives. I don't know about you, but if an interviewer suddenly started yelling at me -- let alone something with the word "blast" in it -- I'd be out the door before he finished his sentence.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Christ, man! It was enough to destroy Arthur Anderson Consulting. Why do you think they're known as Accenture now?


        Accenture used to be Anderson Consulting, which is not the same company as Arthur Anderson. Also, Arthur Anderson was Enrons auditor, which might have had more to do with their demise than the bubble.
      • by aztektum (170569)
        I thought Arthur Anderson was destroyed because of accounting fraud relating to energy giant Enron imploding. I wouldn't exactly attribute that to people throwing money at .com's without thinking. Enron was just downright fraud.
      • by ky11x (668132)
        Wow, talk about missing the point.

        The OP noted that there were no soup kitchens, and he's right. That's all he's pointing out. Laid off tech workers just got other jobs or moved in with their parents. And many of them are okay now. No one jumped off buildings. No one became destitute. It just wasn't that big a deal. In fact, many of them are now back working in the tech industry or have moved on to other fields.

        During the bubble, lots of people made millions, and lots of people lost millions, but for
      • Accenture [wikipedia.org] was an individual company totally distinct from Attur Anderson for yeatrs and years before Enron even existed and in fact it was re-named to Accenture long before the whole Enron scandal even erupted.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by nevesis (970522)
      I think you're underestimating the impact.

      Back in 1997 if you had told me that big and bad US West would be bought out in a few years by the tiny little 1 year old company down the street, Qwest, I would have laughed you out of my office

      But then Qwest made a bunch of money during the bubble and took US West by force in one of the decade's most unanticipated and disconcerting hostile takeovers.

      This doesn't prove that the bubble was deleterious, and correcting the market certainly isn't a deleterious effect,
    • At first glance, I don't see why this is being described as the return of a tech-industry bubble. What's happening now is an ADVERTISING-INDUSTRY bubble.
  • by SRA8 (859587)
    During the first bubble, we had wild stock prices. Seeing that most of the new back of dot com's are not public, are we making this claim simply based on the purchase prices of a handful of private companies? Seriously, its nothing like the dot com boom of 2000, where hundreds of shell companies went for their golden IPO.
  • ...that there *was* something behind the Internet boom, otherwise it never would have happened. If investors (Venture and otherwise) make more informed decisions this time, there's a far better chance at a sustainable market.

    In other words, you need a product (*bang* no more Pets.com), you need a business plan (*bang* no more SimDesk), and you need an idea that isn't terrible from the outset (*bang* there goes "MyLackey.com").
  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @07:50PM (#16494451) Homepage Journal

    During the first bubble the hubris was so thick in the Silicon Valley air you could feel it. People around you virtually hummed with it. And like The Emperor's New Clothes, if you actually looked at some of the shiny bits you'd notice some what people where trying to sell was utter shite, a scam, not worth a penny, yet people bought their stock on IPO and it all went nuts. There was 'the big strategy', to develope something Microsoft, Oracle or Cisco didn't have and would want and to trumpet it all over the place and hope one of these big companies would make you an instant millionaire by buying you out. Didn't always work.

    Now I think most of what is going on in this bubble actually cuts the mustard in the ledgers. It pretty much has to. Too many (ad)venture capitalists got burned and they're a bit more careful now.

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @07:51PM (#16494463) Homepage

    Last time, it was mostly companies going public. This time, it's companies heavily funded with venture capital, and the companies are then bought by other companies.

    But it's definitely a bubble. Way too many companies are chasing the same pool of advertising money.

    And, unlike Bubble 1.0, most of these new companies don't really do very much. Or even stuff that hasn't been done before.

    As I wrote in another article, "social networking" sites have a life cycle. EZboard peaked mid 2003. Nerve peaked early 2002. Bondage.com peaked mid-2003. Tribe peaked early 2006. Xianz (the "Christian Myspace") peaked in spring 2006. Friendster peaked twice, once in late 2005 and again in mid-2006, but that's an unusual pattern. Usually, once they peak, it's downhill after that. Myspace has flattened and looks like it's about to peak. This works just like nightclubs; they become hot, they grow, they get too popular, they get overrun, they decline, they hang on, but nobody cares.

    YouTube is terribly vunerable to the RIAA. Once somebody builds a tool to check audio on YouTube against RIAA licensed material, they're going to get notice-and-takedown orders by the ton.

    • Last time, it was mostly companies going public. This time, it's companies heavily funded with venture capital, and the companies are then bought by other companies.
      Actually, it was a bit of a mix of both - Take a look at Geert Lovink's Critical Internet Culture in Transition: venture capitalists fueled the IPO offerings.
    • Where I live, a couple people have hung onto to very successful nightclubs with years and years of "staying power" by re-inventing them every so often. One of them had a rather unique strategy of closing down at the end of the summer, transforming into a different type of club, and opening back up again until the next spring/summer, when it again closed and transformed back into its "beach club" motif.

      Another one has changed names and themes every couple years, when the old one got too "dull" and "passe".

      I
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Animats (122034)

        re-inventing them every so often.

        Area, the hottest nightclub in NYC for part of the 1980s, did a complete redecoration and theme change every six weeks. That kept it a hot club for years.

        But redesigning a web site doesn't have the same effect. Tribe just did that. (New! Web 2.0! Now you can rearrange your home page!) One of most active tribes is now "Tribe.net bug reports". Oops.

    • by LadyLucky (546115)
      What you mean is:

      Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded.
    • by Abcd1234 (188840)
      And, unlike Bubble 1.0, most of these new companies don't really do very much.

      And this is unlike Bubble 1.0 how?
  • No bubble (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rob Kaper (5960) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @07:52PM (#16494465) Homepage
    There was no dotcom bubble and there won't be a new one. We had a good economy with over-the-top entrepreneurs. It topped, scaled down and weeding selected the sensible business. It happens all the time, in all industries and sectors. New shops open town in good times and silly ideas go bankrupt in bad times. It may look overwhelming because we're so close to the source, but I'm sure the average resident in my neighbourhood isn't even aware of the dotcom tale. It was that insignificant in the grand scheme of economical cycles.
    • There was no dotcom bubble and there won't be a new one.

      There was a tremendous bubble. I was there. I did work for companies that were almost entirely virtual. There was no "there" there. It was all hot air. I know plenty of people who suddenly had fantastic jobs and were living a lavish lifestyle, only to be out on the street looking for a job when the boom dropped on the bubble. Bay Area traffic noticeably thinned for at least two or three years. It definitely was a bubble, and when it popped, the eff

    • I'm sure the average resident in my neighbourhood isn't even aware of the dotcom tale.

      Where do you live? North Korea?

      Anyone who didn't notice the massive evaporation of apparent wealth a few years ago is frighteningly oblivious.

      • The dot-com boom was almost exclusively a North American thing. Here in Europe things were significantly more hushed with only a handful of known companies (Boo.com being the biggest), but even then the 'man on the street' is unlikely to know what happened.
  • by Wills (242929) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @07:52PM (#16494471)
    The more people talk about "the stock market bubble" and upcoming crash, the more people start expecting it and theb selling their stocks, which makes it more likely to happen.
    • The more people talk about "the stock market bubble" and upcoming crash, the more people start expecting it and theb selling their stocks, which makes it more likely to happen.

      This is generally incorrect. Market peaks when there virtually no pessimists left. Markets peaks not so much because sellers come in, but because buyers disappear - every potential buyer is already holding a position. Majority of sellers actually sell much further down the road, long after the peak, in disgust, after months and years
  • by Shados (741919) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @07:52PM (#16494473)
    We're really straight in the middle of the second bubble. Its different than the first in a way, mind you, but a lot of companies have while projects and dreams thanks to the "newfound" power of information technologies (like all the web 2.0 crap). Some work, many don't, and honestly, I don't see how long they'll be able to stay afloat pumping all that money in these projects. Just as an anecdotal reference: I put my resume on Monster 2 weeks ago. I only have an associate degree, and a few years experience in .NET and Ajax. I did not apply -anywhere-. Yet, since I put my resume up, I have gotten at least 2 interview offers per -day- (not counting weekends) for so called "Web 2.0" projects of all kinds, all wilders one than the next.
  • by mcrbids (148650) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @07:56PM (#16494517) Journal
    WARNING: This post sounds remarkably like something written in about 1998. It's still true.

    The "digital marketplace" is fundamentally different than the standard "meatspace" environment. In cyberspace, product carries no mass. In many cases, intellectual property is "production grade" the moment it's written. EG: PHP code. There's no duplication cost, virtually non-existent distribution cost, and the result can be seen/used by millions overnight, if you have some servers to handle it.

    Note: the servers to handle "millions" can be surprisingly cheap, and getting cheaper every day

    So, while it takes an auto company years, and eleventy billion dollars to come out with a new line of cars, it takes maybe 2-5 guys consisting of a decent programmer, a few salespeople, and a book-keeper armed with a few thousand bux to develop a product usable by millions, even if they are working day jobs to pay rent.

    So this means that the boom/bust cycle can happen in 2-3 years rather than 2-3 decades.

    Get used to it - it's only going to accelerate from here. Ever heard of the technology singularity? [wikipedia.org]

    It's coming.
    • As a part of the abstract "THE ECONOMY," what happens here affects what happens in "meatspace." If economics is the study of resource allocation, then the most precious resource in the new "information" economy is not information; rather, it is attention. Physical commodities are abundant - so much so that you can't turn on a newscast without hearing someone bitching about rampant comsumerisn - what is lacking is the human attention needed to make sense of the constant barrage of information. The problem
      • by mcrbids (148650)
        The problem of speed derives from that: we haven't yet found a way to measure such allocations: you can't store attention in a warehouse. You need to continually attract the attention of Joe Consumer, who is distracted - sometimes frustrated - by the overwhelming abundance of similar companies vying for his attention, and therewith, his cash.

        It's my belief that wikipedia and the like represent the very beginnings of a new type of economy - the much-vaulted but never-quite-explained economy of plenty, rather
    • In many cases, intellectual property is "production grade" the moment it's written. EG: PHP code.

      You are dead wrong, but you aren't going to believe otherwise until you get burned. The optimism of youth may cost you a month of no sleep; maybe it will cost you your first mortgage.

      The only way to tell is when, five years down the road, you reread what you wrote and find yourself laughing...or crying.
      • by mcrbids (148650)
        Huh?

        I write PHP code for a (very good) living, and have been doing so since PHP 3, around 1999. My wife and 5 children enjoy the 3,000 sq foot home, swimming pool, speedboat, and the 5 vehicles that writing PHP code has provided for us. My first mortgage payment was made just shy of 10 years ago... and the PHP code I write is production grade the moment I write it in many cases.

        Oh, and I was burned by "non-production" grade code long ago, a la SQL injection. So, I've walked a few miles in my day, and learne
        • by aminorex (141494)
          > My wife and 5 children enjoy the 3,000 sq foot home, swimming pool, speedboat,
          > and the 5 vehicles that writing PHP code has provided for us.

          What I'm getting from this is that when we start trimming the genepool, PHP coders are near the top of the list.
    • by zobier (585066)
      Note: the servers to handle "millions" can be surprisingly cheap, and getting cheaper every day
      Got any good suggestions in this dept?
  • by mcguyver (589810)
    Low savings rate, high deficit (as % of GDP the US deficit may be ok but it's a lot none the less), declining dollar, slowing real estate market. Of course these are indicators of an economy slowing down, not a 'dot com bubble'.
  • Baby Boomers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:15PM (#16494721)
    Baby Boomers all the way. The boomer demographic is the real bubble underlying stock prices, housing prices, etc. Those folks are in their peak earning years, and there are a lot of them. They are pumping HUGE amounts of money into 401Ks, pension funds, you name it. When they start dying, getting sick, retiring, the flow of money will reverse. They will be selling houses and moving into assisted living and nursing homes. They will be taking money out of their 401k instead of putting it in.

    Just because the dot-com bubble popped didn't cause these people to stop trying to squirrel money away for retirement. And since they never really saved the way they should, they're trying to make up for lost time by speculating in stocks. So the irrational exhuberance continues. Eventually, though, it will stop. And when it stops, the bubble will collapse in a very very big way.

    The fallout will involve all these folks whining about how the next generation should pump more money into SS so they can afford the affluent lifestyle to which they've grown accustomed. Screw 'em. The most irresponsible generation decided to give their life savings to the pinstriped crooks on Wall Street. That's their problem, not mine.

    Baby boomers are the big white elephant in the room that everyone pretends they can't see. Instead we have to endure all manner of ridiculous handwaving BS about new economies yada yada yada. Phghght. What a bunch of crap.
  • I think that it is quite possible the YouTube purchase was over-valuated.

    However, the problem is that the market has no useful mechanisms to properly evaluate the true worth of future technologies.

    They could be insanely great - legendary.

    Or they could be really lame.

    So, trying to predict future cash flow and growth at the beginning of a company with a new technology is mostly a crap shoot.

    One good rule is - don't buy into a rise. It's better to put most of your money in an index fund (Euro stocks mix with
  • The new bubble is alive and very well. It's not in the software development industry, per se.

    It's the medical industry right now. It's the thing to do if you're going to college. Become a pharmacist, x-ray or ultra sound tech or some other skilled position in a hospital and earn a very healthy living.

    Of course, medical software is a huge industry right now as well.

    But basically with the supply of old people getting larger and larger it makes sense that the medical industry is really in a boom right now.

    H
  • Can't wait (Score:4, Insightful)

    by twistedcain (924116) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:42PM (#16494999)
    The system needs a good flushing. The web (and tech in general) is a mess of useless, pointless crap. Thousands if not millions of websites offering pretty much the same thing. Good examples would be the youtube clones, youtube itself being one of course. One good blog to every 1,000,000 poorly slapped together ones. Useless Bookmark/social sites like bluedot. Webmasterworld, where 500 good question/answers have been repeated 5 million times. Digg, a place to visit adsense filled blogs with one or two lines of information and a link to the actual source of information, and never worry about missing one of these adsense filled blog posts, it will be repeated on the front page at least 10 times a day. Not even going to talk about MySpace and the clone army the venture capitalists will be sold into creating.

    As for tech, quit cock-teasing us and put together a phone with wireless internet, camera, mp3 player, video player, video recorder, gps, and 3d gaming. Get rid of the psp, gameboy, DS, ipod, palm, blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry, and so on.

    A bubble burst only effects the crappy businesses who use copycat ideas and whose only purpose was to make a quick buck. Good-bye and good riddence.
    • As for tech, quit cock-teasing us and put together a phone with wireless internet, camera, mp3 player, video player, video recorder, gps, and 3d gaming.

      HP's very close. [hp.com] No 3D gaming though.
  • .... 'a combination of rapidly increasing stock prices, individual speculation in stocks, and widely available venture capital.' ....

    1. Where are the "rapidly increasing stock prices"? Look at practically any .com NASDAQ stock that isn't Google and you won't find it. Most .com companies have had their stock languish. Look at Yahoo! Still meeting quarterly expectations, yet the stock hasn't budged in years, even with their popular Answers service, even with their Web 2.0 acquisitions. Stuck in neutral, like
  • a lot of tech companies now are buying others. i guess the main goal here is to eliminate competition rather than create new sources of income.

    let's take google and youtube for example. if google didn't buy youtube, some other company will have the access to the users. it's a loss for google. by gobbling them up, they reduce the chance other companies from competing with them.

    well look at amd and ati. for me financially, i don't see the advantage to amd. but it shakes the arena.
  • A fool and his money are soon parted.
  • Here in so california prices went up 400% in only 5 or 6 years! Its insane as mexicans are now cramped in 8 or 9 per home and sleeping in RV's in driveways and garages. These houses that are setup like this are not in the hood at all. Its a bubble for sure. The population has not increased that much and now only 10% can afford the average home. Mathmatically something is wrong with this supply and demand situation at the moment in the housing market.

    I mean 1 million dollars for an average 2 bedroom house wh
    • Why dont you ask the Secretary of Labor [wikipedia.org] who might have a conflict of interest regarding the ill-made attempt at corrective [wikipedia.org] measures [wikipedia.org]? That might be able to explain those wage discrepancies, and why she should have all her degrees revoked.
    • by Lazy Jones (8403)
      I mean 1 million dollars for an average 2 bedroom house when average salaries have gone down since 2000?

      Who cares about salaries when apparently everyone in the area has made money from the stock market? Or how else would you explain this phenomenon?

  • People who are saying it's a bubble are simply the ones who don't have the guts or the ideas to start a new company and make millions (or even billions) themselves. Stop with the sour grapes!
  • It's the Star. Hardly a real newspaper. I rank it far below the Boston Herald and the NY Post. Slightly above the National Enquirer.

    --
    BMO
  • And that 1.5 billion that eBay paid for PayPal in 2002 was also a huge tech-bubble.

    Wait a minute....wasn't the meltdown still in full swing back then?

  • If the valuation of companies like Google is so high, then a lot of people must have had surplus money to invest in them. Therefore, the bubble was in their pockets ...
  • It wasn't 'a combination of rapidly increasing stock prices, individual speculation in stocks, and widely available venture capital.' It was 'dumbass venture capitalists throwing money at any goober with an "... on the net!" business plan, under the impression that as long as it was on the net, it would make money.'
  • Editors, please stop with these simpleminded, Roland Piquipalle-style questions at the ends of submissions. It's posted to Slashdot, you're GOING to get comments on it, no need to say "gee guys, what do you think about $FOO? "
  • I think there is an upturn in IT right now, but nothing like the late 90s.

    The first bubble crashed hard as all hell after 2000, now we are just picking up the pieces.
  • Not really. Stocks grow in value over time as the economy grows - that's just what they do. The NASDAQ composite index, which is very tech-heavy, is still well below its dotcom-bubble high. Stocks ARE going up lately, but this time they're supported by earnings, which means it's not a bubble but rather true economic growth. The price/earnings ratio of the S&P 500 is just slightly higher than the historical average of 15, and WAY below where it was during the bubble.

    Private equity and acquisitions

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