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Former Intel CEO Andy Grove Wants Struggling Industries To Stop Slacking 235

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-get-a-haircut dept.
lousyd writes "Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel and current instructor at Stanford Business School, has a message for industry. He believes that health care and energy, especially, could learn a lesson from computing's innovative and relatively government-free history. He asks students to imagine if mainframe vendors had asked government to prop them up in the same way that General Motors recently was. On the issue of computer patents, he insists that firms must use their patents or lose them: 'You can't just sit on your a** and give everyone the finger.'"
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Former Intel CEO Andy Grove Wants Struggling Industries To Stop Slacking

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  • by H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @08:19AM (#29322415) Homepage Journal

    A "use em or lose'm" rule would be good for fixing the patent troll problem, but it would do nothing to prevent software companies from attacking free software [swpat.org] or from ruining standards [swpat.org].

    • by cavehobbit (652751) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @09:25AM (#29322731)
      I have been thinking lately, (don't let that scare you), that instead of the patent system granting exclusive rights, it should grant exclusive royalties.

      In other words, it becomes a registration system that grantees payment of royalties to inventors for a specific period of time, paid by anyone that wants to use a patent.

      So a patent holder can not restrict use of an invention. this allows others to use it as a base for further invention and innovation. It also removes, to a big extent, any reason for companies to fight patent awards, or try to steal or use patents without paying, which might lower the number of lawsuits, etc. Why risk paying lawyers when you can just use it cheaply and legally?.

      I am not certain how to determine the royalty rate though. Could an auction system work? Or maybe a percentage of the cost to manufacture, which would be harder to fudge than percentage of profit?

      One reform does need to be made, similar to what the parent mentions: You should not be able to file a patent application for anything that is already being produced and marketed by anyone, including yourself. If you forget to file and it is sold or produced before the patent application is filed, well, you screwed up. It should automatically be in the public domain, regardless of what ever kind of excuses or prior evidence you can mock up.

      The world has changed since the 18th century when the basis for the U.S. patent system was formed. (I dunno about other systems). It is far easier to keep track of what people are making and selling in distant places than it was 300 years ago, and easier to assess royalties, etc. There seems to no longer need to be a simple ban on anyone else using a patent.

      Yeah, lots of details lef tout, and probably lots of holes, and a bunch of new problems different than the current ones. But would it be an improvement over the current system? Maybe you patent gurus here can comment.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Phurge (1112105)
        Instinctively I tend to agree with you.

        Taking away the capacity of the patent holder to screw down the person who is innovating based upon patented work is a good thing, but then the patent holder deserves a return for their R&D. Perhaps if the rules were fixed up front, that would be give certainty. I'm not sure about auctioning, since a lot more variables come into play. Perhaps if you set royalties at 20% that would be good for both patent holder and user over the long term.

        But what about derivat
        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @11:22AM (#29323393) Journal
          The other difficulty is setting the rate for the royalty. Should a component for a car gearing system get the same royalty as a component for an MRI machine, even though the latter cost ten times as much R&D spending and will ship a tiny fraction of the number of units? If not, how do you decide how much more it should cost? I'm in favour of compulsory licensing for copyright and patents, but setting the royalty rate is difficult.
          • by Roogna (9643)

            Well reading the description, making it a percentage would fix that anyway. A component for a cheap item would cost less because the profit/gross/whatever is less. While the component for the very expensive item would cost more for the royalties.

            The real key would be weather the patent royalties percentage is based on an amount that took into account the other royalties being paid or not. If say it was %20 (which is probably very high for some such thing) then it'd be really easy for someone building, sa

            • As complicated as it would get, it would basically solve the software patent issue in regards to open source software. Since it's being given away, no profit, no royalties owed on patents. And it'd put the patent system back firmly where it belongs, manufacturing inventions.

              Actually, it would be a nightmare for F/OSS. What happens, for example, to Linksys if Linux infringes a software patent? Do they pay the royalty based on what Linus sold them the kernel for (i.e. nothing) or do they pay the royalty based on the cost of their router? If it's the latter, then F/OSS becomes incredibly problematic to use, because you can ship Ubuntu for free but a Netbook running Ubuntu will require lots of patent licenses. If it's the former then I can get around the patent for the MRI mac

              • by Roogna (9643)

                Well, I'd hardly call it any more of a nightmare than it is now. And indeed, such a thing, as I said would be complicated. Who owed how much on what portions would obviously have to be detailed out in such a patent reform. Same as to prevent such things as spinning off companies to sell at a loss... though again, that's why it'd be on the gross, not the net. i.e. I sell my sister company the widget for $5, it wouldn't matter that it cost me $10 to make, the gross would still be $5 (even if the net is -$

        • by Moryath (553296) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @11:48AM (#29323629)

          It would never work.

          The patent system is broken. Patents are only supposed to be given to truly innovative work, not simple "evolutionary" changes (e.g. "the logical next step.") Thanks to "patent-slamming" (the practice of companies like IBM, Micro$oft, and others sending in thousands on thousands of patent filings per year on the theory that if even 1% gets through they can patent-troll those and block competition), the patent office is overworked. The overworked patent office, in turn, has been granting patents to all sorts of things that never, ever should have qualified.

          A great example of this was Wizards of the Coast's "patent" on card game mechanics [uspto.gov], to wit "The method of claim 3, wherein said step of designating one or more of the cards comprises rotating the one or more cards on the playing surface from an original orientation to a second orientation", which under a proper analysis done by any COMPETENT and non-overworked patent attorney should have been invalidated by prior art by the collected works of one Edmund Hoyle [wikipedia.org] over two hundred years ago.

          The patent playing field is broken and needs a re-set, with strong rules preventing things like patent-slamming from happening and getting back to the point where only true innovation is rewarded with a patent. Until that time, we're fucked.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Planesdragon (210349)

        I have been thinking lately, (don't let that scare you), that instead of the patent system granting exclusive rights, it should grant exclusive royalties.,

        No. The government should not dictate how much a patent is worth -- which is the effect of what you suggest.

        Patents (and copyright) are a way of giving market value to creative effort. Any "reform" of either that removes the absolute ability of the inventor (author) to control whom uses their IP removes said IP from the market, and instead makes it a form of government regulation.

        Should patents and copyright be reformed, to make some things which are currently protected (business methods & software re

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rolfwind (528248)

      I read that the original argument for patents was to avoid the secretive guilds of the medieval era. That is, in exchange for temporary societal protection and granting of monopoly, information was opened up. Now, perhaps that was the argument needed when back in the day, all you really "owned" was what you could protect and horde.

      But I wonder how much of that purpose today's patents actually achieve in obtaining, for the public, new info worth having, rather than obvious variants, rehashed variants, or t

    • I guess Andy has forgotten what happened when Bill Gates tried to compare the computer industry to the car industry. GM CEO fired back with some embarrassing points about the computer industry.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by wheeda (520016)
      Tax patents. Let the patent owner state a value. Have the tax rate be a few percent. If someone wants to use the stuff that is patented, they would pay the patent owner the stated value. The patent would then become public domain. 1. This increases the tax base. 2. Rewards inventors. 3. Gets rid of patent trolls. Or maybe it doesn't, but at least they pay a lot of taxes. 4. Makes it easier for me to develop a product if I know what it is going to cost to acquire the patents.
  • by dangitman (862676) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @08:23AM (#29322433)

    He asks students to imagine if mainframe vendors had asked government to prop them up in the same way that General Motors recently was.

    Perhaps there would have been more supercomputers? Or the internet would have arrived sooner and networking would be more advanced? None of us know what would have happened. Assuming it would have been worse is just speculation.

    • by godIsaDJ (644331) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @08:28AM (#29322455)

      He asks students to imagine if mainframe vendors had asked government to prop them up in the same way that General Motors recently was.

      Perhaps there would have been more supercomputers? Or the internet would have arrived sooner and networking would be more advanced? None of us know what would have happened. Assuming it would have been worse is just speculation.

      Given the history of such enterprises, learned speculation would tell it'd have to be worse... You are saying that since they didn't have a chance to screw that up, magically it would turn out to be their only success...

      • by dangitman (862676) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @08:54AM (#29322579)

        I dunno, government funding of private enterprise has worked pretty spectacularly in the past. For example; the railroad system, The New Deal, WWII spending, interstate highways, aerospace technology, the Apollo missions, ARPANET, etc. And those are only a few examples from the US, ignoring other countries' initiatives.

        Of course, there are plenty of spectacular failures too, but that's true of any human endeavor. But like I said, this is just speculation. Would we have had the internet at the time we did without government funding?

        • by dyfet (154716) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @09:16AM (#29322671) Homepage

          The private sector was clearly interested only in hoping "data islands" from which "publishing" could be strictly controlled (and billed) along with limited interconnection through proprietary network protocols, and not in creating some kind of generic interconnection as such where network services and data could be offered by any participating peer. If we did not have the government funded Internet at the start, we would still be today essentially experiencing some decadent of or something like Compuserve or AoL, that is a metered data service delivered from an isolated digital island, and perhaps even things like broadband may never have become widely available outside of businesses looking to connect ipx over x.25 networks :).

          • by Locklin (1074657)

            If we did not have the government funded Internet at the start, we would still be today essentially experiencing some decadent of or something like Compuserve or AoL, that is a metered data service delivered from an isolated digital island...

            Oh? like on my cell phone!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          >>>For example; the railroad system, The New Deal, WWII spending, interstate highways, aerospace technology, the Apollo missions, ARPANET, etc.
          >>>

          OMG. You call these successes? Let's see:

          - railroads were funded *privately* not publicly. And now that rail has been taken-over by government, it's constantly on the verge of bankruptcy. Ditto the government-run post office.

          - The New Deal was a major fuckup that extended the recession from 1929 to 1950. Contrast that with the 1921 recession

          • by dangitman (862676) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @10:14AM (#29322987)

            - railroads were funded *privately* not publicly. And now that rail has been taken-over by government, it's constantly on the verge of bankruptcy. Ditto the government-run post office.

            No, the first transcontinental railroads were heavily government funded.

            - The New Deal was a major fuckup that extended the recession from 1929 to 1950.

            In some people's opinion, but it is likely that without action it would have been a lot worse.

            - WW2 was a horror not a success.

            The war itself was, but America profited massively from it, in economic and technological terms.

            - Social Security has been a joke, because if you live long enough to get it, the "interest rate" earned on your original deposit is only 1%...

            I didn't mention Social Security, but the point of it is not to provide a return on investment, but to provide security to society. Which it does, with varying effectiveness.

            • >>>No, the first transcontinental railroads were heavily government funded.

              False. ONE transcontinental railroad (the first) was supported with free land from the Congress. The funding was entirely private, and all future railroads were done without government assistance. And of course the original lines that connected all of the cities east of the Mississippi River, and west of the Sierras, were privately funded too.
              .

              >>>provide a return on investment, but to provide security to society

              • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                SS also provides disability insurance. And if you die early you're children still benefit by not having to pay for monthly check.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Anarchduke (1551707)
                I can tell you've never been on welfare or food stamps. Otherwise you wouldn't be talking out your ass this way.

                In any case, the purpose of social security was to provide a source of financial income to old people.

                You sound like someone who really needs to get laid, or go into anger management courses, or both.

                "The Government" - I would like to know which agency within "The Government" you are referring to. I would also like to know what government you are referring to. If you are in the US, you co
                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  >>>I can tell you've never been on welfare or food stamps

                  I'm on welfare right now, you insensitive clod! (Look at that: I made my point AND used a meme at the same time. Woo-hoo!) So yes I know what it's like. Comfortable. As it should be because that's what safety nets are for - to catch citizens if they fall off the highwire of life and need assistance to survive.

                  Getting back to my main point:

                  The SS program is redundant and not necessary. Plus it's been used/abused by the government to fun

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Trepidity (597)

                False. ONE transcontinental railroad (the first) was supported with free land from the Congress. The funding was entirely private, and all future railroads were done without government assistance.

                That isn't true at all.

                The U.S. government spent $10 million purchasing land from Mexico, the Gadsden Purchase, for the express reason of helping Southern Pacific complete the southerly-route transcontinental railroad. It also received land grants.

                The northerly-route transcontinental railroad, Northern Pacific, als

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by dangitman (862676)

                False. ONE transcontinental railroad (the first) was supported with free land from the Congress. The funding was entirely private,

                How is providing free land not funding? Do you think land is worthless or something? You're also incorrect, funding was also provided via government bonds. And it wasn't only one railroad that was given free land and money.

                You need to get your facts straight, son.

                A private savings account would provide greater security, simply because you know that if you die before 70, it will be passed-onto your children, rather than disappear.

                So, what if you don't have the money to put into a private savings account?

                And why are you trying to derail the conversation into one about Social Security, which I never mentioned?

                Almost-everything the government touches is a fail

                That's clearly nonsense. You don't seem to care for objectivity at

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  >>>So, what if you don't have the money to put into a private savings account?

                  Then you sign-up for Welfare when you retire at age 70 or higher. That's what that program is for - to help those without enough money to care for themselves.

                  >>>The majority of businesses fail over time

                  If only the government would do that same (or have the balls to layoff not-needed workers to reduce expenses, rather than have them just sitting-around doing nothing). Government is a MONOPOLY and therefore no be

            • by jpmorgan (517966) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @02:30PM (#29324733) Homepage
              The public funding of the transcontinental railroad was highly successful. Congress funded two companies, one starting from the east and one starting from the west, with a plan to join in the middle. Which was a great plan in theory- whichever company went the fastest would lay down more track and get paid more (mostly in land), before the two met. Unfortunately when the two did meet they both decided they liked the government funding so much they just went right on building. They built hundreds of miles of parallel tracks before congress ordered them to stop.

              I've always found that (true) story hilarious.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by sgt_doom (655561)

              I would like to add to your excellent and highly accurate post, Good Citizen dangitman, as opposed to bothering with some of the idiotic and moronic criticizing posts which follow it: If Wall Street could ever come up with anything remotely as successful as Social Security (an insurance program for the majority), we would all be mightily impressed.

              Instead, they keep coming up with an infinite amount of securitized financial scams (or as they call them, "instruments") to continue The Great Financialization.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by dangitman (862676)

            P.S:

            I didn't respond to all your points, because many of them you conceded that government involvement was useful. However, your Social Security example is particularly off-base, because I was talking about government-private relationships, which Social Security is not really an example of. It seems to me that private enterprise when combined with government backing (combined mandates for public benefit) produce more remarkable results than either purely government or purely private endeavors do.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by JAlexoi (1085785)

            railroads were funded *privately* not publicly. And now that rail has been taken-over by government, it's constantly on the verge of bankruptcy. Ditto the government-run post office.

            I will be corrected if I am wrong. But isn't US postal service a non profit seeking organization, that sets it's service prices just to cover expenses? And when you don't target profit, you are by definition "on the verge of bankruptcy", so is any other 0 profit seeking entity.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by JAlexoi (1085785)

            WW2 was a horror not a success

            And yet the United States of America emerged as the most wealthy and dominant power in the world AFTER WW1 and WW2. After those 2 wars everybody owed US a lot of money.

          • With cheese (Score:5, Insightful)

            by copponex (13876) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @12:38PM (#29323927) Homepage

            Let me address the real issue here. Just because the US has poorly managed it's infrastructure does not mean the rest of the world has. Capitalist fanaticism is just as dumb as communist or anarchist fanaticism.

            For instance, the whole of Europe is covered by subsidized rail. Europe uses less than 20% of the energy that we do for transportation. Who is more efficient? France has a nuclear powered high speed rail system that is ridiculously efficient, clean, and well used. Just because lobbyists are directing all our infrastructure to the dead idea of highways and urban sprawl doesn't mean that subsidized rail is a bad idea. It means that rail and sensible land use aren't receiving as much money as they should.

            The best illustration of the failure of US governance can be seen quite plainly in healthcare. I don't care what anecdote you have. Statistically, the rest of the world pays at least 35% less than what we do for health care, they live just as long, and they are happier with their system than we are with ours. This is because they have grown up and realized that the market solution is not always the best.

            Another example is telecommunications infrastructure. Across the whole of Europe, well regulated broadband has covered nearly every inch of the continent with low cost, high speed internet access. Even in countries with similar population densities, like Norway and Sweden and Finland. Sure, you can find complaints. Give them the choice of a government option or a closed option like Comcast or AT&T, and you'll quickly discover that people don't want to be locked into a vendor. It would be like Georgia Power (where I live) only allowing Georgia Power appliances to use electricity. The liberation of American network access, if it ever happens, will be with corporations fighting to the bitter end to keep their profit margins intact, built not on their own dime, but the infrastructure subsidized by you and me from programs throughout the 90s.

            You've swallowed wholesale the lie that corporations are better than government for everything. Just take a look at the 1880s before public outcry ended child slavery, 70 hour workweeks, unsafe working conditions, and crippling manual labor. That's the reality of corporate governance. These deplorable conditions didn't disappear, they were just outsourced to countries where the leaders are willing to exploit their workforce for kickbacks.

            You can advocate an intelligent position, where corporations are kept in check by a more powerful and localized government, and the local government is kept in check by a powerful participatory democracy. Or you can advocate for the madness of money being the only metric by which success can be measured. You could munch on a Baconator while the rest of the world continues to improve through science and collective innovation, and we become an echo chamber of reality shows and televangelists and Fox News anchors, trying to convince a nation literally dying from it's own selfishness and gluttony that they're still #1.

          • by westlake (615356)

            - railroads were funded *privately* not publicly.

            The western railroad was funded by enormous land grants.

            The western railroad profited from countless indirect subsidies to those who needed its services - the cattleman, the mine owner, the timber baron.

            The "recovery" in 22 was short-lived and did not reach the agricultural sector.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Sibko (1036168)

            And now that rail has been taken-over by government, it's constantly on the verge of bankruptcy. Ditto the government-run post office.

            The USPS have been posting significant profits for years now. [usps.com]

      • by damburger (981828)
        Yes, the moon landings were a textbook example of how the government can't get anything done. Idiot.
  • O really! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by siloko (1133863) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @08:25AM (#29322443)

    You can't just sit on your a** and give everyone the finger

    Beg [slashdot.org]
    to [slashdot.org]
    differ [slashdot.org],
    twice [slashdot.org],
    three times [slashdot.org] and maybe even
    four [slashdot.org]!

  • No thanks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BlackPignouf (1017012) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @08:28AM (#29322459)

    Government-free energy implies more coal power plants.
    Few energy companies are interested in multi-billions long term investments in energy efficiency & renewables.
    The path of least resistance is coal, which also happens to be the dirtiest solution.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by afaiktoit (831835)
      If only there were as many protests to stop mountain top removal as there are to stop from putting up wind farms. Plus all the slack coal gets over their slag and ash dumps and all the mercury they're putting into the fish.
      • If only there were as many protests to stop mountain top removal as there are to stop from putting up wind farms.

        If only the mountain top removal was near rich liberal Democratic politicians, and the wind farms near poor Appalachian mountaineers...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BobMcD (601576)

      The path of least resistance is coal, which also happens to be the dirtiest solution.

      This.

      Except, not probably in the way that you think.

      If we want to see the world use energy efficiency and renewables, then ideally we find a way to make them the path of least resistance.

      Make it make cents, and suddenly it will make sense as well. It doesn't work in every case, but on the supply side of the equation it gets exponentially more important.

    • Re:No thanks (Score:5, Informative)

      by GaryOlson (737642) <slashdot@NOSPaM.garyolson.org> on Saturday September 05, 2009 @09:28AM (#29322761) Journal
      No, government-free energy implies more nuclear. Excessive government regulation of nuclear power has artificially increased the cost of nuclear power beyond reason. Nuclear power has a far lower cost of operation.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Operation, perhaps. But the long-term waste storage problem is a real bitch. Of course, without outdated government concern over proliferation, we might have fuel reprocessing coupled with more advanced reactors, leaving us with waste that is nasty for a shorter term, and a whole lot less of it overall.
        • Re:No thanks (Score:5, Interesting)

          by maxume (22995) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @10:19AM (#29323019)

          The hardest part about long term waste storage is getting people to give it as little thought as they give the millions of tons of material pumped into the atmosphere by coal power plants (and it is becoming clear that they actually put more radiation into the environment than nuclear, so it isn't just a matter of the potential problems associated with the CO2).

          The idea of creating institutions that need to stand for thousands of years is a little scary, but I'm a lot more scared of turning off the lights.

        • by PPH (736903)

          In either case (coal or nuclear), the government serves the purpose of transferring the costs of using the public commons (the atmosphere, ground water, etc.) to the industries seeking to use them. Or at least that's what they should be doing.

          Want to burn coal? Fine, but I own a share of that air you're dumping CO2, SO2 and assorted other goodies into. Same goes for leaking radioactive crap into the public's property.

          Ideally, a market solution should be tried as proposed for CO2 emissions, where some will b

    • Re:No thanks (Score:4, Informative)

      by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @09:54AM (#29322883) Journal

      >>>Government-free energy implies more coal power plants.

      Vice-versa government-run "cash for clunkers" means perfectly good cars were taken off the road, squashed, and thrown into landfills. The government didn't even bother to strip the parts and sell them (recycling), but instead declared that to be illegal. Had a private megacorp done that they'd be pilloried but when government does it, it's labeled a success.

      Next up - "cash for breakers" where people are encouraged to break their windows and buy all new ones.

      • Vice-versa government-run "cash for clunkers" means perfectly good cars were taken off the road, squashed, and thrown into landfills. The government didn't even bother to strip the parts and sell them (recycling), but instead declared that to be illegal.

        That's simply not true, only the engine block is seized. The car can then sold to registered salvage dealers who strip the vehicle for parts.

  • by NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @08:29AM (#29322465)

    I'm too lazy to do it, but I think if I looked hard enough, I'm pretty sure I'd find a giant heap of government subsidization in Intel's past. It might be disguised as tax breaks, favorable legislation, or some sweet no-bid contract deal, but I doubt many companies get to Intel's size without getting some help along the way from their friends in state and federal governments. They were just smart enough to get it done in a way that's a lot less visible than the "ZOMG I CAN HAZ BAILOUT" approach taken recently.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      It actually makes sense to have companies be taxfree. They provide jobs which is a useful service to the nation and should be encouraged, just the same way we encourage other useful services like the foundation for the arts or the government-run school system or or city metro or whatever.

      Plus we all know that taxes get paid by consumers anyway. If next year the Congress announced a 20% National Tax on every product sold, do you think Walmart or MS or other Corps would just say, "Oh that's okay. We'll pay

      • But...But... If we stopped the massive taxation on businesses then it might be affordable for companies to build their products in the US instead of importing everything. Then how would we manage to destroy the middle class and the economy?
      • It actually makes sense to have companies be taxfree.

        Whether it does or not, I think it's a little silly for a former CEO of a company like Intel to wag his finger at other industries and lecture them about getting benefits from the government.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)
        It's more subtle than that. The idea of taxing corporations is that not everything corporations sell is sold you your taxpayers. If, for example, a US corporation is paying tax in the US and selling 10% of its products to Canadians, then only 90% of the corporate taxes have to be paid by US taxpayers, the rest are paid by Canadian taxpayers (you didn't believe that whole 'no taxation without representation' thing did you?). For large companies, this percentage is much higher, and so taxing the corporatio
  • Without health maintenance organizations no one would ever be able to maintain their health ... right?

    • >>>Without HMOs no one would ever be able to maintain their health ... right?

      Wrong. You could just pay cash. That's what I do - just below $200 a year for my annual doctor's visit. It's cheaper to do that than to have insurance, just as it's cheaper to own a car than to rent it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    People die because they can not get access to or afford health care, no so with Intel products.
    Plus the U.S. Federal Gov requires that E.R.s treat those who can not pay*. Hey Andy, how about Intel give away CPUs, Chipsets, Motherboards and SSDs (w00t!) to those who can't afford 'em?

    * So I've heard.

    PS, no I did not read the article.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      Plus the U.S. Federal Gov requires that E.R.s treat those who can not pay*. Hey Andy, how about Intel give away CPUs,

      So, guys with guns forcing someone to give away his stuff is basically the same as someone giving away his stuff of his own free will?

      Wow....

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      >>>People die because they can not get access to or afford health care, no so with Intel products.

      In the United States there are only 8 million U.S. citizens that are not covered by either a private or government program. That's less than 3% of all Americans. PLEASE please stop exaggerating the problem just to push-forward your agenda. There is no reason to punish the other 97% with a government monopoly takeover.

      Instead all you need to do is extend the existing programs (like medicare) to

  • software patents Mr. Grove? Has that helped creativity? I would have loved to have seen Mr. Grove go further and address this topic.
  • healthcare (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mc moss (1163007) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @08:56AM (#29322589)

    "Another business he believes to be ripe for disruption is health care. He complains that the industry seems to innovate much too slowly. The lack of proper electronic medical records and smart âoeclinical decision systemsâ bothers him, as does the slow-moving, bureaucratic nature of clinical trials. He thinks pharmaceutical firms should study the fast âoeknowledge turnsâ achieved by chipmakers, so that the cycles of learning and innovation are accelerated."

    I don't think this guy understands how the healthcare industry works. We can implement a change with electronic medical records but when it comes to clinical trials and drug testing, it is not just bureaucracy that slows it down. The very nature of using human subjects as opposed to electronic devices means doing long and thorough testing, and we still don't have a complete picture of how everything fits together in the human body.

    • Quite.

      I seem to remember some floating-point error with Pentium processors.

      I suppose the healthcare equivalent would be the 'wonder drug' Thalidomide.
  • by jipn4 (1367823) on Saturday September 05, 2009 @09:44AM (#29322837)

    The computing industry has received massive government subsidies. The Internet, high performance computing, CPU architectures, compiler construction, and plenty more was financed by DARPA and other US government agencies, as well as European and Japanese government function. The subsidies were in the form of research grants, technology transfer from government research labs, among others. Knowledge and technologies were also massively transferred in the form of graduate students, academics, and government researchers coming into the private computing sector.

    There's nothing wrong with--it's government doing what it should be doing. But if Andy Grove thinks computing did it all by itself, he's kidding himself.

    If other sectors (automotive, energy, transportation, environment, etc.) are supposed to catch up, the government needs to invest massively in basic and applied research, fellowships, and government research labs in those areas.

  • The fact is that government did move to prop up many mainframe makers, and even more so with the makers of supercomputers which long ago displaced mainframes as the largest and most expensive systems. It's still happening today. Go look at the Top 500 [top500.org] lists, and you'll see that practically all of the top systems are government-owned. Thinking Machines would never have gotten off the ground without extensive government support, Cray/SGI wouldn't have survived the 90s, and let's not forget DARPA's contribu
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by damburger (981828)

      Lets not forget that IBM was involved in a massive, government funded, data processing project in Europe in the 1940s

      On a less flippant note, the microprocessor was a direct product of the US nuclear missile program. Nobody was pushing for miniaturised computers until the government put billions into making it happen so they could fit a guidance computer on a missile.

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/05/tob_minuteman_1/print.html

      Minuteman II's navigation system was nearly one quarter the size of Minutema

  • ... when the IT industry has learned to sell products that *are* fit for a particular purpose and come with at least a rudimentary form of warranty, then it can try to lecture other industries. Until then, please keep quiet and enjoy the easy life.

"Wish not to seem, but to be, the best." -- Aeschylus

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