Hugh Pickens writes "Pete Carey writes in the Mercury News that there are 'clear warning signs' that Silicon Valley has entered 'a new phase of uncertainty' in which its standing as a tech center is at risk and that decisive action by business, government and education is needed if the region is to retain its standing as the world's center of technical innovation. 'It could be that Silicon Valley has a different future coming,' says Russell Hancock. 'It's not a given that we will continue to be the epicenter of innovation.' Among the troubling indicators in the Silicon Valley Index (PDF): 90,000 jobs lost in the last two years; the influx of foreign science and engineering talent has slowed; venture capital funding has declined; per capita income is down 5 percent from 2007; and the number of people working as contractors rather than full-time employees is rising. Adding to the valley's problems is a malfunctioning state government that is shortchanging investment in education and infrastructure."