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+ - How Silicon Valley got that way -- and why it will continue to rule.->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Lots of places want to be "the next Silicon Valley." But the Valley's top historian looks back (even talks to Steve Jobs about his respect for the past!) to explain why SV is unique. While there are threats to continued dominance, she thinks its just too hard for another region to challenge SV's supremacy.
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Comment: Gnome's outstanding interface design? (Score 4, Funny) 177

by lars_stefan_axelsson (#49575309) Attached to: When Enthusiasm For Free Software Turns Ugly

"am I supposed to ignore GNOME's outstanding interface designs?"

Uhh? What? Where's this outstanding interface design, and why haven't they told anyone about it?

Look, we're not ignoring it. They just haven't shown it to us! Please, why keep that a secret and release Gnome 3 shell instead?

Comment: Re:And garbage, construction and sewer workers! (Score 1) 634

by lars_stefan_axelsson (#49575057) Attached to: How To Increase the Number of Female Engineers

Well, many of the US military combat postings are barred to women, but that is changing (slowly), so there is active work going on in putting more women in those specialities.

The pentagon's blanket rule against women in combat postings was only lifted in 2013, so you have to give it some time.

Comment: Re:But why? (Score 1) 634

by lars_stefan_axelsson (#49575031) Attached to: How To Increase the Number of Female Engineers

But those old courses were designed with the same objective of every other course, to attract students.

Uhh? I guess you are on the young side if you think that courses of old were designed with the objective of attracting students. Only thirty years ago let me tell you that courses and programs were designed with the expressed and implied intent that they were what you needed to know and what you thought of it be damned.

The "it has to be fun or else" came much later, with the millennials and gen-Y:ers. We gen X:ers we slogged through, and if we didn't like it, well, there's the door. Don't let it hit you on the way out.

This approach to teaching of course had drawbacks, I'm not saying it didn't. But it also had some advantages, that have fallen by the wayside in the last two decades, that's not something that should be forgotten either.

Comment: Re: But why? (Score 1) 634

by lars_stefan_axelsson (#49575005) Attached to: How To Increase the Number of Female Engineers

I dunno, but I guarantee you that in my college years had we had "Engineering solutions to kill people from orbit", I'd have signed up for that shit in a heartbeat.

Well, we almost had. I remember our main engineering mechanics text being written by a retired admiral in the US coast guard. Many if not most of the problems in the book was of the type "A ship moves forward at ten knots and fires a shell in a 35 deg angle off the bow... etc. etc.

And I do remember the girls complaining that there was too much "rockets and guns", and the boys countering that there wasn't enough. :-)

Comment: Re: #2 (Score 1) 368

by abulafia (#49540413) Attached to: iTunes Stops Working For Windows XP Users
I'm not poking and prodding at Apple out of hatred, I'm doing so because, as an Apple user, I want them to succeed, but I also want them to keep going in a direction that is useful to me. As I see them shifting in a direction that is anything but, I prod them back in the direction that benefits not only myself, but also the largest number of users.

You do? What, you have late night heart-to-hearts with Tim, him spilling his hopes and fears, you providing a shoulder to cry on and gentle guidance from your decades of experience in product development and operations?

Comment: Re:Agreed but there is a point (Score 1) 341

by lars_stefan_axelsson (#49529373) Attached to: Study Confirms No Link Between MMR Vaccine and Autism

Varicella immunization, as you point out, wanes after a decade or so (as does tetanus, diphtheria and especially pertussis) and chicken pox is a largely benign illness (although complications do occur). The pediatric community has decided that a nuanced approach to this won't work so it's "everybody gets everything all of the time

That's an interesting difference between countries. In Sweden we don't have much of an anti-vaccer movement, though the mishandling of the bird flu didn't help, so let's say "not yet" at least. However, while we vaccinate children on schedule for most of the above, Varicella is not on the general schedule yet.

The schedule here is, wait and see if you get it, and if you haven't had it by your late teens, then we'll talk immunization. So we're still holding chicken pox play parties, to expose our children at as young an age as is practical (it usually is worse the older you are).

The profession says themselves that given the severity of the disease, you could perhaps make an argument for vaccination on economic grounds; having people stay home from work (on the governments dime) to care for sick children has a non-neglible cost, but from a pure medical perspective they don't feel it's justified, and hence it stays of the recommended list. For now at least.

Comment: Re:Industrial revolution was a disaster... (Score 1) 289

The view that industrial revolution destroyed cheap labor intensive jobs while creating more value added higher paying jobs and more high paying jobs were created than destroyed is a very Euro-centric view.

That's all true, and it's even worse than that. It's not even true from a European perspective. We sent 20% of our population to the US as a direct result of the mechanisation of agriculture. That's two people out of every ten that didn't get those higher paying jobs in Europe as there was "unused" lands across the ocean to take advantage of.

That's not true any more. The US in particular and the rest of the world in general is already taken. The next 20% in Europe are going unemployed at this time, and the next 20% after those will as well.

Comparing information and knowledge is like asking whether the fatness of a pig is more or less green than the designated hitter rule." -- David Guaspari