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Comment: Re:4 million people disagree (Score 1) 279

by sjbe (#46791739) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

So by this time next year a couple thousand of those 4 million will be dead.

"Couple thousand"? By your own numbers we should expect around 360 murders (48/100,000*750,000), most of which will not occur anywhere near where most people actually go. Tens of thousands work downtown and Ford Field, Comerica Park, Joe Louis Arena, Detroit Institute of Art, Cobo Hall, Wayne State University, several casinos and quite a few other attractions are downtown. Few people ever have a problem. Get a clue.

There's a lot more to avoid in Detroit than the snow.

Why would I want to avoid either Detroit or the snow? Literally millions of people go to Detroit every year without any incident whatsoever. Most of Detroit City is no more dangerous than any other major metro area in the US. An most people DON'T LIVE IN DETROIT CITY.

Plus I like to ski and skate. Why would I avoid the snow?

Comment: Re:4 million people disagree (Score 1) 279

by sjbe (#46791695) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

I know what the weather is like, the last year that we lived there the first week in February the temperature never got above 10 below, and six months later the first week in August never got below 97 (even at night).

Wow. One week of cold and one week of hot. However did you manage to survive? [/sarcasm]


Comment: Software is just a small part of tech (Score 1) 279

by sjbe (#46789879) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

I'm sure that's true if you're counting traditional engineering fields, meaning not including software engineers. I'm not sure it would still be true if you included software

Not as much software as some other places but that is changing FAST. Cars are getting a lot of software these days and so is the equipment used to make them. Plus a lot of software companies have a presence in the area including Google and some other big names. University of Michigan produces a lot of pretty good software talent and places like Ann Arbor are great places to start tech ventures.

Software is just a small, though important, part of technology. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook hardly comprise the entirety of the technology universe.

Comment: 4 million people disagree (Score 1) 279

by sjbe (#46789819) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

I take it the executives of these companies will be living somewhere the weather is livable and the food is decent.

The weather in Michigan is tremendous unless you are a complete wuss about a little snow. If you actually like to go outside the weather is terrific, particularly if you like boating. Never more than 80 miles from one of the Great Lakes anywhere in Michigan. In the summer I never been anyplace with better weather. Detroit Metro has about 4 million residents who think you are a big old wuss.

Furthermore there are terrific food establishments and markets in the Detroit Metro area. Roast, Zingermans, Eastern Market and lots lots more. There are high quality grocery stores and farmers markets everywhere. The fresh produce is tremendous.

Comment: Re:Wanted (Score 1) 279

by sjbe (#46789709) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

Wanted: People who are smart enough to work in tech, but dumb enough to live in an unsafe place.

Wanted: People who are smart enough to work in tech AND smart enough to actually get facts before making stupid public statements.

Seriously, few people actually live in Detroit City and that isn't where most of the jobs are - most live outside and it's perfectly safe most places. I'm pretty sure there are neighborhoods in San Francisco and Boston and Austin that the tech workers avoid. No different in Detroit.

Comment: Profits (Score 1) 279

by sjbe (#46789589) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

a lot of car makers can build cars in the USA profitably. even small cars. except GM and Ford

Given that Ford earned $7.2 Billion in net income in 2013 and GM made a $3.8 billion profit over the same period I think GM and Ford will be very surprised to hear that they cannot make cars in the US profitably since most of their profit comes from US operations.

part of the problem is the factories are old and there is no more room to expand.

You don't need to expand factories to make the efficient. Inefficient factories get shut down and those that remain are doing just fine. I have visited numerous Ford and GM assembly plants (as well as Toyota and Honda) and for the most part they are as efficient and profitable as those of their leading competitors.

Comment: Re:Nothing new - Always had tech jobs (Score 2) 279

by sjbe (#46789429) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

which would of been picked up by the next, possibly innovative, auto company to come along an buy up all the union heavy, bloated, bureaucratic, bankrupt companies assets at rock bottom prices

Wouldn't have happened because the supply chain would have imploded. GM gets liquidated and it would have dragged Ford and Chrysler down with it because they all share the same suppliers. Even the CEO of Toyota publicly admitted that liquidating GM would have been a bad idea because it would have hurt them badly too. GM being liquidated puts Delphi and Lear and a bunch of other Tier 1, 2 and 3 companies out of business. My company would have folded and not come back.

you don't stop being valuable or employable because the company you work for goes out of business.

When a company the size of GM + its supply chain goes under, the jobs go away too and aren't easily replaced. There are a lot of very talented people who had a hard time finding work after 2008. Some still do.

as for moving to Detroit, no thank you. too many union types lurking around up there.

Pretty clueless comment there. You can easily work your whole career in Metro Detroit without having to deal with a union even once. Most workers in the area do not belong to a union of any sort and in fact the state just became a right-to-work state (for better or worse).

Comment: Irrelevant to jobs (Score 1) 279

by sjbe (#46789337) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

List of the most dangerous cities in the US for 2013. Detroit is 3rd, right after Flint, Michigan.

So what? 80% of the population of Detroit Metro lives outside the City. Most of Detroit Metro is actually quite safe, similar to any other large metropolitan region. Very few people live in the City and most of the near-term economic opportunity and jobs is not in the City either. I've lived near Detroit and very rarely had any reason to visit the City itself. If I dropped you off in nearby city like Birmingham you'll find it to be as nice a place as just about anywhere in San Francisco and VERY safe.

Comment: Natural rebound (Score 1) 279

by sjbe (#46789221) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

It's a number ploy by a marketing firm...

It most assuredly is not a marketing ploy. There is a HUGE number of technology jobs in and around Detroit Metro and always has been because guess what? There is a LOT of technology that goes into manufacturing cars. Robotics, computers, automation, coatings, materials science, welding, forming, stamping, chemicals, etc. As the auto industry has bounced back from 2008-2009, job growth has rebounded too. It's actually not surprising at all that Detroit's job growth is rather high at the moment.

Trust me, you DON'T want to live anywhere near there..

Only morons who have never actually come to Michigan think that. Look, 80% of Detroit Metro is outside the City. Oakland Country which is immediately to the north of Detroit is one to the ten wealthiest counties in the US, has a AAA credit rating and is a genuinely nice place to live. Ann Arbor (20 miles west) is one if the nicest college towns you could ever want to visit and has some really cool business activity going on.

Comment: Clueless (Score 3, Interesting) 279

by sjbe (#46789135) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

What makes ME laugh about such articles is that Detroit is in the midst of some *serious* financial issues.

Detroit CITY is in the midst of such issues. Detroit METRO is largely unaffected. Oakland County immediately to the north of Detroit City is one of the ten wealthiest counties in the US and has a AAA credit rating. Guess where 80% of the population of Metro Detroit lives? (hint - it isn't in Detroit City)

Who would want to live anyplace near such a situation?

Because most people who live NEAR Detroit City don't live IN Detroit City and haven't for a long time. Metro Detroit is actually a very nice place to live and Michigan is absolutely beautiful. I know because I've lived there.

It's like a third world country in decline, with the crime, blight and debt in abundance.

If you think that then you really know nothing about it and clearly haven't visited the area. Yes there are some parts of Detroit City that are pretty crappy. That doesn't describe much of the rest of Michigan.

Nope, articles like this are just the dying gasps of the marketing company hired to try and attract new business to a sinking ship.

Automation Alley is not a marketing company. They are a sort of tech transfer organization/incubator that helps Michigan businesses grow. It's actually a pretty neat operation and I've been to events they hold. The studies they cite are actually well researched and factual. There are a HUGE number of tech jobs in Michigan and Metro Detroit has more engineers per square mile than all but a handful of cities in the US. There is an enormous amount of technology that goes into manufacturing and about 50 of the largest manufacturing companies plus their supply chains are headquartered in Michigan, most fairly close to Detroit.

Comment: Saint Louis (Score 1) 279

by sjbe (#46789079) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

Funny, because Detroit isn't that far removed from St. Louis weather-wise, and STL is the tech hub of the midwest.

I've lived both places within the last 10 years plus I got my education at WashU. St Louis is decidedly NOT the "tech hub of the midwest". Plenty going on there and some pretty good talent and a nice place to live but there is WAY more tech going on near Detroit than in St Louis except for a few areas. If there is a "tech hub of the midwest" it is either Chicago or Detroit depending on how you want to measure it.

Dice ranked Missouri as the fastest growing state in regards to tech jobs last year.

Not hard to grow fast when you don't have all that many to begin with. Plus a lot of the tech jobs in Missouri are in Kansas City.

Comment: Nothing new - Always had tech jobs (Score 5, Insightful) 279

by sjbe (#46788285) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

Over the past few years, the growth rate in Detroit tech jobs has been twice the natural average.

It's not just growth. Detroit has had lots of tech jobs for decades. It's been in the top 5 markets for many types of tech jobs for a long time. There is an ENORMOUS amount of technology that goes into automobile manufacturing. Robotics, CAD, industrial automation, materials science, welding, forming, coatings, chemicals, software and more. There are very few places in the USA with a higher density of engineering talent and opportunity.

Oh and before someone makes yet another ill informed remark about Detroit City, don't confuse Metro Detroit with Detroit City. Oakland County, immediately to the north of Detroit is one of the 10 wealthiest counties in the entire USA and has a AAA credit rating. Michigan is actually a really nice place to live, especially if you love the outdoors. Ann Arbor which is close by is a fantastic college town too if that suits your sensibilities.

Comment: I use both quite a bit (Score 3, Informative) 273

by sjbe (#46780031) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

People who do "serious" work with Office have real problems migrating.

I'm one of those people who does "serious" spreadsheet work. By and large switching between the Excel and OOo/LO works pretty well. Occasional formatting issues and the odd formula incompatibility but mostly it works fine. I try to use macros as little as possible so I can't speak to compatibility there but I would expect it to be something of a creeping horror.

Write and Word do have incompatibilities.

Sadly yes. Quite a few of them in fact.

I never tried to open a MS Access database in OpenOffice Base,

I have and it generally works but probably not exactly the way you expect. Base isn't really the same thing as Access. It's more of a connector application than a standalone database product. I use it primarily to do ODBC connections between spreadsheets and a database. Unfortunately they tend to break their ODBC code between versions so I've been stuck on a pretty old version of OO for quite a while.

Switching from MS Office to OpenOffice / LibreOffice is not easy at all for power users. To put into geek terms: imagine switching from Apache to Lighttpd. For most things, it will be great. But, if you have some serious .htaccess magic going on or are relying on mods which exist only for Apache - well, you are out of luck and you are probably not going anywhere.

Bingo. If you have a heavily macro'd set of Excel spreadsheets or the like you probably aren't going to want to switch. Just way too painful. But most people could probably switch with only modest problems here and there.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.