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Comment Huawei sux... actually... (Score 2) 76

For anyone closely following China and their state-sponsored intellectual property theft activities, this comes as no surprise. The only thing I would change in the opening paragraph is "...infrastructure could be used to spy on communications... to ...infrastructure is used to spy on communications...

China's IP theft, how it happens, Hauwei's involvement, Chinese Liberation Army battalions devoted to network disruption and IP theft, US three letter agency involvement in trying to help US corporations protect themselves, is all open, public knowledge. Saying things like CISCO is worse is only avoiding the real and serious issues of western business competitiveness and military capabilities by posing a straw-man that, while the argument might feel good, is completely and utterly false. Do some research before claiming "we're no better than they are", please.

Comment Re:Biology workbook (Score 4, Insightful) 770

At some point in recent American history, we decided what we believe is more important than what is.

I'd put it this way: American's beliefs blind them to reality.

There's a study that shows that when confronted with reality, most Americans cling stronger to what they believe. Very few look at the evidence of truth and modify their framework of beliefs.

Comment Re:Labor laws need to be changed (Score 1) 397

... and just how would you propose to make labor policy changes in the face of America's strong position in the WTO and implementation of NAFTA and GATT?...

I submit that current labor policies in America are fitting the "needs" of a certain class of people just fine. Maybe America should take a stronger policy position with regards to that (small) class of people?

Comment Re:I find this strange (Score 5, Insightful) 397

Does anyone have any speculation about why this is happening?

What I'm about to say is not speculation. It's the truth -

Certain companies have convinced themselves that not only can they move manufacturing to China, they can also move product development engineering (including, shockingly to me, electrical engineering).

A CEO of a company I worked for told a packed audience of software, electrical, and mechanical engineers (many of us in the industry for 20+ years) that China produces over a million "qualified", "well trained" engineers a year. He told us it'd be crazy for him not to move engineering overseas, since that's where the "talent" is. You could have heard a pin drop. That's how shocked we were.

Anyone who's studied China carefully will know that the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) is struggling for credibility. You will also know that the Chinese university system that pumps out thousands of "qualified", "well trained" PhD degreed engineers has a serious problem. 98 percent of the PhD thesis are either straight rip-offs of Western thesis, or contend things that are not reproducible by any known means.

The company I worked for generates north of 3 billion dollars a year and has a sky high stock valuation. They acquire high-tech companies, gut them, send the remaining manufacturing and engineering to China, and leave small staffs of engineers in the US to keep existing products alive.

In the case of the original company I worked for, pre-acquisition we numbered 4,500+ employees and 900+ engineers (mechanical, electrical, software) world wide and were number one in four market segments and successfully competed against two other equally sized US companies. We generated over a billion dollars a year in revenue. Four years after the acquisition, there are less than 800 employees with fewer than 150 engineers, and that's after a huge build-up in it's China engineering and manufacturing operations. Revenues in the original company have fallen by 50 percent, and the take-over company hides this fact through acquiring other companies and puts them under the original companies "umbrella" operations.

These kinds of take-over companies are called asset strippers, or in Wall Street parlance; roll-up companies. They can be worse than private equity firms.

Here is an example of how electrical engineering jobs are lost to China. The company later acquired a highly specialized electronics firm. Their products require a very careful manufacturing technique, overseen by electrical engineers, to meet very high product design specs. Within 6 months, the company had taken the process to China and tried to train four different Chinese companies before they found one that might eventually meet the specs. The US-based staff were immediately terminated and the Chinese built products, even today, can not meet the original design specifications. In "normal" times, this might be considered treasonous activity on the part of the company as defense contractors used to rely on the technologies to "keep America safe." Knowing that engineering and manufacturing were shifted to China, defense contractors had no choice but to buy from someone else. The irony was that the President of the company that moved these operations to China claimed on national media that defense contractor sales had dropped dramatically and, therefore, he needed to lay off even more engineers as a result.

In another case, the company moved certain electrical re-engineering functions to it's China operations. In the US it took only 5 employees to keep the operations functioning correctly. I recently learned that they had hired 37 Chinese to implement the electrical re-engineering function and were intending on hiring more. The reason? The Chinese could _not_ do the job. The 5 US-based engineers had been laid off and there is no "going back."

As to why a company would gut it's US engineering operations and hire in China when the Chinese are clearly incapable of doing the job, all I can say is take a very close look at the stock option sales on the NYSE for corporate officers. The companies may look like they're doing well on the outside, but on the inside there is nothing left but a hollow shell. Yes, reality will set in. Eventually. But until then, certain corporate officers are able to sell their options at HUGE valuation increases and it won't matter to them when the House of Cards comes tumbling down. All they feel they need to do is acquire more companies to keep their scheme going and to keep themselves in stock option sales of hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

True story.

Comment Re:so says (Score 1) 177

So says the man from America. The country who's population literally could not care less that their own government is spying on them as well AND systematically removing their rights and dismantling their constitution. But you go on and talk about how stupid and cowardly we in the EU are. After all, we can see how strong your back bone is. After all, it is not we who have the backbones to bomb brown people "into freedom".

I wish I had mod points. I'd mod this up as far as I could.

From my perspective, you're absolutely right! What you point out are some of the reasons why a few of us left Amerika to experience real freedoms that can be found overseas. Not the fake freedoms that Amerika loves to blather on about, but not lift a finger to defend when they're taken away.

Comment Re:Perhaps (Score 2) 177

Perhaps the EU members will think that. However, there is a major difference between say, Germany and America. The difference is, the German public will freak out and actually take to the streets. I am reasonably sure that Germany would exit the EU if such a program was installed. Same is true for France. They say that France is one of the few countries who does democracy right. The government is scared shitless of the people. Not the other way around like in the US where people fear their government. Hell, in France they will burn an entire city over a small issue. Of course in England, they are even more willing to give up their rights than Americans.


Further, Germany and France use physical assets to do the bulk of their spying. Not that they don't need or use electronic spying, too. It's just that physical assets are much better at targeting the actual, real "bad guys" than, well, America's three letter agencies seem to credit them with.

Comment Re:Dangerous path (Score 2) 348

... and China _knows_ about it's advantage in rare earth minerals. What will happen when that precious supply is mysteriously interrupted?

It's a very similar situation to what the CIA and NSA currently find themselves in with regard to optical quality glass for lenses. Nearly ALL of it comes from China. Consider satellites and lenses for spying and you'll perhaps begin to see just how ridiculous the West's dependance on China has become. Makes a person question the role of Nation States in terms of "national security" when they allow businesses in their own countries to ship jobs offshore in short-term attempts to drive down costs.

Comment Re:Don't imagine it stops there. (Score 2) 348

Absolutely! The US can and does still produce their own electronics. As for "cheap", that's changed. The West has moved enough jobs offshore that we have created salary competition in China (even though their education in science and engineering still sux). It's rather like what we did for India around software development and call centers a decade ago. Cost parity between formerly cheap East and formerly expensive West has been achieved.

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