Brian is a researcher, technologist, and futurist working in Kyoto, Japan as a programmer, web developer, and software engineer. He has a CS degree from VT in VA plus several years experience and a wide interest in many topics. Oportunities and Interest Always Welcome.
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Saturday, October 11, 2003 permanent link
  A letter to the Government of the Unitied States of America

Please, I beg of you, review the following two articles from well-respected magazines and websites regarding the future of technology in the USA and take appropriate action for the sake of Virginia and the USA. I honestly believe that we are facing perhaps the single greatest threat to the economy of the USA in recent history and the root cause it is from within. Outsourcing of technology and white-collar jobs is going to slowly erode our economy. This is very different than the movement of manufacturing jobs overseas in the past. We cannot expect white-collar industry people to re-train for different jobs nearly as easily. First, it takes greater effort, time, and money to retrain for such jobs. Second, the new job that a person may retrain for could also face outsourcing. The most worrisome of the outsourcing is the outsourcing of technology related jobs; particularly the higher end and R&D work. The USA’s main advantage in the economy is our advanced technology, just like Japan, the world’s second largest economy after the USA. Perhaps even more importantly in these times of terrorism and wars abroad is the fact that our main military advantage has also always been our technology. China has much more manpower than the USA and one has to seriously question the stability of the future if China’s communist controlled military catches up with the USA in technology. The USA invented or perfected the car, telephone, radio, television, computer, and Internet. Don’t give the next millennium of innovation to India and China by allowing companies to continue practices that are a disincentive against American’s entering the technology industry. If we continue to shift our technology industry overseas we are not only hurting the middle class of the USA, the bedrock of our democratic society, we are eroding the bedrock of our technological prowess. With each company that decides to begin outsourcing, the need for all others to remain competitive by doing so also increases. The only solution to this problem is regulation from the government to reduce the competitive advantage of outsourcing. The choices are difficult and the issues are complex but we can no longer afford to ignore the issue and choose to do nothing. We do nothing at the peril of letting America lose its place as the number one force in technology and economy.

I quote from these articles:

"One of the founding fathers of the nation's high-technology industry warned in dire terms yesterday that U.S. dominance in key tech sectors is in jeopardy, threatening the country's economic recovery and growth."

"Speaking via satellite to a global technology summit in Washington, Intel co-founder and chairman Andrew S. Grove said that the software and technology service businesses are under siege by countries taking advantage of cheap labor costs and strong incentives for new financial investment."

"Grove said he is torn between his responsibility to shareholders to cut costs and improve profits, and to U.S. workers who helped build the nation's technology industry but who are now being replaced by cheaper labor. Grove did not offer a solution, saying only that the government needs to help decide the proper balance between the two. Otherwise, he said, companies will revert to their obligation to increasing shareholder value."

"Grove chided U.S. policymakers for all but ignoring the problem."

“By the end of 2004, research company Gartner estimates, one in 10 IT jobs at U.S. IT companies and one in 20 at non-IT companies will move offshore”

“As the bulk of technology work moves offshore, the deep, experiential knowledge that comes from coding applications and solving technology problems—the soil of technology innovation—could move offshore with it.”

“Drouin wonders where he will find his next rising stars in IT… "It isn't clear what the new entry-level job in IT will be," he says. "We haven't eliminated all our developer jobs, but a good portion is gone. So where do you look for that superstar who is doing a great job and has a rapport with the customer and understands your business?”

“As more jobs move offshore, the work will move higher on the IT food chain. Indeed, it already has. The CIO survey found that 11 percent of the companies had outsourced system and architecture planning offshore, and 14 percent had outsourced research and development—two categories that analysts and chief information officers have predicted would never leave these shores. "When people say there is IT work that can't be done offshore, I disagree; it just takes longer to move the more complex work offshore.”

“Other high-skilled fields are also under pressure from international competition—accounting, engineering and architecture are already feeling the same kind of pressure as IT. As competition for skilled service jobs in the United States increases and low-cost options increase offshore, white-collar wages could begin to drop across the board.“

“He says Indian contractors consistently abuse the requirement that they first look for a suitable American to fill the job before bringing in an Indian on a visa.”

“I don't want to wake up one day and find that American IT has disappeared.”

Thursday, October 09, 2003 permanent link
  A link of some videos about Japan and North Korea. I would not say the vidoes are fair indicators of life in Japan, they dwell on the odd and the "fun", but they are mildly entertaining. Some more reserved videos of Japan can be found here.
permanent link
  Coppied from Slashdot:

"A couple of weeks ago BMG released an audio CD with a new type of DRM. Earlier this week, a computer science graduate student at Princeton wrote a report showing the DRM was ineffective - it could easily be defeated by use of the 'shift' key. The stock of the DRM company (SunnComm) has since fallen by 20%. Now, SunnComm plans to sue the student under the DMCA and claim that SunnComm's reputation has been falsely damaged. According to SunnComm's CEO, 'No matter what their credentials or rationale, it is wrong to use one's knowledge and the cover of academia to facilitate piracy and theft of digital property.'"

Can I saw OMFG!!!! This is absolute BULLSHIT. I can not believe thost stupid fuckers would possibly try to pass off such amazingly week technology! Just how stupid do they think people are? I was dumbfounded to hear that they even tried that. But I am apalled and physically angry that they are going to try and use the DMCA. I don't nomally swear on this page so you can understand how angry this makes me. It just goes to show that the DMCA as a horrible piece of legistlation. Chant it with me, "Down with the DMCA! Down with the DMCA! Down with the DMCA! Down with the DMCA! Down with the DMCA! Down with the DMCA! Down with the DMCA! Down with the DMCA! Down with the DMCA! Down with the DMCA! Down with the DMCA! Down with the DMCA!..."
Tuesday, October 07, 2003 permanent link
  More freaky Japanese fetish gadgets. File it under, WTF. This is taking technology too far. Tech can attempt to replace or augment a partner, but some things a person can just do better himself! Trust me. Perhaps it could be use for a paralyzed person, but it doesn't seem at all erotic, IMHO. Warning, link is sexual, but no real nudity.
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