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Saturday Tech Bits

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8. Re: Morning Mobilization Dec 16, 2017, 18:09 Scottish Martial Arts
 
yonder wrote on Dec 16, 2017, 14:00:
It might just be my overriding cynicism, but why did people ever ACTUALLY believe Silicon Valley was any different? Just because a turd looks unusual doesn't mean it's not a turd...

That's my basic take. As someone who works for a major Silicon Valley tech company, I can attest that they are producing useful technologies that have value outside any revenue they might generate but at the end of the day they are giant corporations that are in this to make money. I'm basically okay with it though. Advertising provides the revenue that funds the development of technology that is interesting and intrinsically valuable. Meanwhile, I get to have a cushy, well paid job that I enjoy and find professionally fulfilling. As for privacy and related issues, I think the issue is less the (imagined) reality of an evil corporation spying on you, than the concentration of power in a corporation that ultimately is only accountable to shareholders.
 
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7. Re: Saturday Tech Bits Dec 16, 2017, 15:06 Mr. Tact
 
jdreyer wrote on Dec 16, 2017, 13:47:
They've also gone into finance, pushing around imaginary money to generate more imaginary money. But yeah, all the silicon valley companies sucking up the best engineers to build out internet cash generating machines is a bit of a waste.
True. Ever see Margin Call? It is basically The Big Short from a slightly different perspective. In it, Zachary Quinto is a member of the "risk management" department at a nameless Wall Street firm. The premise of the film is Quinto's character is the first person to figure out the trading model they've been using to trade the mortgage investment vehicles doesn't work any more. The rest of the film is about what the firm does with the information. Which is basically to start the fire sale of mortgage based commodities triggering the 2007/2008 meltdown.

When brought to a meeting with the boss of his boss he is asked what his background is. He says he holds a PhD in Engineering with a specialty in propulsion. He is then asked what a "specialty in propulsion" is, replies his thesis was "A study on the ways friction ratios effect steering outcomes in aeronautical use under reduced gravity loads". The boss says, "So you are a rocket scientist?" Quinto responds, "I was." The boss asks, "How did you end up here?" Quino says, "Well, it's all just numbers really, just changing what you are adding up. And to speak freely, the money here is considerably more attractive."

I think that pretty much says it all...

Oh, and both those films are worth seeing IMHO.
 
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6. Re: Saturday Tech Bits Dec 16, 2017, 14:32 Mr. Tact
 
yonder wrote on Dec 16, 2017, 14:00:
why did people ever ACTUALLY believe Silicon Valley was any different?
Money. Simple as that.
 
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5. Re: Saturday Tech Bits Dec 16, 2017, 14:00 yonder
 
It might just be my overriding cynicism, but why did people ever ACTUALLY believe Silicon Valley was any different? Just because a turd looks unusual doesn't mean it's not a turd...  
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4. Re: Saturday Tech Bits Dec 16, 2017, 13:47 jdreyer
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Dec 16, 2017, 13:25:
The Wired article reminds me of something I heard/read recently. I don't think it was here on Blue's so I'll post it.

Forty years ago the best minds in technology were doing things like working at NASA doing the Voyager probes, or creating the things which led to the computer technology which is so common place now. But today's best minds in technology work on generating more clicks, more ad revenue. It is a complete and total waste of the most important resource we have. And it is all done in pursuit of the almighty dollar and often at the expense of the normal, everyday, consumers. It is really is quite depressing to think about...

They've also gone into finance, pushing around imaginary money to generate more imaginary money. But yeah, all the silicon valley companies sucking up the best engineers to build out internet cash generating machines is a bit of a waste.
 
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3. Re: Saturday Tech Bits Dec 16, 2017, 13:25 Mr. Tact
 
The Wired article reminds me of something I heard/read recently. I don't think it was here on Blue's so I'll post it.

Forty years ago the best minds in technology were doing things like working at NASA doing the Voyager probes, or creating the things which led to the computer technology which is so common place now. But today's best minds in technology work on generating more clicks, more ad revenue. It is a complete and total waste of the most important resource we have. And it is all done in pursuit of the almighty dollar and often at the expense of the normal, everyday, consumers. It is really is quite depressing to think about...
 
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2. Re: Saturday Tech Bits Dec 16, 2017, 12:50 Creston
 
Excellent article about Silicon Valley.  
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1. Re: Saturday Tech Bits Dec 16, 2017, 11:24 Red886
 
this is disturbing: WIRED back to publishing decent articles. (still tainted by leftist political commentary which is unwarranted)

Lets see how long they keep this up.
 
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