Obama, McCain and High-Tech
I wondered where Sen. McCain and now President-elect Obama stood on high-tech
issues. Well, all I had to do was go to the candidates' Web sites -- the answers
were already there!
Obama is for network
neutrality (so we can do pretty much what we want with our broadband connections),
wants to expand these broadband networks to areas not currently covered, invest
in the American high-tech industry, and use the Internet to let citizens track
government more closely.
McCain also posted
his positions on his Web site. He believes low capital gains taxes spur
risk and innovation, seeks low taxes for those investing in research and development,
wants the Internet to be a tax-free zone (at least on Internet use), and wants
more H-1B visas (which Bill Gates has long sought, as well),
Like his rival, McCain wants to expand broadband access. While he doesn't specifically
support net neutrality, he wants to preserve consumers' freedom to use their
connections as they like.
Chrome Review, Takes 1 and 2
Chrome is still in beta, but that isn't stopping reviewers from weighing in.
On our Web site is a review
that finds Chrome to be pretty good, pretty simple and pretty much in need of
a few more features like RSS.
But if you want to really dive deep into Chrome, check out what you and your
fellow IT pros had to say in this
Reader Review. And thanks to the dozen-plus of you that answered my many
It's the Economy, Dummkopf
Anyone with a 401(k), a TV set or an ounce of sense knows our economy is in
deep fill-in-the-blank-with-the-expletive-of-your-choice. IT has been through
bad times before -- jobs were lost, budgets were slashed and cool technologies
were never adopted.
This one could be even worse. And preparations, if not already underway, should
be made soon. Smart IT folks like yourselves are proactive, finding ways to
cut spending before bosses decide your salary is a great place to start. Upgrades
may be downgraded, servers virtualized so they do more, little-used apps decommissioned,
and perhaps cloud services eyed as replacements for expensive server-bound programs.
What are you doing now, and what will you do in the near and perhaps grim future?
Inquiring minds want to know at email@example.com.
Mailbag: The Election Edition
Readers share their thoughts on the presidential election and what it would
really take to boost the economy:
I think that many will be surprised at the election results this year.
And as for the economy, I think we have more tough times ahead and getting
the government involved may not be the best course of action, unless it is
to encourage the banks to work with their customers to see what can be done
to keep them in their homes. I believe that these business cycles will happen
no matter what the government tries to do. All we can do is pray and vote.
The Austrian School of Economics' theory of the business cycle predicted
America's current financial fiasco, and its proponents like Congressman Ron
Paul not only recommended methods to avoid the disaster but have provided
recommendations on how to get ourselves out of it. Unfortunately, neither
of the leading presidential candidates (one of whom will be president-elect
shortly after I send this message) seems to have ever heard of the Austrian
School of Economics and probably wouldn't recognize that their own proposed
"solutions" are merely warmed-over Keynesian or even Marxist/fascist
ideas in some cases.
That said, I believe three things about the election: One, whoever wins
will regret winning by this time next year. Two, nothing is going to fundamentally
change for the better. Three, Americans are hosed (or should I say sheared?)
regardless of the outcome. Also, government should leave IT alone. But I think
government should leave everybody alone which would put all of those government
busybodies out of work -- so that ain't gonna happen, is it?
You said: "Apparently, when you have a $10 trillion deficit and a
collapsing economy, the answer is to increase spending and cut taxes. If I
ran Redmond that way, it would be out of business; and if I ran my house that
way, I'd be in a run-down apartment and my 1980 Porsche 928 would be repossessed."
I would like to point out that tax rates (I emphasize the word "rates"')
are a lot like prices. When a business is not getting enough buyers for its
products or services and its revenues are down, reducing the prices for those
goods and services is often a good idea. It is often possible to get enough
new buyers to bring overall revenues up. Government tax rates often behave
in a similar fashion, which is why, for instance, capital gains tax rate reductions
have usually resulted in increased revenues. I think you will also find that
the last few times that income tax rates were reduced, revenue did not fall.
But it was Doug's ride of choice -- the aforementioned 1980 Porsche 928 --
that caught Bill's eye:
I always wanted a '80s 982 convertible but the family doubled from two
to four in '83 and '84. I have a '96 SL320 now -- probably cheaper to maintain
than the 928 but not the same.
Check in tomorrow for your thoughts on cloud computing. 'Til then, tell us
what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.