The more I spend time on the government side of spending government dollars, the more I realize the government has its hand in most areas of technology advancement. However, I’ve been dabbling with some technical ideas, intellectual property, and patent concerns at the interface of Linux and Windows computing. I realized this representative of a certain weakness government research has.
Government organizations are bound up with rules and regulations. It’s problematic enough to bring a personal PDA into work and use it on the government computer. The thought of bringing a Linux computer or creating a dual-boot computer is abhorrent to the IT staff because it represents serious lack of standardization, control, and understanding. For this reason alone, I can be reasonably sure that the government will never find new breakthroughs if they involve simultaneously using Linux and Windows.
The January 2006 issue of InTech magazine (pg 17) indicates that the United States has very few people graduating with engineering degrees compared to other countries: US 6%, Europe 12%, Singapore 20%, China 40%. Our country isn’t engineering any more. We’re moving on to managing engineers, and letting others do the “grunt work”. I hope that’s wise. Some days it seems a good way to leverage the talent of many people. Other days, it seems we’re getting so disconnected from the details of innovation that any country is ripe to overtake us. Â©