Want top notch Cyber Security in Germany? Start by paying well for the engineers... then may be they want to stay.
I think that the focus on take-home salary is very American and it doesn't necessarily transfer to other cultures. Europeans generally prefer getting home earlier from work, taking longer holidays, having maternity/paternity leave, and so on. Money is one thing, but as long as you make enough, the other things become more important. If you live in Denmark surely you have noticed this, even in the tech sector.
I think the discussion is about society in general (healthcare, education, safety, work hours, leave from work, etc. ), not about how a person is treated in their individual workplace.
Europeans tend to be nationalist and if you're from the "wrong" nation you feel that. In America you won't be treated with more respect if you're from Denmark and not Poland. So that's an aspect.
For one, the cost of living is going to depend on where you live. Which country, which city, which town. And you cannot just compare the costs. Each person has different values. Some prefer to live in a village, other in an apartment in a city. Some are cool with 1500 EUR rent a month, some find that ridiculous. Some can't stand the smog, others don't mind. If you live in a village the value of a car increases, while in a city the public transport system is invaluable. Each has their + and -, beyond just the cost of living, and how important these values are is also going to differ.
On top of that you get healthcare in Europe, even if you end up sacked. You pay more tax in Europe, but this also gives you more social security. Then there's state pensions.
In the USA the native language is English, and its settled on that. In Europe, this isn't the case (though it is in Amsterdam) with e.g. the stoic French and Germans. Not even the EUR is the main currency in whole of EU.
 I suppose we'd need some kind of statistical analysis.
If I were a young new graduate tech engineer with aspirations of being among the best, and getting paid well, from anywhere in Europe, it seems almost 90% logical to look at moving to US. Cultural, political and family reasons to stay in Europe is a different story.
I have a friend in DK, who bluntly said that "he will not consider the US in the argument because of Trump, and the society that would elect an idiot like him". People have different priorities at the end of the day. But, money wise, it is still the US of A...
It's just not health care, it's also the safety of not being spontaneously fired, the work-life balance, the vacation time, the paternity leave, and so on.
 I know that the mileage can vary from country to country.
There is no amount of money that would cover what I would be loosing in vacations, job safety, unions that actually work on IT, paternity leave, healthcare, ....
Plus I got to become fluent in 6 languages, and basic knowledge in a few others.
I don't think the majority thinks this way when they first build their career and look for places..
I'm heavily inspired by your learning 6 languages! I'm learning Danish as my first foreign language as an adult, and damn is it a struggle...
There lots of reasons I wouldn't want to live in the US that the increased Valley-area pay wouldn't make up for for me, personally.
That friend from DK likely has rather opposite values of Trump's and is afraid for a society where approx 50% of the people would vote for Trump. But if you look into it, and speak to Trump voters, that's when you start to develop sympathy and empathy for their background, stories, and reasoning. Its important to listen to people, and try to understand them. We can learn so much from that, but it requires patience, time/effort, and getting out of your bubble. I've seen a very good TV series on this subject  by an American-born American-Dutch (Jewish, Czech) presentator Eva Jinek but it is unfortunately with Dutch voiceover/subs.
I come up today with another reason (healthcare example) of why I would prefer EU over US . Examples like these I stumble upon every once in a while, and they make the comparison more and more difficult; not easier. Because income is tangible, but these examples are not.
Compare contractor pay with US. Contractors have to pay their own taxes, health insurance etc.
So everyday life is was just fine, people dealt with me in English. But to integrate, to have local friends, and to really be a part of the country I know I have to learn Finnish. (Which I'm slowly doing.)
There's clearly more people being drawn to SV than away from it. I bet salary is a major component.
I fully agree with the GP. European tech bigco's need to get their shit together and pay competitively.
But universities usually pay worse than the local industry anyway, so yeah, if they want the top people, they should start to pay (local) top salaries. Instead, as a researcher you might find yourself living from 6 month contract to 6 month contract.
Of course, it still sucks that it can happen to someone at all and you might not want to live in such a society. That's a separate issue.
Speaking of SV, I think the cost of living and the social problems there have made it increasingly unattractive. Seattle is nice.
> If you're employed by a tech company you have great health insurance.
So it will happen to you if you are laid off and happen to become sick after that?
You're proving his point: all the risk-averse folks stay in Germany. The rest are in the bay area.
Also, your health is not a calculated risk. Having a poor health (sometimes) just happens, even if your lifestyle is healthy.
This also ignores the massive social problems that are taken for granted in the US because of its non existant healthcare system for the poor.
Government mandated social security is an extremely inefficient way of managing health care. As an added evil it puts a giant drag on how fast companies can move.
But in Europe, try to dare to even mention the idea that centralized government mandated social security is terrible and you're immediately ignored because people think you're an immoral person. And social metrics be damned.
Just another example of Europeans living withing the confines of carefully built and maintained mental prisons.
Yeah, just look how efficient the US healthcare system is: https://www.economicshelp.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/tot...
German culture in the work place is hierarchical and extremely "old school" in my experience. Yes I know you hear about all the "cool" startups in Berlin but they are the exception and need to conform at some point if they want to do business with larger organizations that actually have money.
There is a wealth of talent here but this talent simply does not fit the "desired" culture. I would go as far as saying that hacker culture is the complete opposite of what the average German company wants to deal with.
You are in for a shock when you start dealing with the government departments here. They make the private companies look like bastions of liberalism. I could write a book about my experiences dealing with different government departments and agencies.
If Germany wants to attract talent (or start making use of home grown talent) they need to start accepting that these people do not want to fit the mould.
You cannot hedge your city’s job security on startups of whom the vast majority can’t survive without venture capital. It is as if people in tech have forgotten about the 2000 crash.
For a city like Berlin there will be a whole load of hurt when funding dries up. It simply is not in the city’s best interest, in my opinion, to put all its hope in having startups create all their jobs.
I would also say that a lot of industry giants have all-bullshitting-no-substance offers with a great sales department behind it. Just look at watson.
I think germany could improve to be a much better place to start a company. And it should.
Germany's (and western Europe's in general) biggest problem is not lousy compensation and sky-high taxes (although these are a huge problem as well).
The biggest thing that prevents Europe from innovating is culture.
Risk-taking, innovation, doing crazy "unthinkable" things is something that has simply deserted the European DNA a long time ago (probably over a century by now).
Almost all the important technical inventions of the 19th century happened in Europe.
Almost all the important technical inventions of the 20th century happened outside Europe.
If you've ever worked in Germany in a tech company you will very likely know what I am talking about here: when you throw a new and crazy idea on the table, the immediate reaction of the crowd is to carefully explain to you the myriad of ways in which your idea is just "not possible" and "will fail".
Getting a brainstorm-type session going with a group German engineers is darn near impossible.
And much less so with management.
Software technologies like MP3 came out of Germany. Companies like SAP and Hetzner are successful and german. Berlin has a healthy startup scene. Green technologies and automotive is dominated by Germany.
Overall I think Germany has plenty of risk taking engineers but the capital is more risk averse than in the US. Capital includes angel investors and pension funds and everything in between.
With one of the most restrictive IP licensing scheme I've encountered in my professional life. Way to promote innovation indeed.
>Companies like SAP
At the risk of sounding sarcastic, I have a very hard time putting SAP and innovation in the same sentence. They're basically the Oracle of Germany.
> Green technologies and automotive is dominated by Germany.
I do not know enough about green tech to comment, but for automotive, I strongly disagree: incremental improvement, yes. Innovation? certainly not. Case in point: how many German company dominate in self-driving cars? All the German car makers are buying the tech. from elsewhere.
As a matter of fact, thanks for picking that example: where did Sebastian Thrun have to go in order for his ideas to take flight? Why did he not choose to do his thing in Germany?
>Overall I think Germany has plenty of risk taking engineers but the capital is more risk averse than in the US. Capital includes angel investors and pension funds and everything in between.
You are correct that Venture cap in Western Europe is risk averse. All they invest in is European versions of stuff that's already been proven successful in the US.
But what you're not seeing is that the aversion to risk from European VC is a symptom of a larger/deeper problem: statistically speaking, there is no appetite for risk and innovation in Europe. VC risk-averseness is just one facet of that.
And why should there be? Given the regulatory and tax burden you're going to be subjected to when you try to do anything over there, why even effing try?
I feel like you are moving goal posts. Also, do you think IP in the US software industry is any better?
Patents, while they were invented to promote it, end up being a major drag on innovation, which bears to my point: innovating in Europe is a major PITA.
>Also, do you think IP in the US software industry is any better
The way IP is managed in the US is terrible, granted.
But I would say that these days, and specifically for software, things are way better than they used to - say - in the 80's and 90's.
A number of tech. companies are starting to recognize that sharing IP is actually making them more money in the long run and are actually publishing a lot of what they invent.
For example, and while I am no fan of Google, they tend to open source a ton of non-obvious stuff (e.g. the recently discussed s2 library).
On the flipside, and as an experiment: if you work in a German tech. company, try and ask their legal dept how they'd feel about open-sourcing some of their stack. See what they say.
My employer, Bosch, does open source a few things. For example: http://www.amalthea-project.org/
Working there. Doing that.
Different business models are different, and things tend to get ugly when you find a way to print money.
I'll take the "restrictive licensing/patents" model over the Google/Facebook "private sector surveillance" model any day of the week...
> At the risk of sounding sarcastic, I have a very hard time putting SAP and innovation in the same sentence. They're basically the Oracle of Germany.
I think IBM might be a better comparison. Certainly the scale of the past century, both SAP and IBM did plenty of innovation.
>"Risk-taking, innovation, doing crazy "unthinkable" things is something that has simply deserted the European DNA a long time ago"
I dunno, just off the top of my head, I'm thinking about Spotify, Skype, Sitecore, Endomondo, Just-Eat, Unity, Tradeshift, Trustpilot, GoMore, Zendesk, TC Electronic, Soundboks, Navision, Vivino, and that's just Scandinavian and primarily Danish(-started) companies off the top of my head.
Perhaps your beef is more with German corporate/startup culture, and not European culture in general? We're very different from North to South, East to West :-)
Thank you for proving my point. A perfect example of why Europe is lagging in tech.
>Spotify, Skype, Sitecore, Endomondo, Just-Eat, Unity, Tradeshift, Trustpilot, GoMore, Zendesk, TC Electronic, Soundboks, Navision, Vivino
Leaving aside those that have already been bought out by a US-based corp, pray tell me: where in that list are the European Google, FB, Amazon, Apple, NVidia, Intel, TripAdvisor, etc... ?
Where are the European cell phone, CPU, memory, or for that matter computer manufacturers?
Of the list above, only - maybe - Spotify comes close to being able to play in the big boy's club.
Given the size of the European population, the amazing level of education of the population and the concentration of potential, the state of European innovation is nothing short of pitiful.
The root cause is Europeans live and a deeply arthritic societies where change is very rarely welcome.
Non sequitur of the century, bravo.
>"where in that list are the European Google, FB, Amazon, Apple, NVidia, Intel, TripAdvisor, etc... ?"
How convenient to only mention the extreme few who made it big. Never mind their predatory business practices, well-documented abuse of their employees, deep-seated government lobbying and massive total disregard for even basic customer privacy. They made it big, so they must be good, right?
>"Given the size of the European population, the amazing level of education of the population and the concentration of potential, the state of European innovation is pitiful.
The root cause is Europeans live and a deeply arthritic societies where change is very rarely welcome."
You seem to have an extremely biased and uncharitable view of Europe, for some reason, which I find troubling.
Unlike the US, we don't just dump our poor and destitute people on the streets to starve. "Move fast and break things" is not a healthy way to run a society.
I've live very sizable chunks of my life in both the US and Europe, and I'm simply drawing comparisons.
Right now, when it comes to tech. Europe is basically lagging behind big time and my bet is it's only going to get worse. To be able to innovate, you need a certain mindset. That mindset mostly does not exist anymore in Europe.
This is not about uncharitable, it just makes me sad to see Europe as the ugly little duckling of the tech. world and unless folks in tech. in Europe stop telling themselves Gemütlichkeit fairy tales about the state of innovation there, it will only get worse.
>Unlike the US, we don't just dump our poor and destitute people on the streets to starve
This is a giant non-sequitur. What does this have to do with the way innovation is managed?
Like I said, it's a very troubling mindset to apply to running a country.
You have a lucky few who make great progress, but at what cost?
- The transistor
- The computer
- Atomic energy
- The search engine
- The internet
Shall I go on?
And most of the first few search engines were based in Europe (mostly Geneva).. and you might also have heard of a small invention out of CERN that you are using right now..
None of the folks who may or may not have been the first to invent these things in Europe managed to exploit the economic potential of what they had invented.
It is a deeply sad commentary of how much of bright people's potential is utterly pissed down the drain every day in Europe.
Oh, also, you forgot to mention that the French invented the internet first (t'was called the minitel).
The minitel was a perfect example of a government-run tech. program: 10 years after it was launched, it was still operating at the original speed of 300 bps.
One of very many brilliant ideas left to rot on the altar of socialist-run centralized western europe societies.
Maybe you forgot, but you claimed that almost all the important technical innovations of the 20th century happened outside of Europe. When asked for evidence you produced a list, which includes innovations that were developed in parallel in Europe as well (or even predate the development outside of Europe).
Or is your argument that only who ends up winning in the end (by some arbitrary metric) is the true inventor of some technology?
So how exactly does it make your point stronger?
> None of the folks who may or may not have been the first to invent these things in Europe managed to exploit the economic potential of what they had invented.
By all accounts the Zuse KG did quite well for a few decades, before a few questionable business decisions ended it (and it was bought out by Siemens). But initially he indeed was able to exploit it's commercial potential (in fact he was the first person to do so..).
> It is a deeply sad commentary of how much of bright people's potential is utterly pissed down the drain every day in Europe.
And that's not the case in the US..? And exactly how or why is this happening here and not in the US?
Fair point about Minitel, but that doesn't translate into all aspects of technology.. far from it.
Without falling into clichés, having ideas is the easy part. And, TBH, who gives two hoots about who had an idea first as compared to the guy who has the idea and takes it to a planet-sized success?
Getting something to work and then into a commercially viable operation is what I am talking about when I talk about innovation.
I don't doubt there's plenty of German or French or whatever with brilliant ideas. But 10 years later that's all they are: ideas. Or they are taken over by others and grown into what they need to be.
Innovation is about having the right idea and making it take off.
All the important technical innovations in the 20th century - as in: those who have had a sizable impact on humanity, happened outside Europe.
> Getting something to work and then into a commercially viable operation is what I am talking about when I talk about innovation.
Which the Zuse KG was for the (early) Computer.
Still - you are using innovation in a different way to most people.
Most people don't have the global domination requirement.
This very much seems like moving the goal posts to me.
> All the important technical innovations in the 20th century - as in: those who have had a sizable impact on humanity, happened outside Europe.
Now that is completely false, since the arguable most important technical innovation (by impact) of the 20th century, the Haber-Bosch process, was invented in Germany. And the WWW also had quite an impact I would argue..
Never mind more subtle things, like industrial control systems (where Siemens has taken it global) and industrial machines in general (which is also an quite successful area). Things outside the Internet still exist and still have an impact on humanity.
And you haven't answered how the potential of bright people is currently being pissed away in Europe today.
Thank you for proving my point.
I never said Europeans were bad engineers, far from it.
I'm saying they leave because it's just impossible to innovate in Europe, and that's a major problem.
> while Europe was busy recovering from WW II.
Many of those inventions started here during WW II.
Also innovation is not only IT stuff, I bet many in US enjoy being treated with Bayer medicine, stuffing their house with IKEA furniture, doing games in Unity, talking with their friends over Skype, having a mobile phone that one can easily swap out a SIM card, ....
That's all Europe has produced in tech. in the last 70 years: crumbs off the table.
And it's not going to get any better: whatever WW-II based explanation you may provide to justify the current state of affairs, it's not a solution to the problem.
The problem is that European innovators operate in a hostile environment.
If they stay, it cripples them.
If they're smart enough to realize this, they leave and go to a place where they can be successful.
Antibiotics - British
Tank - British
Television - at least shared by Britain and others
Stereo audio - British
Computer - critical aspects conceptualised and realised in Britain
Jet engine - largely German/English
Radar - largely British
Maglev - British
Hovercraft - British
Float glass process - British
Carbon fibre - British
Liquid Crystal (or at least a critical step) - British
RSA encryption - British
World wide web - British
SMS - British
 I should have been more specific and said that I didn't include the Brits in when I think of flagging innovation in western Europe. The focus was on Germany and to some extent the countries directly around it.
That being said: not a single union jack in sight in the page below ...
You have to get down to #28 to find one in this list:
And that's the key: however inventive folks from a given country may be, if the socio-economic system they operate in does impede innovation (and TBH I don't know enough about your island to comment about that), then all of these great ideas are for naught, they end up benefiting others.
Good grace. The man is so horribly incompetent at everything he does and his party (CSU) are even worse. I don't trust this proposal even a bit.
1) how on earth are they planning to fund and staff all of this? I worked for local government and it paid shit, and from what I hear state/fed government doesn't pay much more either, so no way to attract talent by pay.
2) Like many gov positions, this will be German nationals only (or EU nationals, not sure if German-citizens-only is still allowed under EU regulations?). Definitely no jobs for non-EU applicants.
3) Ever got a conviction for hacking or a (known) weed/other drug habit? Automatic no-go. Which is the reason why there is a severe lack of IT competency in government, no matter the level or agency.
4) Who in living hell wants to work that job? I'd expect to be kicked out of any political or hacktivist group if I were to work for our increasingly authoritarian government, let alone under Seehofer, and that with reason. That leaves as candidates only those with no other options left, and authoritarians at the best, Nazis at the worst. The police of Saxony showed on the weekend what is the result.
And the other points are still valid even if outsourced, as the requirements will be part of the outsourcing contract.
Ex source (sorry, old one, don't have time right now to find a more recent article I was thinking of for reference): https://www.salon.com/2007/06/01/intel_contractors/
And Snowden was one of the inevitable results. I mean, I'm happy the leak happened, but it is a perfect example of what can go wrong with outsourcing to the cheapest bidder. In total it would be better for the government to do in-house, but how else are you gonna shift citizen money into the hand of already ultra rich people... the only thing where outsourcing is profitable and worth it is for exclusively short term things (e.g. constructing buildings or developing a specific software), but long term stuff? Cut the profits of the company and hire the employees yourselves.
Cyber code. Reuters. Cyber code.
People read an item within their own field and go "what a load of crap, they can't even get the basics right rage" then they turn the page, read something from a different field and go "my, that's so interesting, these people really know their stuff!"
So we’re actually pretty progressive in terms of pushing open source while also supporting local business.
We operate more than 300 IT systems though, I’d say that around 75% of these run on windows only, many without suitable alternatives. So even on the technical side, we can’t swap our stack because our employees wouldn’t be able to do their jobs. We’re working to lower this, and stuff like web-apps and the rise of android/iOS devises has helped but it’ll probably take 25 years to happen, and here’s the thing, Azure is actually the most EU friendly, secure, stable and cost-efficient cloud platform, so a lot of those non-Microsoft software actually still run on Microsoft.
Then there is the employee training. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but the primary cost of running a public organization is your employees. They are the most important resource and replacing them is really expensive. So is retraining them, and it’s also something we already struggle with in terms of IT.
Most times when we switch a system, the technical implementation will go excellent. The organizational implementation will go horrible, however, because learning how to use an IT system is hard. It’s even harder to learn how to use it efficiently and often local management will be reluctant to invest enough time or focus on what they view as IT changes, because they are already understaffed in their primary function.
Windows, android and IOS are something most people have worked with before. So is the office package, and again, where is the non-Microsoft alternative to the office365 enterprise stack? Anyway, switching people who can barely “turn on the internet” (talking of course about the browser, but that’s what you’ll literally hear every day in our support center) to open source alternatives is a tremendous effort that nobody, nobody, outside of tech wants to do.
Then there is IT, we’ve run Microsoft for decades. Our staff is trained for it, they’re certified in it and despite what you may think, they’re actually cutting edge in terms of skill. At least in my country they are, we’ve yet to find an ADFS consultant that knows more about ADFS than our guys, in fact, we’ve had to send most of them home because they weren’t able to help us. Where do we find Linux replacements for those people? And how do we pay the 25 million it would cost us to replace the ones that don’t want to work with the Linux stack?
Lastly there is support. Microsoft may have a spotty reputation in popular culture, but their support has always been top of the class to the public sector. If we file a primary incident report to Microsoft, Seattle will be on the phone with us until it’s fixed. What Linux house will offer this service? Even if we found one, I don’t think we’d really want to throw away decades of partnership with an untested entity just because.
I wish we could run European based open source software, I really do, but the truth is that it’s complicated, highly improbable and the business case isn’t even there. Because it would be really expensive, and do you really want to sacrifice welfare to run Linux? Would your political leadership?
> so a lot of those non-Microsoft software actually still run on Microsoft
As a FLOSS advocate myself, this matters less than you seem to imply. Microsoft is publicly traded, they'll pivot to goat herding if that's the way to maximize profit. So avoiding it is (imo) less important than avoiding their lock-in products. If Azure has little lock-in, might as well use it, icky as it may feel to me personally. It's not inherently anti-FLOSS, because Microsoft is not inherently anything.
> If we file a primary incident report to Microsoft, Seattle will be on the phone with us until it’s fixed. What Linux house will offer this service?
I think both Redhat and Canonical would love that business.
I'm not looking to argue as you seem to know what you're saying, but on the financial side, how many millions are spent on Windows, Office and other licenses every year? I'd say it's worth doing the math.
I also worry because of the political climate. It’s extremely unlikely, that the relationship between the EU and the US will really go bad, but we have contingency plans for things you wouldn’t believe, so naturally we have one for Azure.
But then I see cases like the Munich project where they have been using Linux for several years, saving 11 million Euros in the process, until Microsoft moves their HQ to Munich and suddenly the council decides to switch back to Windows.
In Germany at least there is tremendous potential for cost savings if it were possible to develop one FOSS set of software for municipalities and share it across the country instead of paying millions in licensing costs.
I work primarily with digitization and efficiency, so I’m cursed in that I’m always thinking about cost efficiency. This is actually the primary drive behind my personal open source idealism. Since open source is customizable, we can cut away the clutter and focus on user experience and results.
But because of my background I can’t help but think about the man-hours they must have spent on the organizational implementation, and how many hundreds of millions of euro that must have cost them.
Maybe the German public sector is less digitized than we are, making the change lighter. Don’t get me wrong, we could certainly save money on licenses too. It’s just that the cost of doing it far exceeds the benefit, but I’d love to learn from Munich.
The cost of change is why I personally think hard switches (I did notice them calling it gradual on the wiki page, but I’d argue that it’s not if you swap OS before every other system is ready) are a mistake in enterprise. We’re gradually changing our plumbing to be more open, but we’re doing it so that nobody notices. Our MSSQL cluster is a good example, it’s currently necessary because of legacy software. In one or two license cycles I fully expect it to be replaced by open source however. If things go as planned then no-one on the business side is going to notice anything but the freed up funds.
I don't think it makes sense for a particular European country to develop its own distro, and certainly I don't think a state or county should be developing its own distro either, as it happened in Munich. Munich having to support its own distro is pretty crazy. At the EU level, administrations would get all the support and funding they need, pretty much.
I do think it's probably better to have a EU-developed distro than using Fedora or Ubuntu, though. Ubuntu at least already comes with proprietary software and licenses, so I'm not sure it would be that much better and trustworthy than Windows is in terms of national security. Let's imagine a war between some EU countries and the US in the future - would Ubuntu be free from manipulation? I'm not talking about hacking, which is to be expected, just good old hands greasing or compelling of the company to create malicious code.
Having an EU-wide distro that all administrations use and rely on would also have some other "unintended" but positive consequences, such as states not being as interested in quitting the EU, since all of their institutions rely on the EU distro. It wouldn't be the deciding factor in such cases, but I'm sure it would play a major role.
Now, do I think Munich gave up its distro because it was "too difficult and expensive"? No, absolutely not. The deal-breaker, or should I say "deal-maker" was the fact that Microsoft promised to build a whole headquarters there! And then suddenly Munich switched to Windows.
I strongly believe that without that coming into play, Munich would've just pushed through with the Linux distro, since they'd already been using it for the past 10 years, or worst case scenario they would've switched to Ubuntu and Libreoffice.
Microsoft used this as a PR technique "see, Linux doesn't work! Look at these guys, they've already switched back to us!" But it only happened because they made a major move to convince them to switch back to Windows, but 99% of the public doesn't understand or know that, so they believe Microsoft's PR, which seems to have worked very well, because it sounds truthful, even if Linux being hard to use and whatnot wasn't the deciding factor.
Microsoft did something very similar when it began patent trolling Android OEMs. They knew most companies would scoff at them and their patent trolling attempt, so they first got some highly strategic wins. First they got HTC to agree to pay the royalty, and then Samsung, the largest OEM.
Now you, and 99% of the people who don't know the whole story would say "but that sounds about right, looks like those companies thought Microsoft's patents were real so they agreed to the deal, no?"
Wrong. What Microsoft did was give these companies something very compelling in return - something where the net winner wasn't Microsoft in the deal, but those companies. If I remember right, HTC got free Windows Phone licenses for a while, and Samsung got a similar deal, and also free or very cheap laptop Windows licenses. There may have been other benefits for those companies, too.
So basically Microsoft didn't care it had to pay these companies to accept their patenting deal (however little sense that may make at first glance), because they knew that later they can push the story that these companies agreed to their patent licensing deals, because their patents are real and they are afraid of getting sued by Microsoft. Plus, they'd get to go to other companies and say "Look, Samsung and HTC, the most important players in the Android market agreed with our licensing deal, and you won't? Are you sure you want to go down that path?!"
I’m also a realist, and have you met the EU? We’ve been working on architectural standards for organizational data for almost 20 years, and it’s nowhere near finished. :p
If we can’t figure out a standard for how to define a department or employee object in a data model, then how on earth will we ever maintain a universal Linux distribution?
I think your strategy for implementation is flawed though. You really don’t want to tear the house down and build a new one when people are living in it.
I realize I’m a bit of a conservative in that sense, but people’s lives depend on our critical systems.
As far as Microsoft goes, they are a company. I think they are a great business partner in an ocean of bad ones. It goes against my personal political beliefs to use proprietary software, but the public sector isn’t primary a tech sector and we don’t operate on personal ideology. We use the best and most efficient tools, at the cheapest cost, to support our primary function.
Each of these directives is implemented as a law in member states. The Dutch version is here: http://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0036795/
If they failed to adhere to the law you should do so, but I’d urge you not to request access in the future unless it’s really important. Because making a request of access is one of the most expensive things you can do.
We get a few requests each year, every department does, and every time we have to dig through a number of different systems and thousands of documents to prepare stuff that’s relevant. Then we have to read through every single document to make sure there isn’t any sensitive information and manually redact it if there is, while filing a report on why we redacted to internal review.
We do this, while expected to perform our normal functions by the way. I don’t know about the Dutch, but we take every request very serious, but for me personally it’s a little disheartening to know that we could hire 10-15 extra teachers/nurses/care takers if we didn’t have to deal with requests of access done solely by private citizens who feel like they “fight the good fight”.
I mean, who are you fighting? Your own society? The press is usually ahead of you too, but they actually have the resources to process the information they request.
Germany has already several established agencies in this area that could use the money but wouldn't have to be build up from scratch.
Don't even need that. Just utilize one of the numerous vulnerabilities before it's patched.
Microsoft Windows‘ unstoppable telemetry is another really important note!
Also somehow every experiment that tries to free us from this spyware (e.g. Munich Officials tried to use Linux) gets overpowered with someone throwing money at politicians who immediately change back everything to Windows...
What? So because US govt't systems run (or ran) Kaspersky (or TrendMicro) that means the US is (was) controlled, technically by Russia or Japan? Huh!
The US in a unique position, though. Windows and OSX are operating systems; they have complete control of everything else running in the systems they run on. Google has view of the world's web navigation, email authentication, as well as complete control over a grand portion of the world's phones (most of the other portion is controlled by Apple, also a US company), including knowledge of phone calls made between people, and their location at all times. Facebook also has great knowledge of how all people are interrelated.
There's probably lots I'm missing, but the point is that most of the world's cyberspace (a useful word apparently) is controlled by the US. If we translate that to cyberwarfare, that means that the US practically has ALL the guns. A couple guns from other nations are not going to make a difference in this space.
And see "We're all living in America" aka "Amerika" by Ramstein <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr8ljRgcJNM>.
I don't have a constructive answer to move towards . I just don't like the present-blindness exceptionalism that keeps the US from just being considered an empire, nor the centralization created by having essentially three sovereigns in the world.
The US certainly imposes its will on the rest of the world in many ways, but you're overestimating its power and its interest in imposing its will on Western Europe.
Like many countries, Germany played both sides during the Cold War: https://www.britannica.com/event/Ostpolitik
My humble opinion is that Germany could have evicted the US military from their territory in the 60s, 70s or 80s at the cost of inviting the Soviets in, but judged (correctly, IMO) that the Soviets would treat them worse than the Americans had and would. After all, the Soviets treated their own citizens very badly. The tariffs that Trump imposed on German exports would've never happened during the Cold War. The US security establishment knew (correctly, IMO) that Germany's allying with the Soviets would've been a disaster for US interests because of the possibility of the alliance eventually reaching economic and military parity with the US. (The security establishment would've mobilized influential Senators and Congresspersons to pressure the President to remove the tariffs, and in the unlikely event that that didn't work, they would've taken their case to the American press and the American public.) Consequently, they treated Germany better than the Germans could reasonably expect the Soviets to treat them.
I believe Germany could evict the US military from their territory today, particularly since now that the Soviet Union has disintegrated, the US security establishment doesn't really want to maintain that military presence. They probably think they're maintaining it mainly as a favor to the Europeans and wish the Europeans would bear more of the cost of their own defense. The Europeans, on the other hand, probably reason (correctly, IMO) that having the protection of Western Europe come mostly from the US has the happy effect of reducing the probability of an arms race and consequent war between two European powers. In other words, my belief is that the US doesn't really want to bear the cost of their military presence in Europe, but has (at least before Trump's presidency) grudgingly done so because that is the most effective means of keeping down the probability of another European war.
(I'm not saying that the Europeans are more warlike than the US is -- they are not -- just that the situations of the European governments are much more precarious than the situation of the US government. The US government does not have to consider attacking another country to prevent that country from attacking it first.)
That's one of the selling points for "soft" empires. Even the Mongols played it that way. After the unpleasantness of invasion, anyway.
The Pentagon confirmed this year that they intend to modernize the nuclear weapons stationed in Germany starting in 2021. This does not sound like they don't want to maintain a military presence.
And Turbonegro's "Death From Above", written by some kid from Bosnia. Also that over-the-top hidden track on Party Animals, "My Name is Bojan Milankovic". It's quite the response to music criticism ;)
: Rammstein is one of my all-time favourite band.
I'd also wager that if they tried to force the US to leave, the US would respond with aggression, most likely economically.
I have friends that don't want to visit the US solely because of Trump being elected. Very smart software engineers.
Politics and worldview doesn't correlate at all with ones abilities, although this is often portrayed that way.
Lower than the USA, yes; but even junior software roles are well above “wage slavery”. Housing and medical insurance are both much cheaper here (also food, but food is so cheap generally that it being cheaper here doesn’t make much difference, unlike rent and insurance).
Sure, but that level is paid to maybe 1-in-25 staff/principal/distinguished engineers at the top handful companies which make up maybe 1-in-25 of total jobs in the industry (order of magnitude)?
So for the 1-in-500 talents in the German coding industry, maybe it might be a worthwhile consideration to move halfway across the world with their families, but for the 499 even doubling their salary isn't all that enticing...
You don't really have a good army without decent generals.
It also helps that labor protection laws are rather strong here and when you look at the US, it's horrible in comparison and not to mention the potential healthcare/other costs that could eat up your wage (I guess with total comp you mean including stock options or something like that, I've rarely seen that here, people prefer to be actually paid).
That and moving to another country, possibly permanently is quite difficult and taxing.
Compared to the US, you will not find many rich people in Germany. At the same time you will also not find many poor people. Generally, people are quite equal in Germany.
I assume that the brother from your anecdote doesn't declare all his income (you are left with about 60% of your paycheck after taxes and mandatory insurances). I don't see how a programmer salary isn't enough for two people to make ends meet.
No one is saying there isn't eng. talent in Germany. They're just mistreated by the system.
And the valley tech giants know this very well and take advantage of it.
And statistically, my bet is that most folks will put their dislike of the US in the backseat when offered a 4x wage increase.
>30 day vacation, paternity leave, health insurance, 40 hour week, unions support
And thank you for providing yet another (or rather a whole 5) perfect explanation of why it's darn near impossible to innovate in Europe.
We're getting down to faith-based reasoning here.
> without capitalists abusing our worker rights
Dude, you sound like the little red book.