White House points to Sputnik to save tech
Soviet satellite becomes Obama's new rallying cry to keep Congress from cutting education and science funding
Computerworld - WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is calling for more investment in science and technology, saying the "Sputnik moment is back" for the U.S., referring to the 1957 launch of the Soviet satellite that's now synonymous with any foreign challenge to America's technical dominance.
Parts of Obama's speech today were very similar to an address last week by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who also referred to Sputnik. It was as if the two shared notes.
The underlying message of Obama's talk Monday was to keep Congress from slashing education and science funding.
Cutting science and technology investments is "like trying to reduce the weight of an overloaded aircraft by removing its engine," said Obama.
Obama also cited a need to protect education, and pointed to a series of statistics that illustrate problems, such as the U.S.'s fall from first to ninth place globally in the proportion of young people with college degrees.
"In the race for the future, America is in danger of falling behind. That's just the truth," said Obama, speaking at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, N.C.
As Chu did, the president cited a few recent technology developments, some of which involved China.
Among other things, without naming the company, Obama cited the construction of the world's "largest private solar research and development facility" in China. He was likely referring to a 400,000-square-foot facility built by Applied Materials.
"When global firms were asked a few years back where they planned on building new research and development facilities, nearly 80% said either China or India -- because those countries are focused on math and science, and they're focused on training and educating their workforce," Obama said.
Last week, Chu drew attention to the U.S. decline in high-tech manufacturing. In 1998, he said, the U.S. had about 25% of the world's technology export market; today it is about 12% to 13%.
Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov, or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com.
Obama and tech
- China set to surpass U.S. in R&D spending in 10 years
- Outgoing federal CIO warns of 'an IT cartel'
- @whitehouse takes on Twitter Town Hall
- Obama's CIO quits
- Little new in Obama cybersecurity proposal
- Feds update IT plan following Obama's 'horrible' comment
- Obama's online trusted ID plan greeted with caution
- U.S. Census tech makeover includes 'oasis' for innovation
- Obama seeks big boost in cybersecurity spending
- QuickPoll: Is Obama's 98% 4G broadband coverage goal realistic?
Read more about Government IT in Computerworld's Government IT Topic Center.
- 18 Hot IT Certifications for 2014
- CIOs Opting for IT Contractors Over Hiring Full-Time Staff
- 12 Best Free iOS 7 Holiday Shopping Apps
- For CMOs Big Data Can Lead to Big Profits
- Slideshow: 5 ways to lock down your mobile device
- Slideshow: 10 mistakes companies make after a data breach
- How to rob a bank: A social engineering walk through
- Which smartphone is the most secure?
If you think getting it right from day one is always what matters, you probably haven't been following technology too closely.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Mitigating DDoS Attacks with F5 Technology
- This document examines various DDoS attack methods and the application of specific ADC technologies to block attacks in the DDoS threat spectrum while...
- The DDoS Threat Spectrum
- Bolstered by favorable economics, today's global botnets are using distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to target firewalls, web services, and applications, often simultaneously.
- Defending Against Denial of Service Attacks
- By utilizing end-user interviews, this whitepaper explores a deeper understanding of DDoS defense plans and reveals the knowledge gaps around the Denial of...
- Strategic Solutions for Government IT
- This paper outlines why F5 is the optimum partner to help achieve the levels of security, performance and availability that are vital to...
- The Six Main Steps To Structured Analogy
- The role of structured analogy software is to automate the data extraction and processing work, provide visualization of the historical context forjudgments and... All Government IT White Papers
- Modernizing SAP environments with minimum risk - a path to Big Data Hear from top IDC analyst, Richard Villars, about the path you can start taking now to enable your organization to get the benefits...
- The Power of the Citrix Mobility Solution, XenMobile Does everything become a smartphone? Or does the smartphone begin to do everything? How can we afford to support BYOD? Rather, how can...
- BYOD Happens: How to Secure Mobility How to navigate the journey of securing mobility, including the BYOD corruption of IT, the top ten mobility strategies, and the mobility management...
- Fighting Fraud Videos: IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager Short videos about IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager (IIM) for Fraud. IIM optimizes the investigation of fraud for customers across many industries in both...
- IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager: Online Product Demo Intelligent Investigation Manager optimizes fraud investigation and analysis and it dynamically coordinates and reports on cases, provides analysis and visualization, and enables more...
- All Government IT Webcasts
Does your organization offer extensive benefits, cool perks, competitive salaries, opportunities for training and advancement? Then get it recognized!
Nominate your company or another deserving organization for Computerworld's 2014 Best Places to Work in IT list now through Dec. 12, 2013.