Georgia Tech’s $7000 polyester masters in computer science

Productivity is good but wage stagnation is not. This trend will only be exacerbated by the trashing of U.S. education standards.

In case you missed it, the Rambling Wrecks of Georgia Tech will next year begin offering an online masters degree in computer science for a total price of just under $7000 — about 80 percent less than the current in-state tuition for an equivalent campus-based program. The degree program, offered in cooperation with AT&T and courseware company Udacity, will cost the same no matter where the students live, though two thirds are expected to live and work outside the USA. Time to complete the degree will vary but Georgia Tech thinks most students […]

Where have you gone, Engine Charlie?


first-corvette-1953Charles Erwin Wilson, known as “Engine Charlie,” was president of General Motors and later Secretary of Defense under President Dwight Eisenhower. He is broadly — and incorrectly — quoted as having said during his Senate confirmation hearing “what’s good for General Motors is good for America.” His actual quote is more nuanced: “For years I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors and vice versa.”

This is a fascinating bit of history because we aren’t talking about today’s General Motors or even today’s United States of America but the GM and the USA of 1953 — a time when both were leading the world. Yet look at the equivocation in […]

Two H-1B’s walk into a bar: more on the visa scam

$10000There’s an old joke in which a man asks a woman if she’ll spend the night with him for $1 million? She will. Then he asks if she’ll spend the night with him for $10?

“Do you think I’m a prostitute?” she asks.

“We’ve already established that,” he replied. “This is just a price negotiation.”

Not a great joke, but it came to mind recently when a reader pointed me to a panel discussion last September at the Brookings Institution ironically about STEM education and the shortage of qualified IT workers. Watch the video if you can, especially the part where Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith offers to pay the government $10,000 each for up to […]

Dr. Al explains the so-called “so-called fiscal cliff”

forkintheroadMost of us have had mentors and when it came to becoming a writer three of mine were the late Bill Rivers at Stanford who taught me to think and not just report, legendary book editor Bob Loomis at Random House who felt I might be able to stack enough of those thoughts together to fill a book, and a guy most of you know as Adam Smith, who let me copy his style. 

Smith, named after the English economist and writer, helped start both New York and Institutional Investor magazines while at the same time punching out books like The Money Game and Paper Money — huge best sellers that taught regular people how the financial […]

By |December 16th, 2012|2012, Banks, Breaking News, Business, Economy, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Government, Politics|Comments Off on Dr. Al explains the so-called “so-called fiscal cliff”

Geek Idol: A Competition to Promote Competitiveness

A couple weeks from now we’re going to start serializing my 1992 book Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can’t Get a Date. It’s the book that was the basis for my 1996 documentary TV series Triumph of the Nerds and ultimately led to this column starting on pbs.org in 1997.

What goes around comes around.

We’ll be serializing the complete 1996 paperback edition which is 102,000 words in length, pumping the book onto the intertubes at around 2,000 words per day. In about 51 days, give or take a bit, we’ll put the entire work on the web with no ads and no subscription fee, just lots and lots of […]