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Sili-Hudson Valley? 397

guttentag writes "The New York Times reports Sematech (the international consortium of computer chip makers that turned Austin, TX into a tech center) plans to turn Albany, NY into a research hub. The consortium, which represents IBM, Intel, Motorola, HP, TI, AMD, Philips and others, will put up $193 million for the project while New York State will supply the remaining $210 million. The really unusual thing about the deal is that the state isn't offering any tax breaks or loans to lure the consortium to its capital. Why are they so excited about a location that is over 100 miles from their nearest constituent company (IBM)?"
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Sili-Hudson Valley?

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  • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @02:02PM (#3910147) Homepage
    Affordible housing, jobs, stability, light traffic, companies with reasonable hours, good schools... All the same things that we in the Silicon Valley have to offer...

    (pauses, frowns)

    • "Affordible housing, jobs, stability, light traffic, companies with reasonable hours, good schools... All the same things that we in the Silicon Valley have to offer... "

      Big companies are mroe and more often setting up near small communities because the cost of living in extremely populated areas is astronomical. If they set up in San Francisco, the workers will demand very high wages because of the cost of living.

      If they set up closer to smaller cities, the cost of living and therefore cost of employees is lower as well. In the small-medium town (~100K people) where I live, lots of factories and office-oriented companies are setting up nearby because of the low cost of living, attractive locale for people (i.e. small numbers of murders), lack of inner city gangs, low traffic levels, lower property taxes, friendly neighbourhoods, etc. This is driving the population up rapidly and new housing developments are appearing in areas which only a year ago were remote farm fields.

      • Then they take the small-medium town and surround it with a million miles of suburban sprawl. Build some freakin' condoes at least - and not everybody needs an acre. Its just ridiculous what they do to the landscape surrounding these towns.

        I have friends who grew up in those places. Unless you have your own car and license, you must be chauffeured, or you get no life.

        I'm happy I grew up in a big, stinky, industrial city. Sure, it probably ain't good for my lungs, but I didn't spend 80% of my childhood bugging my folks to drive me to the mall.
    • Seriously though, a couple of years ago we sold a house in the valley and it was an absolutely shocking process. Our house was on the market for all of four hours and our realtor accepted the final offer of %58 more than our asking price.

      Another friend of ours and his wife work for Adobe and they just purchased their first house.....a fixer upper......for......$968000. The place needs a completely new roof!

      Another friend of ours was telling us that their kids school (private) cannot keep teachers because the teacher cannot afford to live in the valley. The school was handing out $15000 checks for teachers to work at the school for a year, but after that year, the teachers still cannot afford the cost of living and they leave.

      My final little anecdote comes from my last trip to the valley several months ago. I flew into the San Jose airport, got picked up by the limo and was sitting in the back seat just looking out the window on my way to a meeting. I noticed that we were sitting at an intersection and at all four corners of the intersection I estimated there were at least $800000 work of automobiles. Porsches, BMW's, Mercedes Benz, a Ferrari, an Audi A8, and other higher end automobiles. And then sitting at a bus stop next to my car there was a woman in a janitors uniform with three kids. The two older kids (probably 9 and 11) were in school uniforms and the youngest was in swaddling. This woman probably could not afford a car, was working as a janitor cleaning the offices of all these folks in their fancy cars while putting her two older kids through school. Despite the charitable contributions that my wife and I make to our local schools, our local soup kitchen, public radio, our local university and medical charities, It made me really self conscious and found myself grateful to have the deep tint on the windows.

  • by idfrsr ( 560314 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @02:05PM (#3910184)
    Why are they so excited about a location that is over 100 miles from their nearest constituent company (IBM)?

    Does it matter how far you are away now things like distributed systems, video conference calls and such are making the distance less and less of a practical issue.
    • Why are they so excited about a location that is over 100 miles from their nearest constituent company (IBM)?

      Don't forget there are a few good colleges around here. Among them is RPI [], which I recall being one of the first to get a chip going over 1GHz (1.2 GHz if I recall, before it melted). Add to that SUNY Albany, which is a pretty good state school, and there's GE Power Systems down the street, as well as Plug Power (Fuel Cell developers). Quite a few technical developments have come out of this area.

      • Don't forget there are a few good colleges around here. Among them is RPI, which I recall being one of the first to get a chip going over 1GHz (1.2 GHz if I recall, before it melted).
        Oh, so, that's where AMD got their technology from.
    • I'd say distance doesn't matter so much as long as you have a decent communications infrastructure and are in the same or immediately adjacent time zones.

      I've found things really suck when, say, you're trying to work on the east coast and west coast (much less having people overseas) -- it's tough getting people together for meetings, tough to have people travel back and forth (you pretty much always lose a day flying west-to-east three time zones, whereas you can get between, say, San Jose and Boulder rather easily).

      But man, if I never have to work directly with another set of developers in India, it'll be too soon -- that was just a nightmare.

  • why would they move? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Maeryk ( 87865 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @02:08PM (#3910216) Journal
    Well, Albany is nicely located in NYS. Its also close enough to Canada that drawing people over the border to work there is feasible. Add to that the fact that its not a terrible part of the country weather/climate wise. (We dont get earthquakes, typhoons, torrential flooding, mudslides, wildfires a-la the west, and damn few tornados) and you have a safe place for your busines.

    It is also considered NE corridor (or close to it) and they can probably suck in a lot of people who have been downsized/lost here due to the horrible economical situations of late. Many people probably wouldnt relocate to California or Texas, but might move an hour west to be in Albany from NYC.

    Plus, you get all the people from NYC who dont want to live IN NYC but want to be close enough to visit.

    I live about 2.5 hours from NYC, and we have people living here who work there, and *drive* there daily. the number of cars that sat empty in train and bus station lots after 9-11 kind of pointed that one home pretty hard.

    Its not a bad part of the country.. NY state may also have much more lenient laws on things like pollution, building, etc etc. Probably lower land prices has a lot to do with it as well. And lower taxes.

    • Given that people don't really like to live in the city as much as commute in (not that Albany is that huge, but a house beats an apartment for any family oriented person), what are the conditions outside of Albany?

      When we visit the in-laws, we fly into Albany and head about an hour east...very depressing some parts - mountain "towns" that have nothing other than maybe a gas station.

      I know that right across the hudson, you've got things like Schnectedy (why do towns in NY have to be so hard to spell?) and it didn't seem that bad - but usually we just drive through. Didn't seem like someplace I'd like to live, then again driving through on the main roads, you usually just see the business areas and houses with crummy location...could be some nice areas right off the road.

      Then again, Poughkeepsie, Red Hook, New Paltz, etc... isn't that far out of the way to be ruled out either. Especially with the train.

      About the only thing (and it's what keeps my wife from moving back) is the winters. Some people just hate the cold and snow.

      But I'm all for seeing New England revitalizing itself. Too many little towns (like where my wife is from) that are beautiful locations, but with the mills that closed, they just can't support an economy.
      • by catfood ( 40112 )
        But I'm all for seeing New England revitalizing itself.

        What does this article have to do with New England?

        (Hint: New York isn't part of New England, even though York is part of England.)

    • Well, Albany is nicely located in NYS. Its also close enough to Canada that drawing people over the border to work there is feasible.
      Sorry, I hear the judges buzzing in on this one. The two nearest major Canadian cities are Montreal (4-hour drive [] through the mountains, icy and dangerous in the winter) and Toronto (7-hour drive [] on the well-plowed, toll-based NYS Thruway). Suggesting that the consortium is going to Albany to be close to Canada less correct than suggesting companies move to Silicon Valley to be close to Los Angeles and San Diego. As for NYC, I don't think a prime factor in the decision was the prospect of being only three hours from a weekend in the Big Apple.
      Add to that the fact that its not a terrible part of the country weather/climate wise. (We dont get earthquakes, typhoons, torrential flooding, mudslides, wildfires a-la the west, and damn few tornados) and you have a safe place for your busines.
      NYS gets earthquakes (In the 2.5 years I've lived in California, we've had one earthquake strong enough to be felt, but it was milder than the the 5.1 that hit Plattsburgh on April 20?), hurricanes and snowstorms. I've lived in Syracuse, where the piles of plowed and shoveled snow can get so high you can't see the road from the sidewalk. The weather in New York can be just as bad as the weather elsewhere.

      As for tornados, I can remember over a dozen tornado warnings during the years I lived on Long Island, though I don't recall any of them destroying anything. However, the northeast is not immune: less than a year ago a tornado in Washington, DC picked up a car and smashed it into the trees in front of the dorm where I used to live, killing both passengers.

      Economically, upstate NY is so dead the state government is lending credence to a man who wants to build a $2 billion mall in Syracuse [] (next to the large Carousel mall he built several years ago) simply so his grandchildren will have a reason to not flee New York. No one knows where the money's going to come from, but Gov. Pataki and the Post-Standard treat the proposal as though it's just a matter of time.

      As a NY native, I recognize that New York isn't a bad place to live. But I posed the question because the article says the consortium didn't even negotiate with any other U.S. cities, whereas last time they talked to 36. I was hoping someone might have some insight into what makes Albany so much more important than the rest of the country that it would preclude the consortium from considering anyone else.

  • What's wrong with Albany New York? I hate to say this, but New York City, L.A. and San Francisco/Silcon Valley are *NOT* the center of this vast and great country of ours!

    We have thousands of cities across 50 states that could all just as easily serve this purpose. Quite frankly, I find it really refreshing that other people/places in this country is being given a chance.

    Not everything has to be (nor should it be) congregated into one small hub. That's how companies and governments die (think of those poor companies who were housed 100% in the WTC buildings as an example). Our tech industry SHOULD be spread across the country, it's too important to be otherwise.
    • I hate to say this, but New York City, L.A. and San Francisco/Silcon Valley are *NOT* the center of this vast and great country of ours!

      Right, just New York City is.
  • by Lev13than ( 581686 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @02:12PM (#3910260) Homepage
    I hear their next project is to turn Churchill, Manitoba into Sili-Hudson's Bay.
  • TECH VALLEY YEAH! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dasmegabyte ( 267018 ) <> on Thursday July 18, 2002 @02:13PM (#3910267) Homepage Journal
    I live in Tech Valley, (Wynantskill, actually) and I can tell you a few of the reasons why it's so popular:

    1) Though taxes are high, the cost of living and operating are low -- at least 20-30% lower than in NYC. Which means you can offer an employee less money and it'll be worth more to them. Insurance is also cheaper.

    2) Tons of infrastructure. A lot of big fat unfettered pipes and buildings waiting to be filled.

    3) Nice setting. Those pictures of your corporate headquarters at the top of a rolling green hill surrounded by trees sure beat the arrow-pointing-to-an-office-floor stuff some people have to deal with. We've got nice sprawl for your employees, too (not a good thing if you, as i do, live on the street leading to the sprawl, but there you are).

    4) RPI. RPI graduates tons of brilliant tech youths with experience in wierd technology. RPI honors and grad students create all sorts of brilliant tech advances, and when they get their sheepskins they'll need some place to hole out for 20-30 years. A wise tech company grabs them while they're young and cheap...we have a dozen consulting companies around for this reason; hell, even Microsoft has a recruitment office here.

    5) Dude, you're 2 hours from Canada, 2 hours from the City, 2 hours from the shore, Cape Cod in the summer, Vermont in the's nice in NY man.
    • Of course you actually live in the quaint little town North Greenbush, Wynantskill is actually a Hamlet of NG. And I am not sure if you rember this or not but a fiew years ago North Greenbush in its less then infinate wisdome decided not to allow the making of a chip plant in the area. Which is odd because this quant unassuming town has a Tech Park with good size Tech Companies such as Mapinfo and Unified. The real question to this are these suberbs of albany going to welcome all these people.
  • by !splut ( 512711 )
    They'd have a steady steady supply of applicants from local universities. Particularly I'm thinking of RPI, which is just across the river in Troy, and has excellent CS and engineering programs...

    And it's a beautiful area. Near the adirondacs and catskills. Near Lage George. A freshly dredged Hudson River (new lower PCB content!). 3 hour trainride to NYC, but without the big city drawbacks.

    It has all the requirements for an excellent technological hub. Plus snowstorms that drop a good two feet of snow in February, which is really something the Silicon Valley currently lacks.
    • I am not going to diss RPI. hell, i applied and contemplated it as well. but claiming that your school is the best after ONLY having experienced your school is silly.

      RPI is decent, but does it rank among the best CS and engineering schools? my guess would be no. Albany is close to tons of other universities, each with just as many if not more accolades as RPI. SUNY/Binghampton is an hour south-west, Cornell -- 2 hours south-west, Syracuse -- 1 hour west, UofR -- 2 hours west, SUNY/Buffalo -- 3 hours west, UMass/Amherst -- 2 hours east, MIT -- 3 hours east, SUNY/Stony Brook -- 2 hours south.

      of course, we are dangerously close to getting into state vs. private school debate, but claiming proximity to the "best" school around as a major factor in the decision to put a research lab in Albany is shortsighted. If Silicon Valley was there because of Stanford and Berkeley, shouldn't we see the same trend in Boston and Pittsburgh? yet, there hardly is a tech-boom near MIT and CMU comparable to that of northern california. similarly, a smaller tech-boom near DC is hardly attributed to proximity to UMD, UVA and VATech.

      just MHO...
      • RPI does rank among the best Engineering schools, consistently.

        CS? Well, it's pretty good, but it doesn't hang with CMU, MIT, Stanford, U-C Berkeley, U-W Madison, or UMd College Park (or a few other schools that I'm forgetting) in research output.

        However, RPI puts a lot more effort into undergrad education than a lot of other schools, so it's a tradeoff. Back in the day, even intro CS classes (heck, virtually EVERY class at every level) at RPI were taught by professors. I don't know if this is still true.


  • Ok, I work at IBM. My father works at IBM. Good number of my friend's parents work at IBM. IBM is single handedly the most influencial and important business in this area (dutchess, ulster county roughly an hour from albany). When they layed off all those people in the early 90s, our economy went to shit. Many people I know were layed off, closing one plant (kingston) and cutting back in the poughkeepsie plant and east fishkill plants. A few thoughts on why albany. One would be that its the closest large city to here, for convention center and office buildings. NYC is further and more of a hassle. Poughkeepsie, which i believe has a population of 50-100 thousand, is a dump. Yeah there are some nice parts, and I would absolutely love for it to be here (more job opportunities) but its really not that kind of city. Albany also is pretty much the center of the state. If it was NYC, the rochester (Eastman/Kodac, RIT, etc) people would have quite a trip, same for the buffalo people (not to mention Massachusetts, Connecticut, etc). It seems to me that all and all Albany probably is the most logical place. Theres plenty of room, its a relativly decent city and its in a rather convenient location. I hope all of this really does go through because we could definitly use more of a tech industry than IBM.
  • by Rupert ( 28001 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @02:24PM (#3910375) Homepage Journal
    Why are they so excited about a location that is over 100 miles from their nearest constituent company?

    slightly further up:

    New York State will supply the remaining $210 million

    It always feels good to get money back from the government.
    • Read the article:
      In its 1987 search for a home for its first center, Sematech considered offers from 36 states -- New York was one of the finalists -- trying to top each other in financial sweeteners. In the end, the chip makers contributed $125 million and the federal government $100 million. Texas put up $62 million... and made low-interest mortgages available to Sematech employees. But money alone did not carry the day -- New York had offered $80 million and Massachusetts more than $200 million. This time, the consortium negotiated seriously with only New York and a few foreign governments.
      Money was not the deciding factor when they chose Austin in the 80s (they're not even getting any tax breaks out of this, which would normally be a huge part of the incentive), so why didn't they talk to anyone else in the U.S. this time? It sounds like they had their mind made up before negotiating a price: it's either Albany or another country. What's so special about Albany that precluded consideration of every other U.S. location?
  • As an RPI alumni... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sebastopol ( 189276 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @02:27PM (#3910405) Homepage
    ...all I can say is: why the fuck would anyone want to live in ALBANY!

    I hated all five years of the weather in Troy (snow from October to May ;-), and the vast absence of anything to do. The only thing worse than a dead city is a suburban sprawl. The Albany Museum of History, the Egg, and the QE2 dance club are the only things worth a dime. And I think the QE2 vanished some time in 1992?

    RPI has great materials engineering, and the 300 million US$ grant by an anonymous coward will go to great use, but I don't think RPI is what it was in the pre-70's. Purdue and Carnegie-Mellon are the best schools for electrical engineering, IMHO. They even beat out MIT and CalPoly, I can say this after hiring several grads from the latter two schools. I don't know what it is about Purdue and CMU, but their grads are far more creative and independent than MIT and CalPoly.

    I'm so offtopic right now. I'll take my -1 now...

    • Mahar's, goddammit, Mahar's! That's why!
    • I'd rather have snow from October to May than the 90+ degree weather from April to November that I'm currently "enjoying" in Georgia...also complete with suburban sprawl.

      I'm still waiting for the ability to get a job anywhere and work from a house in the middle-of-nowhere Montana.
    • by jonnythan ( 79727 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @03:09PM (#3910855)
      I hated all five years of the weather in Troy (snow from October to May ;-), and the vast absence of anything to do.
      You must not have been paying attention or something. I can't find time for all the things I *do* want to do in the Albany area. You're just south of Adirondack State Park!

      Tons of whitewater kayaking, rafting, mountain biking, beautiful canoeing, climbing, and hiking. That's just the summer-only stuff!

      Want to stay busy in winter? You're only an hour from excellent skiing (alpine.. CC is 10 minutes away), ice climbing, and winter mountaineering.

      How about year-round activities? Join the Hudson Grotto and go caving every weekend, or stop at Capitaland Scuba and join a diving class.

      Want night life? You're 2 hours from Boston, and 3 from Manhattan. You don't get better night life in the *world*, go clubbing all you want. The Albany region has some great pubs and bars. Culture? The Egg, the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

      I've gotta go... leaving Troy in 2 hours to go wreck diving in Lake George, then I have to get my gear ready for rafting the Deerfield river tomorrow. Oh, and I better clean off my caving gear from the 7 hour McFail's Cave expedition earlier this week so I don't have to worry about it getting too nasty while I'm in NYC Saturday.
  • by wpjmurray ( 594069 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @02:27PM (#3910412)
    There's a new book out called "The Rise of the Creative Class" that lists cities according to the number of people who are involved in "creative" fields and the number of venues hosting art, music, etc. Albany was listed #2 in the country for a city its size (Albuquerque, NM was #1). This type of environment is perfect for business growth and is similar to the pre-Internet Silicon Valley area. I think people around here (I live in Albany) would like to see more businesses like this, but are wary of the sprawl and wealth obsession that has hurt San Francisco.
  • There are plenty of educated people and none of the traffic problems that you have in larger metro areas. If you live in Saratoga Springs, a popular suburb about 40-50 miles north you have an hour's commute.

    This facility is going to be located right near two big highways, about 50 minutes from IBM headquarters. IBM has a big investment in the area, and NYS Government spends massive quanities of cash on IBM.

    There is a whole office campus that the state is vacating to attract startups with cheap rents and prime office space.
  • Albany sits on a pretty nice conjunction of Interstates [] running to NYC, Boston, Montreal & points west, not to mention the Taconic Parkway [] running to NYC via Armonk. The city may be dreary, but the countyside in every direction is quite fine, surrounded as it is by the Adirondacks (one of the largest parks in the country), the Catskills, and the Green Mountains of Vermont, so the second home and ski-ing opportunities are wide open. It's also a good distance from any terrorist target (unlike NYC and Boston), and it's not in Texas.
  • by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @02:33PM (#3910467) Homepage Journal
    Have you ever been to New York state (not the city, but upstate)??

    Its well forested, which is wonderful cover for Illuminati complexes.

    In desert areas, like Area51, humans eventually figure out something strange is going on; but in well forested areas, people just laugh at hunters "wild" stories.

    The Illuminati want the consortium, so they brought it close to home so no good secrets would leak outside their grip, before they allowed it.

    Now, I will give you specific coordinates to the entrance to their complex... wait... I hear someone com

      The Illuminati is a ruse for the Pentavirate Cabal... or maybe it's the other way around...

      The Freemasons do have a good hold on the upstate NY area tho... George Washington (aka. Adam Weischupt) spread his "seed" far and wide in his day...

  • Why are they so excited about a location that is over 100 miles from their nearest constituent company (IBM)?

    same reason as (one of the reasons) why Silicon valley started:

    1) cheap land
    2) cheap energy

    somebody mentioned something about pollution: well, right now rochester, NY is one of the most heavily polluted cities in the US because of the Kodak plant there. i'm just dying to see (no pun, really) what's gonna happen after all these companies drop in. NY used to have more lax environmental laws than CA, which might be one of the reasons. that should (hopefully, anyway) be changing though.

  • A mention of IBM's facility in Endicott brought back some memories... okay, granted they were only from a few months back, but before I graduated from SUNY Binghamton, I used to drive through the facilities there a lot. The ominous stone wall with INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES in small block letters really gives one a sense of nostaglia. Upstate NY is sort of a black hole when it comes to corporate enterprise and culture, maybe if some more businesses get the idea that it's cheap to operate there, the southern tier and capital city area will see some sort of renaissance. Right now, the only reason I would go to Albany is Mahar's Public Bar... I love me some Magic Hat!
  • Except for being the capital of New York state, is there anything there to make Albany an enticing target for terrorists?

    After the attacks on NYC and Washington, it seems a lot of companies started questioning the wisdom of having large offices in high-profile locations.

    Plus you get the added benefits of living in a less crowded area (for now, anyway).

  • The smell from that plant is reported to travel in excess of 150 miles when the wind is right. :)
  • I went to school at RPI in Troy, NY (mmmm, how I miss Troy-gray skies)...
    A few plusses for the Albany, NY area:

    1) RPI has an excellent BigBlue-funded circuit design and nano/micro-tech program that's been growing and growing and growing over the past 10 years. Esp. now with Shirley Anne Jackson (the new Institute Prez) pushing hard for commerciallizing of the research and grad programs a la MIT.

    2) Cost of living is dirt cheap. I live in Richmond,VA now, but the decade I spent in Albany pre/post-graduation, I never paid more than $500/month for rent and that got me a nice 800+ sqft. apartment on the Hudson waterfront.

    3) It's close to everything that deams itself important in the Northeast... 3 hours to Manhatten, 5 hours to Philly, 2.5 hours to Boston, 1-3 hours to skiing and manufacturing in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachussetts, Connecticut, and PA, 3.5 hours to Canada.

    4) There's still good money to be invested in NYC and investors there are now looking for business plans that cut overhead and operations costs from the get-go... what better a place than one that takes less time to drive to than Hoboken or Hartford?

    Of course, I'm saying the same thing about Richmond, VA now... 8^) but kudos to them for seeing that area as greener pastures and not just a has-been relic that so many want to make it out to be.

  • RPI one of the preeminent science/engineering schools in the country. Suny-Albany one of the highest rated public universities in the country. Other corporate presence I think includes GE, Electric Boat, Watervliet Arsenal, NL industries. And BTW Albany is the 6th largest inland grain port in the world. It's also the capital of NY, like RTP is to NC and Austin is to TX so it's close to the seat of power and funding.
  • ...this one will die a silent, lonely death.

    You can't force the creation of a tech economy.

    The first and most obvious point even if you were going to attempt such an inane enterprise is why you would put it in North America at all. India and China are clearly the emerging markets for this type of work.

  • The really unusual thing about the deal is that the state isn't offering any tax breaks or loans to lure the consortium to its capital.

    Only a perpetrator or hapless victim of "spin" would look at the state paying outright cash for half of the cost of the new center and say, "Hey, the state isn't offering loans or tax breaks!"

  • When I read 'Sili-Hudson', I assumed ya'll were talking about the Hudson River by Manhattan, not Albany in upstate NY... Hoboken sucks, we need more tech companies down here >_<
  • by nick_davison ( 217681 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @03:33PM (#3911082)
    Has nobody told them that since the end of the dotcom boom, there's been a mandatory death sentence on anyone coining Silicon[Exciting Geographic Term]?! Their poor children will now have to grow up alone, knowing Daddy was too stupid to avoid buzzword Silicon- prefixes.

    Have you noticed how every state seemed have a SiliconSomewhere two years ago that was going to push that state forward and now no one remembers them except for the poor fools who thought moving from SiliconValley to SiliconCornPlanes really was a good career move?

    Still, at least he can go to SiliconJail before being executed at SiliconGallows, his body taken along SiliconRoad to SiliconGraveyard and dumped in SiliconHoleintheground.

    Of course, whoever came up with this also probably still calls themselves an E-Consultant and still works for an i-deas firm.

  • Albany NY Is a highly political minded area. You have to keep in mind that most of the population works for the state. I grew up in a Albany suberb and my high school had a bad food ball team but our Debate team was top in the nation. But with all the political action. A lot of people are extreamly Political Correct and going to political correct schools. From all this political correctness a lot of people wont talk to anyone else with the fear of offending them.
  • I wanna freeze my *ss off and eat only boring american food. Let's move somewhere away from fairly nice weather, a hugely great and diverse selection of culture (including it's great food), and so many other nice things that makes it a great place to live.

    Places for me to move to, other than the silly valley, would have to be diverse in terms of culture, very accepting of alternate lifestyles (ie. it would have to be somewhat civilized), and NOT have snow. Not even a little snow. The most I've seen here is some in the tops of the hills near here, not any down below.
  • New York State will supply the remaining $210
    million. The really unusual thing about the deal
    is that the state isn't offering any tax breaks
    or loans to lure the consortium to its capital. ...just an outright handout of more than half the cost of the facility. Not a "lure"? Ok.
  • Plain and simple. Doesn't matter that it's money for tech rather than pork bellies. The rest of upstate NY has been in a tailspin for many years. Some of the highest taxes and unemployment rates render the cheap cost of living moot for most businesses and people. Rather than forking over cash to IBM and the like NY needs to cut taxes and bureaucracy, benefitting everyone in the state, not just those powerful enough to wrangle welfare and newcomers. I highly doubt Albany will become a vibrant tech area as Austin has (and Sematech is only a small part of the Austin phenomenon -- it is also the most liberal city for many hundreds of miles, making it a Schelling point for creatives in the South -- Albany OTOH has much tougher competition) and it's sad to see government always chasing last decade's one-trick pony. State and local government should not attempt to turn their region into a mecca for anything in particular. The best meccas become so organically. Who can tell what Albany, or other city will could become known for in decades hence? Nobody. By keeping taxes high and throwing money at a few favored companies politicians are only ensuring future stagnation.
  • Albany is the ugliest, grungiest, most depressing mat of suburban sprawl I have ever seen.

    At its worst: SUNY Albany is a whole bunch of same looking grey concrete buildings.

    They'd be better off in Pittsburgh.

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.