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Is Montana the Next Big Data Hub? 164

rye (208438) writes "Montana is positioning itself as the next hub for big data and cyber security. With companies like Symantec and IBM investing heavily in high-tech development, the opening of University of Montana's new Cyber Innovation Laboratory, and statewide competitions such as this weekend's Montana Cyber Triathlon (which had the coolest trophy ever), the momentum is strong. Cheap labor, cheap space and the Northern Tier backbone (with stretches over 600 miles across the width of Montana) are all contributing to the new tech growth. Even Congress is jumping on the bandwagon: Montana Rep. Steve Daines, a member of the House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security, recently said 'Technology has removed geography as a constant.'"
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Is Montana the Next Big Data Hub?

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  • by Maxwell Rebo ( 3639719 ) on Monday May 05, 2014 @09:43AM (#46918543)
    Being from Montana, and having been involved in the startup scene there, I can say that these developments are definitely an improvement but it still has a long ways to go. The main hangups for Montana are: -Remoteness (expensive to fly into / out of) -Lack of competitive talent (all the talent moves to bigger cities for work) But the pluses are substantial: -Great taxes (both current and previous governor, senators did a lot to improve tax situation for small-mid sized businesses) -Attractive work environment: proximity to Glacier Park, Yellowstone, lots of other great places to explore -As the article mentions, plenty of relatively cheap space to work in If they can manage to make the travel situation more fluid and less expensive, and find ways to keep top talent from moving to San Francisco or New York, they'll do well.
  • by Mefesto44 ( 1031702 ) on Monday May 05, 2014 @10:15AM (#46918797)
    As the Network Administrator for the largest independent Primary Care facility in Montana I'm getting a kick out of these replies. Montana is awesome. Like, REALLY awesome if you enjoy the outdoors. I love to fish, snowmobile, hike, dirt bike, cruise the lakes and rivers, kayak, snowboard, camp.... this place is heaven on earth. However, be prepared to take a significant pay cut to live here. My current position pays me almost less than half of what my job would pull in major metropolitan areas. This fact alone is why a lot of people would never consider living here. Property taxes aren't cheap for homeowners and first time home buyers are in for a shock that the cheapest decent homes on the market in my area are selling for around $250,000 - $280,000. I moved here from Atlanta about 20 years ago and some of my friends are scoring 3,000 - 4,000 sqft homes under $200,000 that are REALLY nice. Combine the high cost of first time home ownership with low wages and you can see why it isn't very attractive to live here on paper. But, if I have to be honest, I LOVE it this way. It keeps the big open spaces open (for now), population centers aren't overcrowded, and our populace is generally very happy and content. Usually I enjoy telling people this place sucks so they don't even think of moving here.
  • Re:Cheap Labor (Score:5, Informative)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday May 05, 2014 @10:58AM (#46919189) Homepage Journal

    " no Starbucks, no Whole Foods Market, no sushi, no thai food"
    7 Thai restaurants in Billings.
    8 Sushi in Billings
    45 Coffee shops including Starbucks.
    No Whole Foods but the Good Earth Market and Natural Grocers can fill the bill for a lot of people and you also have Costco.

  • Re:I've been there (Score:5, Informative)

    by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Monday May 05, 2014 @11:18AM (#46919341) Homepage

    While there is a grain of truth to that, don't over do it. Yes, you have to get used to a gun culture, but it's remarkably low key. It's just 'normal'. Most hunters (certainly not all) understand that some people don't like to see bloody real things or talk about them. Most rural folks are rather polite and even fairly tolerant.

    It might do you some good to be around a culture that just uses guns as tools. Yes, there is a smattering of scary militia types, but you find them pretty much everywhere except downtown NYC. Even with those clowns, if you don't bother them (well advised), they won't bother you.

    Here in Alaska, it's not unusual to see someone hitching down the road with a hunting rifle. And getting picked up. Humans can get used to most anything.

Truth is free, but information costs.