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Displaced IT Workers Being Silenced

Atrox Canis Re:H1-B debate? (398 comments)

Yep. The obvious "fix" that nobody seems to be taking very seriously yet is making it much more difficult to get permission to hire an H1-B worker.

Corporations are ALWAYS going to push for a plentiful supply of these as a cost savings measure, but it's ultimately the government who issues them. It's about time they start putting pressure on companies to PROVE they're unable to hire from the talent pool of American citizens before qualifying to go the H1-B route.

You are correct in that the reason nobody is seriously talking about making it more difficult is that most of the lobbying taking place is focused on making it easier. The major contract placement companies overseas will in many cases, hold the applicants passport and the company they end up working for will hold the visa. The worker is compelled to do the job and keep their mouth shut at all cost. If the worker is fired or they quit of their own volition, the company reports to the contracting agency and the agency recalls the worker. This could be a devastating blow for the worker so they will do whatever it takes to keep the job. Doing whatever it takes usually translates to "work for peanuts".

In addition, many of these workers are often housed by the contracting company or in some cases directly by the employer. This makes the worker even more dependent. Sometimes the living conditions are cramped to an obscene degree. I personally have witnessed this. 18 "IT" workers were all housed in a 4 bedroom home, just off campus of a large banking corporation in the upper mid-west. I had to go pick these guys up every day for a couple weeks while I was getting my visa processed to go do a migration at our branches in England.

The end result for these workers is that they become indentured after a fashion. Much like the coal and other miners back in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Miners lived in what were essentially settlements owned by the company. Want to buy flour to make bread? Only place to get it was the company store. The store only traded in credit "chits". At the end of the pay period, the miner got his chits and there was usually just not enough pay to cover all the debt. If you still owed the company credit, you could not leave the area and so, back to the mine you went. This created a never ending cycle of indentured servitude (slavery, if you will).

What we are seeing now with our over-zealous attempt to hasten the processing of illegal immigrants and H1B visa applications is a modern day version of the same old game. One mistake that seems to be ignored in this process is the long term, unintended consequences of making 5m quasi citizens. The stick has been removed from the equation for these people/workers. They will rightfully demand higher wages (minimum wage) and the employer can no longer hold deportation over their head as an incentive. The theory is that the company leadership/owners will just knuckle under and start paying higher wages. I submit that they will not. Instead, I suspect they will begin replacing these newly emancipated former wage slaves with newly minted illegal immigrants and the process will simply continue unabated. The last couple of paragraphs have not been strictly on topic but because immigration reform and H1B visa issues have somehow become combined in the public eye, it seemed appropriate to bring it into the conversation.

My thoughts on how to reform immigration and in some degree lessen the impact on the plight of the American worker would not provide for an all inclusive solution. But, perhaps someone else would be willing to take up a challenge to participate in the discussion as well. First, we MUST reduce the red tape required for legal processing of normal immigration requests and requests for citizenship. Note that I am not saying reduce the requirements. From personal experience (my wife is a naturalized citizen) the process is rife with what appears to be a woeful lack of competence on the part of the vast number of government employees that by default are included in the day to day workings of the application process. Second, the requests that are already legitimately in the pipeline should have a higher priority than all other actions to establish a "path to citizenship". Third, real significant enforcement actions should be taken against companies that are currently and in the future engaged in the illegal use of non-citizens. Finally, every effort should be made to screen applicants for violent criminal history and reject those applications and follow through with appropriate deportation actions.

I know there is more that could be done but as I'm merely a layman in this regard, no doubt I would get it wrong.

about two weeks ago

Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

Atrox Canis My thoughts go out to all those directly affected (3 comments)

To the family of Michael Brown and Darren Wilson, my wish is that regardless of the situation, in the coming months and years, you are all able to reach some state of peace. My hope is that the members of the community, regardless of your position, can maintain enough discipline to restrain yourselves from introducing more violence and hate. My condolences.

about a month ago

Obama's Immigration Order To Give Tech Industry Some, Leave 'Em Wanting More

Atrox Canis Re:I bet Infosys and Tata are dancing in the stree (186 comments)

Thing is, while he might have done that before (I don't know and I'm not taking sides as I'm not an Elmer) why would he behave like that now? (Bouncing from one advisor to another, I mean.) The extent of his power can't be longer than 2 years because of the 2 terms rule and it's incredibly unlikely to be any less than 2 years, even if he sat on his ass and did absolutely nothing.

That's a good and reasoned question. I speculate that he knows no other way. He has for so long been in ballistic mode that it has now become natural and provides the path of least resistance. I watched his speech last night and I couldn't help but reach the conclusion that he was out of his depth. Although he fails at speaking extemporaneously, he is normally fairly good at delivering his messages when properly prepared. Last night was as controlled a situation as he is likely to find and his delivery, pacing, tonal quality and lack of any deference spoke to me about a man at the end of his limits.

I've always believed him to be a pretty darn good grifter but he let himself literally get carried away by the overwhelming and indomitable forces of Hollywood and Beltway exuberance.

about a month ago

Obama's Immigration Order To Give Tech Industry Some, Leave 'Em Wanting More

Atrox Canis Re:I bet Infosys and Tata are dancing in the stree (186 comments)

I think he ran for president for the same reason anyone interested in power and influence would, because he craves power and influence. What he does not seem willing to acknowledge is the responsibility part. He rebounds from adviser to adviser telling him what to think and say and because of his lack of experience and talent he just does what he's told because he believes it keeps him in power and grants him influence.

I would venture that the vast majority of his "policies" and ideas are simple gleanings from overheard conversations at Hollywood cocktail parties. He has the depth of character one would expect from excessive education paired with inadequate intelligence. When people say he is a stuffed suit, that's in part because of what they observe and in part what they hear him say. It doesn't have anything to do with the color of his skin but entirely with the content of his character; a character that is woefully lacking and ill suited to the task.

To dismiss reservations about him with a simple "various nutballs like yourself" is to reduce the weight of your own argument in opposition. When you disregard the opinion of others in such a way, you lower the threshold for your argument and make your job easier. So, make an effort.

about 1 month ago

Labor Department To Destroy H-1B Records

Atrox Canis Re:H1B applicants are people too (190 comments)

I agree. However, the same thing could be accomplished with a simple SQL script to null the fields containing personally identifying information in each record.

Not a conspiracy nut here but I do suspect there are additional motives for purging the data outside of a purely altruistic one.

about 2 months ago

Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

Atrox Canis Re:Lame ripoff (495 comments)

I'll sacrifice some karma just to ask you to please stop.

And no, I'm not a sock puppet either.

about 2 months ago

Taking the Census, With Cellphones

Atrox Canis Re:the bourne ballsack (57 comments)

Don't worry, I get your poetry, you just aren't very good at it.

about 2 months ago

Taking the Census, With Cellphones

Atrox Canis Re:OK, that's counted people. And the other stats? (57 comments)

I agree, but I think they may be taking this into account. For one, having a detailed mapping of somewhat technically engaged populace gives them just a little more information in regards to determining what segments of the population to randomly select for enhanced census. I know they are supposed to try to hit everyone but with just the right emphasis on how hard to try in certain areas, the results can be skewed enough to matter.

about 2 months ago

"Police Detector" Monitors Emergency Radio Transmissions

Atrox Canis Re:Kickstarter! (215 comments)

Take the extreme positions out of the argument and both of you start making sense.

No, not all speed zone decisions are made based entirely or even in part on revenue generation possibilities.

No, not all speed zone decisions are made based entirely or even in part on traffic safety considerations.

The problem then becomes, as a driver, which are which? How do I know? How can I find out?

So, I use a radar detector in my daily drive to and from work. Ordinarily, I drive the same speed as everyone else but if I'm the only one on the road, I drive the speed limit. I believe this type of behavior is both civil and safe. And if you don't like the way I drive, you are free to slow the fuck down or speed the fuck up.

about 2 months ago

Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

Atrox Canis Re: Apples and Oranges (427 comments)

1. Apple has a less than 15% market share... they may be very influential, but I hardly doubt that anything that they do could be construed to be abuse of market share.

15% market share of mobile phones? Really? I guess I expected their penetration in phones was much greater than that of their computer (desktop/laptop/tablet) market.

about 3 months ago

Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Atrox Canis Re:No, no. Let's not go there. Please. (937 comments)

I reached the conclusion there is no god some 20 years ago. Until reading your post, I was unaware of the existence of atheist websites or atheist discussion forums. I've not actually engaged in a discussion with another atheist in all these years. I saw no reason to seek these things. I'm not trying to make fun of you or denigrate your comments. I guess the point I'm driving to is that of course, there will be groups of atheists that meet in various ways to discuss whatever they feel a need to discuss. I just never had that need.

I've never really felt like there is anything missing from my life. I'm married with 5 kids and 6 grand kids. My wife and I both still work and we do things in the community to help out when we can. We both vote and hold strong opinions regarding society. I'm pro-life because I am bothered by the idea of so much lost potential and I'm anti-illegal immigration because I am bothered by the knowledge that the immigrants are being turned into indentured servants. Well over 20% of our income goes to help others. Some of those people we help are family, some are friends and a few are strangers.

My wife recently told me that she too has come to the point where she no longer believes in a god. I've never tried to convince her that my lack of belief was superior because that always felt too much like proselytizing. Anyway, tl;dr kicks in here I suppose and again, I'm not trying to pick nits. It just seems somewhat incongruous that atheists would feel the need to get together in any way other than the normal social interaction that comes from being part of a larger community.

In any case, good wishes for success with whatever you choose to believe of not believe.

about 3 months ago

When Scientists Give Up

Atrox Canis Re:Easy solution (348 comments)

Yep. Welcome to democracy, where the government screws 49% to get the approval of 51%.

You forgot poor Republicans, who proudly screw themselves over because the rich ones tell them Democrats are going to take their guns and religion away.

And don't forget the poor Democrats, who proudly screw themselves over because the rich ones tell them Republicans are going to force them to carry guns and god.

about 3 months ago

UN Study Shows Record-High Increases For Atmospheric CO2 In 2013

Atrox Canis Re:Meanwhile in the real world... (427 comments)

There are millions of scientists involved in this worldwide.

Perhaps there are millions of scientists but are they ALL working on AGW research? I think not.

the ONLY climate "scientists" who get rich from their research and live high on the hog are those in the employ of the fossil fuel industries.Speaking of motivations...lets look at the fossil fuel industries. unlike those "lying AGW scientists", they actually do receive tons of money from the government. hundreds of billions a year. and they make even more in profits selling their product. and they spend billions in lobbying every year.

We might need a couple of citations here. I know there are billions of dollars involved but I rather suspect that the fossil fuel industry scientists are not getting "billions a year"

If you tone down the rhetoric just a bit, or restate your premise to be a bit more precise, you might gain some credibility.

Just trying to help.

about 3 months ago

Microsoft Shutting Down MSN Messenger After 15 Years of Service

Atrox Canis hmph, get off my lawn (127 comments)

Bluewave, 'nuff said.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps?

Atrox Canis What the hell, why not? (167 comments)

Waze for traffic and navigation. Nice combination of social and mapping. I just turn it on without routing on my work commute. I get fairly accurate road hazard and speed trap info and people actually thank me for reports that I post.

Audible for ebooks. Subscription service but it means you can get recent publications of decent books (one a month for the subscription) or more if you are willing to buy additional credits.

Airbnb for finding some cool places to stay while traveling

Flighthero for tracking airplanes that are enroute. I recently flew back to DFW from LA. A friend of mine gifted me with a few hours of inflight WiFi so I used it to track the plane I was in just for shits and giggles.

WeatherTap for... weather

iCitizen for political information

BillGuard syncs with your bank account and gives you decent warnings about unauthorized transactions

HBOGO and Showtime has one too. If you have HBO as one of your premium channels, you can stream anything HBO to your device

ZocDoc handy for finding a doctor or specialist near you

IMDB because I can never remember the name of that actor, you know, the one that was in Space Truckers and had a great scene in True Romance with that other actor, you know, the one that was so ugly. He was in Prophecy with what's her name.

Or, just take the time to go looking for an app every time you come across a situation or issue that could be aided by access to your augmented cloud memory.

about 4 months ago

Snowden: NSA Working On Autonomous Cyberwarfare Bot

Atrox Canis What if it's a triple whammy (194 comments)

The NSA approaches ES and convinces him to participate in a long-term project. Snowden "escapes" with tonnes of documents. He takes them to China. Then he takes them to Russia. The Russians and Chinese help convince the world he is a credible source. ES then starts releasing major BS aimed at convincing the Russians and Chinese that Uncle Sam still carries the biggest stick on the planet.

ZOMG!11!1!!!!, NSA can haz major counter-attacking AI monstermindbotswithzombiegoodness.



about 4 months ago

The Misleading Fliers Comcast Used To Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor

Atrox Canis Re:On the other hand... (250 comments)

I don't remember exactly but I seem to recall that I participated in at least five debates with these two groups. Again, TFA refers back to 2003 and some things are lost in a decade. We did fairly well with the referendums but ultimately, comcast and SBC spent around $2.1 mil in advertising IIRC and we were only able to raise around $40k for our side. It was a good fight but we just couldn't overcome the robo-calling with do you still beat your wife type questions and the full page ads in the local papers etc.

about 5 months ago

The Misleading Fliers Comcast Used To Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor

Atrox Canis This is reaaaaaalllly old. from 2003 (250 comments)

Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles Illinois. I was a member of the committee that worked on getting this initiative through each community. One of the members posted this interview with Broadband Reports back in the day....


about 5 months ago

EV Owner Arrested Over 5 Cents Worth of Electricity From School's Outlet

Atrox Canis Re:Not money, precedent. (1010 comments)

office couldn't know electrical draw.

Well not if they were stupid I suppose. But anyone with any intelligence could find out what the power draw of a Nissan Leaf was.

it's good to bring the hammer down hard on stupid electric car owners who think their being "green" gives them a right to tresspass or skank power.

I find the inability to use capital letters, and the use of the word 'skank" are an infallible guide to stupid people.

Do you know how everything in the world works? Well then, you must be a stupid person. Do you use regional dialect that someone else might not understand? Well then, you must be a stupid person. do you occasionally mistype a word in your sentence? Well then, you must be a stupid person.

1 year,17 days



Botting in games about to become easier/creepier

Atrox Canis Atrox Canis writes  |  about a month and a half ago

Atrox Canis (1266568) writes "Researchers have been working on Brain to Brain Interface (BBI) technologies for some time now. But a team out of UofW recently conducted an experiment on an extension of this tech. From the abstract...

"An upgraded brain-to-brain interface has allowed researchers to transmit signals from one person's brain over the internet and use those signals to control the hand motions of another person. Remarkably, the system allowed the participants to collaborate on a computer game."

I foresee this becoming a tool for remote management of gaming bots. Imagine a bot farmer in WoW spending his/her days remote controlling dozens of bots (read humans) for farming and selling in-game gold. Don't laugh! I've been convinced for years that bot farmers will try anything. /s"

Link to Original Source

Student Expelled for Refusing Location Tracking RFID Badge

Atrox Canis Atrox Canis writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Atrox Canis (1266568) writes "As discussed here previously on /. the magnet school, John Jay High School in San Antonio, TX has moved forward with "full implementation" of the RFID badge program. One student has refused to wear the badge and has now been informed that she must transfer back to her home school"
Link to Original Source

SUV offered as hotel during SuperBowl weekend

Atrox Canis Atrox Canis writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Atrox Canis (1266568) writes "A friend tipped me to this ad in Craigslist. It seems pretty tongue in cheek but the hotel prices are going through the roof in the DFW area so who knows. I checked earlier and even one of the bargain motels is renting rooms for $600 a night."
Link to Original Source

All your grid are belong to us

Atrox Canis Atrox Canis writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Atrox Canis writes "Fox News (I know, I know) has a story about "The Grid" which will be switched on soon... "The power of the grid will become apparent this summer after what scientists at Cern have termed their "red button" day — the switching-on of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the new particle accelerator built to probe the origin of the universe. The grid will be activated at the same time to capture the data it generates.""
Link to Original Source


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