AT&T Dropping Usenet Netnews; Low-Cost Alternatives?
I'm just seconding the recommendation for http://www.megabitz.net/
I'm primarily a non-binary user, and I've found them to have great retention, the servers are fast, and the price is right. I buy blocks of bandwidth at a time instead of subscribing, and it doesn't get any cheaper unless you go "free".
I've been a happy customer now for over a year.
Getting Hired As an Entry-Level Programmer?
I hire programmers.
I hire entry-level programmers. For what it's worth, the last couple I've hired have been from India.
I look for a couple of things when I'm hiring entry-level. The first is experience. I'm not talking about professional experience, you won't have any of that yet. But what have you done? Have you done an internship? What have you done in your spare time? What have you done on your own? Can you demonstrate useful skills? Can you debug a program?
The first thing I'm going to throw you into if I do hire you is maintenance. Find a bug, fix a bug.
It's about attitude. Technical competency will be low at your level... but do you know how to find out what you don't know? Do you know how to research a problem? Do you know how to find an answer off the internet? Do you know how long to work on a problem on your own, and when to ask for help? When I show you how a certain thing is done, can you watch me once, and then pick it up?
Most programmers are bad at interviews. Most stink at writing resumes. So it's mostly going to be about other things. If you can make friends in the right circles. If you can get a recommendation from someone I've heard of. If you can show me that you have hunger and drive to get ahead... then I'll hire you in a heartbeat.
I'll keep you on if you don't mess around, but dig deep into the problems you're given. I'll be delighted if you bug me for answers when you need them. I will gladly explain concepts if you'll gladly listen and run with what you've been taught.
I only get so many openings per year. I've turned down folks for the wrong attitude most of all. I've turned down folks with professional experience if they kept a narrow focus and never ventured out of their comfort zones. I've passed on people who believe that programming is something like FrontPage, and that they shouldn't have to work hard, or understand much, to make a cool application.
I guess, mostly, I look for people who would be programming something even if they weren't getting paid.
Is that you?