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Mark Zuckerberg Throws Pal Joe Green Under the Tech Immigration Bus

theodp FWD.us Apprentice Program Pays $550-A-Month (261 comments)

Fall Internship Opportunity: FWD.us Apprentice Program
Opportunity:
FWD.us is offering a part-time (15 hr/week) apprenticeship program for Fall 2014.
Compensation:
This is a paid internship. Apprentices will receive a stipend of $550/month
Internship perks include:
* Weekly meetings with FWD.us staff to discuss current political issues
* Face-to-face meetings with influential tech professionals
* Professional development coaching in leadership development, networking skills, pitch practice, policy analysis, and qualitative research methods
* Developing in-depth knowledge about the tech and policy space

about a month ago
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Code.org Discloses Top Donors

theodp Re:Interesting. Why? (59 comments)

The Yin and Yang of Hour of Code & Immigration Reform: But a recent NY Times Op-Ed by economist Paul Collier criticizing Zuckerberg's FWD.us PAC as self-serving advocacy (echoing earlier criticism) serves as a reminder that Zuckerberg and Gates' Code.org and Hour of Code involvement is the Yin to their H-1B visa lobbying Yang. The two efforts have been inextricably linked together for Congress, if not for the public.

about a month and a half ago
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Halt and Catch Fire's COMDEX '83: Cheesy, But No More Than Real Thing

theodp BillG at COMDEX '83 (1 comments)

COMDEX '83 Pics: Halt and Catch Fire version (above), real convention (below). Yep, that's young Bill Gates.

about 3 months ago
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Facebook Fallout, Facts and Frenzy

theodp WSJ: Users seen as a willing experimental test bed (160 comments)

Facebook Experiments Had Few Limits"Thousands of Facebook Inc. users received an unsettling message two years ago: They were being locked out of the social network because Facebook believed they were robots or using fake names. To get back in, the users had to prove they were real. In fact, Facebook knew most of the users were legitimate. The message was a test designed to help improve Facebook's antifraud measures...'There's no review process, per se,' said Andrew Ledvina, a Facebook data scientist from February 2012 to July 2013. 'Anyone on that team could run a test," Mr. Ledvina said. "They're always trying to alter peoples' behavior.'...The recent ruckus is 'a glimpse into a wide-ranging practice,' said Kate Crawford, a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Civic Media and a principal researcher at Microsoft Research. Companies 'really do see users as a willing experimental test bed' to be used at the companies' discretion."

about 4 months ago
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Is K-12 CS Education the Next Common Core?

theodp CS Version of What Your 6th Grader Needs to Know? (113 comments)

Ever thumb through the series of books like "What Your Sixth Grader Needs to Know" by now-retired E. D. Hirsch, Jr. to see if your kids were missing anything "big"? With schools in NYC and Chicago rolling out K-12 CS programs starting next Fall, has anyone seen a grade-by-grade proposed syllabus or checklist along these lines showing what's going to be covered at each grade level?. BTW, Hirsch unsurprisingly supports giving Common Core the old college try, although he conceded, "Not even most prescient among us can know whether the Common Core standards will end in triumph or tragedy."

about 4 months ago
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Yahoo's Diversity Record Is Almost as Bad as Google's

theodp Correction...should be (2 comments)

with a global workforce that's 37% female and U.S. tech workforce that's 1% Black.

about 4 months ago
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EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

theodp Another Case of Life Imitating The Simpsons (625 comments)

King-Size Homer: In the episode, Homer despises the nuclear plant's new exercise program, and decides to gain 61 pounds (28 kg) in order to claim a disability and work at home.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Be True to Your CS School: Best Colleges for Programmers?

theodp theodp writes  |  2 days ago

theodp (442580) writes "With apologies to The Beach Boys: "When some loud braggart tries to put me down / And says his CS school is great / I tell him right away / 'Now what's the matter buddy / Ain't you heard of my CS school / It's number one in the LinkedIn University Rankings'." The Motely Fool reports that the Data Scientists at LinkedIn have been playing with their Big Data, ranking schools based on how successful recent grads have been at landing desirable software development jobs. Here's their Top 25: CMU, Caltech, Cornell, MIT, Princeton, Berkeley, Univ. of Washington, Duke, Michigan, Stanford, UCLA, Illinois, UT Austin, Brown, UCSD, Harvard, Rice, Penn, Univ. of Arizona, Harvey Mudd, UT Dallas, San Jose State, USC, Washington University, RIT. There's also a shorter list for the best schools for software developers at startups, which draws a dozen schools from the previously mentioned schools, and adds Columbia, Univ. of Virginia, and Univ. of Maryland College Park."
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Apple's Next Hit Will Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

theodp theodp writes  |  2 days ago

theodp (442580) writes ""Good artists copy, great artists steal," Steve Jobs used to say. Having launched a perfectly-timed attack against Samsung and phablets with its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Leonid Bershidsky suggests that the next big thing from Apple will be a tablet-laptop a la Microsoft's Surface Pro 3. "Before yesterday's Apple [iPad] event," writes Bershidsky, "rumors were strong of an upcoming giant iPad, to be called iPad Pro or iPad Plus. There were even leaked pictures of a device with a 12.9-inch screen, bigger than the Surface Pro's 12-inch one. It didn't come this time, but it will.""
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Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too

theodp theodp writes  |  5 days ago

theodp (442580) writes "Having declared U.S. kids clueless about coding, Facebook and Microsoft are now turning their attention to Europe's young 'uns. "As stewards of Europe's future generations," begins the Open Letter to the European Union Ministers for Education signed by Facebook and Microsoft, "you will be all too aware that as early as the age of 7, children reach a critical juncture, when they are learning the core life skills of reading, writing and basic maths. However, to flourish in tomorrow's digital economy and society, they should also be learning to code. And many, sadly, are not." Released at the launch of the European Coding Initiative — aka All You Need is Code! — in conjunction with the EU's Code Week, the letter closes, "As experts in our field, we owe it to Europe's youth to help equip with them with the skills they will need to succeed — regardless of where life takes them." Hopefully, life won't take them to a massive layoff, like the one that left 12,500 Nokia workers jobless just three months after joining Microsoft. By the way, the "All You Need is Code" initiative, explained an SAP press release, was conceived at the 2014 World Economic Forum, where EU Commission vice president Neelie Kroes — who yukked-it-up at the event with former nemesis Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith — called on the private sector to endorse the Davos Declaration to deepen support for the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs."
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Despite Push from Tech Giants, AP CS Exam Counts Don't Budge Much in Most States

theodp theodp writes  |  about a week ago

theodp (442580) writes "Well, the College Board has posted the 2014 AP Computer Science Test scores. So, before the press rushes out another set of Not-One-Girl-In-Wyoming-Took-an-AP-CS-Exam stories, let's point out that no Wyoming students of either gender took an AP CS exam again in 2014 (.xlsx). At the overall level, the final numbers have changed somewhat (back-of-the-Excel-envelope calculations, no warranty expressed or implied!), but tell pretty much the same story as the preliminary figures — the number of overall AP CS test takers increased, while pass rates decreased despite efforts to cherry pick students with a high likelihood of success. What is kind of surprising is how little the test numbers budged for most states — only 8 states managed to add more than 100 girls to the AP CS test taker rolls — despite the PR push by the tech giants, including Microsoft, Google, and, Facebook. Also worth noting are some big percentage decreases at the top end of the score segments (5 and 4), and still-way-too-wide gaps that exist between the score distributions of the College Board's various ethnic segments (more back of the envelope calcs). If there's a Data Scientist in the house, AP CS exam figures grabbed from the College Board's Excel 2013 and 2014 worksheets can be found here (Google Sheets) together with the (unwalkedthrough) VBA code that was used to collect it. Post your insight (and code/data fixes) in the comments!"
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Crowdfunding is the New School Tax

theodp theodp writes  |  about two weeks ago

theodp (442580) writes "The WSJ reports that billionaire-backed Code.org is turning to crowdfunding to fix tech's diversity problem. "Our goal this year is to train 10,000 computer science teachers, and to get 100 million students to try one Hour of Code, across all grades, worldwide. We need $5 million to do this," explains the Indiegogo project for An Hour of Code for Every Student. Code.org’s wealthy individual and corporate supporters — including Bill Gates, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Microsoft, Google, the Omidyar Network and the Salesforce.com Foundation — have agreed to kick in $2.5 million of matching funds. According to the press release, participating companies include Atlassian, Chegg, Dice.com, Disney Interactive, Dropbox, Eventbrite, Facebook, GoDaddy, Google, JPMorgan Chase, Juniper Networks, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Optimizely, Pearson, Pluralsight, Redfin, salesforce.com, Target, TASER, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), viagogo, Whitepages, Workday, Yelp, Zappos, Zillow, zulily, and Y Combinator. So, is crowdfunding the new school tax? And is this a good thing, or just one more way that millionaires and billionaires are ruining our schools?"
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Computing Drove Grace Hopper to Alcohol and Suicide Attempts

theodp theodp writes  |  about two weeks ago

theodp (442580) writes "As 8,000 attendees from academia, government and industry gather Wednesday in Phoenix for the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, one wonders if a recently-crowdfunded documentary entitled Born With Curiosity, which promises an intimate look at the conference's namesake, computer pioneer and US Navy Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, might change perceptions of Hopper. "By taking a real look at the complexities of Grace's rise to fame," explain filmmakers Melissa Pierce and Marian Mangoubi, we hope to dispel the myth of the anomalous hero and create the opportunity for women and girls to see themselves in her place." There's certainly fodder for a compelling tale if one looks beyond the Google Doodle-inspired bios of Hopper. Take one passage from Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age, which Kurt Beyer read to the handful of Googlers who showed up at a 2010 Authors@Google event (transcript): "On a cold night in November 1949," Beyer read, "only 6 months after leaving Harvard and joining the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation, Grace Murray Hopper found herself behind bars at the central Philadelphia police station. The programming pioneer was arrested at 3 a.m. for drunk and disorderly conduct. She was eventually placed in the custody of Pennsylvania General Hospital for treatment. Hopper's life was unraveling. At the age of 43 she had accomplished much, yet her growing dependency on alcohol was jeopardizing her career and her relationships. As winter approached, she attempted to commit suicide 2 different times." Beyer, a big fan of Grace, adds, "I wanted to include that in the book because I think it's important for us to realize that pioneers and innovators are human. And Hopper went through a lot during those years. She accomplished much, but it had a grave toll on her personally." By the way, it's kind of ironic that CSEdWeek, the annual celebration of Hopper's birthday, has become far better known over the last year as Code.org's Hour of Code, which has earned shout-outs from the President and U.S. Education Chief. "Code.org is dedicated to the vision that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn to code," explains the tech billionaire-backed nonprofit. Perhaps they should add that Grace Hopper articulated the same vision in 1980 ("We’ve got to push computers into schools. They should be in every school, so kids can grow up with them...You give them a computer to play games with and they get tired of it and pretty soon they’re programming it to do everything under the sun."). Hey, everything old is new again!"
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Code.org: Blame Tech Diversity on Education Pipeline, Not Hiring Discrimination

theodp theodp writes  |  about three weeks ago

theodp (442580) writes ""The biggest reason for a lack of diversity in tech," writes Code.org's Hadi Partovi in a featured Re/code story, "isn't discrimination in hiring or retention. It’s the education pipeline" (Code.org just disclosed "we have no African Americans or Hispanics on our team of 30"). Supporting his argument, Partovi added: "In 2013, not one female student took the AP computer science exam in Mississippi" (left unsaid is that only one male student took the exam in Mississippi). Microsoft earlier vilified the CS education pipeline in its U.S. Talent Strategy as it sought "targeted, short-term, high-skilled immigration reforms" from lawmakers. And Facebook COO and "Lean In" author Sheryl Sandberg recently suggested the pipeline is to blame for Facebook's lack of keg stand diversity (actual Facebook diversity 'disclosure'). "Girls are at 18% of computer science college majors," Sandberg told USA Today in August. "We can't go much above 18% in our coders [Facebook has 7,185 total employees] if there's only 18% coming into the workplace.""
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Bill Gates Still Cuckoo for Common Core

theodp theodp writes  |  about three weeks ago

theodp (442580) writes "So, what's the dumbest f-ing idea Bill Gates has heard lately? Opposition to Common Core academic standards, apparently. Setting national standards for what students should know at various grades is a "very basic idea," argued Gates at a POLITICO event. "Should Georgia have a different railroad width than anybody else? Should they teach multiplication in a different way? Oh, that's brilliant. Who came up with that idea?" Gates said, adding that he thought of Common Core as "a technocratic issue," akin to making sure all states use the same type of electrical outlet. At the event, Gates also gave a shout-out to his partner-in-Common-Core-crime, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. In a nice Common Core tie-in, 49-year-old Duncan complained last December that he "didn't have the opportunity to learn computer skills" at the University of Chicago Lab Schools (tuition, $29,424), while 58-year-old Gates did get the chance to acquire coding skills at Lakeside School (tuition, $29,800). Duncan subsequently noted he is finally learning to code with his children (perhaps with BillG as their iF-fy teacher!). By the way, in June the Washington Post reported that "Bill and Melinda Gates, [President] Obama and Arne Duncan are parents of school-age children, although none of those children attend schools that use the Common Core standards. Still, Gates said he wants his children to know a 'superset' of the Common Core standards — everything in the standards and beyond.""
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Microsoft Co-opts Ice Bucket Challenge Idea to Promote Coding in Latin America

theodp theodp writes  |  about three weeks ago

theodp (442580) writes "Microsoft is aiming to offer free programming courses to over a million young Latin Americans through its Yo Puedo Programar and Eu Posso Programar initiatives ("I Can Program"). People between the ages of 12 and 25 will be able to sign up for the free online courses "One Hour Coding" and "Learning to Program," which will be offered in conjunction with Colombia's Coding Week (Oct. 6-10). The online courses will also be available in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Puerto Rico. "One Hour Coding" (aka Hour of Code in the U.S.) is a short introductory course in which participants will learn how the technology works and how to create applications, and it offers "a playful immersion in the computer sciences," Microsoft said in a statement. In the virtual, 12-session "Learning to Program" course, students will discover that "technical complexity in application development tools is a myth and that everyone can do it," the statement added. Taking a page from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge its execs embraced (Google Translate), Microsoft is encouraging students to complete the Hour of Code and challenge four other friends to do the same. Hey, fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, Microsoft gotta embrace and extend (challenge 4 friends instead of 3!)."
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Kids Reportedly Paid to Squat Overnight in Parking Spots at 'Fort Zuckerberg'

theodp theodp writes  |  about three weeks ago

theodp (442580) writes "Valleywag checks in on reports that squatters are being paid to hold parking spots for construction workers renovating Mark Zuckerberg's $10 million San Francisco "fixer-upper". People, usually in pairs, regularly sit in parked cars overnight near Zuckerberg's home on 21st street near Dolores Street, according to a neighbor of what has been dubbed 'Fort Zuckerberg.' CBS reports the young squatters, one of whom had what looked like a college textbook to study while they waited in the dark, claim they were hired by Zuckerberg to hold additional parking spots aside from the 4-5 allotted for construction vehicles during the morning. Zuckerberg's FWD.us PAC, you may recall, has been meeting with the White House on labor issues, and helping the White House with their efforts to connect with the Young and the Rich."
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Microsoft on US Immigration: It's Our Way or the Canadian Highway

theodp theodp writes  |  about three weeks ago

theodp (442580) writes "Even as it cuts about 14% of its workforce, Microsoft is complaining that the company might be denied some of the "roughly" 1,000 H-1B visas for foreign workers it intends to seek, and made it clear that the company could shift some work to Canada or overseas if it can't get talent on its terms. "If I need to move 400 people to Canada or Northern Ireland or Hyderabad or Shanghai, we can do that," said William Kamela, a senior federal policy lead at Microsoft, who later explained that about 60% of Microsoft’s workforce is in the U.S., yet it makes 68% of its profits overseas (where it also stashes its cash out of IRS reach). Kamela made the statements on a panel at a two-day conference on high-skilled immigration policy, where he sat next to Felicia Escobar, special assistant to President Barack Obama on immigration. The day before the conference, Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us PAC — which counts Bill Gates as a Founder and Steve Ballmer and Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith as Major Contributors — posted its "MythBusters" video on H-1B visas."
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Mark Zuckerberg Throws Pal Joe Green Under the Tech Immigration Bus

theodp theodp writes  |  about a month ago

theodp (442580) writes "A month after he argued that Executive Action by President Obama on tech immigration was needed lest his billionaire bosses at Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us PAC have to hire 'just sort of OK' U.S. workers, Re/code reports that Joe Green — Zuckerberg's close friend and college roommate — has been pushed out of his role as President of FWD.us for failing to Git-R-Done on an issue critical to the tech community. "Today, we wanted to share an important change with you," begins 'Leadership Change', the announcement from the FWD.us Board that Todd Schulte is the new Green. So what sold FWD.us on Schulte? "His [Schulte's] prior experience as Chief-of-Staff at Priorities USA, the Super PAC supporting President Obama's re-election," assured Zuckerberg in a letter to FWD.us contributors, "will ensure FWD.us continues its momentum for reform." Facebook, reported the Washington Post in 2013, became legally "dependent" on H-1B visas and subject to stricter regulations shortly before Zuckerberg launched FWD.us with Green at the helm."
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DC Comics Superheroes, Nancy Reagan and Keebler Elves Won The War on Drugs

theodp theodp writes  |  about a month ago

theodp (442580) writes ""On a recent trip to my childhood home in New Jersey," writes GOOD's Joshua Neuman in This Comic Book Made Me Say No to Drugs, "I discovered a stack of comic books in an old shoebox, one of which was DC Comics' The New Teen Titans (Drug Abuse Awareness) Issue #1, a promotional giveaway that was part of President Reagan’s Drug Awareness Campaign." While the cool kids in his class wearing rock t-shirts snickered at the corporate and government-sponsored comics (circa-1984 DC Marketing promo video), Neuman confesses the propaganda did the job on his naive, overprotected, 10-year-old in suburbia self. "Entering the fictitious, urban world of this comic book was like diving into a drugged-out version of Sesame Street where cute kids from a veritable rainbow of backgrounds played together, studied together, and took PCP together," Neuman recalls. "I can’t say that the comic book traumatized me, but looking back, something about not being in on the joke stayed with me. The experience taught me that drugs lay in the domain of the other, a kid who was much cooler than I was. However inadvertently, the collaborative effort of the Teen Titans, Nancy Reagan, and Keebler had achieved its intended effect.""
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Is Google's Non-Tax Based Public School Funding Cause for Celebration?

theodp theodp writes  |  about a month ago

theodp (442580) writes "Google's "flash-funding" of teachers' projects via DonorsChoose continues to draw kudos from grateful mayors of the nation's largest cities. The latest comes from Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (fresh from a Google-paid stay at the Google Zeitgeist resort), who joined Google officials at Taylor Allderdice HS, where Google announced it was 'flash funding' all Pittsburgh area teachers' crowd-funding campaigns on DonorsChoose.org. DonorsChoose reports that Google spent $64,657 to fund projects for 10,924 Pittsburgh kids. While the not-quite-$6-a-student is nice, it does pale by comparison to the $56,742 Google is ponying up to send one L.A. teacher's 34 students to London and Paris and the $35,858 it's spending to take another L.A. teacher's 52 kids to NYC, Gettysburg, and DC. So, is Google's non-tax based public school funding — which includes gender-based funding as well as "begfunding" — cause for celebration?"
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Mark Zuckerberg Ousts His Pal, FWD.us's Apparently Just-Sort-of-OK President

theodp theodp writes  |  about a month ago

theodp (442580) writes "Two weeks after arguing that Executive Action by President Obama on tech immigration was needed lest Mark Zuckerberg and his FWD.us PAC pals have to deal with 'just sort of OK' U.S. workers, it appears Joe Green's words have come back to bite him. Re/Code's Kara Swisher reports that Green has been pushed out of his role as President of FWD.us. "Today, we wanted to share an important change with you," begins 'Leadership Change', the announcement from the FWD.us Board that Green is out and Todd Schulte is in. So what convinced FWD.us that Schulte merited the job more than Zuck's apparently just-sort-of-OK close friend and college roommate? "His [Schulte's] prior experience as Chief of Staff at Priorities USA, the Super PAC supporting President Obama's re-election," explains Zuckerberg & Co., "will ensure FWD.us continues its momentum for reform.""
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A Problem With Teacher Begfunding: $56,742 for One Class, $258 for Another

theodp theodp writes  |  about a month ago

theodp (442580) writes "Google's "flash-funding" of teachers' projects via DonorsChoose continues to draw kudos, this time from grateful mayors in Seattle and Los Angeles. And some of the teachers seem to be getting pretty good at playing the begfunding game. In L.A., for instance, almost 6% of the $977,281 Google and DonorsChoose awarded is being used to take 34 kids on "The Trip of a Lifetime." And while the good news over at Alliance Burton Tech Academy High School is that Google is ponying up $56,742 to send Mr. Hermosillo's 34 students to London and Paris, the sad news is that Ms. Garcia's 150 students missed the Google gravy train and will have to settle for $258.93 worth of markers and glue from the Gates Foundation and DonorsChoose."
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Sen. Jeff Sessions Unfriends Mark Zuckerberg Over US Worker Hiring

theodp theodp writes  |  about a month ago

theodp (442580) writes "In a speech on the Senate floor last week, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) challenged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to "hire American workers for a change." The speech attributed President Obama's plans for executive action on immigration to meetings between White House officials and Zuckerberg's FWD.us PAC. Such presidential action, explained FWD.us, would allow tech companies to recruit the "very best" people from around the world instead of settling for U.S. workers who are "just sort of okay." Facebook, reported the Washington Post in 2013, became legally "dependent" on H-1B visas and subject to stricter regulations shortly before Zuckerberg got immigration reform religion and launched FWD.us. The immigration bill passed last year by the Senate included the so-called "Facebook loophole", legislative slight-of-hand which could make Facebook exempt from H-1B dependent employer rules even if it becomes more dependent on H-1B employees. By the way, in its diversity disclosure, Facebook — like other tech companies led by FWD.us Founders and Major Supporters — opted not to share any info on the countries the best-and-the-brightest employees hail from, as one might find in a university's Statistical Abstract. Must be considered trade secrets, huh?"
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Obama Blames Border Crisis for Immigration Reform Delay

theodp theodp writes  |  about a month and a half ago

theodp (442580) writes "Looks like Mark Zuckerberg's Rat Pack may have to make due with just-sort-of-OK US workers until after the midterm elections in November. In an interview which will air on Sunday's Meet the Press, President Obama defended his decision to delay executive action on immigration, saying the summer's surge of unaccompanied children at the Mexican border changed the politics of the issue. "The truth of the matter is that the politics did shift midsummer because of that problem," Obama said. "I want to spend some time, even as we're getting all our ducks in a row for the executive action, I also want to make sure that the public understands why we're doing this, why it's the right thing for the American people, why it's the right thing for the American economy." To get an idea of what tech might expect from Obama after the election dust clears, an op-ed by Intel Director of Immigration Policy Peter Muller appeared in Friday's Mercury News calling for the President to use executive actions to "deliver on one of the top priorities of technology companies — reform to an outdated visa program that restricts their ability to hire key talent." Because we all know how much Intel, Google, and Apple hate restricted hiring policies, right?"
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Bill Gates Want to Remake the Way History is Taught. Should We Let Him?

theodp theodp writes  |  about a month and a half ago

theodp (442580) writes "With his Big History Project, the NY Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin reports that Bill Gates wants to remake the way history is taught (intro video). Last month, the Univ. of California system announced that a version of the Big History Project course could be counted in place of a more traditional World History class, paving the way for the state's 1,300 high schools to offer it. Still, not everyone's keen on the idea. "Is this Bill Gates's history?" asks NYU's Diane Ravitch. "And should it be labeled 'Bill Gates's History'? Because Bill Gates's history would be very different from somebody else's who wasn't worth $50-60 billion." Of the opposition to Gates, Scott L. Thomas of Claremont Graduate University explains, 'Frankly, in the eyes of the critics, he's really not an expert. He just happens to be a guy that watched a DVD and thought it was a good idea and had a bunch of money to fund it.""
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How The Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly on Classrooms

theodp theodp writes  |  about a month and a half ago

theodp (442580) writes "Electronics almost universally become cheaper over time, but with essentially a monopoly on graphing calculator usage in classrooms, Texas Instruments still manages to command a premium for its TI-84 Plus. Texas Instruments released the TI-84 Plus graphing calculator in 2004. Ten years later, the base model still has 480 kilobytes of ROM and 24 kilobytes of RAM, its black-and-white screen remains 96×64 pixels, and the MSRP is still $150. "Free graphing calculator apps are available," notes Matt McFarland. "But smartphones can’t be used on standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT. Schools are understandably reluctant to let them be used in classrooms, where students may opt to tune out in class and instead text friends or play games. So for now, overpriced hardware and all, the TI-84 family of calculators remains on top and unlikely to go anywhere." So, to paraphrase Prof. Norm Matloff, is it stupid to buy expensive TI-8x milk when the R cow is free?"

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