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+ - How Employers Get Out of Paying Their Workers

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: We love to talk about crime in America and usually the rhetoric is focused on the acts we can see: bank heists, stolen bicycles and cars, alleyway robberies. But Zachary Crockett writes at Pricenomics that wage theft one of the more widespread crimes in our country today — the non-payment of overtime hours, the failure to give workers a final check upon leaving a job, paying a worker less than minimum wage, or, most flagrantly, just flat out not paying a worker at all. Most commonly, wage theft comes in the form of overtime violations. In a 2008 study, the Center for Urban Economic Development surveyed 4,387 workers in low-wage industries and found that some 76% of full-time workers were not paid the legally required overtime rate by their employers and the average worker with a violation had put in 11 hours of overtime—hours that were either underpaid or not paid at all. Nearly a quarter of the workers in the sample came in early and/or stayed late after their shift during the previous work week. Of these workers, 70 percent did not receive any pay at all for the work they performed outside of their regular shift. In total, unfairly withheld wages in these three cities topped $3 billion. Generalizing this for the rest of the U.S.’s low-wage workforce (some 30 million people), researchers estimate that wage theft could be costing Americans upwards of $50 billion per year.

Last year, the Economic Policy Institute made what is, to date, the most ambitious attempt to quantify the extent of reported wage theft in the U.S.and determined that “the total amount of money recovered for the victims of wage theft who retained private lawyers or complained to federal or state agencies was at least $933 million.” Obviously, the nearly $1 billion collected is only the tip of the wage-theft iceberg, since most victims never sue and never complain to the government. Commissioner Su of California says wage theft has harmed not just low-wage workers. “My agency has found more wages being stolen from workers in California than any time in history,” says Su. “This has spread to multiple industries across many sectors. It’s affected not just minimum-wage workers, but also middle-class workers.”

+ - Can SaaS be open source AND economically viable?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The CTO behind Lucidchart, an online diagramming app, recently cited the rbush open source project as an invaluable tool for helping implement an "in-memory spatial index" that "increased spatial search performance by a factor of over 1,000 for large documents." My question is this: what risks does a SaaS company like Lucidchart face in making most of their own code public, like Google's recent move with Chrome for Android, and what benefits might be gained by doing so? Wouldn't sharing the code just generate more users and interest? Even if competitors did copy it, they'd always be a step behind the latest developments.
Link to Original Source

+ - Researchers devise a system that looks secure (but is it easy to use?).->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The article in readwrite says that a team of British and American researchers have developed a hacker resistant process for online voting (http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~mdr/research/papers/pdf/15-Du-Vote.pdf) called Du-Vote. It uses a credit card sized device that helps to divide the security sensitive tasks between your computer and the device in a way that neither your computer nor the device learns how you voted. If a hacker managed to control the computer and the Du-Vote token, he still can't change the votes without being detected.
Link to Original Source

+ - Congress Seeks to Quash Patent Trolls->

Submitted by walterbyrd
walterbyrd writes: The process is moving quickly. The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote on the bill by the end of the month, readying it for a final Senate vote this summer, and the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee is likely to vote this week on a similar measure. That gives observers optimism that Congress will finally enact patent-troll legislation after a failed effort last year. “The Senate version really does seem to be hitting some sort of sweet spot,” says Arti Rai, co-director of the Duke Law Center for Innovation Policy in Durham, North Carolina.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Don't like a story? Don't read it. (Score 4, Insightful) 377

"... isn't this completely unrelated to what slashdot is about?"

Please don't post comments to stories that don't interest you.

The sociology of technology is something I must deal with every day. It's interesting to me to read stories about that.

+ - Cox HSI ends unlimited internet, introduces cap system->

Submitted by Junior J. Junior III
Junior J. Junior III writes: Today, Cox High Speed Internet customers received the following communication:

Dear [Cox HSI Customer],

We spend more time online today than ever before, streaming movies and TV shows, downloading music, sharing photographs and staying connected to friends and family. As Internet and data consumption grows, Cox continues to improve our network to ensure a quality experience for all our customers.

To better support our customers' expanding online activity, we recently increased the amount of data included in all of our Cox High Speed Internet packages. About 95% of customers are now on a data plan that is well-suited for their household. In the event you use more data than is included in your plan, beginning with bill cycles that start on June 15th, we will automatically provide additional data for $10 per 50 Gigabyte (GB) block for that usage period. Based on your last 3 months of data usage and our increased data plans, it is unlikely you will need additional data blocks unless your usage increases.

What this means for you

To help our customers get accustomed to this change, we are providing a grace period for 3 consecutive billing cycles. During this period, customers will not pay for additional data blocks for data used above their data plan. Customers who exceed their data plan will see charges and a matching credit on their bill statement. Beginning with bills dated October 15th and later, grace period credits will no longer be applied, and customers will be charged for usage above their data plan.

Understanding and managing your data usage

You are currently subscribed to the Preferred package which includes a data plan of 350 GB (Gigabytes) per month. To help you stay informed about data usage, Cox will begin to notify you via email and browser alert if you use 85% of your monthly data plan and again if you use 100% of your monthly data plan. Additional blocks of data will only be provided if you exceed your data plan. This will not change your Internet package and there will be NO change to the speed or quality of your service for data usage above your plan. To better understand your household's historical and current data usage, you will find your household's data usage meter and other helpful tools and information here.

Thank you for choosing Cox.

Sincerely,

Cox High Speed Internet Team

In the wake of FCC's ruling reaffirming Network Neutrality, is this what ISPs will be doing to squeeze more money out of its customers?
Link to Original Source

+ - Google Offers Cheap Cloud Computing For Low-Priority Tasks->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh writes: Much of the history of computing products and services involves getting people desperate for better performance and faster results to pay a premium to get what they want. But Google has a new beta service that's going in the other direction — offering cheap cloud computing services for customers who don't mind waiting. Jobs like data analytics, genomics, and simulation and modeling can require lots of computational power, but they can run periodically, can be interrupted, and can even keep going if one or more nodes they're using goes offline.
Link to Original Source

+ - Choosing an IDE That's Right for You->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes: Today’s software development often requires working with multiple tools in a variety of languages. The complexity can give even the most skilled developer a nasty headache, which is why many try to rely on Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) to accomplish most of the work; in addition to source-code editors and automation, some even feature intelligent code completion. With so much choice out there, it’s hard to settle on an IDE, so Dice interviewed several developers, who collectively offered up a list of useful questions to ask when evaluating a particular IDE for use. But do developers even need an IDE at all? When you go to smaller, newer developer shops, you’re seeing a lot more standalone editors and command-line tools; depending on what you do, you might just need a good editor, and to master the command-line tools for the languages you use.
Link to Original Source

+ - Princeton Study: Congress Statistically Does Not Care About You

Submitted by chavez988
chavez988 writes: A study conducted by Princeton researchers recently found there is almost no statistical correlation between the opinions of 90% of the the population and how congress votes, but a an almost 1-to-1 correlation between the top 10%. So one question is whether or not we can still call congressmen "representatives"? This video explains the study well.

+ - Should I get an Arduino or a Raspberry Pi?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: I spend a lot of time at conferences and events like Maker Faires, and having co-authored a book on the Raspberry Pi, I spend a lot of time talking to people about things like small electronics and open hardware. Probably the most frequent question I hear is, "Should I get a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino?" They're both inexpensive boards, but if you want to reuse it in the future, you'll need to think about multiple projects as you're planning.
Link to Original Source

+ - Microsoft To Teachers: Using Pens And Paper Not Fair To Students

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed writes: Pens and paper have no place in the modern classroom. And chalkboards? They should be banished from our schools too. That’s what Lia De Cicco Remu, director of Partners in Learning at Microsoft Canada, told the Georgia Straight ahead of the Microsoft Summit 2015 in Vancouver, which is set to be attended by around 200 teachers. “When was the last time you used a piece of chalk to express yourself?” De Cicco Remu, a former teacher, asked by phone from Toronto. “Kids don’t express themselves with chalk or in cursive. Kids text.” Given the Microsoft Study Finds Technology Hurting Attention Spans story posted to Slashdot in the last 2 days it would seem that Redmond's Marketing and R&D people are at cross-purposes.

+ - Google and Facebook hypocrisy concerning the Verizon-AOL merger->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: Their friends in Washington want the FCC to start interfering in Internet privacy issues. Convincing the FCC to issue new rules prohibiting Internet service providers (ISPs) from tracking consumers online would keep Verizon out of their markets and could have the effect of killing the deal even if antitrust regulators approve it.

If these groups(Google and Facebook) were serious about protecting consumer privacy on the Internet, they wouldn't be running to the FCC for special rules aimed only at Verizon. They would take their complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC is the primary agency responsible for consumer privacy issues and has been dealing with online tracking issues for years. The FCC has comparatively little experience in the area and a poor track record of enforcing and complying with privacy laws.

It appears these groups are complaining about Verizon at the FCC rather than the FTC in order to help their friends at Google and Facebook maintain their competitive lead in mobile marketing. It is no coincidence that these same groups pushed for the FCC to assume jurisdiction over Internet privacy issues during the net neutrality fight. The FCC could have adopted net neutrality rules without impinging on the FTC's jurisdiction over online privacy.

Link to Original Source

+ - Gates, Zuckerberg Promising Same Jobs to US Kids and Foreign H-1B Workers? 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp writes: Over at the Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg-bankrolled Code.org, they're using the number of open computing jobs in each state to convince parents of the need to expand K-12 CS offerings so their kids can fill those jobs. Sounds good, right? But at the same time, the Gates and Zuckerberg-bankrolled FWD.org PAC has taken to Twitter, using the number of open "STEM" jobs in each state to convince politicians of the need to expand the number of H-1B visas so foreign workers can fill those jobs. While the goal of Microsoft's 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy is to kill two birds [K-12 CS education and H-1B visas] with one crisis, is it cool for organizations backed by many of the same wealthy individuals to essentially promise the same jobs to U.S. kids and foreign H-1B workers?

+ - Banks Conspire 2

Submitted by Jim Sadler
Jim Sadler writes: I'll keep it short. Why do banks, charge cards and others have such lousy password software? My bank allows twenty letters or numbers but not all combinations of letters and numbers. Then on top of that one can not use symbols or ASCI symbols in ones password. Needless to say pass phrases are also banned. For example "JackandJillwentupthehilltofetch1394pounds of worms." would be very hard to crack and very easy to recall.
              I can't imagine why such passwords would be so hard to handle for financial institutions and they have everything in the world to lose from sloppy security. So just why, considering that these institutions complain of mega money being lost, do they not have a better password system? Do they somehow gain when money goes missing?

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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