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Comment: Re:Hang on WTF? (Score 1) 191

by Kagato (#48855417) Attached to: Japanese Nobel Laureate Blasts His Country's Treatment of Inventors

There's a bit of a difference. He now resides in California where the company would be required to spell out IP assignment in an employment contract. It's not uncommon for those contracts to spell out a profit sharing agreement to entice additional development. It's not uncommon for these guys to be serial inventors with many patents to their name. In some states, lack of spelling it out means the employee is free to keep the patent and the company would simple have non-transferable royalty free rights.

That's not to say inventors don't get screwed in the US, but there's at least a chance that if you keep your wits about you that you'll end up with a percentage of the royalties.

Japan has a real hard-on for the company being placed first over everything else. For instance in the entertainment business no one will book you without a talent agency. The agency takes the majority profits and more or less tells you how to live your life. Don't like it, good luck getting on TV or having your stuff produced. There's a lot of stars from the 70s through the 90s that appeared to be living nicely while they were doing well, but it ended up the company owned everything and paid for housing and transport. When they fell from fame they basically had very little money to show to years of stardom.

Comment: It's a Huge Problem for College Grads (Score 2) 484

by Kagato (#48816393) Attached to: IEEE: New H-1B Bill Will "Help Destroy" US Tech Workforce

We are finally to a point where economics are forcing companies to put serious efforts into college hire programs and workforce development of college hires. I consult with many large companies as a programmer. Up until recently I went nearly a decade without seeing a programming department have college hires.

If you were to remove all caps on H1B companies would go back to facing a decision between hiring a college grads that need professional development or H1B workers. The college hire could choose to take a different jobs years later. The H1B worker is far less likely to change jobs because they risk deportation if they fail to secure a sponsor (a fact that does not go unnoticed by employers).

IEEE-USA's position is STEM workers should be afforded Green Cards accommodations (most likely capped) thus not be beholden to employer sponsorship. I personally think any change to H1B or Greencard programs should be dependent on the majority of college hires finding jobs post graduation.

Comment: There's a reason for the laws (Score 4, Insightful) 190

by Kagato (#48790889) Attached to: Tesla vs. Car Dealers: the Lobbyist Went Down To Georgia

The reason the laws existed in the first place was because at the dawn of the industry the franchise fees were used for capital by the manufactures. Without the legal protections car makers could simply run the franchisees out of business once they became big enough. To a similar extent when foreign makers moved into the USA the franchise fees helped build the infrastructure.

Now we have a conundrum where Tesla doesn't see itself needing the dealers and is going on it's own. A large chunk of that is based on most buyers are going to be in big cities. They only need need 1 or 2 showrooms per state for the foreseeable future. They don't see the need to build out the showroom network which would require having franchisees. For Tesla the Franchisee system would certainly add another 3-4K to the cost of each car. They'll never get the model 3 to fit into the expected price range going that route.

At the same time you can't just get rid of all the dealer protections because Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, etc would be more than happy to cherry pick the most profitable areas for corporate dealerships. Those dealerships are owed that exclusivity because they invested in the company at the beginning. I personally don't think the dealers give a crap about selling Tesla, but they foresee the big auto makers suing to get rid of franchise laws if Tesla is allowed an exemption.

Comment: Skip MATLAB, Learn R (Score 4, Interesting) 242

by Kagato (#48748457) Attached to: Little-Known Programming Languages That Actually Pay

IMHO Matlab is a dead end. R is a similar language in the statistics and big data fields and the base spec and sample programs are open source. If you're a Math or Stats major you're likely getting a sample of R in school already because the tools are free. In the paid space big data tools like HP's Vertica will split up complicated R functions across it's cluster and crunch the data much faster than Matlab.

Comment: Voip Providers don't get direct SS7 (Score 1) 89

ILECs and CLECs don't trust other entities to route good SS7 commends. The gateway to the actual SS7 network is setup to filter most SS7 commands beyond the bare minimum needed to complete a call. I've seen an unrestricted SS7 console in action at an ILEC and you can do all sorts of things to trace out a calls, listen in and pull billing and address information. It's pretty slick, but they are very selective about who gets access.

Comment: Re:Just let them test out! (Score 2) 307

by Kagato (#48594229) Attached to: Google Suggests Separating Students With 'Some CS Knowledge' From Novices

Most colleges use the intro classes to weed out the sick and the lame. Big group lecture hall with a non-english speaking grad student giving instruction. I think Google sees that it's never going to get colleges to change how they do classes. Moving experienced students to an online class is a way of disrupting the system.

I still am a little dubious. There were plenty of people who go Comp-Sci degrees in the late 90s who had very little interest in computers and programing. But IT was a big money field and Y2K really pumped people at problems. They made the worst programmers and IT Engineers. They either washed out of IT or ended up in management.

Comment: Re:Growing Isolation (Score 1) 157

by Kagato (#48582903) Attached to: Google Closing Engineering Office In Russia

We are quite lucky that Russia didn't do what they should have done with the oil money. Create a massive sovereign wealth fund. Norway has the largest that's heading towards a trillion dollars. China is over a Trillion if you combine funds controlled by various entities. Russia on the the other hand has a couple very modest funds (under $100bn).

Why are we lucky? Because Russia has been looking for a way to economically hurt the United States for a very long time. When the financial market crashed in 2008 in the wake of the housing crisis Russia approached China with a plan to dump US currency and bonds. The plan would have created a sell off that would have plummeted the value of the dollar, created hyperinflation and crushing the US economy. Luckily China has no desire to mess with a very beneficial trading relationship and we were able to emerge from the worst parts of the recession.

If Russia had a trillion dollar sovereign wealth fund they could very easily hurt the US companies by triggering sell offs.

Comment: Consulting FTW (Score 1) 277

by Kagato (#48516961) Attached to: Which Programming Language Pays the Best? Probably Python

Realistically speaking if you want to make the Benjamins then you need to be a Senior level developer in a widely adopted language and 1099 corp to corp bill through a smaller consulting firm. You will likely make $100+/hr and be able to do it while living in relatively inexpensive fly over country. No need to bunk of with half a dozen Brogrammers in the Valley.

Just to give you a bit of a data point, at my last consulting gig, in the midwest, WiPro told them their H1B contract Business Analysts were going to be over $100/hr.

Comment: Re:It is working for them, though... (Score 1) 274

by Kagato (#48508589) Attached to: A Mismatch Between Wikimedia's Pledge Drive and Its Cash On Hand?

If I were to compare the wiki editor to commercial Wiki products I'd say they are a good ten years behind. The enhanced editor that Jimmy himself touted here in his /. interview was met with a lot of WP:OutrageOverEnablingTheMassesContribute and WP:Don'tMessWithOurEditorClique.

Comment: Re:Capital and Investment (Score 1) 454

by Kagato (#48459359) Attached to: Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

This sums why we are in this situation in the first place. There's a ton of short term thinking and complaining over the 2-4K a year in training costs a company may absorb. It's a very small part of the compensation plan, and investing in the workforce makes it better for all employers. Instead what happened is employers closed ranks, cut training, decreased college hires and internships. The short term thinking was why invest in workers when you can just use H1B contractors or offshore resources. It was a dumb move. The service providers know the pool of potential employees has shrunk and in return they have jacked up their rates.

Comment: Re:Waste (Score 1) 276

by Kagato (#48401775) Attached to: World's Youngest Microsoft Certificated Professional Is Five Years Old

I think it was in the kid's best interest. Not that the MCP is worth more than an A+ certification these days. Be that as it may the notoriety will likely bring him opportunities. It could certainly open doors for better education and scholarships. I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft didn't kick some freebies and money his way to capitalize on the publicity.

Comment: Consulting, Twice the Money, Half the BS (Score 5, Interesting) 574

by Kagato (#48307239) Attached to: The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said

HR BS is one of the reasons I haven't dealt with FTE gigs in a decade. You can make more money in IT being a consulting and at most companies the consulting pimp deals directly with the IT manager. HR is rarely in the loop, often after the contracts have been signed.

The shortage of workers is real but not for the reasons most people think. When I started working as a programer 15 years ago it was pretty common to see interns and college hires in development departments. Then starting in 2001-02 it plummeted. Some bean counter figured out they could hire H1B labor at about the same money as a college hire, why wouldn't you go with the "experienced" candidate. In the last decade i've only seen a handful of college hire programmers.

Ah, but here's the rub, after spending nearly a decade not investing in the next generation of IT they are having a hard time finding resources. This fact did not go unnoticed to the H1B consulting companies. I've actually seen client's jaws drop when WiPro told them they were jumping their rates to well over $100/hr across the board.

As a bright spot I've seen a nice uptick in college hiring at mid cap companies. A lot of them are on-shoring as well after getting burned.

Comment: Show Equal Investment in College Hires (Score 3, Insightful) 365

by Kagato (#47993225) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

I'm fine with H1B sponsorship, so long as a company can show they put an equal about of time, money and resources into college hire and training programs. When I first started programming it was very common for me to see programming interns and college hires. I consult with many mid and large companies, and I haven't seen a programming intern in 7 years. I've seen two college hires in that time as well. At some point in the 2000s some bone headed bean counter figured they could pay an H1B about the same as a college hire. If that's the case, hire the "experienced" resource. The problem is that created a devastating hole in Junior level programmers for almost a decade. Now companies are finally starting to hire college folks again they want to increase the H1B levels again, and repeat the cycle over again.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen

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