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Comment: Re: H-1B Visas Proving Awful For Americans (Score 2) 176

by LetterJ (#49133101) Attached to: H-1B Visas Proving Lucrative For Engineers, Dev Leads
I worked as a contractor at Target for a few years. A staggering number of Indian dudes followed this exact pattern:

1. Come here on H1-B through a consulting firm on the preferred vendor list.
2. Consulting co puts these single guys together in apartments.
3. They work for a year, sending the money home.
4. They heard from their families that their arranged marriages were set up.
5. They went home for the wedding and came back to the US with their bride.
6. They got pregnant and, before the baby was born, they headed back to India, with 2 years of American work experience under their belt to get managerial roles in the offshoring operations.

It was like a freaking revolving door.

Comment: Soft Spot for Yahoo Directory (Score 5, Interesting) 116

by LetterJ (#48011763) Attached to: Yahoo Shuttering Its Web Directory
While I haven't used it in years, like most geeks, I do have a soft spot for Yahoo's directory. I remember sitting in a college computer lab after Yahoo launched, visiting every link they included, amazed at this HUGE pile of information available at my fingertips. Funny to think of it now.

Comment: Re:The distinction is minor (Score 1) 223

by LetterJ (#45484449) Attached to: Google Nexus Gets Wireless Charger
I drop my phone on the wireless charger at work and at home when I go to bed. And, amazingly enough, there's ALSO a micro-USB connector that lets me charge it in the car or via a battery pack or any of the ways one charges a phone that doesn't have wireless charging. Wireless charging is an "AND", not an "OR".

Comment: Re:Confusing IT (Score 2, Insightful) 623

by LetterJ (#29582753) Attached to: Has the Glory Gone Out of Working In IT?
At the moment, if you want to work for a company or clients, your best bet is to learn one of the two big "ecosystems": Java or .NET. Most of the jobs you'll see posted are in one or the other. And, most of the people working those jobs don't know any C/C++ any more.

If you just want to learn to program for the sake of learning how to do it, or for your own startup company/project, I'd go with one of the more "modern" languages like Python or Ruby. If you're looking to learn to speed your sysadmin tasks up, Perl or a shell scripting language (including the newish Windows Powershell) might fit the bill better.

+ - Blogger Outage->

Submitted by
Drew Kime
Drew Kime writes: "For at least the past hour I haven't been able to connect to my Blogger-hosted blog. If my stats on Google Analytics are up to date, no one has hit the site for at least two hours. (And I average over a hundred per hour this time of day.)

I tried to check the official Blogger status. Ironic error message: "Your request for could not be fulfilled, because the connection to ( could not be established." Well, I guess that tells me the status. It seems they host their official status blog on the same server or cluster that hosts *my* blog.

I wonder when something will show up in Google News."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:contractor position? (Score 1) 675

by LetterJ (#26993781) Attached to: How To Handle Corporate Blackmail?
For routine care, you're right. That's why the $5000 and $10000 deductible plans are a great option for paying cash for that prevention/routine stuff while still having coverage for the big stuff.

If you do come down with cancer or have an accident that puts you in physical therapy for 2 years, you'll be amazed how quickly you can go from $200 or $2000 in health care costs to $2 million.

Comment: Re:contractor position? (Score 1) 675

by LetterJ (#26993761) Attached to: How To Handle Corporate Blackmail?
Most people who cite the cost of "benefits" have never priced them on the open market. Yes, the COBRA price is high, but companies like Assurant offer short-term insurance for a family of 4 in the sub $200/month range (with $2500 deductible and 100% coverage beyond that).

Longer-term insurance is more in the $400-$500/month range for that same family. (just priced at

Yes, those are high-deductible policies. So are many employer policies at this point.

The point is that most companies present the "value" of the health insurance as much higher than what you could get on your own.

I work as a self-employed contractor and pay my own health care costs. I'm 33 and the most my health care is going to cost me in any one year is $4000. That's less than my car payment.

We don't really understand it, so we'll give it to the programmers.