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Comment: H1B Abuse (Score 1) 163

by TWX (#48451285) Attached to: LinkedIn Study: US Attracting Fewer Educated, Highly Skilled Migrants
Considering that companies have been abusing the H1B process for some time now, perhaps we're just seeing a correction in-part inspired by greater success in potential migrants' home countries.

Salary is a supply/demand characteristic. The more people capable of doing a job, generally the less it pays. This holds true across the entire spectrum of employment until one reaches those that control the market in which they are paid from (ie, corporate executives). Desirability of a job is often not much of a deciding factor in the worth of that job either; janitorial services employees have awful jobs sometimes, but nearly every able-bodied worker could do those jobs, so the wages are particularly low because no individual worker is much in-demand.

This applies to H1B skilled-worker visas since more techncial workers means less demand per-worker, so wages fall. It's further excerbated by the H1B worker not being as free to exercise the free-market due to a real risk of deportation, so they can be paid less than the market average, which further helps to pull down the market average.

I expect the situation isn't as dire as the article makes it out to be.

Comment: Re:This is the voice of world control. (Score 1) 82

by TWX (#48450591) Attached to: Nuclear Weapons Create Their Own Security Codes With Radiation
I'll have to give the Youtube link a try when I get home. Only time I saw the film it was on a multigeneration VHS tape, so who knows how awful it looked compared to its initial release...

There's a whole series of books starting with this one too, been meaning to read 'em.

Comment: Re:taxpayer-financed spaceport ??? (Score 1) 46

by TWX (#48450033) Attached to: Spaceport America Loses $1.7 Million Due To Virgin Galactic Delays
And there are several business parks around here that are empty, with fully paved streets and services in the ground waiting for buildings to hook up to. They end up being places for informal 1/4-mile drags for a couple of passes before the driver bails so to avoid the cops.

Comment: Re:taxpayer-financed spaceport ??? (Score 1) 46

by TWX (#48446373) Attached to: Spaceport America Loses $1.7 Million Due To Virgin Galactic Delays
There's a college and city partnership "Research Park", a full square-mile of business area, near me. They are used as a tech incubator, giving extremely reasonable rent to student and post-graduate business ventures and other tech ventures- significant E-ink research and the development of the screens for those old Motorola Razr V3 flip phones happened here.

I don't look at this spaceport as being really any different.

Comment: Re:taxpayer-financed spaceport ??? (Score 1) 46

by TWX (#48445865) Attached to: Spaceport America Loses $1.7 Million Due To Virgin Galactic Delays
I didn't miss the point at all. The point is, New Mexico decided to play venture-capitalistsocialist after a fashion, and like lots of venture capital projects, this one hasn't panned-out. Now people are complaining over what's a fairly insignificant amount of money that might have paid-off had Virgin Galactic succeeded before now, and could have attracted more space-faring business. New Mexico wanted the American version of the Baikonur Cosmodrome to be in their state; they've got the land for it and for terrestrial recovery (as opposed to ocean splash-down), but some didn't account for the possibility of the project failing to meet its goals.

I think they should keep at it a bit longer. It's already built, now it just needs to be maintained.

Comment: Re:taxpayer-financed spaceport ??? (Score 1) 46

by TWX (#48444497) Attached to: Spaceport America Loses $1.7 Million Due To Virgin Galactic Delays
You really have no idea how governments solicit corporations to their areas, do you?

Nowadays, corporations look for the most favorable places to operate. That could be a place that's desirable to live in, a place with a large population that's qualified to do the work, a place with favorable laws that make land-use or permitting easier, or a place with favorable tax laws that make it inexpensive.

New Mexico has some really beautiful places like Ruidoso, but it also has a lot of land that can't even be used for ranching, and short of mineral extraction there's no interest in economic development there. There's a reason why the Manhattan Project tested the first nuclear bomb there; it directly impacted only one family whose land and ranch house were taken from them during the project and couldn't be returned afterward due to the contamination.

On the flip side, Virgin Galactic needs someplace to play with their vehicles. There's a certain, higher than average risk associated with these vehicles. There's also the possibility that future vehicles might not be mothership-dropped and instead might launch from the ground, which would further increase the risk associated with them. This means that they need land, land far enough away from others that the risk to the population is low, land as a buffer in case of accidents. This is the same problem that modern air force and navy air bases face; they're built a distance from a supporting city to try to minimize the impact on the city, but the city grows to the base's edge then gets upset that the base is there. So the solution is to look for someplace to build the facility where it won't impact anyone.

Now, the downside, it's hard to attract talented people whose ability will let them write their own check to places that aren't terribly desirable to live. New Mexico has harsh climate, its cities aren't exactly known for being centers of modern popular culture, it lacks world-renowned education, and it doesn't even have major sports teams. That means staff need even more compensation to come there.

If New Mexico wants both the immediate business and wants the longer-term infrastructure that could make it a hub, that means they have to find a way to attract it. The only major means at their disposal are tax relief and easy permitting. That costs them and doesn't guarantee that it'll work, but the payoffs for the risks are generally pretty favorable.

Comment: If you work on the bleeding edge... (Score 2) 46

by TWX (#48444313) Attached to: Spaceport America Loses $1.7 Million Due To Virgin Galactic Delays get sliced from time to time.

While I commend New Mexico for their efforts toward making it possible to push the limits, this was bound to happen. On top of that, if they're balking at $1.7 million , how do they feel about their other budget line-items, like their schools that probably exceed a couple- billion dollars spent?

I don't know New Mexico's budget off the top of my head, but I do know that in my state, the largest school district's budget is somewhere between $600 and $700 million dollars, for about 65,000 students. There are upwards of a hundred school districts, and the education budget is something like 70% of the state's annual expenditure. $1.7 million dollars on the scale of a state budget is almost down to rounding-error money.

Comment: Re:How is this "News for Nerds"? (Score 2) 141

by TWX (#48440113) Attached to: Linux On a Motorola 68000 Solder-less Breadboard
If Slashdot is going to drop one or the other, I'd much rather they drop the News aspect than the Nerds aspect.

About fifteen years ago I had a Macintosh Centris 660AV running Linux, just as an experiment. I kind of wish that I still had that computer; it had an AUI port so I could adapt to 10Base-T Ethernet, and could have redirected all incoming unsolicited network connections to it. Let 'em hack it; with no compiler, all binaries for m68K only, and 16.9 bogoMIPS it would have made for an entertaining honeypot.

Comment: Re:Not resigning from Debian (Score 1) 547

Well, I can tell you with my Windows 8 experiences, a lot of functionality went away with the loss of the Start Menu, especially when it comes to reopening previously-opened documents. Sometimes it can be difficult to locate the document in question by just browsing the filesystem.

... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks