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Comment: Re:consider the source (Score 1) 513

Microsoft or any company already supposed to have to show a genuine need before going to an H1B worker. That means that you have exhausted other possibilities. These companies all use the same stupid trick to show a need: create an unbelievably narrow job description that almost literally cannot be filled, and advertise that job domestically, and then create a reasonable job description, and advertise that internationally. Same job. Then use the lack of qualified resumes from the domestic advert, and the wealth of resumes from the foreign advert, as the basis for importing an H1B worker.

That's shady. If they're doing that then they should be called on it and heavily fined and/or have their H1B visa rights revoked. That said, I'm not even sure I agree with the requirement that employers demonstrate a need. Given that it's the law, though, they should be held to it.

The H1B program facilitates labor arbitrage, where lightly experienced foreign IT workers are repackaged as high-priced experts and sold for high-rates to American companies. The companies in the middle sprinkle some domestic management and technical resources, and reap large economic benefits that are economically unjustified.

I'd say the program empowers companies to be dumb in that particular way, i.e. hiring people who aren't qualified, but I'm not sure that dumbness is inherently baked into the program. One can imagine a company that actually vets its hires properly and only hires people who are actually qualified.

With the caveat that I'm not an expert on H1B, my gripe with the program is that encourages people to live and work in the U.S. temporarily as opposed to permanently. What I'd like to see is an immigration policy that actively courts and keeps highly educated and capable people who want to live and work in the U.S. permanently. Skimming the world's best and brightest can only help the U.S. in the long-term.

Comment: Re:consider the source (Score 1) 513

Nope. And I didn't use one. He's not wrong because he's associated with Tea Party. I mentioned that affiliation to highlight what his potential motivations might be for making a big stink about the H1B visas. His constituents are predominantly of the opinion that foreigners are coming in and "taking our jobs". So he seizes upon the Microsoft layoff and links it to a program that brings more foreigners into the country and yells a little bit. His constituents see that he's "mad as hell" about foreigner-job-stealing and feel confident he's "fighting the good fight" for them in D.C. Mission accomplished.

Comment: Finally! (Score 4, Insightful) 464

by XxtraLarGe (#47488423) Attached to: World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use
This is one of the most messed-up issues in the history of humanity. Hopefully we'll see an end to the insane war on drugs in our lifetime! Drugs are made more dangerous by being illegal, I don't know why so few of us in the United States didn't learn the lesson from alcohol prohibition.

Comment: consider the source (Score 4, Interesting) 513

Jeff Sessions, Tea Party Guy. Of course he's going to take the nativist view. He probably thinks Microsoft could just take the 18,000 people it's laying off and repurpose them to fill whatever positions it's trying to use H1B visas for. Because tech skills are interchangeable, right? And all those 18,000 are totally okay relocating across the country (or globe) right?

Comment: Re:Your Results Will Vary (Score 1) 236

by XxtraLarGe (#47488253) Attached to: Math, Programming, and Language Learning

But I took nothing past Calculus (and have never professionally used even Trigonometry), and I'm a successful programmer, so I think math is unnecessary.

What sort of programming do you do? You can write code without doing any trig or calc, but I don't think you can do anything REALLY interesting without *some* math.

Comment: Re:if you're worried about the collapse of society (Score 1) 504

by buddyglass (#47463759) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?
I tend to be highly skeptical of the "Utopian future" where everybody is replaced by robots. Will some jobs be replaced by automation? Sure. But I suspect it will be way fewer than folks on this thread expect.

In terms of a post-apocalyptic future you can prepare in one of two ways. You can hoard up a bunch of supplies and focus on being self-sufficient, i.e. learning how to farm, hunt and make your own clothes, or you can do a little of that but also learn a skill that's likely to remain valuable after the apocalypse. That's where I was going with obstetrics and trauma treatment. This approach is also a hedge against the case where the apocalypse never actually happens. You get to be compensated well right now, which isn't always the case with the guy living in a bunker with lots of guns and canned goods.

Comment: Re:if you're worried about the collapse of society (Score 1) 504

by buddyglass (#47463457) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?
When we (hypothetically) revert to the stone age there won't be much need for, say, dermatologists. Or anesthesiologists, for that matter, since we will no longer have access to all the fancy drugs they use. Certainly in that scenario the ability of an OB to affect outcomes will be diminished, but you'd probably still be better off with an OB during delivery than without one. Working in the E.R. and knowing how to deal with random trauma would also be a good choice in a low-tech post-apocalyptic future.

Comment: if you're worried about the collapse of society... (Score 2) 504

by buddyglass (#47460707) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?
Tell her to become an M.D. and specialize in obstetrics. Unless there are no humans, humans will still have babies, and the process of delivery will still be fraught with problems. If she likes art, then maybe industrial design. Widgets may end up being 3d-printed, but someone still has to make them look pretty.

Comment: hmm (Score 1) 214

by buddyglass (#47448435) Attached to: Economist: File Sharing's Impact On Movies Is Modest At Most
This is hard to square with my experience. I know folks who used to pay money to see movies who no longer do because they can just watch them for free at home only days after their theatrical release (if not earlier). That said, these guys are a pretty small minority among the set of all people I know who like to watch movies.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (9) Dammit, little-endian systems *are* more consistent!