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Comment: Re:Misleading Freezing Statement (Score 1) 95

by buddyglass (#47668527) Attached to: Student Bookstores Beware, Amazon Comes To Purdue Campus

Students always had the option of buying books online through Amazon.

Not when I was in school we didn't. That said, yes, it's been an option for some time now. On the other hand, there's no guarantee every textbook will be available. Perhaps this agreement guarantees that any textbook assigned to a Purdue student will be carried. The university may also have negotiated a group discount.

Comment: Re:insufficient information... (Score 1) 115

by buddyglass (#47515581) Attached to: UK Users Overwhelmingly Spurn Broadband Filters
That's easily addressed. Just feature prominent verbiage in the opt-in agreement making it clear that the filter isn't perfect, but that if you can live with the false positives then it's better than nothing at all if one's goal is to make it harder to access porn et. al. My complaint was with the article's implication that single-digit adoption rates are evidence that interest is low. That's true if one supposes that the entire customer base as the target audience for this feature. If the target audience is only those households with children, though, then the interest level (among those in the target audience) may be higher than the single-digit overall percentage would suggest.

Comment: Re:consider the source (Score 1) 529

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) 529

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: consider the source (Score 4, Interesting) 529

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:if you're worried about the collapse of society (Score 1) 509

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) 509

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.

The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination -- but the combination is locked up in the safe. -- Peter DeVries