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+ - 1 in 3 data center servers is a zombie->

dcblogs writes: A new study says that 30% of all physical servers in data centers are comatose, or are using energy but delivering no useful information. What's remarkable is this percentage hasn't changed since 2008, when a separate study showed the same thing. A server is considered comatose if it hasn't done anything for at least six months. The high number of such servers "is a massive indictment of how data centers are managed and operated," said Jonathan Koomey, a research fellow at Stanford University, who has done data center energy research for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "It's not a technical issue as much as a management issue." This work adds to the findings of two other groups that have looked at the problem. The number of physical servers worldwide last year at 41.4 million.
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+ - When Gov. Jeb Bush blew off an IT worker replaced by an H-1B->

dcblogs writes: In 2002 and 2003, IT workers at a Siemens unit in Lake Mary, Fla. had to train their temporary visa-holding replacements. Mike Emmons was one of the affected IT employees who lost his job, and he wrote Bush, asking for help: "Management has their permanent employees training these Indians to take over their jobs," according a letter in the Bush email archive. A Bush aide responded and said they couldn't help because it is a federal matter. This may be part of a pattern with him. Bush does not come across as either supportive or sympathetic to displaced IT workers in a 2013 book, Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution. And when asked recently about the replacement of U.S workers with H-1B workers, Bush, reported Buzzfeed, again demurred. He said saw the reports on Fox. "Sometimes you see things in the news reports, you don't get the full picture. Maybe that's the case here." Said Emmons in an interview: "There are very, very few in Washington D.C. that care for American workers — less than a handful."
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+ - A Tool for Analyzing H-1B Visa Applications Reveals Tech Salary Secrets->

Tekla Perry writes: "The golden age of engineers is not over," says a French software engineer who developed a tool for mining U.S. Department of Labor visa application data, but, he says, salaries appear to be leveling off. Indeed, salary inflation for software engineers and other technical professionals at Google and Facebook has slowed dramatically, according to his database, and Airbnb and Dropbox pay is down a little, though Netflix pay is through the roof. The data also shows that some large companies appear to be playing games with titles to deflate salaries, and Microsoft is finally offering technology professionals comparable salaries to Apple and Google. There's a lot more to be discovered in this interactive database, and researchers are getting ready to mine it.
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+ - IRS cut its cybersecurity staff by 11% over four years->

dcblogs writes: The Internal Revenue Service, which disclosed this week the breach of 100,000 taxpayer accounts, has been steadily reducing the size of its internal cybersecurity staff as it increases its security spending. In 2011, the IRS employed 410 people in its cybersecurity organization, but by 2014 the headcount had fallen to 363 people. In 2012, the IRS earmarked $129 million for cybersecurity, which rose to $141.5 million last year, an increase of approximately 9.7%. This increase in spending, coupled with the reduction in headcount, is an indicator of outsourcing, said Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute. Paller sees risks in that strategy. "Each organization moves at a different pace toward a point at which they have outsourced so much that the insiders do little more than manage contracts, and lose their technical expertise and ability to manage technical contractors effectively," he said.
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+ - FWD.us to Laid-Off Southern California Edison Workers: Boo-Hoo 1 1

theodp writes: Speaking at a National Journal LIVE event that was sponsored by Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us and Laurene Powell Jobs' Emerson Collective, FWD.us "Major Contributor" Lars Dalgaard was asked about the fate of 500 laid-off Southern California Edison IT workers, whose forced training of their H-1B worker replacements from offshore outsourcing companies sparked a bipartisan Senate investigation. "If you want the job, make yourself able to get the job," quipped an unsympathetic Dalgaard (YouTube). "Nobody's going to hold you up and carry you around...If you're not going to work hard enough to be qualified to get the job...well then, you don't deserve the job." "That might be harsh," remarked interviewer Niharika Acharya. Turning to co-interviewee Pierre-Jean Cobut, FWD.us's poster child for increasing the H-1B visa cap, Acharya asked, "Do you agree with him?" "Actually, I do," replied PJ, drawing laughs from the crowd. In August, Zuck's close friend and college roommate Joe Green, then President of FWD.us, drew fire after arguing that Executive Action by President Obama on tech immigration was needed lest his billionaire bosses have to hire 'just sort of OK' U.S. workers.

+ - Is IT work getting more stressful, or is it the Millennials?->

dcblogs writes: A survey of IT professionals that has been conducted in each of the last four years is showing an increase in IT work stress levels. It's a small survey, just over 200 IT workers, and it doesn't account for the age of the respondents. But some are asking whether Millennials, those ages 18 to 34, are pushing up stress levels either as IT workers or end users. The reason Millennials may be less able to handle stress is that they interact with others in person far less than other generations do, since most of their social interactions have been through Internet-based, arms-length contact, said Billie Blair, who holds a doctorate in organizational psychology. This generation has also been protected from many real-life situations by their parents, "so the workplace tends to be more stressful for them than for others," she said. Others are wondering if Millennials are more demanding of IT workers. Millennials are also expert users, and "are no longer in awe of technology specialists and therefore demand higher service levels," said Mitch Ellis, managing director of executive search firm Sanford Rose Associates in St. Louis.
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+ - Disney replaces longtime IT staff with H-1B workers->

Lucas123 writes: Disney CEO Bob Iger is one of eight co-chairs of the Partnership for a New American Economy, a leading group advocating for an increase in the H-1B visa cap. Last Friday, the partnership was a sponsor of an H-1B briefing at the U.S. Capitol for congressional staffers. The briefing was closed to the press. One of the briefing documents obtained after the meeting stated, "H-1B workers complement — instead of displace — U.S. Workers." Last October, however, Disney laid off at least 135 IT staff (though employees say it was hundreds more), many of them longtime workers. Disney then replaced them with H-1B contractors that company said could better "focus on future innovation and new capabilities." The fired workers believe the primary motivation behind Disney's action was cost-cutting. "Some of these folks were literally flown in the day before to take over the exact same job I was doing," one former employee said. Disney officials promised new job opportunities as a result of the restructuring, but the former staff interviewed by Computerworld said they knew of few co-workers who had landed one of the new jobs. Use of visa workers in a layoff is a public policy issue, particularly for Disney. Ten U.S. senators are currently seeking a federal investigation into displacement of IT workers by H-1B-using contractors. Kim Berry, president of the Programmer's Guild, said Congress should protect American workers by mandating that positions can only be filled by H-1B workers when no qualified American — at any wage — can be found to fill the position."
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+ - Median age at Google is 29, says age discrimination lawsuit->

dcblogs writes: The typical employee at Google is relatively young, according to a lawsuit brought by an older programmer who is alleging age discrimination. Between 2007 and 2013, Google's workforce grew from 9,500 to more than 28,000 employees, "yet as of 2013, its employees' median age was 29 years old," the lawsuit claims. That's in contrast to the median age of nearly 43 for all U.S. workers who are computer programmers, according to the lawsuit.
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+ - House bill slashes research critical to cybersecurity->

dcblogs writes: A U.S. House bill that will set the nation's basic research agenda for the next two years increases funding for computer science, but at the expense of other research areas. The funding bill, sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the chair of the Science, Space and Technology Committee, hikes funding for computer science, but cuts — almost by half — social sciences funding, which includes the study of human behavior. Cybersecurity uses human behavior research because humans are often the weakest security link. Research funding social, behavioral and economic sciences will fall from $272 million to $150 million, a 45% decrease. The bill also takes a big cut out of geosciences research, which includes climate change study, from $1.3 billion to $1.2 billion, an 8% decrease. The insight into human behaviors that comes from the social science research, "is critical to understanding how best to design and implement hardware and software systems that are more secure and easier to use," wrote J. Strother Moore, the CRA chair and a professor of computer science at the University of Texas.
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+ - IT worker's lawsuit accuses Tata of discrimination->

dcblogs writes: An IT worker is accusing Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) of discriminating against American workers and favoring "South Asians" in hiring and promotion. It's backing up its complaint, in part, with numbers. The lawsuit, filed this week in federal court in San Francisco, claims that 95% of the 14,000 people Tata employs in the U.S. are South Asian or mostly Indian. It says this practice has created a "grossly disproportionate workforce." India-based Tata achieves its "discriminatory goals" in at least three ways, the lawsuit alleges. First, the company hires large numbers of H-1B workers. Over from 2011 to 2013, Tata sponsored nearly 21,000 new H-1B visas, all primarily Indian workers, according to the lawsuit's count. Second, when Tata hires locally, "such persons are still disproportionately South Asian," and, third, for the "relatively few non-South Asians workers that Tata hires," it disfavors them in placement, promotion and termination decisions.
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+ - Ten U.S. senators seek investigation into the replacement of U.S. tech workers->

dcblogs writes: Ten U.S. senators, representing the political spectrum, are seeking a federal investigation into displacement of IT workers by H-1B-using contractors. They are asking the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and the Labor Department to investigate the use of the H-1B program "to replace large numbers of American workers" at Southern California Edison (SCE) and other employers. The letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and the secretaries of the two other departments, was signed by U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has oversight over the Justice Department. The other signers are Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), a longtime ally of Grassley on H-1B issues; Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), David Vitter (R-La.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.). Neither California senator signed on. "Southern California Edison ought to be the tipping point that finally compels Washington to take needed actions to protect American workers," Sessions said. Five hundred IT workers at SCE were cut, and many had to train their replacements.
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+ - Indiana University computer science grad explains why new law hurts ->

dcblogs writes: Indiana University (IU) Bloomington computer science grad Patrick Kozub, class of 2014, explains why the big data business he is creating with three other grads won’t be located in Indiana. "I won't go to a place and contribute economically when my interests are not protected, and my interests do not hurt anybody else," he said. "I never had issues of people not accepting me," said Kozub, who came out as gay while a high school student in Indiana. "I'm very proud of the fact that I was there and made so many wonderful friends and learned so many good things." He said he knows no one who would approve of such discrimination he believes is allowed under the state’s “religious freedom” law. Meanwhile, an Indy Big Data conference in May has lost seven sponsors, including Oracle and EMC, in response to the law. “This law is having an immediate and definite negative impact on technology in the state of Indiana,” said conference organizer Christine Van Marter.
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+ - The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists introduces the Doomsday Dashboard->

Lasrick writes: You probably know the hand on the Doomsday Clock now rests at 3 minutes to midnight. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has launched a pretty cool little interactive Dashboard that lets you see data that the Bulletin's Science and Security Board considers when making the decision on the Clock's time each year. There are interactive graphs that show global nuclear arsenals, nuclear material security breaches, and how much weapons-grade plutonium and uranium is stored (and where). The climate change section features graphs of global sea level rise over time, Arctic sea ice minimums. atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and differences in global temperature. There's also a section for research on biosecurity and emerging technologies. A fun little interactive feature.
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+ - Ted Cruz, the presidential candidate who wants to increase the H-1B cap by 500%->

dcblogs writes: It's going to be hard for the Republicans to field a presidential candidate as enthusiastic about the H-1B visa as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Cruz, who is announcing his presidential bid this morning, once proposed an immediate increase in the base H-1B cap from 65,000 to 325,000. Cruz offered the H-1B increase as an amendment in 2013 to the Senate's comprehensive immigration bill. Cruz's amendment was defeated by the Senate's Judiciary Committee, which approved an 180,000 H-1B cap increase in the comprehensive immigration bill.
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