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Submission + - Computer science enrollments match NASDAQ's rises and fall ->

dcblogs writes: In March 2000, the NASDAQ composite index reached a historic high of 5,048, at just about the same time undergrad computer science enrollments hit a peak of nearly 24,000 students at Ph.D.-granting institutions in the U.S. and Canada, according to data collected by the Computing Research Association in its most recent annual Taulbee Survey. By 2005, computer science enrollments had halved, declining to just over 12,000. On July 17, the NASDAQ hit its highest point since 2000, reaching a composite index of 5,210. In 2014, computer science undergrad enrollments reached nearly, 24,000, almost equal to the 2000 high. Remarkably, it has taken nearly 15 years to reach the earlier enrollment peak.
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Submission + - Woman recruited by Google four times and rejected, joins suit->

dcblogs writes: An Ivy league graduate, with a Ph.D. in geophysics, Cheryl Fillekes, who also specializes in Linux and Unix systems, was contacted by Google recruiters four separate times over a seven year period. In each instance, she did well enough on the phone interviews to get invited to an in-person interview but was rejected every time for a job. She has since joined an age discrimination lawsuit against Google filed about two months ago by another older worker. In the past year, Fillekes bought a dairy farm in upstate New York and designed and built an on-farm creamery.
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Submission + - NASA funded study states people could be on the moon by 2021 for $10 billion->

MarkWhittington writes: The Houston Chronicle reported that NextGen Space LLC has released the results of a study that suggests that if the United States were to choose to do space in some new and creative ways, American moon boots could be on the lunar surface by 2021. The cost from the authorization to the first crewed lunar landing would be just $10 billion. The study was partly funded by NASA and was reviewed by the space agency and commercial space experts.
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Submission + - In Wisconsin, Scott Walker's state, Dems seek outsourcing penalities->

dcblogs writes: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, one of the polling leaders in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, is still a cipher on offshore outsourcing and the H-1B issue. But Wisconsin lawmakers have introduced anti-outsourcing legislation that could shed light on Walker's views, if the bill makes it to his desk. The legislation cuts state benefits to any company that sends jobs out of state or offshore. Walker has used the offshore outsourcing of jobs as a political weapon. In the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, a nursery rhyme video ad posted to YouTube by Walker supporters accused his Democratic opponent, Mary Burke, a former executive at bicycle maker Trek and the daughter of its founder, of profiting by offshoring some work to China.
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Submission + - IT workers who train foreign replacements 'troubling' says White House ->

dcblogs writes: A top White House official told House lawmakers this week that the replacement of U.S. workers by H-1B visa holders is 'troubling' and not supposed to happen. That answer came in reponse to a question from U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) that referenced Disney workers who had to train their temporary visa holding replacements. Jeh Johnson, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said if H-1B workers are being used to replace U.S. workers, then "it's a very serious failing of the H-1B program." But Johnson also told lawmakers that they may not be able to stop it, based on current law. Ron Hira,an associate professor of public policy at Howard University who has testified before Congress multiple times on H-1B visa use, sees that as a "bizarre interpretation" of the law.
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Submission + - IBM develops first 7nm chip ->

dcblogs writes: IBM says it has produced the world's first 7nm (nanometer) chip, arriving well ahead of competitors, thanks to advances in its chip technology. Chip makers are now producing 14nm processors, and the next big project for Intel and other chip makers has been the 10nm chip. IBM, in its announcement today, has upended the chip industry's development path. A 7nm chip will hold about four times as many transistors in the same area as a 14nm chip, which are now on the market. "For IBM to conquer 7nm without stopping at the 10nm that Intel is supposedly tackling, means that IBM has secured the future two steps out," said Richard Doherty, research director of Envisioneering. A big advance in creating the 7nm chip was the use of extreme ultraviolet lithography. Optical lithography, which is now used in building chips, has a wavelength of 193nm, but extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) has a wavelength of 13.5 nanometers, which carves much sharper patterns on silicon.
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Submission + - FCC now responding to complaints in as little as two days ->

An anonymous reader writes: Woman files complaint with FCC over bill from ISP for $1,800 after an endless round of fruitless customer service calls. Eventually the bill — from this one woman operation business user — was sent to collections. Using the FCC's online form, a complaint is filed and in just two days the FCC responds. The ISP drops the collection effort and the bill disappears. The previous turn around for an FCC complaint was a month of more, but the agency says it has since revamped its process.
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Submission + - Microsoft introduces new music subscription service - Groove->

Ammalgam writes: After being spotted yesterday lurking in Windows 10’s mobile utility app, Microsoft has confirmed that Groove is the company’s new $10 a month music subscription service. Offering 40 millions songs, ad free, with playlists and radio stations built around artists or moods, the product is being positioned as a direct rival for the likes of Apple Music, but with no distinguishing features of its own. Groove allows access to your music from any device or service, including iTunes, on any Windows 10 device, thanks to cloud storage on OneDrive. Microsoft is also expected to release an iOS and Android as well.
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Submission + - 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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Submission + - 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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Submission + - 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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Submission + - 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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Submission + - 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.

Submission + - 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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Submission + - 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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