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Comment: So H-1B or offshore??? (Score 2) 212

by iamacat (#46791841) Attached to: California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers

That would be completely different things with very different consequences. H-1B is a Visa to work in US, so jobs would not be offshored, just outsourced to a contractor (article mentions Infosys). Employees will be still paying taxes, and salaries can not be that low as they incur living expenses similar to US citizens. Added difficulty of changing jobs while on a visa does depress wages to some degree, but IT workers generally expect to live well.

Offshoring of course means no tax revenue for US and much lower living standards and expenses, so low salaries that US residents can not accept without starving.

It's unfortunate that the article doesn't make clear exactly what is happening.

Comment: Certainly semi-public state is the worst (Score 1) 176

by iamacat (#46787549) Attached to: Heartbleed Sparks 'Responsible' Disclosure Debate

Once the discoverer of the bug patched their own servers and the software creator has an official fix, the only ethical thing is to tell everyone at once. It is not realistic to expect a secret to be kept in a dozen independent companies with thousands of employees each. Also, why should Facebook get an unfair business advantage over Yahoo? Most users having dozens of accounts where overlapping private information is stored and get no benefit from just one server being patched.

Make sure a fix is available and then publish quickly so that bad actors have less time to develop exploits.

Comment: Given the number of Windows exploits... (Score 1) 580

by iamacat (#46761927) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

I would take my chances with FOSS. How crazy is the statement that XP can not be safely used without Microsoft support, given that they had 13 years to fix bugs in a feature-frozen release? In an open source release used for so long and on the same scale, chances of finding a new catastrophic bug would be slim. For example, Heartbleed was found in 3 years. Likewise goto fail bug in Apple open source was discovered in a relatively short time.

Not to mention that if new bugs were found in desupported but still somewhat popular open source software, users would create their own fix in no time rather than having to pay millions to Microsoft.

Comment: Oh boy, a deluge of misrepresentation (Score 2) 322

by iamacat (#46735957) Attached to: IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions For Patches

From the assumption that IRS will pay standard joe off the street rate to Microsoft, to impossibility of running XP without support, not much in this article passes the muster of common sense. Chrome and Thunderbird are still well supported and secure, and that's all IRS employees should need in terms of accessing Internet. Everything else would be in-house applications which can be secured on server side, so it should be Ok even if they still have run IE6.

As for employees that don't follow instructions, there is nothing to keep them from installing freepr0n.exe on Win7.

Comment: Re:Welp (Score 1) 578

by iamacat (#46727781) Attached to: Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

Dude, computer science was not developed by young people. Most algorithms were invented by college professors who were in math for many decades. As for modern programming, it has not been around long enough for us to answer this question. It is not as laborious as early days of coding 100 pages of assembler and writing every sort routine from scratch. I would say it would be doable for many 50 year olds. Weather it's a smart career move for someone looking to retire in another 10 years is a different question.

Comment: Wow - way to stereotype! (Score 1) 578

by iamacat (#46727691) Attached to: Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

I would rather teach a coal minor to code than try to educate one of today's self entitled kids. He (and occasionally she) will have discipline, hard work culture and some guts. Bloomberg is continuing elitism of his soft drink ban episode.

But in general we should move to guaranteed wage model to avoid a good thing (getting off dirty coal) being also a bad thing for thousands of workers. People who are up for retraining will want to make more money, while others can at least tide to retirement after being in one occupation for 30 years.

Comment: I never had sympathy for Prop 8 supporters before (Score 1) 1112

by iamacat (#46701371) Attached to: Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

But all of a sudden allegations that marriage is only the first step and the final plan is mandatory gay sex education in elementary schools do not sound so far fetched. I have and will donate to political causes others may not agree with, for example school choice. I sure hope that a donation I made as a private citizen would not some day preclude me from being CEO of a company. If Hobby Lobby doesn't have corporate religious freedom to restrict health insurance, perhaps OkCupid should be penalized for boycotting based on a political viewpoint.

Comment: Ignore majority of the world at your peril (Score 2) 161

by iamacat (#46667693) Attached to: Illustrating the Socioeconomic Divide With iOS and Android

Most of human beings with access to Internet are using Android. They may not be spending most of the money right at this moment, but that is going to change very fast. Or, if your platform gets superseded by competition on iOS, alternative platforms may let you live to fight another day. Remember, Facebook didn't pay 19 billion for $1/year revenues of WhatsApp.

Comment: Re:Suprise! (Score 1) 128

by iamacat (#46667601) Attached to: Nest Halts Sales of Smart Fire Alarm After Discovering Dangerous Flaw

A standard fire alarm has the same reliability as birth control though abstinence for pretty much the same reasons - it only works if used consistently all of the time. They should have left the feature on while its being fixed. It's the only thing that keeps people from ripping out the batteries.

Comment: Finally someone with a pair (Score 1) 291

by iamacat (#46642401) Attached to: NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

Space program is one of the few unique things Russia can be proud of on the world stage. If it's prestige is endangered, Putin is apt to take notice. Unlike oil, space is above every country in the world and there is no inherent reason Kazakhstan has to keep its dominance for launches.

Comment: Re:Only in America (Score 1) 870

by iamacat (#46581445) Attached to: Job Automation and the Minimum Wage Debate

To this day, most humans don't have access to clean water or safety from violence? Are you saying people have stopped working because of police departments and public water fountains? Food and shelter are already available free in US, but some people fail to locate available resources and there is huge overhead in government bureaucracy. Just making them really free without preconditions would just save everyone money.

Comment: Admirable (Score 2) 224

by iamacat (#46581411) Attached to: Microsoft Posts Source Code For MS-DOS and Word For Windows

I wish more companies would do this, and sooner too. Would your ten year old code really be a serious competition to your current efforts? It can however be priceless for learning, or even support for hobbyists who like tinkering with old gadgets.

Lets thank Microsoft for doing the right thing and hope its a sign of good things to come from their new leadership. Apple, Novell and Sun - please take notice.

Live within your income, even if you have to borrow to do so. -- Josh Billings

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