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Businesses

California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers 148

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-california-falls-into-the-ocean-would-that-count-as-offshoring dept.
dcblogs writes: "Southern California Edison is preparing to offshore IT jobs, the second major U.S. utility in the last year to do so. It will be cutting its staff, but it hasn't said by how much. The utility is using at least two offshore outsourcing firms, according to government records. SCE's management culture may be particularly primed for firing its IT workers. Following a workplace shooting in SCE's IT offices in 2011, the utility conducted an independent audit of its organizational and management culture. One observation in this report, which was completed a year later, was that 'employees perceive managers to be more concerned about how they 'look' from above, and less concerned about how they are viewed by their subordinates. This fosters an unhealthy culture and climate by sending a message to employees that it is more important to focus on how things look from the top than how they actually are down below.'"
Earth

VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email 233

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-did-you-have-for-lunch-when-you-wrote-those-papers dept.
RoccamOccam sends news that the Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that Michael Mann, a climate scientist notable for his work on the "hockey stick" graph, does not have to turn over the entirety of his papers and emails under Freedom of Information laws. Roughly 1,000 documents were turned over in response to the request, but another 12,000 remain, which lawyers for the University of Virginia say are "of a proprietary nature," and thus entitled to an exemption. The VA Supreme Court ruled (PDF), "the higher education research exemption's desired effect is to avoid competitive harm not limited to financial matters," and said the application of "proprietary" was correct in this case. Mann said he hopes the ruling "can serve as a precedent in other states confronting this same assault on public universities and their faculty."

Comment: Re:What is Yahoo doing? (Score 1) 147

by nine-times (#46789343) Attached to: Investors Value Yahoo's Core Business At Less Than $0

I think Hotmail is now Outlook.com, which is... I hesitate to say it's good, but it's not really bad. It integrates with Skype, Onedrive, and Office Online. It looks nice. It works fine. It has social media integration, and it performs the task of routing and storing email. If you have an account, you can use it to sync your settings in Windows 8 to other Win8 computers.

I'd use it sooner than Yahoo Mail, but I don't use it. I think I mostly don't use it because I don't trust Microsoft.

Comment: Re:It could happen (Score 1) 295

by nine-times (#46789119) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

All the state economic development agencies engage in this kind of poaching. The only problem is that the South is better at it because they don't fund schools and local governments to the same extent.

Of course, it's worth noting that low tax rates aren't the only consideration. If you have crappy schools and a low standard of living, then you might have a harder time drawing good employees. If you have crappy infrastructure, then you might have a harder time conducting your business. If your business requires an affluent population and other businesses to deal with, then a sparse population with little economic development doesn't make for a good location. Cuts to the local government are often not a good thing for businesses, even if it means lower taxes for the businesses. There are reasons why lots of businesses still locate themselves in big cities with high taxes and lots of regulation.

Comment: What is Yahoo doing? (Score 2) 147

by nine-times (#46787443) Attached to: Investors Value Yahoo's Core Business At Less Than $0
I don't know about the companies in China and Japan, and I don't know about stocks, but the general idea that Yahoo isn't actually worth much is unsurprising. Do people still use Yahoo.com or Yahoo mail? Yahoo IM? I understand that, like AOL, Yahoo owns other sites that are doing well, but what's Yahoo's strategy? How are they making money in the face of Google and Gmail?
Power

MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor 208

Posted by samzenpus
from the riding-the-waves dept.
First time accepted submitter Amtrak (2430376) writes "MIT has created designs for a nuclear plant that would avoid the downfall of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The new design calls for the nuclear plant to be placed on a floating platform modeled after the platforms used for offshore oil drilling. A floating platform several miles offshore, moored in about 100 meters of water, would be unaffected by the motions of a tsunami; earthquakes would have no direct effect at all. Meanwhile, the biggest issue that faces most nuclear plants under emergency conditions — overheating and potential meltdown, as happened at Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island — would be virtually impossible at sea."

Comment: Texas Has Fewer Homeless, California More (Score 3, Interesting) 318

Compared to when The Great Recession Started.

"California, with just under 12% of the nation's population, has 22.43% of the nation's homeless population, giving it a homelessness quotient of 0.88. Quite high, in other words. Almost double the number of homeless people one would predict, given its population."

"Texas, which has roughly 8.2% of the nation's population, only has 4.85% of the nation's homeless population (meaning: Texas has a quite low homelessness quotient of -0.41)."

Growing economy = less homeless, contracting economy = more homeless.

Go look at the statistics if you doubt it.

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