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Businesses

Disney IT Workers Allege Conspiracy In Layoffs, File Lawsuits (computerworld.com) 243

dcblogs writes with the latest in the laid off Disney IT worker saga. According to ComputerWorld: "Disney IT workers laid off a year ago this month are now accusing the company and the outsourcing firms it hired of engaging in a 'conspiracy to displace U.S. workers.' The allegations are part of two lawsuits filed in federal court in Florida on Monday. Between 200 and 300 Disney IT workers were laid off in January 2015. Some of the workers had to train their foreign replacements — workers on H-1B visas — as a condition of severance. The lawsuits represent what may be a new approach in the attack on the use of H-1B workers to replace U.S. workers. They allege violations of the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), claiming that the nature of the employment of the H-1B workers was misrepresented, and that Disney and the contractors knew the ultimate intent was to replace U.S. workers with lower paid H-1B workers."
Education

MIT To Offer Internet of Things Training For Professionals (computerworld.com) 63

dcblogs writes: MIT is offering an online course about the Internet of Things, and this is what you need to know up front: It's going to require, perhaps, six to eight hours of study time a week, which includes watching videos of lectures, engaging with faculty and fellow students in forums and taking tests. It begins April 12 and continues through May 24. It costs $495, and unlike some online courses, there is no free option. Students who complete the program and pass the tests earn a certificate of completion and 1.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in MIT's professional education program. In exchange for their time and money, students will get an introduction, a roadmap, into the IoT and hear from some of the university's top professors, including Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web. This professional program is a relatively new effort for the university.
Security

Casino Sues Security Firm For Failing To Contain Malware Infection (softpedia.com) 50

An anonymous reader writes: US casino chain Affinity Games is suing Trustwave Holdings, a cyber-security vendor that was brought in to investigate a card breach but failed to detect and stop a malware incident on Affinity's servers, which led to the escalation of a previous card breach. The casino chain noticed the sloppy job a few months later when it hired a penetration testing company to comply with new gaming regulation. Mandiant was brought in to mop up Trustwave's job later on. Affinity is now suing for $100,000 (or more) in damages.
Businesses

Tech Professionals' Aggravations Rise, But So Do Salaries (dice.com) 180

Nerval's Lobster writes: Despite some concerns over the stock market and whether the so-called "unicorns" will survive the year, it's apparently still a good time to get into tech: New data from Robert Half Technology suggests that salaries for various tech positions will increase as much as 7 percent this year. Which is good, because tech professionals have confessed to a host of aggravations with their lives, including too-expensive housing, lengthy commutes and gridlock, inability to achieve work-life balance, and a disconnect from their jobs. It's neither the best nor worst of times, but the money could be pretty good.
Unix

New Year's Resolutions For *nix SysAdmins (cyberciti.biz) 242

An anonymous reader writes: A new year, with old systems. It is time to break bad old habits and develop good new ones. This list talks about new years resolutions for Linux and Unix sysadmins. List includes turning on 2FA on all services, making peace with systemd, installing free SSL/TLS certificates, avoiding laptops with horrible screens or wireless whitelist in BIOS, building Linux gaming rig and more. What resolutions are on your list regarding sysadmin or IT work in 2016?
Government

USPTO Power Outage Damages Equipment and Shuts Down IT Systems (uspto.gov) 62

An anonymous reader sends word that many online systems at the United States Patent and Trademark Office are down due to damaged equipment after a power outage. A statement from the USPTO reads in part: "A major power outage at USPTO headquarters occurred last night resulting in damaged equipment that required the subsequent shutdown of many of our online and IT systems. This includes our filing, searching, and payment systems, as well as the systems our examiners across the country use. We are working diligently to assess the operational impact on all our systems and to determine how soon they can be safely brought back into service in the coming days. We understand how critical these systems are for our customers, and our teams will continue to work around the clock to restore them as quickly as possible, though the impacts may be felt through the Christmas holiday. We know many people have questions regarding filing and payment deadlines. We are reviewing this topic and will provide an update when we have further information."
Open Source

Improving UI and UX: Changing the "Open Source Is Ugly" Perception (opensource.com) 402

jones_supa writes: For four years, Garth Braithwaite has been working at Adobe on open source projects as a design and code contributor. In addition to his work at the company, he also speaks at conferences about the power of design, improving designer-developer collaboration, and the benefits of open source. Still, he argues that the user experience is weak in many open source projects. One of the largest contributing factors is the lack of professional designers contributing to open source projects. Secondary to that, there are open source project owners who are unaware of the value of design or are unsure where to start with the design process. In an interview to Opensource.com, Braithwaite talks about the UX/UI topic, and gives some honorable mentions of projects that get it right.
Programming

Developing In C/C++? Why You Should Consider Clang Over GCC (dice.com) 255

Nerval's Lobster writes: The idea with Clang, a compiler front-end for C, C++, Objective-C++, and Objective-C, and LLVM (a compiler infrastructure) is that you can mix the compiler front-end with a targeted back-end and end up with highly portable and efficient compiler. Clang can perform static analysis of your code, and lets you write tools that give you information about a program. Although many developers prefer developing in C/C++ using GCC, developer David Bolton (in a new Dice article) makes an argument for why you should switch to Clang. While GCC is probably still best when it comes to speed, he argues, Clang is improving release by release, and features tools that developers could find useful.
Privacy

IT Worker Fired After Massive Georgia Data Breach Speaks Out (ajc.com) 113

McGruber writes: On November 17, two Georgia women filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp had released the Social Security numbers, birthdates, Drivers License numbers and other private information of all registered voters in Georgia. After the lawsuit was filed, Secretary Kemp posted an official notice of the breach on his website as required by Georgia state law.

Secretary Kemp also sent a private letter to Georgia lawmakers describing how the breach happened. In the letter, obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kemp said his office learned of the foul-up on Nov. 13 — four days before any public acknowledgment of the problem. In that private letter to Georgia lawmakers, Kemp also stated that he fired the IT worker who had inadvertently added the personal data including Social Security numbers and birth dates to the public statewide voter file.

Now that fired IT worker, longtime state programmer Gary Cooley, has told the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper that he did not actually have the security access necessary to add millions of Social Security numbers and birth dates to the data file that was released to the public. While Cooley does acknowledge a role in the gaffe, he also outlined a more complicated series of missteps and miscommunications both within Kemp's office and with PCC Technology Group, an outside vendor tasked with managing voter data for the state.

Businesses

The Hidden Costs of Going Freelance 160

snydeq writes: IT pros lend firsthand advice on the challenges of going solo in Bob Violino's report on the hidden costs of going freelance in IT. 'The life of an independent IT contractor sounds attractive enough: the freedom to choose clients, the freedom to set your schedule, and the freedom to set your pay rate while banging out code on the beach. But all of this freedom comes at a cost. Sure, heady times for some skill sets may make IT freelancing a seller's market, but striking out on your own comes with hurdles. The more you're aware of the challenges and what you need to do to address them, the better your chance of success as an IT freelancer.'
IT

IT Execs On Their Dream Dinner Guests 83

StewBeans writes: In this lighthearted article for the holiday, IT executives were asked, if they could invite any technologist living or deceased to their Thanksgiving dinner, who would they invite and why? One CTO said that he'd invite the CTO of Amazon, Werner Vogels, so he could hear his thoughts on the future of cloud computing. Another would invite Ratan Tata, who he calls the "Bill Gates of India." Other responses range from early visionaries like Grace Hopper and Vint Cerf to the mysterious inventors/designers of the Roland TR-808.
Businesses

Disney IT Workers Prepare To Sue Over Foreign Replacements (computerworld.com) 262

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: At least 23 former Disney IT workers have filed complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over the loss of their jobs to foreign replacements. This federal filing is a first step to filing a lawsuit alleging discrimination. These employees are arguing that they are victims of national origin discrimination, a complaint increasingly raised by U.S. workers who have lost their jobs to foreign workers on H-1B and other temporary visas. Disney's layoff last January followed agreements with IT services contractors that use foreign labor, mostly from India. Some former Disney workers have begun to go public (video) over the displacement process
Businesses

Can Full-Time Tech Workers Survive the Gig Economy? (dice.com) 169

Nerval's Lobster writes: By some measures, more than 40 percent of U.S. workers will be independent in 2020. Today, that number stands at 34 percent, according to the Freelancer's Union. By all accounts, the trend seems widespread enough to indicate that tech pros should prepare themselves for the dynamics of a world that depends more on contingent work. The question isn't whether the tech world will see an increasing prevalence of 'gigs,' rather than full-time positions; it's whether those in full-time positions can easily keep their jobs when there's pressure to farm it out cheaply and easily to freelancers. Or will the need for people who can see projects through the long term prevent the 'gig economy' from radically changing the tech industry?
Businesses

The History of SQL Injection, the Hack That Will Never Go Away (vice.com) 193

An anonymous reader writes with this history of SQL injection attacks. From the Motherboard article: "SQL injection (SQLi) is where hackers typically enter malicious commands into forms on a website to make it churn out juicy bits of data. It's been used to steal the personal details of World Health Organization employees, grab data from the Wall Street Journal, and hit the sites of US federal agencies. 'It's the most easy way to hack,' the pseudonymous hacker w0rm, who was responsible for the Wall Street Journal hack, told Motherboard. The attack took only a 'few hours.' But, for all its simplicity, as well as its effectiveness at siphoning the digital innards of corporations and governments alike, SQLi is relatively easy to defend against. So why, in 2015, is SQLi still leading to some of the biggest breaches around?"
Businesses

Slashdot Asks: Is Scrum Still Relevant? (opensource.com) 371

An anonymous reader writes: In an article titled "Scrum is dead: breaking down the new open development method," Ahmad Nassri writes: "Among the most 'oversold as a cure' methodologies introduced to business development teams today is Scrum, which is one of several agile approaches to software development and introduced as a way to streamline the process. Scrum has become something of an intractable method, complete with its own holy text, the Manifesto for Agile Software Development , and daily devotions (a.k.a., Scrum meetings). Although Scrum may have made more sense when it was being developed in the early '90s, much has changed over the years. Startups and businesses have work forces spread over many countries and time zones, making sharing offices more difficult for employees. As our workforce world evolves, our software development methods should evolve, too." What do you think? Is Scrum still a viable approach to software development, or is it time to make way for a different process?

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