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+ - Microsoft's K-12 CS and H-1B Visa Agenda: From Think Tank to Law of the Land

Submitted by theodp
theodp writes: Led by Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, with corporate contributions from the likes of Microsoft and Google, a $30M campaign to promote K-12 computer science education was a smash success, winning over the President and lawmakers, who are poised to make CS a 'core academic subject' in a rewritten No Child Left Behind Act, which could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending that the tech giants suggested could be funded using fees from additional H-1B visas they're coincidentally lobbying for to bring in foreign programming talent. Since the NY Times' Eric Lipton just won a 2015 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting that shed light on how foreign powers buy influence at think tanks, it probably bears mentioning that Microsoft's 'two-pronged' K-12 CS and H-1B visa agenda — which is on the verge of becoming the law of the land — was hatched at an influential Microsoft-backed think tank mentioned in Lipton's reporting, the Brookings Institution. On September 27, 2012, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings "hosted a forum on STEM education and immigration reforms and how these policy innovations can recharge American competitiveness and economic opportunity for current and future generations of workers." Keynote remarks were delivered by Brad Smith, executive VP and general counsel of Microsoft, who took the occasion to introduce Microsoft's National Talent Strategy. "So, Brad," asked the Brookings Institution's Darrell West, "you're the only [one] who mentioned this topic of making the problem bigger. So, we galvanize action by really producing a crisis ['like climate change', as Microsoft partner later put it], I take it?" Smith replied, "Yeah, I think we have the opportunity to do two things...the immigration and education issues are, to some degree, opposite sides of the same coin. The coin itself is about the need to have people with the right skills to do the work that the country needs to get done...And, you know, it will require additional people from outside the United States in the short term [20+ years, according to the WSJ] but let's use that to help address the broader and to some degree deeper and longer lasting problem that we face with respect to our educational system. It also gives us the opportunity to connect with people who may not have seen this connection or to connect with people who care more about one issue or the other, but bring them together" (video @ 49:24). Fittingly, in attendance two years later at the White House as President Obama tackled the national CS crisis as he 'learned to code' from a nonprofit headed by Smith's next-door-neighbor at the Brookings-trumpeted and nationally-covered Hour of Code event was Fred Humphries, a top Microsoft lobbyist and Brookings partner. According to visitor records, Humphries returned to the White House the next day with Smith and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to quietly meet with officials. While in D.C., Nadella also lobbied for high-skilled immigration. And that, kids, is How a Bill [Gates Agenda] Becomes a Law!

Comment: Re:This never works (Score 2) 240

by Bing Tsher E (#49549447) Attached to: Microsoft, Chip Makers Working On Hardware DRM For Windows 10 PCs

That's storage, which scales to infinity. Screen resolution is something you look at all at once. To put it another way, you'd never run all 10tb of whatever is contained on your hard drive array all at once. At most the typical user accesses an 8-10gb file at any one time.

Comment: Re:Done in movies... (Score 4, Insightful) 172

Hanging a person over a balcony with an implied threat to let them fall is quite definitely qualifies as a threat against a person's life, and that *IS* illegal. Even if no "permanent" harm was done, their actions fail on points 5, 6, 7, and 9 in The Ethics Scoreboard list of ethics fallacies.

Comment: Re:The video does not test full water resist claim (Score 1) 155

by Bing Tsher E (#49548683) Attached to: Apple Watch Launches

IPX7? Is that some trademarked Apple 'standard'? If it's an actual Standard, why doesn't Apple have their own variant with a cute name? 'Thumblenitter' or something stupid like that would be alright.

I'm more worried about what happens when you plunge your hand in a can of Crisco, and I'm sure Tim Cook worries about that, too. But whatever.

Comment: Re:Solution looking for a problem? (Score 0) 155

by Bing Tsher E (#49548615) Attached to: Apple Watch Launches

Better yet:

"Ah, it's nice that my phone is turned off and I left it at home."

But you go ahead and keep track so you know whether you need to scamper off to read a text or not. I'm glad there are people like you who have shitty jobs that require that of you. Somebody has to do that stuff, I guess.

When I was growing up, Mobile was the brand name of a gas station.

Comment: Re:Solution looking for a problem? (Score 1) 155

by Bing Tsher E (#49548569) Attached to: Apple Watch Launches

Somebody at work told me he heard that Apple is refusing to accept Apple Watch apps from developers who sell the same apps for Pebble. Apparently Pebble (we already know Samsumg is in this category) is the New IBM for the mac people.

I remember when word got out to the rabid elements of the Mac community that the first OEM IBM hard drives were spotted in Powerbooks. Fun times.

Comment: Re:Instead... (Score 1) 355

I'm not actually experiencing what you're saying. Where I've seen sites use Bootstrap, or use one of the new Wordpress themes etc, they've actually been pretty usable on a mobile device.

The real problems are getting to be the non-WWW stuff people forget about, like responsive HTML emails.

"It's when they say 2 + 2 = 5 that I begin to argue." -- Eric Pepke