markfeffer writes: "Tech workers have a dog in the fight for immigration reform but their anxiety about H-1Bs may not be relieved any time soon. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the program's cap for next year will remain unchanged. Meantime, most observers don't see any real reforms on the horizon."
markfeffer writes: "Expect tech hiring to rise in 2013. About 64 percent of recruiters and hiring managers surveyed by Dice plan to increase their ranks next year, with 43 percent seeing themselves doing “slightly” more hiring while 21 percent predict doing “substantially” more. While those numbers look encouraging, they’re not as strong as they were six months ago. In May, 73 percent said they planned to increase hiring, 55 percent "slightly" and 18 percent "substantially.""
markfeffer writes: "After being slowed down by internal issues surrounding architectural, cultural and organizational structures, the development of solutions for data sharing, analysis, migration and cloud efforts is picking up steam again. Heading into 2013, hiring in these areas will ramp as well, predicts researcher David Foote. CIOs want to weave architectural competencies into more roles, so they’re looking for people who can break down walls inside their company and make sure everyone involved sees the big picture. Foote believes the movement won’t be about creating new kinds of jobs. Rather, it will be about evolving skills."
markfeffer writes: "Jeff Gill's Manhattan, Kan., Tallgrass Brewing Company produces several artisanal potables, but he's most keen on his 8-Bit Pale Ale, Elisabeth Greenbaum Kasson writes. He wanted to create an 8-bit game to go with it, but didn't have the money, so he created a video that's something like a 1979 gameplay trailer."
markfeffer writes: "Kink.com’s CTO Steve Morgan says that there’s more to producing Internet porn than a camera, a whip and some combination of women and men. He’s got a tech staff of 26 people running two dozen sub-sites, clustered and load balanced on five JBoss application servers. He tells Elisabeth Greenbaum Kasson that they support 2,500 to 3,000 users an hour. The company pioneered the use of live adult webcasts which, Morgan says, are all about capacity and performance."
markfeffer writes: "David Strom says that today AT&T, Time Warner and other broadband providers will start enforcing their “Six-Strikes” approach to stopping illegal downloads of movies, TV shows and other content. The Center for Copyright Information, an operation they’ve funded, will send suspected individuals multiple emails pointing out any illegal activity, getting them to acknowledge their misdeeds, and finally imposing increasing punishments like throttling connection speeds or blocking particular websites (though not outright disconnection or legal action). Strom writes that the next step will be to start using VPNs to block your real IP address when you want to download illegal content. It might be better if the movie studios learned from the peer music piracy debacle of the late 1990s, and made it easier for folks to find and download legal content. But that would require careful thought by people other than lawyers to build better systems, like Pirate Bay’s."
markfeffer writes: "Are people who work in technology really creatives? We’re still stereotyped as “math nerds,” but the truth is our business is filled with artists and offers more creative outlets than most others."
markfeffer writes: "U.S. companies are backing an initiative — "Get Skills to Work” — that would create training programs for 100,000 veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. The idea is to build on technical skills learned in the military and apply them to private sector jobs."
markfeffer writes: "In a post about running Linux on Android, Rob Reilly says setting everything up is pretty straightforward once you know your way around. (He uses LinuxonAndroid and the Complete Linux Installer app.) You’ll need a rooted phone but even a first generation Samsung Galaxy S with Android firmware 2.2 will run Ubuntu 12.04 without problems. He says everything becomes fairly responsive and lets him flip back and forth between the command line and the Android desktop. Now he’s looking for easy ways to root his Transformer Prime so he can program Arduinos using the native Linux IDE."
markfeffer writes: "The tech unemployment rate’s in pretty good shape – considering – but we’re still getting pummeled by layoffs. It’s people at hardware companies who are taking the brunt of things, just as they have for the last ten years. Of course, technology companies often lay off in one place while they hire in another, but that's not a lot of comfort to those getting the pink slips."
markfeffer writes: "The other day, we posted this story: "Microsoft wants to increase the number of H-1B visas by 20,000, bringing the total up to about 105,000 a year, and to raise the cost to about $10,000 a head from $2,800. The new proposed visas would go solely to STEM workers. Under Microsoft’s plan, the higher fees would produce $5 billion to be invested in U.S. STEM education over the next 10 years.
The company is also urging Congress to take advantage of 20,000 unused green card visas each year, and reallocate them to workers with science and technology skills."
Businesses like the idea. Tech workers really, really hate it."