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Education

US Colleges Say Hiring US Students a Bad Deal 490

theodp writes "Many US colleges and universities have notices posted on their websites informing US companies that they're tax chumps if they hire students who are US citizens. 'In fact, a company may save money by hiring international students because the majority of them are exempt from Social Security (FICA) and Medicare tax requirements,' advises the taxpayer-supported University of Pittsburgh (pdf) as it makes the case against hiring its own US students. You'll find identical pitches made by the University of Delaware, the University of Cincinnati, Kansas State University, the University of Southern California, the University of Wisconsin, Iowa State University, and other public colleges and universities. The same message is also echoed by private schools, such as John Hopkins University, Brown University, Rollins College and Loyola University Chicago."
Security

Submission + - SPAM: IRS information security still hurting

alphadogg writes: The Internal Revenue Service continues to have "pervasive" information security weaknesses that put taxpayer information at risk, and it has made limited progress in fixing dozens of problems the U.S. Government Accountability Office has previously identified, according to a GAO report released Tuesday. The IRS, the tax-collecting arm of the U.S. government, has "persistent information security weaknesses that place [it] at risk of disruption, fraud or inappropriate disclosure of sensitive information," the GAO report said. The agency, which collected about US$2.7 trillion in taxes in 2007, has fixed just 29 of 98 information security weaknesses identified in a report released last March, the new report said.
Link to Original Source
Biotech

Submission + - Sight for the blind.

Manifold Space Traveler writes: "The primary problem with this technology is that the neural pathways are set at an early age and the mind is not like a hard disk, you cannot simply erase a lifetime of experience and then reinstall linux. Existing research seems to indicate that late acquired sight adversely affects the mind so much, that it leads to depression and in some cases suicide. This technology is several years old and is not "news" at all."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - General Aviation System in Jeopardy

robwmc writes: I'm not sure how many here on /. are pilots but the Bush administration evidently want to make that number decline. The new budget calls for charging user fees for access to airspace, raising the aviation fuel tax to $0.70 per gallon and raising fees for everything related to being a GA pilot. Take a look at one of the various articles on the AOPA website.

The AOPA has worked very hard for keeping the system "fair" for the average Joe to keep the cost of flying affordable for the general public.
Mars

Submission + - More Martian Water Evidence

tubapro12 writes: NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has detected light-toned bedrock on Mars occurring in an alternating pattern with darker bedrock within a rift valley. Researchers at the University of Arizona point to this as a product of a liquid, probably water, passing through the rocks.

"On Earth, bleaching of rock surrounding a fracture is a clear indication of chemical interactions between fluids circulating within the fracture and the host rock," Okubo and co-author Alfred S. McEwen reported in the paper. The researchers also said that layered outcrops can indicate cycles with materials deposited by regular episodes of water, wind or volcanic activity.
Science

Scientists Dubious of Quantum Computing Claims 107

Dollaz wrote with a link to the International Business Times, which questions the authenticity of D-Wave's Quantum computing. We discussed the 'Sudoku playing' computer yesterday, but scientists in the field have expressed a lot of distrust of the company's findings. The machine was not available for inspection during or after the demo, and even if the technology was working as intended there is some doubt that it can be scaled. The article points out that "notwithstanding lofty claims in the company's press release about creating the world's first commercial quantum computer, D-Wave Chief Executive Herb Martin emphasized that the machine is not a true quantum computer and is instead a kind of special-purpose machine that uses some quantum mechanics to solve problems." Good to see people in the field questioning 'breakthroughs'.
Programming

Submission + - How do you hire a programmer if you're not one?

NewMediaBlogger writes: "I'm a geeky business guy — I know basic SQL/Linux/PHP, but am definitely not a programmer. I have a software idea I want to develop, but am not confident enough in my own skills to determine whether or not a programmer is "good". I don't know a elite programmer I can hire to build a team for me.
How do you judge a programmer if you are not one yourself?
Is there an external consulting service you use? Skill testing in the interview process? "Trial" work contracts? Other?"
User Journal

Journal Journal: Music execs criticise DRM systems

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6362069.stm

Almost two-thirds of music industry executives think removing digital locks from downloadable music would make more people buy the tracks, finds a survey.

Haha.

Patents

Congress Tackles Patent Reform 261

nadamsieee writes "Wired's Luke O'Brian recently reported about Congress' latest attempt to reform the patent system. In the article O'Brian tells of how 'witnesses at Thursday's hearing painted a bleak picture of that system. Adam Jaffe, a Brandeis University professor and author of a book on the subject, described the system as 'out of whack.' Instead of 'the engine of innovation,' the patent has become 'the sand in the gears,' he said, citing widespread fears of litigation. The House Oversight Committee website has more details. How would you fix the patent system?"
Security

Submission + - Smokers may be the weak IT security link

BobB writes: "Where there's smoke, there's a door. A U.K. security company is warning that smokers may impact IT security, leaving open doors that could let in intruders who could abuse a company's network. It may sound slightly far-fetched. But a penetration tester from NTA Monitor Ltd., a company based in Rochester, England, gained access to a professional services company outside London that way. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2007/021607-smoke rs-may-be-the-weak.html"
Quickies

Submission + - Detailed Article of 2007 Time Zone Changes...

Ant writes: "Jeff Regan wrote an article titled "2007 Time Zone Changes Will Impact Many Computers in Canada, the United States (U.S.), and Bermuda". He says: "... this is a new risk for many businesses that has some similarities to the Y2K bug, but is not actually a bug at all. Last year, in an attempt to reduce energy consumption, the US Congress, in section 110 of the "Energy Policy Act of 2005" announced plans to move the start and ending dates of Daylight Savings time to give more light in the evenings for a longer period of the year. All of Canada (except the regions that never change their timezone at all during the year) will follow the U.S. plan as well. Bermuda has announced a similar plan. In 2007, Day Light Savings Time will start on the second Sunday of March instead of the first Sunday of April. It will end on the first Sunday in November, instead of the last Sunday in October. Businesses, and individuals who use any hardware or software that is sensitive to date and time transactions, and utilizes a local time zone, or interacts with systems that use a local time zone (versus the universal UTC time zone used for many world wide business transactions) could be impacted by these changes in Daylight Savings Time.On your typical computer server or PC, the automatic decision to change to Daylight Savings time is generally made by the underlying Operating System, such as Microsoft Windows or Unix. However, applications often also perform date and time manipulation, and may make a similar automatic decision, or use date/time calculations in other ways... Seen in a /. comment."

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