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The Courts

Trump Gives Displaced IT Workers Attention, and He's Not Alone (computerworld.com) 688

dcblogs writes: The H-1B visa issue is getting more attention than it has ever received before. Donald Trump has invited laid-off Disney workers to speak at his rallies, and has posed in photos with them. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), held a press conference this week to complain that visa workers are being hired instead of U.S. workers. Legislation to reform the visa program has been introduced, and discrimination complaints are being filed with federal agencies and in the courts. But these efforts may have little impact. If visa restrictions arrive, IT services firms may increase reliance on web-based "knowledge transfer" to avoid having visa workers at an employer's site. There have also been reports of U.S. workers traveling overseas to train replacements on foreign soil. [Even with all the political and legal efforts,] there's no certainty any action will derail the forces moving IT jobs overseas.

Submission + - Trump gives displaced IT workers attention, and he's not alone (computerworld.com)

dcblogs writes: The H-1B visa issue is getting more attention than it has ever received before. Donald Trump has invited laid-off Disney workers to speak at his rallies, and has posed with photos with them. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), held a press conference this week to complain that visa workers are being hired instead of U.S. workers. Legislation to reform the visa program has been introduced, and discrimination complaints are being filed with federal agencies and in the courts. But these efforts may have little impact. If visa restrictions arrive, IT services firms may increase reliance on Web-based "knowledge transfer" to avoid having visa workers at an employer's site. There have also been reports of U.S. workers traveling overseas to train replacements on foreign soil. There's no certainty any action will derail the forces moving IT jobs overseas.

Submission + - EU Parliament Blocks Outlook Apps For Members Over Privacy Concerns (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: Microsoft last week released Outlook apps for iOS and Android, but one group that won't be getting to use them is members of the European Parliament. They've been advised by their tech staff that the apps are insecure and that they shouldn't download them — and if they have, they should change their Outlook passwords.

Submission + - How to Survive H1B Displacement

An anonymous reader writes: So it looks like I'm going to be displaced by an H1B. I've been in IT / enterprise admin for some 20 years. I wont go into all of the details but its pretty clear that not only do I get the pleasure of losing my job, my employer is trying to trick me into training this guy before they sack me. The upside is that I caught on to whats happening and this person is actually not too bright. Today, he asked me to explain why when he opens an EBCDIC file with notepad.exe there are funny characters.

Anyway, I know I'm not the first and I won't be the last. I figure I have about 90 days since that persons hire date before they can pull my plug without getting sued. US labor law doesn't give much protection. Most likely there will be no package. So Slashdot -> what does one do when such a situation arises?

Submission + - Why women have no time for Wikipedia 2

Andreas Kolbe writes: Wikipedia is well known to have a very large gender imbalance, with survey-based estimates of women contributors ranging from 8.5% to around 16%. This is a more extreme gender imbalance than even that of Reddit, the most male-dominated major social media platform, and it has a palpable effect on Wikipedia content. Moreover, Wikipedia editor survey data indicate that only 1 in 50 respondents is a mother – a good proportion of female contributors are in fact minors, with women in their twenties less likely to contribute to Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation efforts to address this "gender gap" have so far remained fruitless. Wikipedia’s demographic pattern stands in marked contrast to female-dominated social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest, where women aged 18 to 34 are particularly strongly represented. It indicates that it isn’t lack of time or family commitments that keep women from contributing to Wikipedia – women simply find other sites more attractive. Wikipedia’s user interface and its culture of anonymity may be among the factors leading women to spend their online time elsewhere.

Submission + - Amazon AWS continues to use TrueCrypt despite project's demise

An anonymous reader writes: "Importing and exporting data from Amazon Simple Storage Service still requires TrueCrypt, two weeks after the encryption software was discontinued"

"Amazon.com did not immediately respond to an inquiry seeking information on whether it plans to support other data encryption technologies for the AWS import/export feature aside from TrueCrypt in the future"

http://www.infoworld.com/d/clo...

http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWS...

http://aws.amazon.com/importex...
DRM

$200 For a Bound Textbook That You Can't Keep? 252

netbuzz writes: "The worst of DRM is set to infest law school casebooks. One publisher, AspenLaw, wants students to pay $200 for a bound casebook, but at the end of class they have to give it back. Aspen is touting this arrangement as a great deal because the buyer will get an electronic version and assorted online goodies once they return the actual book. But they must return the book. Law professors and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are calling it nothing but a cynical attempt to undermine used book sales, as well as the first sale doctrine that protects used bookstores and libraries."

Submission + - Let Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders Work in US says White House

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Carolyn Lochhead reports in the SF Chronicle that the White House has announced a plan allowing spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the United States, a coup for Silicon Valley companies that have been calling for more lenient rules for immigrants who come to the United States to work in technology. "The proposals announced today will encourage highly skilled, specially trained individuals to remain in the United States and continue to support U.S. businesses and the growth of the U.S. economy," says Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. "A concurrent goal is for the United States to maintain competitiveness with other countries that attract skilled foreign workers and offer employment authorization for spouses of skilled workers. American businesses continue to need skilled nonimmigrant and immigrant workers."

Currently, spouses of H-1B visa holders are not allowed to work unless they obtain their own visa but tech companies have been calling for more H-1B visas, and supporters of the rule change argue that it will bring in more talented workers. Critics say they believe expanding the H-1B visa program will allow lower-paid foreign workers to take American jobs. The plan immediately drew fire from Republicans. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, accused the administration of acting unilaterally to change immigration law and bring in tens of thousands of potential competitors with Americans for jobs. "Fifty million working-age Americans aren't working," Sessions said in a statement, adding that as many as "half of new technology jobs may be going to guest workers. This will help corporations by further flooding a slack labor market, pulling down wages."

Submission + - OpenSSL: The New Face Of Technology Monoculture (securityledger.com)

chicksdaddy writes: In a now-famous 2003 essay, “Cyberinsecurity: The Cost of Monopoly” (http://cryptome.org/cyberinsecurity.htm) Dr. Dan Geer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Geer) argued, persuasively, that Microsoft’s operating system monopoly constituted a grave risk to the security of the United States and international security, as well. It was in the interest of the U.S. government and others to break Redmond’s monopoly, or at least to lessen Microsoft’s ability to ‘lock in’ customers and limit choice. “The prevalence of security flaw (sp) in Microsoft’s products is an effect of monopoly power; it must not be allowed to become a reinforcer,” Geer wrote.

The essay cost Geer his job at the security consulting firm AtStake, which then counted Microsoft as a major customer.(http://cryptome.org/cyberinsecurity.htm#Fired) (AtStake was later acquired by Symantec.)

These days Geer is the Chief Security Officer at In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital arm. But he’s no less vigilant of the dangers of software monocultures. Security Ledger notes that, in a post today for the blog Lawfare (http://www.lawfareblog.com/2014/04/heartbleed-as-metaphor/), Geer is again warning about the dangers that come from an over-reliance on common platforms and code. His concern this time isn’t proprietary software managed by Redmond, however, it’s common, oft-reused hardware and software packages like the OpenSSL software at the heart (pun intended) of Heartbleed.(https://securityledger.com/2014/04/the-heartbleed-openssl-flaw-what-you-need-to-know/)

“The critical infrastructure’s monoculture question was once centered on Microsoft Windows,” he writes. “No more. The critical infrastructure’s monoculture problem, and hence its exposure to common mode risk, is now small devices and the chips which run them," Geer writes.

What happens when a critical and vulnerable component becomes ubiquitous — far more ubiquitous than OpenSSL? Geer wonders if the stability of the Internet itself is at stake.

“The Internet, per se, was designed for resistance to random faults; it was not designed for resistance to targeted faults,” Geer warns. “As the monocultures build, they do so in ever more pervasive, ever smaller packages, in ever less noticeable roles. The avenues to common mode failure proliferate.”

Submission + - Anti-vaxxer Jenny McCarthy now says her kid may not have had autism (hollywoodlife.com)

latuZimZactly writes: This is priceless, except of course for the thousands of children who weren't vaccinated because of FUD like this.

Celebrity, and former Playboy centerfold (so I heard, I only buy it for the articles), now says oops.

For the backstory, read one of many takedowns by Phil Plait.

Maybe Phil could replace her on The View. His hair isn't as nice, but he has a great smile.

Submission + - Cryptography to be export-controlled again, now under Wassenaar Arrangement? (theverge.com) 1

spuk writes: Apparently, the 41 states signatory of the Wassenaar Arrangement, lead by the UK, are planning to try to control international negotiation of cryptography and other security related software (particularly "deep package inspection" software). Such software would be treated and internationally regulated as weapons.

Submission + - Neither Dem nor Repub, Zuck 'Pro-Knowledge Economy'

theodp writes: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's search for more talented people in America, aka immigration reform, brought him to Washington, DC last week. 'The issue is there aren’t enough talented people who we can bring into the country,' explained Zuckerberg, 'and that is a real issue that people feel.' When asked to place himself on the political spectrum — "Liberal, conservative, Libertarian, Democrat, Republican, or something else?" — Zuckerberg rambled for a few minutes before replying, "So um, I dunno. I think it's hard to affiliate as being either a Democrat or Republican. I'm pro-knowledge economy." No word if Zuckerberg, from whom the President has sought advice, is also still strongly pro-youth. Valleywag's Nitasha Tiku explains why she feels Zuck's 'pro-knowledge' politics are just more corporate bullshit. "Zuckerberg's personal political beliefs are important," argues Tiku, "because he has invested and solicited millions of dollars for FWD.us, a secretive politically-active non-profit (sometimes called a stealth PAC) that is trying to influence the way immigration legislation is written. While Zuckerberg' touted FWD's “novel structure”.(a “mother group” with Republican and Democrat arms), Tiku wasn't buying the spin. "Trying to appease both sides of the aisle for your own personal gain," she wrote, "is hardly a 'novel' approach."
Piracy

Piracy Rates Plummet As Legal Alternatives Come To Norway 261

jones_supa writes "Entertainment industry groups in Norway have spent years lobbying for tougher anti-piracy laws, finally getting their way earlier this month. But with fines and site-blocking now on the agenda, an interesting trend has been developing. According to a new report published by Ipsos, between 2008 and 2012 piracy of movies and TV shows collapsed in Norway, along with music seeing a massive drop to less than one fifth of the original level. Olav Torvund, former law professor at the University of Oslo, attributes this to good legal alternatives which are available today (Google translation of Norwegian original). Of those questioned for the survey, 47% (representing around 1.7 million people) said they use a streaming music service such as Spotify. And of those, just over half said that they pay for the premium option."

Submission + - Bruce Schneier: Why Collecting More Data Doesn't Increase Safety (cnn.com) 1

Jeremiah Cornelius writes: Bruce Schneier, security expert (and rational voice in the wilderness), explains in an editorial on CNN, why "Connecting the Dots" is a "Hindsight Bias". In heeding calls to increase the amount of surveillance data gathered and shared, agencies like the FBI have impaired their ability to discover actual threats, while guaranteeing erosion of personal and civil freedom. "Piling more data onto the mix makes it harder, not easier. The best way to think of it is a needle-in-a-haystack problem; the last thing you want to do is increase the amount of hay you have to search through. The television show 'Person of Interest' is fiction, not fact."
Facebook

Submission + - Facebook paid no taxes despite record profits (msn.com) 2

Frosty Piss writes: Despite earning more than $1 billion in profits last year, social media juggernaut Facebook paid zilch when it came to federal and state taxes in 2012. In fact, the website will actually be getting a refund totaling $429 million thanks to a tax reduction for executive stock options. In the coming years, Facebook will continue to get monster tax breaks, totaling about $3 billion. 'The employees cash in stock options, and at that point there is tax deduction for the company,' Robert McIntyre, of watchdog group Citizens for Tax Justice, said. 'Because even though it doesn't cost Facebook a nickel, the government treats it as wages and they get a deduction for it. And usually it doesn't wipe out companies whole tax bill, although many companies get big breaks from it.'

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