Nova Express writes: "Using a visa loophole to fire well-paid U.S. information technology workers and replace them with low-paid immigrants from India is despicable enough when it’s done by profit-making companies such as Southern California Edison and Walt Disney Co. But the latest employer to try this stunt sets a new mark in what might be termed 'job laundering.' It’s the University of California. Experts in the abuse of so-called H-1B visas say UC is the first public university to send the jobs of American IT staff offshore." And the American IT workers who were laid off were required to train their foreign replacements.
Nova Express writes: A small sideshow to this year’s Electoral College circus was Lawrence Lessig’s Amazing Disappearing Faithless Electors. The Harvard professor, Creative Commons founder, and all around political gadfly boldly declared that “at least 20 Republican members of the Electoral College may not cast their votes for President-elect Donald Trump.” That’s just 18 more than the 2 that actually flipped. One wonders how Lessig arrived at his grossly inflated count. Indeed, Lessig spent much of the 2016 election cycle making mystifying moves and puzzling pronouncements.
Nova Express writes: The lengths Hillary Clinton has gone to in order to protect her own tech privacy are well documented. Protecting the tech privacy of ordinary American privacy? Not so much. "Amid the dump of hacked emails from Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta are bits and pieces of discussion that help indicate her mindset on citizen privacy and the use of encryption to protect data." When asked to come out for privacy, the Clinton campaign demurred. "When a top politician appears to take an uninvolved stance in a conflict between the executive branch and private citizens or companies, don't mistake it as neutrality. It's deference to authority. As a candidate running to be in charge of the executive branch, 'staying out of it' is really approval for the Department of Justice to push the issue to see what would happen."
Nova Express writes: Remember how some economists and environmentalists confidently predicted "peak oil" sometime in the 2000s? (Slashdot ran numerous stories on the idea.) It turns out that those predictions of peak oil were wrong. Thanks to improved technology, fracking, shale oil, and declining demand, the world is now going through an oil glut that has prices down around $30 a barrel. "Once again the market has proven much better at adaptation than erroneous neo-Malthusian thinking. Anyone telling you they know exactly how things will unfold should be treated with severe skepticism. The future’s not ours to see."
Nova Express writes: At the most recent Republican Presidential debate, Florida Senator Marco Rubio said the H1-B visa program is badly in need of reform. One tiny problem: Sen. Rubio’s own H1-B bill doesn't implement any of the reforms demanded by Presidential Candidate Rubio. "It does not require recruitment of American workers. It does not require employers to 'pay more than you would pay someone else'...Rubio’s bill would provide Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his comrades a huge increase in the supply of lower-cost foreign guest workers so they can undercut and replace American workers.” Indeed, Rubio's bill "would triple the number of H1-B foreign workers admitted."
Nova Express writes: Hacking group Anonymous are purging Twitter of ISIS supporters in Operation #TangoDown. Within seconds of Anonymous-related accounts @CtrlSec, @CtrlSec0, @CtrlSec1 or @CtrlSec2 designating a Twitter account as an ISIS-supporting account, those accounts are getting suspended.
Nova Express writes: Since today is the traditional Day of the Dead, I thought it would be a good time to look back on dead memes. From Mahir to Boxxy, here are some memes that blazed like wildfire across the Internet, only to lapse into obscurity.
Nova Express writes: "Today Margaret Atwood, with financial backing from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Scotiabank Giller Prize, announced she was launching a new science fiction magazine, Loquacious Cephalopod.. “I’ve always been gratified by the unconditional love I’ve received from the science fiction community for works such as The Handmaid’s Tale and The Blind Assassin," she said, "and Loquacious Cephalopod is a way to return that love." The first issue has already lined up some very big SF writers, including Greg Egan and Jerry Pournelle."
Nova Express writes: "Though general public outrage caused the House shelve consideration of SOPA (and the Senate to shelve PIPA), SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith (R-TX) continues to support the bill, saying that "The online theft of American intellectual property is no different than the theft of products from a store" and saying SOPA just needs to be reworked. Further, Smith is still sponsoring another bill, the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (HR 1981), which would impose fairly onerous Internet data retention and tracking provisions for ISPs. In light of that, several Republican groups opposed to SOPA have been calling for a primary challenge to Smith for the Texas 21st Congressional District. Now a primary challenger has come forth in the person of former Sheriff Richard Mack, most famous in the gun rights community for his role in a lawsuit that got key provisions of the Brady Bill overturned. But Mack will have an uphill race, since Smith has more than $1.3 million in campaign funds on hand."
Nova Express writes: ""President Barack Obama nominated former Recording Industry Association of America lawyer Donald Verrilli Jr. on Monday to serve as the nation’s solicitor general." Verrilli's most notable cases have been killing Grokster and fighting YouTube on behalf of Viacom. I would say "Meet the new boss, same as he old boss," but since Bush never nominated an RIAA Lawyer for Solicitor General, I'd have to say that in this instance he's actually worse."