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Comment Re:Fiduciary duty (Score 1) 261

The main problem I have is that the H-1B is not fair because it is enough to replace me as a worker but it is not enough for me to have lower cost of living

That's a potential argument against outsourcing, but not against H-1B. The H-1B worker lives in the US and pays the same prices you do.

Comment Re:Fiduciary duty (Score 1) 261

So you're saying house builders are free to get carpenters through H-1B?

There's no reason why not. They'd just have to figure out how to satisfy the rather vague requirements of high skill. They'd have to be pretty highly skilled just to justify the effort, though, since it costs several thousand dollars to get a potential employee through the H1-B process.

How can a person ever chose a profession if the most lucrative ones will just have a back door opened to relieve the price pressure?

Just accept that you're competing on a global market. If someone in India, or Romania, or Brazil, or wherever can do my job for less money, I see no reason why they shouldn't do it. I have some enormous inbuilt advantages in my understanding of the culture and language, my access to high quality education, etc., and if I can't leverage all of those to outcompete them, I deserve to lose. Yes, this means Americans can't just coast on their luck at being born here. Boo hoo.

My opinion is that we shouldn't have an H1-B program, instead we should allow anyone who wants to work in the US to do so. If that creates a larger influx than we can manage then we can be selective but we should still take every highly-skilled and highly-educated worker we possibly can. Brain drain the whole world, because that will keep the innovation and progress here, and keep our economy the most powerful in the world. Immigration has always been the engine that drives economic growth in the US. That was true when my ancestors arrived in the early 19th century, it was true when we used all the Nazi rocket scientists to win the space race, and it's true today.

Comment Re:Fiduciary duty (Score 1) 261

Why is only one industry a candidate for this legal replacement? H-!B should be open to all professions or not at all.

It is. Relevant to this discussion, one of my son's college professors is here on an H1-B visa. She's concerned that Trump's changes to the program may cost her her job. Oh, and she's not a CS/IT prof; she teaches Japanese Literature.

Comment Re:Well, sadly, probably.... (Score 1) 223

Many if not most employment contracts/agreements have verbiage that states that anything you come up with on company time, belongs to the company.

Many if not most employment contracts/agreements for software engineers and the like have verbiage that states that anything you come up with on company or personal time, belongs to the company.

Read your contract carefully before starting a side business.

Comment Re: Favorable? (Score 1) 243

Going with your premise, why should Google and Facebook be permitted to track my usage of other sites?

They can't. Not shouldn't, can't.

What can happen is that when you visit some site that site may tell your browser to load a resource from Facebook or Google, and when your browser does so, they find out about the visit. Your browser even sends them a nice referer header. Alternatively, the site you visit may send a message to Facebook or Google telling them about your visit. Neither of those things require any eavesdropping on traffic not intended for Facebook or Google.

Comment Re:questionable (Score 3, Interesting) 261

A lot of It workers are white males, and making any discrimination claim as a white male is challenging, especially if you're only in your early 50s. You can expect low unemployment figures and high salaries to be trotted out as examples of how you're not really a member of an at-risk class.

What I'd wager is intrinsic to the problem of age discrimination is that older workers often have family commitments, and when combined with spouses working at similar professional careers and children, leads to an apparent decline in workplace engagement. The older employee is less able to devote their lives to the job (learning new tech for free in their own time, or at least less of this, working overtime hours, short-notice travel, etc).

IMHO, it's less "age discrimination" than "life situation discrimination". Younger employees living in rental housing without spouses or children are just more competitive in the workplace because they have nothing to do but work.

I don't really know how you fix it, either. In an ideal world, I'd presume that the *society* would recognize that children come from parents and parents need to engage in their families to produce productive, well-educated children, and that workers of parenting age are going to be less engaged. Thus, labor would be structured in a way that doesn't penalize this kind of natural life cycle.

Comment Automatic Conversion (Score 1, Insightful) 329

It's been a while since I've touched COBOL, but it should be possible to develop a program that parses COBOL and outputs the equivalent in a modern language, even preserving the comments.

Since financial institutions seem to be completely unaware that programmers can quickly adapt to different languages, it would seem like an automatic conversion program could be quite profitable.

Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 538

I know every generation thinks the young generation is lazy, etc., but there is real statistical evidence that the Millennial generation actually is starting to work much later. On a more anecdotal basis, I notice a very different approach to work in my kids (late teens, early 20s) and in their peers. My kids have always had to do chores and work around the house so I don't think that's the difference.

They do things like decide they're unhappy with their current employer so they just walk out, without trying to fix the problem and without trying to find another job first. I have never in my life quit a job before finding another, and it wouldn't even occur to me to do so. If my job sucks, by all means I'll make a move, but not until I have something else lined up. That's just one example, but it's typical of their whole approach. I suppose in some ways it's good to be more focused on quality of life and less on income... but not until you're safely self-sufficient.

It concerns me that I'm wandering into "get off my lawn!" territory here... but there really does seem to be a difference, a worrisome one.

Comment Re:Save 30%, retire early (Score 1) 538

Or even better, zero family or friends.

You know, I think this might be key, especially the family thing.

The 2 people I know who are in their 40s with paid-for houses, good investments (above and beyond 401k, etc) and lots of savings are REALLY cheap people. Relentless coupon clippers. Buy a huge cut of meat at Costco, cook a giant stew and eat it for every meal for a week. Vacation is staying home from work 5 days to paint the house. Can do everything short of an engine rebuild on their car (which they have owned outright for 7+ years). Only watch movies they buy used from the pawn shop. Clothes all bought at discount stores.

And neither one has much of a social life and no spouse or girlfriend.

I don't think living that way would be that hard, but getting other people to put up with it would be. I think women kind of generally look at spending behavior as a kind of signaling -- how well will you take care of me -- and if they see a guy who won't spend on himself, they figure no way, he won't take care of me or will be unpleasantly cheap.

The only *families* I've ever run into that cheap are super religious, scrimping so mom doesn't work or some other kind of lifestyle goal. And I don't think they really are accumulating anything, they just don't have anything because of one income.

Comment Re:Storage? (Score 1) 472

The bigger problem is that as great as pumped hydro is, there's a lot of awesome places for windmills and solar panels that also happen to be deserts with no water and many are also flat, with no place uphill to pump it to even if you had the water.

The giant battery farms are interesting, but after 10 years what percentage of the batteries need to be replaced? Because battery tech is so primitive, building lots of battery farms with batteries that burn out after a decade starts to sound like a real problem, especially if it involves massive mining efforts for lithium at 10x the current demand.

Personally, I'd like to see more done with raised mass storage, including some of the novel systems using large concrete "pistons" over a column of water. During the day (or when the wind blows, etc), water is pumped under the mass, raising it up, and at night the water flows the other way, spinning the pump/turbine.and generating power.

It's kind of like pumped hydro, but all you need to do is dig two cylinders for pumping the water from/to the mass, you're not as dependent on pre-existing geography.

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