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Comment Re:Need to be adjustable (Score 1) 340

Actually standing desks in an office environment can be cheap. It just requires a change of chair instead of a fancy desk. The new standing desks at work they just raise the work surface of the user's cubical to appropriate standing height and give them a tall chair (as would be in a laboratory). Now the employee can sit or stand as they desire. I'm planning on giving it a try in a few months, although I'll probably get my own chair because they seem to get expensive crappy ones instead of better ones that are more affordable.

Comment Re:Lots of highly paid folks (Score 3, Insightful) 124

The other thing a lot of people overlook is people here working on Visitor B-1 visas, different than an H1B. Basically they're not employed directly by a US company, they're paid by some firm in India or wherever. The visa lasts usually 6 months and they must leave the country and reapply. At my employer we have an army of them contracted from Bristlecone, Wipro, IBM, and probably some others. Most of them are paid significantly less than a US employee, even after their rental car and hotel are covered. One I work with regularly let it slip how much they make in Rupees and it ended up being around 11 USD/h after conversion. From when I relo'd here I know the company has a bank of rooms at the nearby hotel at a significantly discounted rate (probably 30-40/n) and they carpool everywhere. A similar low experience US employee would probably get 25-30/h in this area.

Comment Re:It's Just a Euphemism... (Score 2) 194

I've been through two and a half layoffs.

1st was managed like crap in November of 2001 working for a financial software company. Over the course of 3 weeks they laid off a bunch of people each Friday totaling 1/3 - 1/2 of the company. Each time saying that they done with layoffs for the foreseeable future. Each cut was made primarily by start date leaving their new application without enough workers and some parts of it's development without any workers.

2nd was done ok'ish in March of 2008. Again in finance, this time making customizations to the application I helped write back in 2001. We knew there was some trouble, it had been well communicated. We just didn't know how close that trouble was. A deal to get buyers for our investments fell through and the company hit their break point for funds. An all hands meeting was held stating that the company was going to close. Contractors would be let go immediately unless they were working on something absolutely necessary. In a week announcements would be made on a layoff schedule and they reminded us of and explained the details of the company severance package. During that week work everyone continued on necessary work and documented what was needed to be done to mothball everything. Management met together and put in their requests for who to stay and how long. Emails were sent out stating that some would be asked to leave immediately, others stay for some time longer, some until the end of June, and a few until our portfolio was emptied. Then they had the meetings with each person, the division head, and one member of HR. If you went with what they wanted you would be given an extra month's pay. You could change it, but then you'd lose your severance and the month's pay.

3rd was more a half lay off. I was working under a research grant and well before our grant was up for renewal it was announced that we wouldn't be getting the grant again as it was switching from research to implementation. Everyone was basically told to take their time and look for a new job or hang around until the end + 6 months. They also said they may get a new grant immediately or it may take awhile, but after the 6 months only a couple specific employes (necessary to continue grant applications) would be allowed to stay.

Comment Re:Lies, bullshit, and more lies ... (Score 1) 442

Mine doesn't even bother with H1-B's except for a few FT employees who received their degree in the US and are basically staying and working on citizenship. However, the number of contractors from India who work on-site for 6 months, take a vacation out of the country for a bit or go back to India and then come back with a fresh 6 month business trip visa is insane. That is probably a larger issue than the H1-B's for employee pay in most locations.

Although we'd have trouble hiring qualified individuals to relocate anyway. We're in a small to mid size town and the only place using Java, Oracle ERP, and Oracle Middleware. If you work here in development and you want a change of jobs you have to move. There are two other large companies but one is .Net and the other is C++/Assembler. There are a few small companies that do IT services, but openings at those are few and far between and they pay low and only need entry level people.

Comment Re:Best money Tom Steyer ever spent (Score 3, Informative) 437

Actually BNSF hates shipping oil. It's too high risk in terms of brand value loss when a spill occurs. Source: I work for a different Berkshire subsidiary.

Now in my own opinion. I prefer the pipeline, however the maintenance of pipes is generally crap and leaks are common. If there was a guarantee of proper maintenance then I'd be all about it vs the other available options. Perhaps this could be done by requiring an environment clean up, but we've seen how well that works in the past

Comment Re:Tsk. And they wonder where employee loyalty wen (Score 1) 331

IBM would be a lot better off if their quality of work was significantly better. We (a major US manufacturer) have IBM contractors helping us out with an Oracle eBusiness roll-out. The knowledge level of the contractors they send is well below what was promised. I work in middleware/integration and often find that I need to pull up the eBusiness API documentation because they have no knowledge of how to send standard data to the system (e.g. Shipments, Receipts, Inventory Transactions, Orders...). We've been slowly trimming down the number of contractors because it's faster for us to do it ourselves instead of fixing their mistakes. We'll do it right in 9 months versus having them do it wrong in 6 months and we spend another 6-12 months getting it to work properly. I'm sure it would help if we had better requirements (500 line estimate for max shipment notice size turned into actually being 80,000, 20,000 transactions / month from warehouse servers turned into 17 million, and tons of missing specs for required fields), but they wrote the specs.

Comment Re:Not over the phone (Score 1) 224

This is very true. Them sending this information over email and unencrypted is a violation of at least one if not several federal financial privacy laws, at least from my understanding during my three year stint doing programming work for a bank.

They should send a link to activate an account. The should use various bits of personal information to verify the user (SSN, DOB...) and preferably a random confirmation code that the representative gave the customer over the phone during the original phone call.

Comment Re:Don't most trojans already work kinda like this (Score 2) 103

My mother had a few of those. Some coupon app on her desktop that was actually advertised by her local news station for getting an aggregated searchable list of coupons available and where to acquire them. It did what it was supposed to. It also downloaded and installed additional applications and hijacked your browser (eg: toolbar search goes to their stuff no matter which option you select, added adverts to websites, and displayed popup ads with fake warnings)

Comment Re:It's not like they've had 5 months to fix it... (Score 4, Interesting) 89

I know people who work there. Their only priority is profit. A few weeks ago they did the largest settlement ever with the feds for defrauding medicare. One of the higher ups in a town hall meeting about their atrocious turn over rate compared their employees to janitors. They put red tape over things that should be simple which causes employees to use improper routes to just get something working for now.

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