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Submission + - How H-1B Visas Are Screwing Tech Workers (

hessian writes: "To be sure, America's tech economy has long depended on foreign-born workers. "Immigrants have founded 40 percent of companies in the tech sector that were financed by venture capital and went on to become public in the U.S., among them Yahoo, eBay, Intel, and Google," writes Laszlo Bock, Google's senior VP of "people operations," which, along with other tech giants such as HP and Microsoft, strongly supports a big increase in H-1B visas. "In 2012, these companies employed roughly 560,000 workers and generated $63 billion in sales."

But in reality, most of today's H-1B workers don't stick around to become the next Albert Einstein or Sergey Brin. ComputerWorld revealed last week that the top 10 users of H-1B visas last year were all offshore outsourcing firms such as Tata and Infosys. Together these firms hired nearly half of all H-1B workers, and less than 3 percent of them applied to become permanent residents. "The H-1B worker learns the job and then rotates back to the home country and takes the work with him," explains Ron Hira, an immigration expert who teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology. None other than India's former commerce secretary once dubbed the H-1B the "outsourcing visa.""


Submission + - Ready for nanotech brains? IBM's nanotube breakthrough gets us closer Read more (

hessian writes: "IBM is announcing today that it has taken the first real steps toward commercial fabrication of carbon nanotubes on top of a silicon chip. The company has made transistors — the basic components of electronic computing — from nanometer-sized tubes of carbon and put 10,000 of them on top of a silicon chip using mainstream manufacturing processes.

“It’s like trying to line up spaghetti, and doing it where the lines are just six nanometers apart,” said Supratik Guha, director of physical sciences at IBM Research and a spokesman for the team that did the work, in an interview with VentureBeat. “The thickness is just one nanometer,” where a nanometer is a billionth of a meter.
Read more at"


Submission + - MSFT reaches out to hackers: 'Do epic $#!+' (

hessian writes: "Microsoft isn't exactly known for its underground hacker culture, but a recent effort to give its employees more slack is generating some wild experiments.

Last summer, Microsoft completed a redesign of one of its original buildings on campus — Building 4, where Bill Gates' office used to be — into a laid-back workshop where staff can tinker with things. It's open to anyone, anytime, and it's got everything from a hardware workshop to an actual working garage door.

If it doesn't sound to you like something Microsoft would normally do , the Garage's motto will really shock you: "Do epic s--t.""


Submission + - Microsoft Patents 'Avoid Ghetto' Feature For GPS D (

hessian writes: "Microsoft has been granted a patent for its “avoid ghetto” feature for GPS devices.

A GPS device is used to find shortcuts and avoid traffic, but Microsoft’s patent states that a route can be plotted for pedestrians to avoid an “unsafe neighborhood or being in an open area that is subject to harsh temperatures.”"


Submission + - Don't sleep with your smart phone nearby (

hessian writes: ""There is, he said, a feeling common among people who are digitally hooked that, when it's just them and the real world and no screen, they are somehow cast adrift, cut off: "It's a sense of, 'What am I missing?'" But in truth, a strong case can be made that when a person lives too many hours a day in the digital universe, that is when he or she is really missing something — missing the things that are taking place in the flesh-and-blood world.""

Submission + - Counterfeit Chips Plague U.S. Missile Defense (

hessian writes: "Phony electronic parts have wound up at the U.S. Missile Defense Agency seven times in the past five years, its director told Congress on Tuesday. None of the fakes were actually deployed in active combat situations. But if they had, it might have imposed “a cost that could be measured in lives lost,” Lieutenant General Patrick O’Reilly warned the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday.

The flood of counterfeit goods creeping into military systems spotlights how vulnerable defense contractors’ supply chains have become, and how tricky it is to regulate them. Because the military tends to use its weapons systems for decades, its contractors have to turn to middlemen with stockpiles of obsolete parts."


Submission + - Quilting 2.02 (

Death Metal Maniac writes: "Even a modest sewing machine has hundreds of built-in stitches, and the expensive models—wow. Bernina's stitch regulator, a gizmo that attaches to higher-end machines, ensures that free-motion quilting stitches are even; the device reads the movement of the fabric as you push it past the needle and adjusts the motor speed accordingly. One Brother model's LCD offers a "needle's-eye view" that lets a quilter line up the work exactly; precision is an important consideration for many quilting techniques. (One look at my own wandering quilting rows shows why.) Other features recognize the distance between the seam line and the edge of the fabric, even on gentle curves. Quilters care about quarter-inch seams because even slight inaccuracies in quilt blocks, of which there may be hundreds, compound themselves across a quilt that's three meters wide."

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