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Submission + - Companies Finding It Harder To Conceal H1-B Abuses (nytimes.com)

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: In America, it's common practice to make severance pay for laid-off workers contingent on signing a "nondisparagement clause" that prohibits workers from ever speaking ill of their former employers. But as more and more layoffs are precipitated by illegal practices like hiring H1B visa-holders and forcing existing workers to train them as a condition of severance bonuses, workers are growing bolder and refusing to sign gag-clauses — or breaking them and daring their former employers to sue. Marco Peña was among about 150 technology workers who were laid off in April by Abbott Laboratories, but he decided not to sign the agreement that was given to all departing employees, which included a nondisparagement clause. Mr. Peña said his choice cost him at least $10,000 in severance pay. “I just didn’t feel right about signing,” Mr. Peña said. “The clauses were pretty blanket. I felt like they were eroding my rights," he revealed in an expose by the New York Times.

Submission + - State Department to release Clinton records on date that doesn't exist (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: Last July, International Business Times reporter David Sirota filed a FOIA with the State Department for all communications sent by Hillary Clinton referencing the Trans Pacific Partnership.

An initial estimate had the records be ready for release by April 2016, but since then the release date slipped, then slipped again, to not only a date beyond the election, but to a date that doesn't actually exist: November 31st, 2016.

Perhaps we'd understand what was going on better, except that a FOIA request to the State Department for their date estimation methodology filed in 2013 is still awaiting response, having had its own estimated completion date moved back six times.

Submission + - Antibiotic-proof E Coli has come to the USA (reuters.com)

maharvey writes: A woman in Pennsylvania has contracted a strain of E Coli that is unaffected by all known legal antibiotics, including the antibiotics of last resort. We have had bacteria that were resistant, but this is the first bacteria that is completely immune. Such bacteria were known in China, but since the woman has not traveled recently it means she contracted it in the wild in the USA. This is a major step toward the terrifying post-antibiotic world.

Submission + - What would a new particle at the LHC reveal?

An anonymous reader writes: The "diphoton bump" at 750 GeV is perhaps the best active signal we have for the possibility of fundamental new particles beyond the Standard Model. While the upgraded LHC should collect enough data that we'll know by the end of the year whether it looks real or goes away, there are six different possibilities for what it could be if it pans out, including: a second Higgs, dark matter, extra dimensions, neutrino physics, a composite particle or even a surprise! But don't get too excited; a similar bump at three times that energy has already gone away, and this one might be next.

Submission + - "My God-Awful Year With the Apple Watch" (gizmodo.com)

Zanadou writes: Perhaps echoing the decline of Apple's Sales, Gizmo contributor Casey Chan gives his opinion of the misgivings of the Apple Watch:

"I bought the Apple Watch a year ago. I stopped wearing it two months ago, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever wear it again. That’s because it doesn’t really do anything that anyone needs, and even when it does, it doesn’t always work like it’s supposed to. Here are some things I learned over the past year of strapping the screen vibrator to my wrist."


Submission + - Disappearing stuff from the internet (nakedcapitalism.com) 1

inode_buddha writes: Its well-known that removing something from the internet is nearly impossible, like taking the pee out of the pool. That said, somebody or something is doing a credible job of trying lately. First there was the UCDavis pepper-spray video. Now its a Bernie Sanders ad. Nobody seems to know who or why but it was on the net for a few hours and it is rapdly being pulled and scrubbed. Any one got ideas?

Submission + - HP Brings Back Windows 7 'By Popular Demand' as Buyers Shun Windows 8

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Gregg Keizer reports at Computerworld that Hewlett-Packard has stuck their finger in Microsoft's eye by launching launched a new promotion that discounts several consumer PCs by $150 when equipped with Windows 7, saying the four-year-old OS is "back by popular demand." "The reality is that there are a lot of people who still want Windows 7," says Bob O'Donnel. "This is a twist, though, and may appeal to those who said, 'I do want a new PC, but I thought I couldn't get Windows 7.'" The promotion reminded O'Donnell and others of the dark days of Windows Vista, when customers avoided Windows 7's predecessor and instead clamored for the older Windows XP on their new PCs. Then, customers who had heard mostly negative comments about Vista from friends, family and the media, decided they would rather work with the devil they knew rather than the new one they did not. "It's not a perfect comparison," says O'Donnell, of equating Windows 8 with Vista, "but the perception of Windows 8 is negative. I said early on that Windows 8 could clearly be Vista Version 2, and that seems to have happened." HP has decided that the popularity of Windows 7 is its best chance of encouraging more people to buy new computers in a declining market and is not the first time that HP has spoken out against Microsoft. "Look at the business model difference between Intel and ARM. Look at the operating systems. In today's world, other than Microsoft there's no one else who charges for an operating system," said HP executive Sridhar Solur in December adding that that the next generation of computers could very well not be dominated by Microsoft. "In today's world, other than Microsoft there's no one else who charges for an operating system."
Science

Submission + - Forbes 2013 career list flamed by university professors (forbes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Forbes list of "least stressful jobs" for 2013 is headlined by... university professors. This comes at a time in which the academic community has been featured on controversies about 100-hour week work journeys, doctors live on food stamps, tenured staff is laid off large science institutions, and the National Science Foundation suffers severe budget cuts, besides the well known (and sometimes publicized) politics of publish or perish. The Forbes reporter has received abundant feedback and published a shy, foot-note "addendum"; however, their cited source, CareerCast (which does not map to any recognizable career journalist, but rather to a Sports writer), does not seem to have had the same luck. The comments of the Forbes reporter on the existence of a Summer break for graduates ("I am curious whether professors work that hard over the summer") are particularly noteworthy.
Open Source

Submission + - What's Next After GPL and Apache? (infoworld.com)

snydeq writes: "Simon Phipps discusses the likely outcome of a shift in open source license use among community and commercial projects, in light of recent indications of a decline in the use of the GPL in favor of Apache. 'While the newest open source projects such as OpenStack and OpenShift have chosen to use the Apache License, I believe in time we will see the licensing trend for new open source projects targeted at commercial collaboration swing back to the center, away from either the GPL or Apache extremities,' Phipps writes. Enter the Mozilla Foundation's updated MPLv2, which Phipps believes 'occupies a sweet spot: permissive enough for corporations, copyleft enough for communities, and well-written to boot.'"
Security

Submission + - Heartland Security Breach Class Action Results: Victims $1925, Lawyers $600,000 (techdirt.com)

Fluffeh writes: "Back in 2007, Heartland had a security breach that resulted in a 130 million credit card details being lifted. A class action suit followed and many thought it would send a direct message to business to ensure proper security measures protecting their clients and customers. With the Heartland case now over and settlements paid out and divided up, the final breakdown is as follows: Class members $1925 (11 cases out of 290 filed were "valid"). Lawyers for the plaintiff class action $606,192. Non-Profits around $1,000,000 (The Court ruled a minimum of $1 million dollars in payouts). Heartland also paid its own lawyers around $2 million.

Eric Goldman (Law Professor) has additional commentary on his Law Blog: "The opinion indicates Heartland spent $1.5M to advertise the settlement. Thus, it appears they spent over $130,000 to generate each legitimate claim. Surprisingly, the court blithely treats the $1.5M expenditure as a cost of doing business, but I can't wrap my head around it. What an obscene waste of money! Add in the $270k spent on claims administration, and it appears that the parties spent $160k per legitimate claimant. The court isn't bothered by the $270k expenses either, even though that cost about $1k per tendered claim (remember, there were 290 total claims).""

Submission + - SPAM: Today in History: Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone!

Majestic Inn and Spa writes: "Who knew this handsome guy would have such a huge impact on our lives today? For example: without his invention the staff here at the Majestic Inn and Spa wouldn't be able to take you calls and help you plan your perfect Pacific Northwest vacation! So in celebration, give us a call and let us help you get away!"
Link to Original Source
Government

Submission + - "Free the Network," A New Documentary, Looks at DIY Hack-Tech During Protests (vice.com) 2

pigrabbitbear writes: "If it’s ever all said and done, Occupy Wall Street will go down as the first fully Internet-fueled social movement in the United States. Occupy’s initial success, of course, was in spreading a virtual meme over corporeal reality. But now that the remaining few long-standing Occupy sites have been cleared, that the zombie cousins of toxic digital piracy bills – SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, and others – still roam the corridors of power, and that New York City activists will be holding mass anti-corporatist demonstrations throughout the day today, it’s as if the battle for economic justice and ownership of the Internet has only just begun.

In that spirit, here’s a teaser peak at a new feature documentary, "Free the Network," which looks at how DIY hack-tech is changing the discourse of modern day protests. The story follows the trials of a pair of college dropouts who head up the Free Network Foundation, a peer-to-peer communications initiative seeking to liberate the global Internet from corporate clutches by building their own decentralized, cooperatively owned, free network, one wifi hotspot at a time."

Comment Re:Python (Score 1) 799

I don't think a 10-year old would ever understand "grep" or "awk", for example, no matter how patiently you explained it. I think it's way too hard to get a young child to understand the condensed code AND learn the programming concepts.

And yet, 20 years ago we did exactly that.... What has changed is what we aspired to... I was happy to be able to write a "Donkey" clone in a higher level language (not BASIC). Kids these days see GTA4 and want to code that and that's simply not going to happen.

I guess your sig is all too true in this context.

Comment Re:Time, perspective. (Score 1) 159

There was a lot wrong with AT&T back then. Now it's sorted, sort of. Even the name AT&T has changed hands twice, but the last company to buy the name seems determined to validate the negative reminiscences. They don't have to care: they're the phone company.

If that's an hubris you can buy, let me put my bid in at a buck and a half.

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