mangu writes: Siddarth Hariharan, a former software engineer for Lucasfilm, filed a class action suit in California accusing a number of companies of antitrust violations and unfair competition. At the core of the suit is a series of agreements among the corporations, with Apple in the central role, to limit the competition among them for technology workers. Besides Apple, the companies mentioned are Pixar, Lucasfilm, Adobe, Google, Intel, and Intuit. Basically, the interconnected agreements consisted in not to “cold call” one another’s employees. Considering that switching jobs is one of the few opportunities a technology worker has to get a significant pay raise these agreements imposed strong limits on career evolution.
mangu writes: Intelsat has signed a contract with Canadian MDA to refuel satellites in geostationary orbit. The $280 million contract will buy half of the 2000kg fuel carried by the space servicing vehicle. Besides refueling aging satellites, the vehicle will also be able to tow failed satellites away from the geostationary orbit.
mangu writes: Iran said on Saturday it is removing the fuel from the reactor of a Russian-built nuclear power plant, a move seen as a big blow to its controversial nuclear program. The plant was first launched by the shah using contractors from Siemens. It was shelved after the Islamic revolution and it lay unfinished through the 1980s. In the early 1990s, Iran sought help for the project after being turned away by Siemens over nuclear proliferation concerns. In 1994, Russia agreed to complete the plant and provide the fuel, with the supply deal committing Iran to returning the spent fuel. The plant has faced hiccups even after its physical launch, with officials blaming the delays in generating electricity on a range of factors, including Bushehr's "severe weather." But they deny it was hit by the malicious Stuxent computer worm which struck industrial computers in Iran, although they acknowledge that the personal computers of some personnel at Bushehr were infected with it.