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Education

What's Happening As The University of California Tries To Outsource IT Jobs To India (pressreader.com) 483

Long-time Slashdot reader Nova Express shares an epic column by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Hiltzik. It details what's happening now as the University of California tries to outsources dozens of IT jobs -- about 20% of their IT workforce -- by February 28th. Some of the highlights:
  • The CEO of UCSF's Medical Center says he expects their security to be at least as good as it is now, but acknowledges "there are no guarantees."
  • Nine workers have filed a complaint with the state's Department of Fair Employment and Housing arguing they're facing discrimination.
  • California Senator Feinstein is already complaining that the university is tapping $8.5 billion in federal funding "to replace Californian IT workers with foreign workers or labor performed abroad."
  • Representative Zoe Lofgren (from a district in Silicon Valley) is arguing that the university "is training software engineers at the same time they're outsourcing their own software engineers. What message are they sending their own students?"
  • 57-year-old sys-admin Kurt Ho says his replacement spent just two days with him, then "told me he would go back to India and train his team, and would be sending me emails with questions."
  • The university's actions will ultimately lower their annual $5.83 billion budget by just 0.1%.

Comment Re:LLVM byte code (Score 1) 230

The article explains what ANDF is, but it doesn't say what was wrong with it. What was wrong with ANDF?

That is a very good question. The quest for an UNCOL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNCOL) goes back to the mid 1950s.

A terse, but readable history/background upto and including early ANDF (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/michael.harley/uncol.html) This paper seems to argue that a change in relative costs betwixt machines and programmers changed the landscape to where the complexity was not worth doing a true UNCOL.

Things changed from complexity to business politics, much like we see now with cell carriers (and lockin), customers wanted to be able to move work from one vendor to another, and up sprang another organization to guide that - the OSF (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Software_Foundation)

A changing playing field (enter MS and Apple) and business politics seemed to doom OSF and most of its work - as it turned to 'every man for himself' until Linux came into being and pretty much changed everything... How many vendors still have their own Unix ?

I've been playing in this industry since the mid 1970s, professionally since the early 1980s - most all with a bent towards compilers and operating systems.

My reading of the tea leaves entails a re-birth of the UNCOL idea - and again, due to changing relative man/machine costs, and the prevalence of the IoT.

I believe we actually wind up with the ANDF variant of UNCOL
* You compile language du-jour (with whatever optimization, say to SSA, you can do at a high level), and generate a distribution package (apk, deb, rpm) that includes the UNCOL instead of binaries.
* At install time, the UNCOL is compiled to native (for some definition of native) code... This too, should be optimized

This is where Android is already moving - ART vs Davlik. On smaller devices, you don't want the interpretation overhead unless you have a scheme to handle JiT and building up a native application as the various codepaths are exercised.

Today, we have fewer architectures to contend with (x64, arm, ppc), a better battering ram (open source/crowd source & funding) - ie, driving from the correct side.

This still requires effort by the hardware business to create the UNCOL->Native binary

Comment Re:Handy (Score 1, Insightful) 59

You seem to only recall on of the possible definitions (granted the most common, and the one the government would like to use against whistleblowers):

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

    treason
            n 1: a crime that undermines the offender's government [syn:
                      {treason}, {high treason}, {lese majesty}]
            2: disloyalty by virtue of subversive behavior [syn: {treason},
                  {subversiveness}, {traitorousness}]
            3: an act of deliberate betrayal [syn: {treachery}, {betrayal},
                  {treason}, {perfidy}]

The other two do, in some ways, describe the NSA & FISA

Comment Re:Death Knell for BBM on Adroid & iOS ? (Score 0) 56

I'll grant iMessage, and the current Google Hangouts -- neither have an option for 'otr' type functionality (yet, in the latter case).

gtalk did have 'otr' (not sure if it was as secure as BBM), and I routinely ran 'otr' plugins on XMPP (including gtalk), and even SameTime

the otr plugins likely matches BBM - with symmetric encryption

The problem with setting up a secure IM is the setup effort can reduce the number of folks using it. otr was actually pretty simple, but things like pgp require users to setup and distribute keys... Something a lot of non-tech people just wont do

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