Friday, February 15, 2019
"My question is this: what have you gotten in return? They get rich. They get notoriety. They get to be crowned visionaries and regarded as pioneers. What do you get? Outrageous hours and inadequate paychecks. Stressful, toxic work conditions that push you to your physical and mental limits. The fear that asking for better means risking your dream job. [...] Change will happen when you gain leverage by joining together in a strong union. And, it will happen when you use your collective voice to bargain for a fair share of the wealth you create every day. No matter where you work, bosses will only offer fair treatment when you stand together and demand it."
Monday, July 13, 2015
Of course all this is just another example of corporate greed and political corruption.
Still, I place much of the responsibility for the situation on STEM workers themselves. STEM workers gripe about the situation constantly. STEM workers will blog, tweet, post, and pass links back and forth. But that is about as far as it will go. STEM workers steadfastly refuse to take any real action to fix the current situation.
I suppose STEM workers think that if the public were aware of the injustice of the current situation, then the problem would solve itself. It is surprising that otherwise intelligent people can be so naive.
STEM worker employers, and their lackey politicians, are happy with the situation the way it is. Those who do not see their own jobs being affected by the visa worker scam do not care one way or another. Besides, STEM worker blogs, tweets, and message board posts, can hardly compete with the flood of misinformation coming from the pop-media.
Voting cannot fix the current situation. Practically all politicians side with the corporations. In the USA, there are 435 representatives, and 100 senators. Of those, about three are not pushing for higher limits on visa workers. That is about 0.5%. Practically everybody running for political office, regardless of party affiliation, favors more visa workers.
What STEM workers need to do (but probably won't):
1) Organize. Consider the following two scenarios.
Employer: We are firing you to hire a cheaper visa worker. You need to train you visa worker replacement before you go, or you get no severance.
Employee: I guess I have no choice. I would only hurt myself to resist.
Employer: we are firing you to hire a cheaper visa worker. You need to train you visa worker replacement before you go, or you get no severance.
All employees: you try that and we all walk out, right now.
Employer: never mind, we will not be hiring the visa worker.
STEM workers often hate the idea of organizing, pointing to corrupt unions, and the like. Whether STEM workers like it not: to change the current situation, organizing is critical. If STEM workers are not willing to organize, they should stop the futile complaining.
2) Raise money, lobby congress. In D.C. money talks. Corporations spend huge amounts lobbying congress. So who do you think Congress will side with? Contributing to NumbersUSA might help. NumbersUSA can be an effective organization. But, NumbersUSA is more concerned with the illegal immigration issue than the visa worker scam.
What is needed, is a strong, and well financed, organization of STEM workers. But I feel certain that STEM worker would rather pointlessly gripe about the situation, than to ever do something to change it.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
- the job that is advertised
- the job you interview for
- if you get the job, the job you actually do
- A+ : when it comes to being a PC Tech, this cert is *it*. This cert is an actual legal requirement for some jobs. Not an especially difficult cert to get.
- ITIL : one of the easiest certs to get. A requirement, or a prefered credential, for many IT jobs - especially at the larger companies.
- Security+ : like the A+ can be an actual legal requirement for some IT jobs. More difficult than the A+, but not that difficult. Security is a BFD with many employers right now. IBM being one such employer. The Sec+ is more valuable than the A+, or Network+.
- Network+ : like the A+, and Security+, can be a legal requirement. This is easier to get than either the A+ or Sec+. Does a decent job of covering the basics of networking. The stuff you learn studying for the Net+ is very useful for other certs, including the Sec+.
Monday, February 20, 2012
--- Steve Jobs
“I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”
--- Steve Jobs
"We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."
--- Steve Jobs
We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.
--- Steve Jobs
Now Apple is suing over auto-complete. Another entirely origianal Apple invention, I guess.
So what are Apple's greatest mobile device inventions?
- round corners
- flat black screens
- horizontal speaker slots
- non-cluttered appearance
- thin profiles
- green phone icon for phone
- envelop for mail icon
- gears icon for settings
- grid layout of icons
- “Multi-Touch” technology
- iBooks books on a shelf metaphore
- fading notifications without user intervention
- text in bubbles indicated by speaker
Here is what I am finding for possible prior art. I would be interested to know what others think. Please feel free to add anything I'm missing, or correct me if I'm wrong about anything.
Sharp JPN 1241638
I am not certain exactly what device this is, or when it came out. But, I think Europe eventually ruled that the iPhone is a knock-off copy of the Sharp JPN 1241638 and that Apple's D'087 patent violated Sharp's '638 patent. That covered a flat black surface, maybe even rounded corners, and retangle shape.
Samsung SGH-Z610 - February 2006
- Gesture based multimedia touchscreen
- app drawer
- front and rear facing camera
- rounded corners
- 16 icons up on a desktop
- a speaker above the 3.5" touchscreen
- physical round button w/ a play arrow icon below it
Samsung GridPad 1989
- seems that Samsung is not new to tablet devices
Samsung Origami Tablet PC 2006
Samsung SGH-F700 - 2007
- Released after iPhone, but before Apple's 358 page long iPhone patent which was filed on September 5th 2007
Sony Ericsson 2002
- green phone icon (for that matter, don't phone booths use a phone icon?)
- envelop mail icon
LG KE850, also known as the LG Prada 2006
- phone icon
- envelop mail icons
- capicitve touch screen
- what about that icon with the four dots? would that take you to a grid of icons?
Packard Bell Navigator 3.5
- reminds me of Apple iBooks patents - books on a shelf
Neonode N1m - not sure about the year
- slide to unlock
Apple's gears icon
- Oreilley software WebSite had a yellow gear for settings
- Atari ST in 1986 used a gears icon for the settings control panel
- Windows 95 used Gears for settings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Windows-95-Start-Button.png
The ‘134 patent - text in bubbles indicated by speaker
- besides ignoring pretty much every comic book ever created, there’s a system called “Habitat” from the 1985 that pretty much like what Apple patented, in terms of the arrangement of text into bubbles, with the horizontal layout being dictated by the speaker.
The ‘915 patent - Multi-touch scrolling and scaling
- 1994-1995 T3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUwYCbhFj1U
- is this an API patent?
The ’891 patent - fading notifications without user intervention
- filed in 2002
- see the Windows 2000 MFC API, and notice that the uBalloonTimeout parameter. That fades out the notification without user interaction.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
offshoring/inshoring than IT.
1) Unlike manufacturing, you don't have to mess with physical inventory. This is
huge. Shipping costs, and other supply chain costs, can be very substantial.
With IT, everything is done over the internet. Perfect for offshoring.
2) Unlike manufacturing, you don't have to worry about special plants, or
special equipment, special environmental regulations, or worker safety issues.
Just use ordinary computers, and ordinary office space. Dealing with foreign
regulations for building permits, and the like can be a nightmare. With IT, you
don't have to bother with any that. Just rent space in an existing building.
Even if you build your own building, you don't have to bother with all the
special issues that go with manufacturing.
3) Unlike health care, or other fields, you don't have to bother with sort of
special education, or licensing requirements. For example, we can import nurses
from Mexico, they would not be qualified. Health care licensing is regulated by
the state. Nothing like that to worry about with IT, legally, practically
anybody can do practically anything.
4) No unions to fuss with. Replace all the IT workers you want with visa
workers, then send the entire department offshore. No need to worry about union
5) No standardization in IT. You can always tell the government there is a
shortage of qualified workers, since there is absolutely no definition of what
is "qualified." You have a virtual carte blanche to make up any kind of
statistics about salaries, or qualification. For example, you could look for
workers with an arbitrary list of experience requirements, and when you don't
find them, use that as an excuse to hire offshore workers with no experience,
and just a liberal arts degree.
6) US IT workers are not represented by any professional organization, and
therefore have no voice in congress. Dump on IT workers all you want, what's to
7) Due to massive corporate propaganda, it is widely believed there is a
shortage of qualified US IT workers, so nobody will blame you for going
offshore. There was significant public outcry in the 1980s when manufacturing
was moved offshore. Michael Moore even created a movie, and Billy Joel wrote a
song. Nobody cares about spoiled IT workers.
8) You can point to contributions made by actual immigrants, and then prentend
that H1Bs are actual immigrants. Great PR.
9) You can place the race card. You can say that anybody critical of replacing
US workers with offshore is a racist, bigoted, and xenophobic; and thereby,
immediately quash any dissention.
10) US IT workers are too spineless, selfish, arrogant, and disorganized, to put
up any sort of meaningful resistance to your offshoring plans. Take your time,
when you start importing visa workers, only the workers who are directly
affected will care. The guy in the next cubical won't care until his head is on
the chopping block. US IT workers have a special trick of sticking their noses
in the air, and their heads in the sand. US IT workers will say: "they could
never do without me. I'm much too valuable. Only the poorly qualified lose their
jobs." Dumping on US IT workers is like shooting fish in a barrel.
11) Significant saving. US IT workers can be quite expensive.
12) Indentured servant status is even more important for IT workers, than other
workers. Everybody's information system setup is different, so it takes a while
for IT workers to learn their jobs. US workers can quit just after they get up
to speed. Which means you are training people for their next job. Worse yet,
they can take what they have learned (on your dime) to your competitors. With
visa workers, they have to stay with you for six years, then you can send them
to your offshore operations.
12) Most IT workers don't work directly with the public, so unlike helpdesk
stuff, you don't have to worry about complaints about accents, or anything like
13) Most of the work can easily be done offshore, and you don't have to be a big
employer to take advantage of it. I cannot hire a plummer for $2 an hour, but I
can go on rentacoder and hire a web-developer for that.
14) Technologies like romoting in, and video confrencing get better all the
Monday, May 30, 2011
May 23, 2011:
Xerox Corp., whose CEO Ursula Burns is advising President Obama on exports, last week told its product engineering employees that it is in outsourcing talks with India-based IT services firm HCL Technologies.
Some of the affected Xerox employees may see their jobs transferred to HCL, said a Xerox spokesman, but how many will be affected is not known. Xerox has "hundreds of employees" working in product engineering groups in California, New York, Oregon, the Netherlands and the U.K., the spokesman said.
Burns was appointed last year as vice chairwoman of the President's Export Council, a panel of CEOs advising the Obama administration on how to increase exports, which would lead to an increase in domestic jobs. Boeing CEO and Chairman James McNerney is its chairman.
Burns is outspoken on the need to improve the pool of math and science graduates in U.S. schools. In a recent video interview on CNN , she warned that if graduation rates in these areas don't increase, "we become a server nation; our standard of living must decline."
Burns, in that interview, also argued that there is a dearth of workers who can fill skilled jobs, and when jobs aren't filled, the response from U.S. employers is: "We exported the work."
"The work has to be done, so we send the work to people in other places that can get it done. This is absolutely backwards," Burns said.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
TITLE 8, CHAPTER 12, SUBCHAPTER II, Part II, § 1182.
(5) Labor certification and qualifications for certain immigrants
(A) Labor certification
(i) In general, any alien who seeks to enter the United States for the purpose of performing skilled or unskilled labor is inadmissible, unless the Secretary of Labor has determined and certified to the Secretary of State and the Attorney General that—
(I) there are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, qualified
(or equally qualified in the case of an alien described in clause (ii)) and available at the time of application for a visa and admission to the United States and at the place where the alien is to perform such skilled or unskilled labor, and
(II) the employment of such alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers in the United States similarly employed.
(ii) Certain aliens subject to special rule For purposes of clause (i)
(I), an alien described in this clause is an alien who—
(I) is a member of the teaching profession, or
(II) has exceptional ability in the sciences or the arts.
1) The exception in 1182 relies on the Specialty Occupations list.
http://www.doleta.gov/regions/REG05/Documents/eta-9035.pdf (Page 2)
Maybe the DOL needs to reexamine the "shortages" in each occupation with hard data.
2) 1182 has been watered down. The phrase "and at the place where the alien is to perform such skilled or unskilled labor" was added by lobbyists -- 1182 used to cover the entire United States.
3) The exception in 1182 was created specifically for the GATS agreement which is more stringent than the conditions in US law. Again, under GATS, H-1B is a single term 3 year visa with no dual-intent provisions and no extensions. Stricter layoff conditions etc.
Maybe, if we had the protections written into GATS, we'd be a bit better off.