Monday, July 07, 2014

What I am reading 7/7/2014 - Silicon Valley Employment Shenanigans

Hey all, it's been awhile - blame my first vacation in a few years and the holiday coinciding with sheer laziness and you have the reason; not that you, my loyal reader, along with the disloyal voices in my head care about that.  OK, here we go:

Salon - BBC staff ordered to stop giving equal airtime to climate deniers

To illustrate the ridiculousness of having one fringe “expert” come in to undermine a scientific consensus, the report points to the network’s coverage of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which in September released a report concluding, with 95 percent certainty, that man-made climate change is happening. As was their due diligence, BBC reporters called a dozen prominent U.K. scientists, trying to drum up an opposing viewpoint. When that didn’t happen — probably because 97 percent of scientists agree that man-made climate change is happening — they turned instead to retired Australian geologist Bob Carter, who has ties to the industry-affiliated Heartland Institute.
To be clear, having one guy dismiss the consensus of hundreds of the world’s top climate scientists as “hocus-pocus science” wasn’t the “balanced” thing to do, and the only reason why people like Carter continue to be taken seriously is because news networks continue to suggest they should be.
I would say that they didn't look very hard if they could only find one guy, but beyond this are they going to start adopting the same tactic in areas such as medicine, economics, politics, etc.?  If so why even bother airing a news program?

lifehacker - Study Shows that 10,000 Hours of Practice Isn't the Magic Number - 

The 10,000 hours of practice rule suggests that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to master any skill. It's often cited as a guideline for the purpose of deliberate practice, but according to a study from Princeton, that number's probably not right.
Malcolm Gladwell wrong?  I find that difficult to believe.

Pando Daily - REVEALED: Court docs show role of Pixar and Dreamworks Animation in Silicon Valley wage-fixing cartel - 

most of the previous attention in the case was focused on the behavior of executives at Apple and Google. What hasn’t been fully explored is the involvement of major and minor Hollywood studios that are alleged to have been party to the same illegal cartel. The wage-fixing cartel originated with Pixar and Lucasfilm, two northern California computer animation film studios now under Disney’s roof.
...
A secret no-poach agreement between Pixar and Dreamworks Animation would be particularly remarkable given the company’s famed fierce rivalry in almost all other areas. Even more significantly, the participation of Dreamworks Animation in an illegal wage-fixing cartel would take the politics of this story to a new level, considering the mega-millions in campaign donations that Dreamworks’ CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg has shoveled into the Obama campaign.
It's all fun and games until the Justice Department starts knocking at the door.  IN this same article it is revealed that the presiding judge, Lucy Koh, has rejected the proposed class settlement as being to small at only $324,000,000.  That should give an idea of just how big a deal this was.  Personally I am hoping she also makes the involved companies admit wrongdoing, but that's me being a vindictive jerk.

Slashdot - DC Entertainment won't allow Superman logo on murdered child's memorial statue

Jeffrey Baldwin was essentially starved to death by his grandparents. Funds had been raised to build a monument for Jeffrey in Toronto. The monument was designed to feature Jeffrey in a Superman costume, and even though Superman should be public domain, DC Comics has denied the request.
 I am not an intellectual property lawyer so I don't know whether superman should be in the public domain or not, but I can't believe that DC did themselves any PR favors when they denied this request.

San Jose Mercury News - Backlash stirs in US against foreign worker H-1B visas

amid calls for expanding the nation's so-called H-1B visa program, there is growing pushback from Americans who argue the program has been hijacked by staffing companies that import cheaper, lower-level workers to replace more expensive U.S. employees -- or keep them from getting hired in the first place.
...
Last month, three tech advocacy groups launched a labor boycott against Infosys, IBM and the global staffing and consulting company ManpowerGroup, citing a "pattern of excluding U.S. workers from job openings on U.S soil."

They say Manpower, for example, last year posted U.S. job openings in India but not in the United States.

Having worked for a number of tech companies I am quite sure this is happening, just stake a look at the firms supplying contractors to Microsoft and the pattern is evident.  The question is what can be done about it at this point.  My guess is very little, the well has been poisoned.


Post a Comment

What I am reading (or maybe watching) 10/18/2017

DefCon - ICS Village: Grid Insecurity and How to Really Fix This Shit - I tried to see this talk while at DefCon, but the room they ...