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Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

Slashdot - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 13:13
Beeftopia sends this excerpt from an article at BusinessWeek: "There’s no evidence of any way, shape, or form that there’s a shortage in the conventional sense," says Hal Salzman, a professor of planning and public policy at Rutgers University. "They may not be able to find them at the price they want. But I’m not sure that qualifies as a shortage, any more than my not being able to find a half-priced TV." ... The real issue, say Salzman and others, is the industry’s desire for lower-wage, more-exploitable guest workers, not a lack of available American staff. "It seems pretty clear that the industry just wants lower-cost labor," Dean Baker, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, wrote in an e-mail. A 2011 review (PDF) by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the H-1B visa program, which is what industry groups are lobbying to expand, had "fragmented and restricted" oversight that weakened its ostensible labor standards. "Many in the tech industry are using it for cheaper, indentured labor," says Rochester Institute of Technology public policy associate professor Ron Hira, an EPI research associate and co-author of the book Outsourcing America.

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'Steve Jobs' movie finds another home and a new star

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 12:58
Aaron Sorkin's adaptation of Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs may scream box office success, but actually making the movie has proven quite difficult. After two years of development, Sony Pictures decided to pass on the movie, but rival...

Google makes it easy to see every device logged into your account

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 11:32
Between your smartphone, desktop at work, tablet, laptop at home and whatever else in between, keeping track of the devices your Google account is signed into can be a hassle. Next time you notice strange activities occurring with one of them,...

Sony Pictures Computer Sytems Shut Down After Ransomware Hack

Slashdot - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 10:14
MojoKid writes: It appears that Sony Pictures has become the victim of a massive ransomware hack, which has resulted in the company basically shutting down its IT infrastructure. According to an unnamed source, every computer in Sony's New York Office, and every Sony Pictures office across the nation, bears an image from the hacker with the headline "Hacked By #GOP" which is then followed by a warning. The hacker, or group, claims to have obtained corporate secrets and has threatened to reveal those secrets if Sony doesn't meet their demands.

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Omnipresenz lets armchair explorers control real human avatars

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 10:00
Traveling isn't only for the rich these days, you know, what with more and more budget airlines and services like Airbnb and Couchsurfing popping up. But if you'd rather do some armchair exploration at this point in time, and you've already seen most...

FCC orders T-Mobile to stop misleading throttled customers about speeds

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 09:29
Up to now, T-Mobile has been generously unblocking Ookla and other mobile test sites so you could see exactly how much speed you weren't getting when it throttled you. But the FCC has called a halt to that piece of duplicity, forcing the carrier to...

Amazon will now deliver to your local Post Office

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 08:59
As Amazon prepares for another bumper Christmas, the internet giant has been doing all it can to ensure its logistics are in order. Just over a week ago, it debuted free same-day delivery for Prime members, striking a blow against high street...

Samsung reveals new eye-tracking mouse for the disabled

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 08:52
Samsung has just unveiled the EyeCan+, a next-gen version of its eye-tracking mouse. Positioned below a monitor, it helps people with disabilities write and edit documents or surf the web using eye movement and blinking. Created as a a labor of love...

Slack Now Letting Employers Tap Workers' Private Chats

Slashdot - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 08:09
itwbennett writes: Chat app maker Slack is hoping to make inroads in the enterprise with a new paid plan that will include an optional feature called Compliance Exports that will let administrators access their team's communications, encompassing public and private messages. The tool is far-reaching, potentially including the edit history for workers' messages as well as messages workers have marked for deletion, if the supervisor so desires.

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Plug-in turns your browsing history into a searchable database

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 07:17
Some apps make it easy to delete your browsing history for the sake of privacy and security. This one called Fetching, however, does the opposite: it saves a comprehensive copy of your history for years to come. What for? Well, searching random words...

Ohio college is building a drone arena for its students

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 06:07
It only makes sense that schools teach the next generation how to design and fly unmanned aircraft. However, you can't just set a legion of drones loose on campus -- not so long as FAA regulations prevent it, anyway. Ohio's Sinclair Community College...

Attack of the One-Letter Programming Languages

Slashdot - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 06:01
snydeq writes: The programming world is fast proliferating with one-letter programming languages, many of which tackle specific problems in ways worthy of a cult following, writes InfoWorld's Peter Wayner in this somewhat tongue-in-cheek roundup of the more interesting entrants among this trend. "They're all a bit out there, with the possible exception of C. ... Each offers compelling ideas that could do the trick in solving a particular problem you need fixed.'"

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Here's What Your Car Could Look Like In 2030

Slashdot - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 05:19
Nerval's Lobster writes: If you took your cubicle, four wheels, powerful AI, and brought them all together in unholy matrimony, their offspring might look something like the self-driving future car created by design consultants IDEO. That's not to say that every car on the road in 2030 will look like a mobile office, but technology could take driving to a place where a car's convenience and onboard software (not to mention smaller size) matter more than, say, speed or handling, especially as urban areas become denser and people potentially look at "driving time" as a time to get things done or relax as the car handles the majority of driving tasks. Then again, if old science-fiction movies have proven anything, it's that visions of automobile design thirty or fifty years down the road (pun intended) tend to be far, far different than the eventual reality. (Blade Runner, for example, posited that the skies above Los Angeles would swarm with flying cars by 2019.) So it's anyone's guess what you'll be driving a couple decades from now.

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Windows 10's app store will be workplace-friendly

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 04:46
If you use a Windows 8 PC, you've probably noticed that the Windows Store is built for home use; you'll find serious tools like Office, but it's not really meant for work. That's going to change in a big, big way with Windows 10. Microsoft has...

Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

Slashdot - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 04:07
An anonymous reader writes: A grand jury in Missouri has decided there is no probable cause to charge police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. "A grand jury of nine whites and three blacks had been meeting weekly since Aug. 20 to consider evidence. At least nine votes would have been required to indict Wilson. The Justice Department is conducting an investigation into possible civil rights violations that could result in federal charges." Government officials and Brown's family are urging calm in Ferguson after the contentious protests that followed Brown's death.

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Researchers link carrier-focused malware to US and UK spy agencies

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 03:59
Symantec said that the recently detailed Regin spyware looked like it was created for government surveillance, and there's now some strong support for that claim. Both Kaspersky Lab and Wired understand that the super-sophisticated malware was used...

Sony Pictures hack takes computers down studio-wide

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 03:04
As a whole, Sony isn't a stranger to being hacked, but the most recent effort targeted its movie division -- not PlayStation. Computers in Sony Pictures offices have been compromised, as Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety report....

What's on your HDTV: 'Walking Dead' fall finale, 'Grumpy Cat'

Engadget - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 01:54
Doh! We missed Super Smash Bros. for Wii U in last week's listings, but we hope you and your family have time to play a round during any holiday get-togethers this week. Of course, we'll be getting ready for the fall finale of The Walking Dead...

How the Pentagon's Robots Would Automate War

Slashdot - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 01:21
rossgneumann writes: Pentagon officials are worried that the U.S. military is losing its edge compared to competitors like China, and are willing to explore almost anything to stay on top—including creating robots capable of becoming fighting machines. A 72-page document throws detailed light on the far-reaching implications of the Pentagon's plan to monopolize imminent "transformational advances" in biotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence, information technology, nanotechnology, and energy.

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Raspberry Pi-Powered Body Illusion Lets You Experience Parkinson's

Slashdot - Tue, 25/11/2014 - 00:40
hypnosec writes: Analogue, a theater/art group, has developed an interactive installation called "Transports," powered by the Raspberry Pi, that lets you experience symptoms of Parkinson's disease. In the illusion, a person's mind is tricked into believing that his/her hand is the hand shown in a point-of-view video, and the motorized glove worn by the user gives the feeling of tremors associated with Parkinson's. The glove recreates tremors, the ones experienced by patients, at 6 hertz – the upper limit of what is experienced by people with Parkinson's disease. Users are asked to follow instructions fed through headphones while using the glove, which creates an illusion of a virtual limb. They are supposed to mimic the movements of a man on the screen and manipulate real cutlery as he does.

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