In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Give Me Your Tired, Your Not So Poor...
2. Today's Top Story
- Microsoft Strikes Linux Patent Deal With LG Electronics
3. Breaking News
- 'Sustainable' E-Health Data Exchange Debuts
- CA Works On Patches For 10 Critical Bugs In Backup Software
- iPhone Buyers Most Likely To Be Male College Grads
- Dropout Bill Gates Returns To Harvard For Degree
- U.S. Navy Clarifies Stance On Open Source Software
- Vodafone Resists Bid To Restructure And Sell Verizon Wireless Stake
- Apple To Announce Sun File System In Leopard
- Paychecks For Security Pros In The Heartland Catching Up To Northeast, Silicon Valley
- Shop 'Til You Drop With Your Cell Phone, Says Sprint
- Gaming Association Sues U.S. Over Internet Gambling Ban
4. The Latest Personal Tech Blog Posts
- Will The iPhone Be Locked To Expensive AT&T Contracts?
- Say Ha-Ha To Lala, iPod-Only Streaming Service
- Adobe Updates Acrobat And Reader For Vista
- Apple MacBook Pro Laptops Push Santa Rosa Platform
5. Job Listings From TechCareers
6. White Papers
- Optimize E-Discovery And Data Management
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Quote of the day:
"Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do." -- Oscar Wilde
1. Editor's Note: Give Me Your Tired, Your Not So Poor...
Immigration is a topic that has occupied the American mind since a group of English settlers had their visas stamped at Jamestown, Va., in 1607. However, while a great deal of the debate in the past centered on the "huddled masses yearning to breathe free," who were the majority of those searching for a place in the United States, some of today's arguments concern a less desperate group: highly skilled workers, many of them in the IT field.
These applicants aren't, for the most part, coming to these shores in order to settle permanently, but are looking to take advantage of available (and well-salaried) tech jobs -- and U.S. companies are eager to hire them. For example, Google, which is expanding by leaps and bounds, has called on the U.S. government to raise the number of foreign workers allowable on the six-year H-1B visa (the H-1B visa was established by the Immigration Act of 1990 and lets employers hire highly skilled temporary
workers). The current cap on the number of H-1B visas allowed per year is 65,000. Google wants that cap increased. Pablo Chavez, policy counsel for Google, has stated that more than 70 Google candidates have been prevented by the cap from receiving visas.
The question is, of course: Why does Google need to bring those 70 candidates into the country? Is it that these 70 individuals have qualifications that make them that much more desirable as employees than U.S. applicants? Or did Google believe that it could hire these workers with less commitment, or at lower salaries, than comparatively skilled U.S. workers? If the former, then that's a sad commentary on our educational system. If the latter, it's a sad commentary on Google.
Meanwhile, Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, are trying to make sure that the same companies that hire H-1B workers won't lay off large numbers of U.S. staff to make room for them. They are proposing a new immigration reform amendment that would require that any company intending to hire foreign workers certify that it hasn't had any mass layoffs (involving 50 or more workers) in the past 12 months -- and if a company does announce a layoff, its foreign workers will lose their visas within 60 days.
One can look on the Sanders-Grassley amendment as only one example of the 100 or so amendments that have been filed to the current immigration reform bill. That -- and the continuing discussions that are taking place on television, radio, and the Web -- illustrates how complex the immigration question is. We may approach it differently in each generation, but we may never actually solve it.
What are your thoughts on the complicated issue of immigration? Do you think that the H-1B visa restrictions should be lifted? Leave a comment at the InformationWeek Blog and let us know.
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Say Ha-Ha To Lala, iPod-Only Streaming Service
A service that combines the worst features of the defunct MP3.com business model with a lock-in to Steve Jobs' proprietary iPod platform isn't the service from which I want to be getting my dinosaur rock tunes.
Optimize E-Discovery And Data Management
New regulations require companies to produce electronic as well as paper-based information during court proceedings. Searching for data creates a legal risk for companies that cannot find critical information quickly, creating a need for policy-based data management solutions.
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.