In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Should H-1B Employers Pay For U.S. Students' Degrees?
2. Today's Top Story
- Microsoft Backs Down On Vista License Transfers
3. Breaking News
- Microsoft Cuts Deal With Novell To Support Suse Linux
- Virtual Mac Machine Adds Vista Install
- Microsoft Delivering IE7 As Automatic Update
- IBM Offers Management Tool For Virtual And Physica Servers
- Hurd Continues To Field HP Spy Scandal Inquiries
- Brief: CA's Ex-CEO Gets 12 Years, $8M Fine For Fraud
- Survey: Consumers Less Concerned About Online Security
- Report: Congress Boosts Security Funding And Tightens Scrutiny
- Watchdog Sounds Alarm On 'Surveillance Societies'
- Review: WS-FTP Pro Makes File-Wrangling Easy
- Hackers Aim At Microsoft Visual Studio 2005
- Cisco Patches Flaw In Security Agent Software
- Microsoft Releases New Version Of Windows Embedded CE Kernel Under Shared Source
- Republicans Outnumber Democrats Online
- FTC Mulls The Meaning Of Monopoly
4. Grab Bag
- Tech's Threat To National Security (BusinessWeek)
- In A Mobile Society, It's Good To Have Portable Power, Too (NY Times - Reg. Required)
- Digital Mudslinging (BusinessWeek)
- Groups Ask FTC To Probe Online Ads (Washington Post)
5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech
- Review: Office Live A Big Deal For Small Businesses
- Review: Netgear's Skype Phone Keeps You Connected
- Review: Get 'Hands-On' With Alternative Keyboards
- YouTube Hopes To Be On Mobile Devices In 2007
- Google Takes Aim At Fast E-Mail For Mobile Phones
- iPod Owners Willing To Switch To Microsoft Zune
6. Voice Of Authority
- The CAN-SPAM Act's Costly Charade
7. White Papers
- Unified Anti-Piracy Software Protection: Strategies For Securing License Management And Ensuring Software Revenues
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something." -- Henry David Thoreau
1. Editor's Note: Should H-1B Employers Pay For U.S. Students' Degrees?
Would more Americans pursue technology careers if those students got their college educations for free? The Programmers Guild, an advocacy group for U.S. tech professionals, thinks so.
In fact, the guild is about to announce a new proposal advocating that the U.S. government provide "100% subsidies" of tuition and expenses for American students enrolled in degree programs in computer science, engineering, and other fields where there are U.S. skill shortages.
How would the U.S. pay for such a program, you ask? One source for funding could come from hiking government fees that U.S. companies pay to employ foreign H-1B visa holders to $5,000 per worker, per year.
Right now, employers pay a one-time government fee of about $1,500 per H-1B worker. (Current costs for each H-1B visa are higher if an employer wants expedited processing, or if you count legal fees or visa renewals.)
Even if the government fees were to be raised annually to $5,000 per H-1B worker, "that's still a bargain," says Kim Berry, president of the Programmers Guild. "Many of those workers are being underpaid by $10,000 to $20,000 or more a year," he alleges.
By increasing H-1B fees for the "roughly 500,000" H-1B workers he estimates are currently in the United States, Berry calculates that the government could afford to pay tuition costs averaging $20,000 per year for 125,000 American students.
That could cover a four-year education depending where you go. Tuition and fees at four-year private colleges for 2006 and 2007 average at $22,218, according to new figures by The College Board. Those costs at a four-year public college average at $5,836--and if you live on-campus, those costs rise to about $12,800 for in-state students, according to The College Board.
The guild doesn't have a huge lobby group in Washington, D.C., admits Berry. However, once things settle down after the midterm elections, the guild wants to raise awareness of its proposal and will approach members of Congress about supporting the idea, he says.
So far, a plan to raise H-1B visa fees doesn't sit well with some other advocacy groups, especially those representing employers that depend heavily on H-1B talent.
The Programmers Guild's proposed fees are "excessive," said Lynn Shotwell, executive director of the American Council on International Personnel and chairman at Compete America, in an e-mail to InformationWeek.
According to Shotwell, "Since the inception of the H-1B program, U.S. employers have paid more than $1 billion in H-1B training and scholarship fees that have funded more than 40,000 scholarships for U.S. students in math and science, and funded hands-on science programs for 75,000 middle and high school students and 3,000 teachers.
"Until enough American students take an interest in studying math, science and engineering, we cannot afford to close the door to qualified, highly educated foreign workers by raising H-1B fees even further," she says.
What do you think? We'd like to know. Check out my blog at InformationWeek.com and give us your opinion.
Microsoft Cuts Deal With Novell To Support Suse Linux
Microsoft and Novell will jointly develop virtualization technology to simplify running Linux on Windows and vice-versa. Also, Microsoft will hand out coupons for maintenance and upgrades of Suse Linux, and protect Suse Linux users against patent infringement claims from Microsoft.
Virtual Mac Machine Adds Vista Install
Parallels has updated its virtualization software for
Intel-powered Macs by stealthing the virtual hardware from
outsiders. It has also added a one-step wizard that walks users
through the process of installing an operating system to a
Watchdog Sounds Alarm On 'Surveillance Societies'
Civil liberties group Privacy International categorizes the United States as an "extensive" surveillance society, just one step below its most extreme category, countriesincluding the U.K.that practice "endemic" surveillance against the individual.
Cisco Patches Flaw In Security Agent Software
If not patched, the flaw could allow a remote attacker to gain access to the Web-based interface of Cisco's CSAMC application by entering a valid administrative username along with a blank password, according to a company advisory.
We invite you to benchmark your security strategies and tactics against those of your global peers with this fast, informative, and confidential security tool from InformationWeek and Accenture, a management consulting and technology services company.
Managing Privacy Issues
Identity theft is on the rise across the globe. How do your security strategies for protecting customer data stack up? Learn how your peers are protecting customer data and managing privacy issues in the InformationWeek/Accenture Global Information Security Survey of more than 2,000 technology and security professionals.
Google Takes Aim At Fast E-Mail For Mobile Phones
Gmail for mobile promises computer-like response times and capabilities for viewing e-mail. Although it will run on any phone with Java software, the initial service targets U.S. customers of Sprint, T-Mobile, and Cingular.
The CAN-SPAM Act's Costly Charade
Is the Internet really a safe place to do business? Many of us think sobut many more of us, I suspect, deal with the question by sitting on it and changing the subject.
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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.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.