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LIGHTNING InfoBin ||+Misc. slashdot + H1B Visa HOAX?

Lightning Safety Awareness Week
June 18-24, 2006

Re:Talking in the rain

(Score:5, Interesting)
by gbobeck (926553) Alter Relationship on Friday June 23, @03:27AM (#15588077)
( | Last Journal: Monday April 17, @01:25AM)
And this information is useful because we are always using our mobile phones out in thunderstorms.

Hey, look at how many golfers and fishermen get struck by lightning every year even though they should know better.

A few lightning facts that need to be stated:

1. Lightning strikes can occur on any day, even in the absence of clouds.
2. Lightning can strike 10 miles away from a thunderstorm.
3. If you can hear thunder, you are in range to be struck by lightning.
4. Contrary to popular notion, there is no 'safe' location outdoors to take shelter from lightning, although your car will offer some protection (read: its a crude Faraday cage) provided that you do not come in contact with any metal object.
5. If you are on your cell phone talking to your friends and lightning strikes in the general area, causing you to scream like a little girl and soil yourself, and your friends hear it, they will not let you live that down for quite awhile. Doubly so if it is captured on video.
Navicula hydraulica plena anguilarum est. Omnes castelli tuus nostri sunt. Ed elli avea del cul fatto trombetta.
Lightening is one of those non-threats that people (especially the media) like to blow out of proportion.

There are an average of 73 people killed by lightening every year in the U.S. While each of those deaths is individually tragic, this is a trivial number of people compared to, say, forty thousand people killed in car crashes, thirty thousand killed by household accidents, six thousand people killed in workplace accidents, or even the average eight hundred people killed every year from non-lightening accidental electrocution.

.../...Frankly, when I saw this Penny Arcade comic strip [], I thought I had actually been around people like that.

What makes you think that that kinda people would stop talking in a thunderstorm? I can just see the same specimens under some crude picnic/fishing/bus/whatever shelter, screaming into the phone, "YES, I'M IN THE WOODS! CAN YOU HEAR ME? IN THE WOODS! WHAT WAS THAT? THERE'S A THUNDERSTORM HERE! CAN YOU HEAR ME? THUNDERSTORM!" Or I can just see the girl mentioned above shivering under some tree in the rain, but unwilling to stop being in contact with her boyfriend even then.
Edited paragraph, without the nonsense: "The Australian Lightning Protection Standard recommends that metallic objects... should not be used (or carried) outdoors during a thunderstorm..."

The warning about metal and lightning has nothing particularly to do with cell phones. A tiny cell phone is not the biggest hazard. Don't use metal umbrellas during lightning storms.

Don't fly kites with metal string. (Or any kite. Lightning travels on non-metallic paths sometimes.)
Lightning Safety tips, for the uninitiated:

1. Do try to not be the highest thing around.
2. Don't stand under the highest thing around.
3. Don't lay flat on the ground if you are at a golf course or open field. Crouch.
3a. Some country clubs splurge and buy lightning detectors. Pay attention to the warning.
4. Seek freakin' shelter
5. 4 may conflict with 2.
6. Cell phones are the least of your worries.
7. Geeks should be more concerned whether the insurance covers the electronics.
8. The rubber soles of your shoes won't protect you.
9. If you are talking on your cell phone in the middle of a field during a lightning storm, Saint Darwin will announce "You! Out of the gene pool!" and take your soul.

and lastly...

10. **"The Australian Lightning Protection Standard recommends that >>metallic objects, including cordless or mobile phones, should not be used (or carried) outdoors during a thunderstorm," Esprit added.** So drop your pants and toss your belt buckle when the storm hits.

For those that simply like to play the odds. Here are the odds of dying in one's lifetime so one in :

(For the impatient, lightning is 92 on the list, other gems are accidents,
self-harm, assault, accidental poisoning, falling down, drugs, walking down the street, cars, bikes and things, fire, #28 is getting medical care, etc. Fun list!)

64 Nontransport Unintentional (Accidental) Injuries [[ more characters to get past the lame lameness filter ]]
118 Intentional self-harm [[ more characters to get past the lame lameness filter ]]
211 Assault [[ more characters to get past the lame lameness filter ]]
212 Accidental poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances [[ more characters to get past the lame lameness filter ]]
218 Intentional self-harm by firearm [[ more characters to get past the lame lameness filter ]]
228 Car occupant [[ more characters to get past the lame lameness filter ]]
229 Falls [[ more characters to get past the lame lameness filter ]]
247 Other and unspecified land transport accidents [[ more characters to get past the lame lameness filter ]]
264 Other and unspecified person [[ more characters to get past the lame lameness filter ]]
315 Assault by firearm [[ more characters to get past the lame lameness filter ]]
451 Narcotics and psychodysleptics [hallucinogens] n.e.c. [[ more characters to get past the lame lameness filter ]]
472 Other and unspecified fall [[ more characters to get past the lame lameness filter ]]
490 Accidental exposure to other and unspecified factors and sequelae [[ more chara
This space is intentionally left blank.
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Lighting information week... []

Safety. []

Check out the line of dead cows near the metal fence.... I didn't see a single cow with a mobile phone in it's non-opposable-thumb hoof.
Well, I'm an EE, not a doctor, so purely in terms of logic, I would agree with your arguments. However, evidence is more important than what I would deduce from current knowledge. Regardless of how I think things should work, observation of how they *do* work is obviously more correct. Simple googling on getting hit by lightning got me the following information:

80% of people who get hit by lightning recover [] and "lightning often flashes over the outside of a victim, sometimes blowing off the clothes but leaving few external signs of injury and few, if any, burns." []

Now, I won't presume to try to explain exactly why that is because, not knowing much about biology, I don't understand the composition of the human body enough to even make an educated guess. However, considering it is observed to happen you can't argue that flashover doesn't exist.


Terrorists can attack freedom, but only Congress can destroy it.
COR: humor/oddity here: i didn't watch tho: geysers form when mentos dropped into pepsi bottles

HPCWire Interview

(Score:5, Informative)
by multimediavt (965608) Alter Relationship <> on Friday June 23, @03:56PM (#15592499) []

There's some additional info about BlueGene and what Livermore thinks of it here. What this interview neglects to mention is the millions of dollars being spent on IBM and internal developers to get this code (and any others) working on BlueGene. I was briefed by the hardware and software teams that built BlueGene and I can tell you, it's no easy task to bring apps to that platform. Kuznezov seems to trivialize it in the interview and I'm gonna have to go back and review the process again. Maybe it has changed since my briefing in early 2004, but somehow I doubt it.

Re:switching the number won't work

(Score:5, Informative)
by wfberg (24378) Alter Relationship on Friday June 23, @01:17PM (#15591194)
BTW, I used to work for Logica, in the telecoms division, and have a LOT of knowledge of GSM systems, and how they work.

That's not really a good advertisement for Logica then.

The IMEI has next to nothing to do with any sort of security function of GSM. It only identifies your handset, and some countries have a registry that they'll put your stolen phone's IMEI on so networks can prevent the handset's further use in that particular country among the operators that signed up to the registry, but IMEI is not checked against your subscription. In fact, that's one of the primary design tenets of GSM; subscription data is contained in the Subscriber Identity Module; the SIM.

is simply not possible to associate a number with two SIMs. You can associate a SIM with two or more numbers, but not the other way round.
This is false. Many operators offer dual SIM cards; both cards contain the same subscription data, and usually the last one activated is logged on to the network succesfully to receive incoming calls. Both can make outbound calls.

If someone HAS cloned your SIM, and both phones are attached at the same time, the network would register a fault
No, it works, though you will notice only one handset receiving calls. It's not registered as a fault (though it is registered).

A SIM can only be "effectively" cloned if the original was never used afterwards. If both the Original SIM and the Clone was used at the same time, the network will try and continuesly switch between the two cells its registered to, unless bo
SCO employee? Check out the bounty []
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(Score:5, Interesting)
by seaotter02 (979726) Alter Relationship on Friday June 23, @08:33PM (#15593976)
Revver [] has been doing this for some time already - just with much less intrusive ads. That diet coke and mentos experiment [] linked on Slashdot was using Revver and made over $20,000 for the creators in two weeks (according to various news reports []).

Revver splits the ad revenue 50-50 with creators - or if there is a syndicator involved 20%(syndicator) - 40% (creator) - 40% (Revver).


Wait and See

(Score:5, Insightful)
by rbrander (73222) Alter Relationship on Friday June 23, @06:53PM (#15593494)
My decision was already made the other day, courtesy of Slashdot's story on the first 3 Blu-Ray offerings, of which "50 First Dates" was given as the reason to go HD and see Adam Sandler's every pore. Clearly, these people are not SERIOUS about selling to any but the most fanatic Early Adopters.

I can wait. Specifically, I can wait until they issue "Apocalypse Now" and other cinematographer's triumphs in 1080p and you can get a large 1080p TV and a player for it (that either plays the winning format, or both formats if the War is protracted) for a total under $1500.

With DVDs, I note that one can currently get computers (MythTV, etc) that will ignore all the playing restrictions. Here's my "horror" story on that.

I have a nice Pioneer DVR/DVD player (520H) that never met a DRM instruction it didn't obey slavishly. Not only will it not so much as record from a protected video tape, or tape made from DVD (that THAT, analogue hole) but it won't FFWD during the FBI warning or any of the corporate logos, or *ADS* if they choose to put that rule on their disc. The screen shows "That Operation is Forbidden by This Disc" when you hit the remote button repeatedly while waiting some minutes for your movie to actually start.

The other day, I popped in a disk while some news was on, and it started loading. Just at that moment, major breaking news hit the TV channel...and the DVD screen started showing the FBI warning. Frantically, I hit the STOP, then the EJECT buttons on the remote. But no, even those just got "That Operation is Forbidden By This Di
THIS issue is equally vile as the conspiracy to squash nurses' wages ....

  • Loving it

    (Score:5, Insightful)
    by teutonic_leech (596265) Alter Relationship on Friday June 23, @06:59PM (#15593536)
    Yes, this has completely gone out of hand. Call it 'domestic outsourcing' if you will - the end result is the same: hardworking and highly skilled American engineers have a tougher time finding a job. The H2B visa was never meant as a carde blanche for companies to replace native qualified workers with cheaper immigrant workers. It's time to nip this in the butt once and for all - surely the companies greatly enjoy this situation and it won't change or even get worse if we let 'the free market decide'.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23, @07:07PM (#15593578)
    In the dot-com rush of the late 1990s, yes, we needed H1-B workers because there plain simply was not enough workers. Not today. Today, any job posting made public gets hundreds of resumes. Jobs are getting filled quickly; people who have jobs in the tech field are working long hours for a fraction of what they would have made in the hight of the dot-com bubble. More and more companies are laying off workers; Sun just recently laid off 5000 workers. The US job market is weak and the H1-B workers just make it harder.
  • by rsborg (111459) Alter Relationship on Friday June 23, @07:08PM (#15593585)
    As someone who knows quite a few non-Americans on H1B, this might simply be a case of people creating jobs, so they can justify an H1B for specific people. ie, someone is already here in the US, would like a job, and the hiring manager at some company (or a friend running some body-shop consultancy) lazily writes up a job description "requiring H1B Visa"... therefore targetting the job at the friend/acquaintance that they want to hire.

    I know that this "job-tailoring" is done frequently in the industry as a way of getting the exact person you know. Just that if it fits this shoe, it's quite certainly illegal... kind of like saying you want someone who is/not specific race/disabled/etc.

    I, for one, hope that the hiring managers who put up such job descriptions get fired, as it's part and parcel of the corruption. Just wish we could fire them for other similar "job-tailoring" activities.

    Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting []
  • Wants the impossible

    (Score:5, Insightful)
    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) Alter Relationship on Friday June 23, @07:09PM (#15593592)
    The Programmer's Guild actually expects to force Congress and the Courts to obey the laws they've enacted? In what Perfect World is this?
    Commenting on radical Islam's relationship to terrorism IS NOT HATE SPEECH, regardless of what Google thinks.
  • Next up: Labor-based GC 7 years?

    (Score:5, Interesting)
    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 23, @07:11PM (#15593599)
    If they are going to go after the H-1B program, maybe next they should set their sights on improving the GC process from what took, in some jurisdictions, up to 7 years, to something a lot more reasonable like 7 months, or why not 7 weeks? After all, the ridiculously lengthy GC process is just another point of abuse for foreign and hence American workers. To be fair, the process has already been "streamlined", where it now takes on average something around 3-4 years total. But, that's still far too long, and leaves people vulnerable. Perhaps the programmers guild would like to see this shortened so they they decrease the abuses and increases their membership?

    It never ceases to amaze me how, globally, we have virtually free movement of capital, a moderately free movement of goods, but a heavily restricted movement of people. The three major components of the economy have dramatically different levels of restrictions depending on how the given component cuts between the wealthy and the working "classes".

    Who wants a lightening fast immigration system? Not the employers...that's for sure. And yet, overall, that would arguably be best for the overall economy.

    "It turns out the so-called free market isn't quite so free, if you're a worker bee".
  • They took err jeerbs!

    (Score:5, Insightful)
    by smclean (521851) Alter Relationship on Friday June 23, @07:12PM (#15593605)
    They took err jeeerbs!! But seriously, the perception about H1-B holders being needed to supplement the supposed lack of American training is, to me, rather insulting. Maybe I have too high an estimation of myself and my peers, but it seems to me that the US is pretty rich with technical talent. Trying to dilute the marketplace with indentured servants certainly is not going to help us get paid our due, or motivate us to earn it.

    "'Yrch!' said Legolas, falling into his own tongue."

  • War on drugs strategy

    (Score:5, Insightful)
    The war on drugs didn't get serious until it starte confiscating the assets of drug lords.

    Confiscate the assets of the businesses illegally lowering wages via violation of the law.

  • An old scheme

    (Score:5, Interesting)
    by CaroKann (795685) Alter Relationship on Friday June 23, @07:49PM (#15593770)
    About a decade ago, when I was fresh out of college and trying to find a programming job, one of the resources I used was the local employment office. While I was going over a list of jobs with the employment office guy, I noticed some jobs I thought I should try for and asked about them. The guy told me that I was wasting my time, that it was a dishonest company, and that I had no chance of getting hired. He explained to me how that particular company only wanted to hire an HB1 visa employee, and that they only listed the job with the employment office because the law requires that they must make an effort to hire an American first. Every American that applies for the job will be found wanting, and, their legal obligations satisified, the company will then proceed to hire an HB1 employee. I was willing to work anywhere at that time, so I tried anyway, and of course i did not get the job.

    That's only one of the schemes I've encountered while looking for work. The job market can be a scummy place.
  • Changes Nothing

    (Score:5, Insightful)
    by omegashenron (942375) Alter Relationship on Friday June 23, @07:52PM (#15593789)

    Even though future employers may get a slap on the wrist for the way in which they advertise positi0ons, it will not (and can not) change their hiring policies. All this is going to do is be a waste of time for companies (ie interviewing/processing applications from unwanted candidates) and for the individual applying for the job (writing letters, e-mails, phone calls etc to a company that has no intent of hiring you).

    Yes it does suck and is discriminatory, however in the land of free enterprise what can you do? Mandate they hire Americans? Easy solution for the company, off shore the jobs.

    Excuses Are Like Assholes - Everybody's Got One
  • Things you should know about H1-B

    (Score:5, Informative)
    by ax_1225 (955097) Alter Relationship on Friday June 23, @08:03PM (#15593851)
    The vast majority of the companies will not hire H1-B workers. Why? Because it's a PITA especially for small and medium companies. All the legal trouble and fees and restrictions are just too much hassle for most companies.

    Also it is good to know there are minimum salary levels for the H1-B workers. A company can't hire a senior programmer from outside of US and pay 20k per year. This doesn't mean that some companies might not abuse the system and try different tricks to get cheaper work force but I really belive that the majority of H1-B workers came in US because companies couldn't find qualified people.

    The truth is that there aren't many good programmers out there and there is still a lot of demand for them. I see many programmers coming for interviews at the company I work for and when someone good arrives (not very often) it is very difficult to get them as they already have several offers from other companies.

    BTW I am also a H1-B worker and I'm payed a competitive salary and the company also pays a lot of legal fees for my H1-B and green card. Besides that I pay income taxes and spend all my money here in the US. America has a lot to win from the H1-B program.

  • Nothing's changed here in 20 years...

    (Score:5, Interesting)
    by smilindog2000 (907665) Alter Relationship on Friday June 23, @09:25PM (#15594235)
    In 1986, I got a job after graduating from Berkeley with a BS in EECS for $29,500/year. The last hire I made that I'd consider comparable was an Indian student from a state university with a masters. We hired him for $60K/year. I checked out this site for inflation rates: []

    In short, a smart engineer with a college degree makes the same today as he did 20 years ago. Even back then, half engineers I graduated with were Indian or Chinese. It's no different today.

    Sure, we engineers have to compete globally, which makes us poorer on average than doctors and lawyers. I's still rather be an engineer.

    The first month after taking that first job, I was approached by communist picketers outside my workplace. They were pushing for unions, and higher wages. These Programmers Guild people are no different. It was a bad idea then, just as it is now.
  • Auction them off

    (Score:5, Interesting)
    by cfulmer (3166) Alter Relationship on Friday June 23, @11:43PM (#15594781)
    So, industry claims that H1-B visas are needed because there are some skills which are just not available in the U.S. job market. The other side is that (1) yes, those skills are; and (2) even if they weren't, companies could hire Americans and train them.

    The visas are obviously in high demand -- they disappear in an astonishingly short time after they become available every year.

    IMO, the best way to approach this is to auction the H1-B visas off: If you have a position that you need filled, bid for an H1-B visa. If somebody else needs it more, they'll bid more and they'll win. Otherwise, if you need it more, you'll bid more and win.

    The interesting thing is the feedback mechanism -- if the visas are going for $200,000 each, that's a pretty good indication that the job isn't availble in the US and it's really hard to train Americans to do it. But, on the other hand, if companies are just trying to save a few bucks, then the visas will go for a lot less, maybe $20,000. That would indicate that there are too many H1-B visas, and companies are just using them to get cheap labor. If the price is too high, that would indicate the need to raise the cap. Otherwise, it would indicate a need to lower it.+
  • =====================================================

    Bill Gates Lies to Congress about Microsoft's H-1B Wages

    Contact: Mr. Kim Berry - President of 

    SACRAMENTO March 19, 2006 - Bill Gates lied to the U.S. Congress last week. He misrepresented that Microsoft’s H-1b jobs for new graduates with no experience “start at about $100,000 per year.”  In fact in FY 2006 only 12.4% of Microsoft’s LCAs for H-1bs paid $100k or more, and these were for directors, managers, and legal counsel rather than for new graduates.

    Bill is gambling that Congress will not bother to take 5 minutes and check the facts. It’s probably a safe gamble.

    The current H-1B cap is 85,000 per year – arguably exceeding the rate of job creation. What limit does Bill Gates call for? He wants to flood in an unlimited number of H-1B workers:  (Could we at least compromise and cap it at one million per year?)

    The Programmers Guild has documented the facts of how H-1b visas are actually used by industry on its website: H-1B visas are used in San Francisco predominately for underpaid, averaged skilled positions for which employers should have no trouble finding U.S. candidates:

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