Patrick Thibodeau

About the Author Patrick Thibodeau


Trump to order wholesale H-1B reform

President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday dubbed “Buy American, Hire American” that calls for sweeping reform of the H-1B visa process.

Its centerpiece is the replacement of the H-1B lottery with a system that distributes visas on the basis of wages, skills and education.

“We want to switch away from a random lottery system, in which it’s weighted toward the lowest wage workers, towards a system that prioritizes higher skilled, higher paid workers,” said a senior administration official, in a background briefing to reporters on the condition that officials not be identified.

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Datacenters decline as users turn to rented servers

Datacenters are declining worldwide both in numbers and square footage, according to IDC — a remarkable change for an industry that has seen booming growth for many years.

Users are consolidating datacenters and increasingly renting server power. These two trends are having a major impact on datacenter space.

The number of datacenters worldwide peaked at 8.55 million in 2015, according to IDC. That figure began declining last year, and is expected to drop to an expected 8.4 million this year. By 2021, the research firm expects there to be 7.2 million datacenters globally, more than 15 percent fewer than in 2015.

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Data centers decline as users turn to rented servers

Data centers are declining worldwide both in numbers and square footage, according to IDC — a remarkable change for an industry that has seen booming growth for many years.

Users are consolidating data centers and increasingly renting server power. These two trends are having a major impact on data center space.

The number of data centers worldwide peaked at 8.55 million in 2015, according to IDC. That figure began declining last year, and is expected to drop to an expected 8.4 million this year. By 2021, the research firm expects there to be 7.2 million data centers globally, more than 15 percent fewer than in 2015.

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U.S. seeks curbs on use of entry-level H-1B programmers

The U.S. government is taking action that will likely increase the visa denial rates of H-1B programmers, a move that could help U.S. nationals, both in terms of wages and jobs.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) wants programmers who offer skills that are specialized or unique. That means firms seeking to hire programmers at entry-level wages may see their H-1B visa requests denied.

There’s a reason the U.S. doesn’t want entry-level visa workers.

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H-1B employers face stricter rules

The federal government is doing something it has never done before: It’s encouraging people to file H-1B abuse complaints.

This week the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Labor each posted information about how to file a complaint against suspected H-1B abuse. It’s a clear signal that government scrutiny of H-1B use will intensify and that the U.S. may challenge employers.

But it creates a dilemma aptly summed up by Norm Matloff, a professor of computer science at the University of California at Davis, in a blog post titled, “American Victims of H-1B Get Their Chance—Will They Take It?”

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Justice Dept. says replacing U.S. workers may bring lawsuit

Critics of the H-1B program have little to celebrate, so far, from President Donald Trump. He promised reforms of the visa program during the campaign, but nothing has happened of consequence — at least until Monday.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a warning to H-1B employers not to use the visa program to discriminate against U.S. workers. And it promised to investigate and prosecute employers who do so.

By itself, the Justice Department notice may be a poor consolation prize to critics who wanted more. But if the DOJ files a lawsuit alleging discrimination against U.S. workers “because of their citizenship or national origin in hiring, firing and recruiting” it may be breaking ground.

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Trump ‘actively’ considering new H-1B spouse work rule

President Donald Trump’s administration has decided to “actively reconsider” an Obama-era rule allowing certain H-1B spouses to hold jobs, according to court documents filed Monday. It is asking the court to give it until September to consider changing the H-4 work authorization rule.

This is becoming a high-stakes case for approximately 180,000 spouses of H-1B visa holders who gained the right to work in 2014. These are spouses of H-1B visa holders who are seeking a green card.

The motion was filed in a Washington federal appellate court, under the case name Save Jobs USA, in a case brought by former Southern California Edison (SCE) IT workers. These workers trained visa-holding replacements in 2015 before losing their jobs.

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5 reasons why China will rule tech, 2017 edition

China’s push to take over global technology leadership is relentless. It wants to lead in computing, semiconductors, research and development, and clean energy. It is accelerating science investment as the U.S. retreats.

China may be planning a moon base. Surprised? Don’t be. It will soon have a manned space station. It is investing heavily in quantum technologies and it wants to be first to build an exascale supercomputer.

In 2010, Computerworld looked at “Five reasons why China will rule tech.” Here’s an update, and the case for China has grown stronger.

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Trump budget would fund border wall, but slash science and research

President Donald Trump’s federal budget outline released Thursday represents a major shift in U.S. priorities. It would increase defense spending, boost immigration enforcement and include in seed money for a wall along the southern border.

It does all of that, in part, by cutting science funding.

Science and technology groups are warning that U.S. leadership will suffer if the budget, which would cover the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, is adopted.

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NSA, DOE see China nearing supercomputing leadership

Advanced computing experts at the National Security Agency and the Department of Energy are warning that China is “extremely likely” to take leadership in supercomputing as early as 2020, unless the U.S. acts quickly to increase spending.

China’s supercomputing advances are not only putting national security at risk, but also U.S. leadership in high-tech manufacturing. If China succeeds, it may “undermine profitable parts of the U.S. economy,” according to a report titled U.S. Leadership in High Performance Computing by HPC technical experts at the NSA, the DOE, the National Science Foundation and other agencies.

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Spy agency, DOE, see China nearing supercomputing leadership

Advanced computing experts at the National Security Agency and the Department of Energy are warning that China is “extremely likely” to take leadership in supercomputing as early as 2020, unless the U.S. acts quickly to increase spending.

China’s supercomputing advances are not only putting national security at risk, but also U.S. leadership in high-tech manufacturing. If China succeeds, it may “undermine profitable parts of the U.S. economy,” according to a report titled U.S. Leadership in High Performance Computing by HPC technical experts at the NSA, the DOE, the National Science Foundation and other agencies.

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