Samsung said it plans to pony up for independent reviews following reports that toxic materials used in to make chips might have caused some its employees to get cancer. Even though government investigations conducted in 2007 and 2008 found no problems at the Samsung plants, the chip maker said this week that 22 of its employees who worked at its plants had been diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma. Ten of them died of cancer between 1998 and 2010.
"We are deeply sorry about the loss of love ones... and we've actively cooperated on epidemiologic investigations, which concluded there were no leaks of radiation," Cho Soo-in, president of Samsung's memory division, told reporters. "But I feel we should have done this (communicated with the public) in the first place to stop speculation from growing."
The chip production lines in which the 22 workers served and later developed illnesses have since been converted into chip test lines and LED production lines. These lines occasionally receive visitors, including those from high-profile politicians, all of which must wear full-body dust-proof attire.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there were 162,000 new non-farm jobs in March as the unemployment rate held firm at 9.7 percent. Areas of growth included construction, manufacturing, healthcare, temp jobs, and government contracts.
Under the "Computer Systems & Design" category, however, some 5,800 jobs were lost between February and March, but it might not be as bad as it seems. Tech jobs were up by 4,200 over a three month period ending in March, and while the numbers are still being tallied, it looks as though one-year net gains will come in positive at 9,500 new jobs.
"The job growth this month is an encouraging sign, but we still have more work to do," Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said in a statement. "Fifteen million Americans are still unemployed, and 6.5 million have been looking for work for more than six months. That is why it is important Congress pass continuations of COBRA health coverage and unemployment benefits."
Casting a cloud over the mostly positive figures is long-term unemployment. About 414,000 more workers in March claimed unemployment benefits for 27 weeks or longer.
Ladies and gentlemen (of Oracle), Tim Bray has left the building, deciding instead to jump aboard with Google as a developer-advocate for the search giant's Android development team.
"I had an offer to stay with Oracle which I decided to decline; I'll maybe tell the story when I can think about it without getting that weird spiking-blood-pressure sensation in my eyeballs," Bray wrote in a blog post. "So I reached out to a couple of appealing potential next employers, both were interested, and Google seemed like the best bet."
Bray, formerly the director of Web technologies for Sun, also is known for co-creating XML (Extensible Markup Language), which is a set of rules for encoding documents electronically.
What Bray's exact role over at Google will be has yet to be determined, though one glance at his blog reveals that he's very much interested in the Android platform.
Jobs aren't exactly easy to come by these days, but for those employed as security professionals, 2009 wasn't all that bad, a new survey suggests. According to ISC Squared, 55 percent of U.S. security pros said their salaries went up in 2009.
ISC Squared pinged more than 3,000 global technology security pros, over half of which were from the U.S. Of those, 800 claimed to have hiring authority, with 50 percent saying they expect to hire either full-time help or contractors in 2010.
"The results from our latest Career Impact Survey show that in a very difficult economic environment, organizations are placing an even higher value on the work that information security professionals do," W. Hord Tipton, executive director for ISC Squared, said in a statement. "It's a sign of the private and public sectors' ever-increasing dependence upon the stability and security of the online world, providing a plethora of career opportunities for knowledgeable, qualified, motivated security professionals."
The respondents represented a wide range of industries, including government, IT, professional services, and banking.
The tough times continue for those employed in the tech industry, and Big Blue in particular. According to the Alliance@IBM/CWA Local 1701, IBM has issued about 400 layoff notices.
Lee Conrad, national coordinator of the Alliance, believes this is the just the first wave of more layoffs to come, though he didn't say how many he believes will get the axe. Neither did IBM, who rarely does, saying only that this is a result of a remixing of "our skills and structure to meet the changing needs of our clients."
IBM employs about 400,000 workers around the world. According to Conrad, the latest cuts are the result of a shift to offshore work. Big Blue employees around 105,000 U.S. workers, compared to 115,000 one year ago.
Boeing last week sent out 60-day layoff notices to 1,000 employees, about 800 of which went to employees of Boeing's engineering, operations, and technology unit. Most of those 800 are in IT, said Tim Healy, a company spokesman.
By the time the 60-day deadline rolls around, there's a chance retirements and other forms of attrition cold scale back some of the job cuts, "although it's impossible to predict how often that could happen or how many employees will leave the company," Healy added.
The most recent layoffs are the latest in Boeing's plan to cut some 10,000 jobs overall. Boeing employees about 158,500 people, including 18,000 in its engineering and technology group. Last month, the company reported record revenue for 2009 at $68.3 billion, up from $60.9 billion in 2008.
Lest anyone thought Microsoft was kidding about slashing its workforce by 5,000 when first announced a year ago, the Redmond outfit has met its goal, and well ahead of its self-imposed June 2010 deadline.
Steve Ballmer's plan for mass layoffs was the first in the company's history, and it has already handed out 5,300 pink slips, or 300 more than originally announced. About 800 positions were eliminated in the company's fiscal second quarter ended December 31, 2009, with Microsoft reporting it had paid $59 million in severance pay related to those layoffs.
When Ballmer first announced the cuts in January, 2009, he said they would continue over the next 18 months and might reach as high as 5,000. With five more months still left to go, Microsoft has overshot its goal by 300. From a bean counting perspective, the layoffs have been a success, helping Microsoft report a record $19 billion revenue in the last quarter.
Surprise, surprise, outsourced IT jobs continue to thrive in India, while it's slim pickings for IT admins looking for employment in the U.S..
Wipro, Infosys Technologies, and Tata Consultancy, which are three of India's largest IT services firms, took on a combined 16,700 new workers in the last quarter alone, bringing the total workforce for all three companies to 359,000 strong.
Growth in the U.S. hasn't been quite as robust. According to the TechServe Alliance, an industry group which tracks U.S. monthly labor IT-related occupational data, the U.S. IT workforce dropped from 4 million in November 2008 to 3.81 million in September 2009, with about 11,000 jobs added between then and the end of last month.
From a dollars standpoint, the total market value of outsourcing contracts reached $24.7 billion for the most recent quarter, the best it's been in six quarters, and representing a sequential increase of 47 percent.
Times are tough, and it can be challenging enough just finding employment, let alone holding out for that dream job. But if you're a Linux guru, you might be in luck. As Linux-powered devices become more prevalent, so too do Linux related job openings.
With that in mind, Linux.com on Thursday announced it has partnered with the JobThread Network to host a worldwide selection of Linux job openings.
"Linux.com is adding an important function that will connect job seekers, employers, and recruiters," Linux.com announced in a blog post. "Linux.com is the community-meeting place for all matters Linux and is the destination for millions of Linux professionals every month; it is the natural forum for the industry's most comprehensive jobs boards."
Current job openings range from full time IT consultants to Unix systems admins, and everything in between.
That's all it takes for Apple to crush your dreams: Fifty little words. In fact, it's only one word--technically a hyphenated compound of two words--that spoils the flavor of the soup.
"Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, unless you have purchased a Family Pack or Upgrade license for the Apple Software, you are granted a limited non-exclusive license to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-branded computer at a time." (emphasis mine)
Don't get the pitchforks and torches out just yet, faithful Maximum PC readers. We're all geeks here. There's nothing wrong about wanting to do a little experimentation. You can say it just as easily as I can: Some parts of OS X are simply superior to what you might find in any Windows-based environment.
The point is ultimately moot, however, because Apple simply won't allow its operating system to exist on any platform but its own. It's not like there's much of a technological gap to leap: If the industrious (albeit illegal) third-party hackers can get OS X to work in a Windows-based virtual environment, I bet the smart minds over in the engineering department at One Infinite Loop can figure it out in short order.