An IT labor economics lesson from Memphis for IBM

My recent series of columns on troubles at IBM brought me many sad stories from customers burned by Big Blue. I could write column after column just on that, but it wouldn’t be any fun so I haven’t. Only now a truly teachable lesson has emerged from a couple of these horror tales and it has to do with U.S. IT labor economics and immigration policy. In short the IT service sector has been shoveling a lot of horse shit about H1B visas.

The story about H1B visas is simple. H1B’s are given for foreign workers to fill U.S. positions that can’t be filled with qualified U.S. citizens or by permanent U.S. residents who hold green cards. H1Bs came into existence because there weren’t enough […]

The crowdfunding bubble of 2013 part 3 — how to make it successful

This is the third and final part of my series on crowdfunding. In part one we learned how important crowd funding can be for helping tech startups and the economy. In part two we worried about how criminals and con men might game the eventual crowdfunding system when it starts in earnest next January. And in this final part I suggest a strategy for crowdfunding success that essentially comes down to carpe diem — seize the day!

Crowdfunding done right will have a huge positive impact on any economy it touches. But by done right I mean done in a manner that maximizes impact and minimizes both corruption and unnecessary complexity. This […]

Death of the Mac Pro

I know I promised a third part in my crowdfunding series but the first two parts have generated a lot of backchannel discussions that have put part three in a bit of flux. We have a chance to do something really amazing here so please give me another day or so and I promise to be back with something fun to read in part three. In the meantime there was something I found especially interesting about Apple’s announcements yesterday….

Not all of Apple’s new and upgraded products were even mentioned in yesterday’s WWDC keynote. I was especially interested in Apple’s tower computer, the Mac Pro, which was yesterday both upgraded and killed at the same time.

The […]

The crowdfunding bubble of 2013 part 2 — crooks and con men

Legal crowdfunding is coming, as I explained in the first part of this series. Thanks to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, investors big and small will soon have new ways to buy shares in startups and other small companies. This should be very good for growing companies and for the economy overall, but there’s peril for individual investors from scammers likely to be operating in the early days of this new law.

Most concerns hearken back to the Banking Act of 1933, enacted to bring order and regulation to the banking industry during the Great Depression.  It was the collapse of the banking industry, not the stock market crash, that did most of the damage […]

IPv6 rollout is a yawner (that’s good!)

Yesterday 3000 important web sites including Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Yahoo as well as many top Internet Service Providers turned on their IPv6 support and this time they left it turned on. Nothing happened. Or maybe I should say nothing bad happened, which is good, very good.

The world is quickly running out of new IPv4 addresses with almost 3.7 billion issued. There are two workarounds: 1) complicate the net further with cascading arrays of Network Address Translation (NAT) servers that slow things down, inhibit native inbound connections like VoIP, and defeat location services both good and bad, or; 2) move to IPv6 with 128-bit addresses (IPv4 is 32-bit) that would allow giving an IPv6 address […]