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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—December 12, 2015

  • Triangle Business Journal:

    A look inside IBM's new 'agile workspace' in RTP, the building that will house the Watson showroom (Photos). By Lauren K. Ohnesorge. Excerpts: Employees are moving into what’s informally called “the agile workspace” on the third floor of a building that is temporarily called "002." Construction started in August and employees began to move in four weeks ago.

    For decades, it’s housed the long white hallways and windowless offices typical of Big Blue. But today, it’s open spaces, white boards and adjustable desks. Its employees don’t have assigned desks.

    “They can work from anywhere,” explains Fran O’Sullivan, IBM Senior State Executive of North Carolina.

    And, while data centers aren’t in line for a revamp, expect the bulk of Big Blue’s office spaces to resemble something like this. For O’Sullivan, it’s an exciting way to interact with her employees. While she gets to keep an office, the walls are glass – meaning colleagues can (and they do) flag her at any moment.

  • TechWeek Europe:

    Ex-IBM Code Leaker Arrested By Undercover Cops. By Ben Sullivan. Excerpts: An ex-IBM software engineer has been arrested and charged with stealing source code and attempting to sell it to rival companies. Twenty-nine year-old Jiaqiang Xu, who worked at IBM as a systems software developer from November 2010 to July 2014, was charged with one count of theft of a trade secret in a federal court in New York.

    Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement: “Theft of trade secrets of the type alleged against Xu drains the lifeblood of innovation and competition, and is rightly a serious federal crime.”

    According to Xu’s LinkedIn profile, he studied Computer Science at the University of Delaware from 2007 to 2009. Before that, Xu studied at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

    According to a complaint filed with the courts, the FBI started hearing reports of a Chinese national having access to IBM source code in 2014. ...

    In October, IBM revealed it will allow the Chinese Government to view the source code of some of its products, in a bid to improve relations between the US technology company and Beijing.

  • Quartz:

    Searching for Eureka: IBM’s path back to greatness, and how it could change the world. By Mike Murphy. Excerpts: Things IBM invented or that wouldn’t exist without it:
    • Punch cards
    • The US Social Security System
    • The hard drive
    • SABRE global travel reservation system
    • Bar codes
    • The Apollo Program’s computers to land the first humans on the moon
    • The mainframe computer
    • The magnetic strip on credit cards
    • The personal computer
    • LASIK laser eye surgical tool
    • The floppy disk
    • WiFi

    IBM has shed its skin so many times it’s hard to believe that this 104-year-old company started life making meat grinders and cheese slicers. Since then, its core business has at different times been punch card machines, clocks, mainframes, and personal computers, and it’s now essentially a $93 billion-a-year enterprise software company, helping equally monolithic firms manage their businesses slightly more effectively than before.

    Yet IBM’s revenues have fallen each of the last 14 quarters and its stock price is knocking around at a five-year low—lagging behind not only tech darlings like Google and Apple but older, stodgier rivals like Microsoft, Oracle, and HP. Critics say it adapted too late to technological shifts such as cloud computing. Prophesying the company’s inexorable decline has become something of a journalistic sport.

    Part of IBM’s response to this doomsaying is contained in a building that looks like a three-story-high flying saucer, perched on top of a hill in the middle of 240 acres of grassland and forest in upstate New York. Its designer was Eero Saarinen, the man behind St. Louis’ Arch and the TWA terminal at JFK Airport, and its curved, glass façade is as imposing and striking in 2015 as it was when it opened decades ago.

    This is IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights—the crown jewel of its network of research facilities. It’s a world away from the corporate headquarters, just 11 miles down the road in Armonk. Inside, tucked away in tiny laboratories, IBM has scientists working, as it has for the last 54 years, on projects that could give it another world-altering technology, like those in the list above. ...

    This year, Rometty launched another new business unit, staffed by 2,000 consultants and called Cognitive Business Solutions, partially to help businesses figure out how to use Watson. Right now, it’s popping up in all sorts of fields, from corporate M&A analysis to fantasy football picks and food pairings. Various iterations of Watson are being used to diagnose cancer, answer questions about Singapore’s tax code, and, yes, suggest where to get a good taco in Austin, Texas. Watson can analyze your personality, come up with new dinner ideas, and help kids have a conversation with their toys. Now Watson can see you, too. ...

    Whether its researchers are explicitly working toward this goal or not, IBM could be on the path to building an artificial intelligence system the likes of which the world has never seen. The power of Watson, the responsiveness of Celia, and a left-brain/right-brain supercomputer working together could put us humans firmly in the passenger seat of intelligence, with IBM’s supersystem’s brain blazing by us in terms of pure thought power. ...

    Will science save IBM? So will the research division provide the answer to the company’s revenue decline and stagnating stock price? Will we ever have access to a future version of Watson, running on a quantum computer, powered by carbon nanotube chips, and built by IBM?

    “I would say it’s possible—if it happens, it’ll be by accident,” Robert Cringely, a former InfoWorld and Forbes columnist, told Quartz. “But then, many research breaks are accidental.”

    Cringely believes that IBM can’t get out its own way, and that the current revenue downturn the company is experiencing foretells something worse. He wrote a book entitled The Decline and Fall of IBM in 2014, in which he relates what may be an apocryphal joke told by former CEO Lou Gerstner that “good ideas don’t come out of IBM research—they escape.”

    Cringely doubts that IBM can monetize any of the moonshots it’s working on—even Watson. “IBM is perfectly happy to sell consulting services with Watson to help them figure out what to do with it, but even they don’t know what to do with it,” he said. ...

    In short, Big Blue’s corporate chiefs must make sure that near-term bets on things like the cloud and security can quickly produce more revenue, as their people figure out how to turn Watson into a significant money-maker in the next handful of years. Watson could then conceivably buy more time for all those big, blue-sky projects IBM’s scientists are plugging away at. It’s going to take a while—if it happens at all.

    Editor's note: This article contains many historical photos of IBM facilities, including from Yorktown Heights, Toronto, and Dayton, as well as illustrations of historical logos, brochures, and equipment.

  • The Register:

    IBM bats away Australian sueball over billion-dollar-blowout. 2010 get-out-of-jail free card can't be revoked, says Queensland's Supreme Court. By Simon Sharwood. Excerpts: The long-running saga of IBM's botched payroll system in the Australian State of Queensland seems to have come to an end, with Big Blue escaping an attempt at further litigation.

    IBM won the project in 2007 and initially quoted a few million dollars for the creation of a new payroll system for the State's Health Department. By 2010, the project had foundered, and staff were being paid wrong amounts when they were paid at all. Costs blew out – past a billion dollars.

    Big Blue was later found to have committed ethical transgressions to score the gig.

    A commission of inquiry found that IBM may have won the work with wonky work practices, but that the Queensland Government's bad and overly flexible brief, plus lousy project management, were substantial causes of the project's failure. ...

    So ends Australia's most notable IT project catastrophe, an affair from which IBM and the Queensland Government emerge with diminished credibility. SAP walks away from the affair with pride intact: the company and its software have never been found to be at fault in the project's collapse.

  • The Register:

    IBM has visions of a cloudy future ... so buys Clearleap. Just add it to the acquisition pile, on top of Gravitant. By Kat Hall. Excerpts: IBM has slurped up video services company Clearleap for an undisclosed pile of cash, part of Big Blue's ongoing moves to reinvent itself as a cloudy player. Clearleap will be integrated into the IBM Cloud platform, said the tech giant.

    According to IBM, Clearleap's video platform allows customers to support millions of concurrent users within seconds to support special events. The technology is used by HBO, BBC America, Sony Movie Channel and Time Warner Cable. ...

    The company has been eagerly beefing up its cloud offering for sometime, having splashed $2bn on Dallas-based SoftLayer back in June 2013.

  • The Register:

    IBM, NetApp lose ground amid global storage systems growth, says IDC. HP and ODM on the rise, however. By Chris Mellor. Excerpts: IDC's quarterly storage tracker* has revealed that IBM and NetApp have lost the most ground, and HP and ODMs have gained most. Total worldwide enterprise storage systems factory revenue grew 2.8 per cent year on year to reach $9.13bn during the third quarter of 2015.

    In the total disk storage systems market EMC led the field with an 18.4 per cent revenue share ($1.82bn), a fall of eight per cent year on year. HP, in second place, rose 16 per cent year on year to $1.49bn, not so far behind EMC. We find Dell in third place with $899.4m, 1.6 per cent less than a year ago.

    NetApp was in joint fourth place with IBM, with its revenues of $651m being 12.8 per cent down on the year.

    However, IBM's revenues of $584.6m were a huge 32.5 per cent down on the year, although we should remember that Big Blue's third quarter 2015 revenue excludes x86 servers due to the sale of that business to Lenovo.

  • ZD-Net:

    IBM's #HackAHairDryer: A lesson in turning STEM women away from your company. Personally, I'd like to see #HackAHairClipper next. By Charlie Osborne for Zero Day. Excerpts: When a company like IBM unintentionally reinforces stereotypes which compartmentalize women into a species which only cares about looking good and domestic chores, the backlash is going to be something stunning to see.

    Let's talk about #HackAHairDryer, the latest campaign designed to lure more women into the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields by. Big Blue's latest scheme -- dating back from October but receiving little attention -- was recently re-advertized over Twitter using the #HackAHairDryer hash tag.

    This time, people took notice. A number of female engineers, scientists, coders and the like are not too happy, and you can no doubt guess why if you watch the video below. ...

    Let's be frank. How anyone in this day and age can think such a campaign is a good idea -- especially for a company with the reputation and reach of IBM -- is outrageous. Any women in these fields, working alongside their often excellent male counterparts, can be equally competent and should be treated as such.

    The video talks of innovation "not caring what you look like," while at the same time, uses a woman, hairdryer and scattered cosmetics to, what, not enforce stereotypes? If IBM has a shortage of male coders in the future shall we see an accompanying campaign dubbed #HackAHairClipper? ...

    The technology industry is stiff with competition and it is not a walk in the park to work within it, whether you are male or female. However, in any industry, women still have to put up with these ridiculous stereotypes across all walks of life, and it will take the gradual adjustment of attitudes in the West -- which many companies and individuals are trying to promote -- before this changes.

    So no, IBM -- I don't want to play with a hairdryer on your behalf. I'm happier cracking connected home appliances and poking servers, thank you.

  • HuffPost Science:

    IBM Apologizes For Telling Women Engineers To 'Hack A Hair Dryer' "It missed the mark for some and we apologize," the company now says. By Emily Peck. Excerpts: The company said it would discontinue #HackAHairDryer, an ad campaign that unintentionally delivered the unfortunate message that if you want women to be interested in tech you need to make it all about "girl stuff." The whole thing came off like corporate "pinkwashing," the adult equivalent of pink Legos. Twitter outrage came quickly, particularly from women in tech -- the intended audience for the campaign. ...

    IBM, like most of its tech peers, doesn't employ very many women: Just one-quarter of the company's management team is female, according to internal data. That's sadly huge progress. The number of female executives at the company increased 562 percent over the past 20 years, according to IBM.

    You have to wonder if any of the women at IBM looked at this ad before it went out.

    The ad uses the hair dryer to make all kinds of empowering puns. The woman narrating talks about "blowing away the misconceptions" and "blasting through the bias."

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “Be Essential — Come work for IBM”

      Current Employee — Manager in Littleton, MA. I have been working at IBM (more than 10 years). Pros: Work for a company that is changing the world — Watson Health, Cognitive Computing, Design Thinking Smart, collaborative colleagues. Cons: Need to be assertive to ensure your innovative ideas are heard.
    • “Program Manager”

      Former Employee — Program Manager. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Work from home flexibility, was able to work on a variety of programs. Interesting initiatives are happening around the world, there are lectures available to all IBMers to help them keep informed at a very high level. Cons: Company is too large and matrixed, difficult to make a difference. Some management seems disengaged and just trying to tow the line. Advice to Management: Communication needs to improve. Relevant and timely communication to help teams understand how they fit in to the corporate structure and how the work feeds in to the strategic vision.
    • “A truly diverse company”

      Current Employee — Diversity & Inclusion Leader in London, England (UK). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: If you want to work in an environment where you can bring your whole self to work, consider joining IBM. A diverse workforce offers greater opportunities for creativity, and is always innovating. Cons: Making the time to really find out more about all your amazing colleagues. Advice to Management: Continue to encourage creativity by leveraging difference.
    • “Best company in the world to work”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Pune (India). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than a year). Pros: good working time, culture, flexibility to work. Cons: there is no cons in ibm to work. Advice to Management: no advice for them
    • “Big Blue”

      Current Employee — Information Developer in Cambridge, MA.

      Pros: Challenging, interesting, and varied projects to work. Generally, smart, helpful, customer-focused colleagues work very well together in cross-function teams across locations. Good pay and benefits, flexible work environment, and work from home opportunities (depending on management).

      Cons: Frequent re-orgs, and layoffs in some areas affect morale, especially when new folks are hired to replace those recently let go. New hires are provided training that current employees are not eligible to attend. Long hours sometimes required, including weekends and holidays. Work-life balance difficult.

      Advice to Management: Respect and value current employees. Allow more creativity and flexibility. Methods used to overhaul employee reviews a good model.

    • “Not so good”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Not a whole lot, honestly. Cons: Too much travel, not enough compensation or benefits, and extremely difficult to get promoted within.
    • “Executive Administrative Assistant”

      Former Employee — Paralegal/Legal Secretary in Falls Church, VA. I worked at IBM (more than a year). Pros: Telework, great client interactions, self paced, global exposure. Cons: Management — so busy with their microscopes on a set of people that they miss entire groups regularly going out to happy hour for 2.5 hour lunches — overly arrogant regarding what they think are errors in work that they miss that it's actually correct information.
    • “Sales Support”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: A large breadth of job opportunities given that IBM is a large company serving many areas of the IT industry. Cons: Too focused on cutting costs (e.g. reducing head count). IBM still lays off 10% of its employees each year. Advice to Management: IBM should increase its investment in the company to grow revenue. Less share buy backs.
    • “IBM”

      Current Employee — Managing Consultant in Canberra (Australia). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 5 years). Pros: Flexible working arrangements, some travel. Can be an interesting variety of work. Very much have to manage own career. Cons: Lots (and lots) of process. Outdated systems, lots of multiple handling of the same data.
    • “With IBM, you don't sign for just a job, you build your career...”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Delhi (India). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 8 years). Pros: IBM is a unique organization, the only company that has continuously reinvented itself...era after era, continuously, for 105 years. And has built careers...in all these eras...with focus and commitment. An organization that transforms itself continuously and also supports and encourages its employees to do so. I realized this when I joined IBM. I did not sign up for a job. I landed myself an amazing opportunity to enhance my expertise and skills in the field I was very keen to work in. And it has been possible due to IBM' s "Underlying commitment to Enhancing Skills", "Promoting a Culture that is Committed to driving Great Employee Experience", a "Strong Focus on Nurturing Talent" and "Encouraging Feedback". That's what you get...when you get an opportunity to work in IBM. You get build your career. Cons: None that I have experienced.
    • “Careful!”

      Former Employee — Senior Financial Analyst in Brookfield, CT. I worked at IBM (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Some flexibility with normal work hours. Could come in up to 2 hours before or after 'normal' work hours and leave later or earlier, as appropriate. Sometimes could work from home as each person gets their own laptop. Can change jobs within the company after 2-3 years, if you want to learn different areas.

      Cons: My experience with 99.9% of managers was that if you got the job done, and someone else didn't, they wouldn't spend the time and work with the slacker to get him/her to do his/her job. They would just add it to you to do it. You can complain, but they don't care, because they know you'll get the work done, or you have failed to be a 'team player' — they LOVE that buzz word! But why would it take 3 people to replace you each time you left a job?

      Advice to Management: MANAGE your people instead of taking the easy way out, or at least recognize and reward your workers.

    • “Good company for growth”

      Current Employee — Sales Executive in Kampong Changi (Singapore). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 8 years). Pros: Cross industry offerings, futuristic technologies, long-term outlook, options to explores roles in various functions, good medical benefits and work-life balance Cons: Bureaucratic, too many in top management, limited benefits, substandard salary, slow to market, weighed down by its own history. Advice to Management: Need a focus on younger audience.
    • “Losing its way”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee in Auckland (New Zealand). I worked at IBM full-time (less than a year). Pros: Flexible work arrangements, can work from home. Cons: Focus on EPS and hollowing out of consulting services has left it a shadow of its former self.
    • “No technical direction/cohesiveness”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: The compensation was good and there are definitely opportunities to move around within the company. Flexibility to work remotely. Cons: Lotus Notes. Lack of unification and overlap between products (many of which were acquired) made it difficult to provide logical and cohesive customer solutions.
    • “Excellent Environment”

      Current Employee — Global Technical Executive in New York, NY. I have been working at IBM (more than 10 years). Pros: Innovation, Intelligent team community, Leadership. Cons: Large corporate structure, agility, change management. Advice to Management: Let's be aggressive and move faster.
    • “Very slow and bureaucratic.”

      Current Employee — Advisory Software Engineer in Gold Coast (Australia). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: If you are not that good, you can hide in the company. There is a lot of process, more concern for the shareholders than the customers or employees. Cons: Pay increases nonexistent. And if you stay too long, your pay not at market rates. The work is badly organised and run, where you end up not doing any programming. Advice to Management: Need to make things more streamlined.
    • “Great for experience but not a career”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Good exposure to new technologies (usually through acquisitions) and good support teams behind you. Mostly work from home office which helps, but travel can be high as sales teams and customers are scattered over your territory. If you are just starting out, probably a good place to get some experience and add to your resume, but move on after 5 years or so.

      Cons: Commissions and quotas...IBM constantly makes changes to control your earnings, so very difficult to have a blowout quarterly paycheck. IBM imposes a ton of internal process work that never seems to end, but this is typical of most large companies vs. startups. Constant need to justify your existence.

      Advice to Management: Stop asking employees to keep tracking everything they do. Just because it can be tracked doesn't mean that it should. Provide more resources to help the field teams do their jobs.

    • “Okay”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Great benefits. Close relationship to partners. Ability to set your own path and stay in your position without pressure to move up. Cons: Hard to find a path to move up or gain the skills needed to develop. Advice to Management: Invest more in training opportunities. Deloitte had a whole campus devoted to employee training.
    • “Service Delivery Manager”

      Former Employee — Service Delivery Manager in New York, NY. I worked at IBM (less than a year). Pros: Work-Life balance is good if you the employee manage it. Pay and benefits are average to above average. Strategic outsourcing should be avoided. Cons: Compartmentalization of business units has discouraged teamwork; too much "not my job" due to strict policies within job bands. If you do not manage your work-life, daily/weekly hours are out of control. No one will ever tell you to stop working; the environment stresses work upon work, which is unrealistic. Advice to Management: Too much turnover is affecting employee morale. Attempting to make quarterly numbers with constant layoffs is not working. Keep your high performers to protect the future
    • “Channel Sales”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Talented individuals who have ideas on how to fix the many problems; however, they are ignored. Cons: Lots of 'deadwood' individuals operating on models from the 1970's. Too many people only interested in keeping their jobs, not growing the business. Advice to Management: Look for the talented people and listen to them.
    • “Client services executive”

      Current Employee — Cloud Services in Austin, TX. I have been working at IBM (more than a year). Pros: Good job to have on your resume. Large corporate experience. Cons: Organizationally it is fairly chaotic. Changes every quarter just when you start to get traction. A new product every 2-3 weeks with no cohesive strategy. Advice to Management: Please provide some stability.
    • “Abundant professional opportunities, but bad morale”

      Former Employee — Senior IT Architect in Boulder, CO.

      Pros: Plenty of opportunity to learn best practice in development, project management and service management. Work with highly intelligent and dedicated teams.

      Cons: Don't think that just because you are at one of the biggest IT companies in the world you will be working on cutting edge technology. In the Services arm of the business, you work on old equipment with limited funding for investment. You often create home grown solutions instead of using existing technology because they won't fund it. Lots of political limitations here. Horrible morale. They do not concern themselves with the best interests of their employees or customers.

      Advice to Management: Fifteen years ago, operating principles included "Do what we say we're going to do". Management should go back to that. Take care of your employees and your customers. You too lean too far. The staff is not just lean...they are starving.

  • Wall Street Journal:

    Is the U.S. Going to Slash the Number of H-1B Visas It Issues? By Newley Purnell. Excerpts: Another month, another U.S. bill aimed at cracking down on Indian outsourcing firms. Two U.S. senators have filed legislation that would cut the number of skilled-worker permits, known as H-1B visas, the Department of Homeland Security issues to 70,000 from 85,000– a reduction of some 17%.

    Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat from Florida, said Tuesday in a statement that the bill he and Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions are proposing also stipulates that the government give the visas based on salary, rather than via a lottery.

    This is designed to target outsourcing firms “that rely on lower-wage foreign workers to replace equally-qualified U.S. workers,” according to Mr. Nelson’s statement.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • Actually, why doesn't the government auction these visas? If these HB1 workers are so valuable, let Google et all pay $100K+ per employee per annum. If companies have to pay, then we can easily determine whether there are no Americans capable of doing these jobs, or that foreigners are just cheaper.
    • I used to work in the IT field as an independent consultant and saw first hand how companies used these H1-B visa guest workers. In theory, they are supposed to be brought in because they have skills that cannot be found in the domestic workforce. In practice, they are brought in for the cheap labor and companies will use them first before they look for comparable workers in the domestic labor force. To solve this problem, before a H1-B guest worker is brought in, a company should prove to the government that a comparable worker cannot be found in the domestic labor pool. Sadly, this is not the practice now.
    • They should be completely eliminated until every US Citizen graduating from college with an IT degree.
    • This program is ripe with abuses by ALL the major corporations in the US. All of them.
    • This visa has seen enough abuse. All of the top 10 H1-B employers are outsourcing firms, 7 of which are Indian. The 3 US firms with the most H1Bs are IBM, Accenture and Deloitte. By the Infosys CEO's own admission, over 75% of Indian "engineering" grads are unhirable due to poor quality of Indian universities. The remaining 25% still need massive training before they can be deployed to the US.

      Why can't they hire and train US citizens instead? 55% of our college grads are either unemployed or underemployed, there's no reason why we should continue to allow massive importation of cheap, low quality foreign workers. It isn't just H1B either, these companies also abuse the B1 and L1 visas that are meant for intra company work, and used them for outsourcing work instead. Then we get left wing nuts/greedy employers like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates spending millions lobbying for more H1b visas. Enough! Put our citizens to work first.

      Congress should also put in a law that says no company can have more than 25% of its workforce on H1B. Many of the Indian outsourcing firms like Infosys, Cognizant, TCS etc. are 90% Indian. Some even bring in their cafeteria workers and janitors from India. What's the weather in Seattle today? Cloudy with a chance of Indians.

    • It's also high time we increase the fee of this visa. The current lowly fee of $2,500 per visa is far too low. We need to increase the fee to $100,000 per visa. Use 80% the money to fund a US citizen to get a Computer Science or Computer Engineering degree, and the rest to investigate companies that abuse this visa. There are fraudulent Indian "outsourcing" firms in the midwest who claim to hire H1b high tech workers, then place the Indian nationals coming in at fast food places and gas stations in high cost coastal cities.

      Make it a one-to-one ratio. Each H1-B visa issued goes to fund one US citizen's college degree in CS. Once the citizen graduates, s/he'll replace the H1b worker who then goes home.

      This is supposed to be a visa that plugs a "temporary" worker shortage, but our employers are using it as a long term solution and have created a permanent tech worker "shortage". Now ageism is rife in tech, if you are over 40 forget about getting a permanent job in tech. Employers are no longer interested in training workers either, because they have the whole world's labor supply at their finger tips thanks to this visa scheme.

      Also at colleges where the number of slots for CS major is limited, more and more of these slots are being given to foreign students from China and India who pay higher tuition therefore get preference, further worsening our "shortage". It's ridiculous how our colleges, corporations and politicians are all clamoring to toss aside native citizens in pursuit of more foreign dollars or cheaper foreign workers/voters. America is a nation of immigrants. If you're a citizen, you're out of luck.

    • What makes a lot of sense is to prioritize H1B visas to workers earning the highest salaries and maybe have a hard floor of $60-75k per year so that the visa is used on bringing in the best and brightest talent from rest of the world, not cheap labor. In addition, foreign students who spent money on getting an education in US universities should have priority over low quality grads from India.
  • Pew Research Center:

    The American Middle Class Is Losing Ground. No longer the majority and falling behind financially. Excerpts: After more than four decades of serving as the nation’s economic majority, the American middle class is now matched in number by those in the economic tiers above and below it. In early 2015, 120.8 million adults were in middle-income households, compared with 121.3 million in lower- and upper-income households combined, a demographic shift that could signal a tipping point, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data.

    In at least one sense, the shift represents economic progress: While the share of U.S. adults living in both upper- and lower-income households rose alongside the declining share in the middle from 1971 to 2015, the share in the upper-income tier grew more.

    Over the same period, however, the nation’s aggregate household income has substantially shifted from middle-income to upper-income households, driven by the growing size of the upper-income tier and more rapid gains in income at the top. Fully 49% of U.S. aggregate income went to upper-income households in 2014, up from 29% in 1970. The share accruing to middle-income households was 43% in 2014, down substantially from 62% in 1970. ...

    The income it takes to be middle income varies by household size, with smaller households requiring less to support the same lifestyle as larger households. For a three-person household, the middle-income range was about $42,000 to $126,000 annually in 2014. However, a one-person household needed only about $24,000 to $73,000 to be middle income. For a five-person household to be considered middle income, its 2014 income had to range from $54,000 to $162,000. ...

    The hollowing of the American middle class has proceeded steadily for more than four decades. Since 1971, each decade has ended with a smaller share of adults living in middle-income households than at the beginning of the decade, and no single decade stands out as having triggered or hastened the decline in the middle. ...

    The gaps in income and wealth between middle- and upper-income households widened substantially in the past three to four decades. As noted, one result is that the share of U.S. aggregate household income held by upper-income households climbed sharply, from 29% in 1970 to 49% in 2014.

  • Alliance for Retired Americans Blog. Stories this week include:
New on the Alliance@IBM Site

http://www.endicottalliance.org/thedisintegrationofemploymentinIBM.htm To all Alliance supporters, send and share the above link to the article "The disintegration of employment in IBM" far and wide. Put it on your FaceBook page; send it to newspapers; send it with comments to your political reps and send it to your co-workers. Help break the secrecy of IBM job cuts. Put some pressure on IBM. -Alliance-

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 12/04/15:

    Location: Hortolandia, Sao Paulo; Customer Account: Whirlpool; Business Unit: GTS; Product Line: Strategic Outsourcing. Message: Project Velocity coming until end of September. It will wipe out dozens of people and replacing them with Indian positions. GTS Brazil will be wiped off the map. Brazil will have massive unemployed people for this Xmas hohoho -Anonymous-
  • Comment 12/05/15:

    Job Title: Administrative. Location: Mid-Hudson Valley; Customer Account: None; Business Unit: HR; Product Line: n/a. Message: IBM sent us seven shares of Equity Stock available this month. I had seven shares when I set up my account, and now IBM already automatically reduced my shares to three going forward and withheld three shares for taxes right off the top! So they actually only gave me four shares. No reason to leave the shares there to grow — it was more of a hassle to have two stock plans at IBM with two accounts so I sold mine. For those who commented way back that it almost replaced skipping a year of GDP wait until you see how little you actually got. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 12/06/15:

    So you hung on and waited and waited for your seven shares of IBM stock? Waited time well spent? It is about 50% less now than when announced under Palmisano. Waited time well spent? So you hung on and still haven't joined the Alliance? The Alliance hasn't been doing 50% less since Palmisano was CEO. Actually they have been doing much more with less support. Make your time well spent. Join now! -Anonymous-
  • Comment 12/06/15:

    Job Title: Going Soon, One Way or the Other. Message: Re: Project Velocity. I do think there is a plan underfoot to move large numbers of IBMers to business partners in January as part of the next big reorg, in addition to another large RA. The ship is sinking, and we hardworking employees are the ballast and 'water' that is being bailed overboard. We are the chattel. I've heard that all sales and technical assets are being packaged so as to be more portable, as part of this effort (so they are more easily consumed and moved to these other companies).

    Velocity is a word for smaller sales in IBM, and we've been moving those deals to partners for a while to focus on the bigger ones internally. Maybe now the 'velocity' is the people, not just the deals. The Champions for Growth project mentioned earlier is another example of this. What kind of title is that for a project to move IBMers out? Are you a 'champion for growth' by throwing yourself on your sword to help the company, who certainly hasn't been compassionate to employees?

    Anyone hear about our execs foregoing their bonuses due to the dismal death spiral they have put this great icon into? The most virtuous thing one can do is fight for a noble cause. Remember back when employees were mere slaves with no benefits, dying on the job, to make people like the Carnegies and Mellons filthy rich?

    Capitalism has its cost. Now, the balance is tipped way against us again. Executive compensation in salary and benefits are through the roof, while employee benefits and salary have stagnated through a seven year bull market. We have just a few families in this country controlling the vast majority of the wealth.

    It's time to be noble again and organize. You don't have to get your skull busted like our brave forefathers, just shell out a few bucks a month to join the Alliance. Trust me, you'll feel better fighting back rather than being a lamb led to slaughter. --ReadTheTeaLeaves--

  • Comment 12/06/15:

    My seven IBM stock shares that I worked for six years to vest has finally came to pass! What a glorious day! I've received a crumb from my masters for all my dedicated hard work! Oh wait...looks like three of those seven shares are being with held to pay for taxes so I'm only really getting four shares. But always the optimist that's more than half that was promised! More than half a crumb, folks! Grand total of $500. I'm chomping at the bit to get into the office on Monday and produce my best. Another nice firm slap in the face is always a great motivating tool! -SuperMotivatedNow-
  • Comment 12/08/15:

    Job Title: Project Manager; Location: WFH; Customer Account: IBM; Business Unit: GTS. Message: I was RAed in Feb 2012 (read fired) Band 10 PM. I was actually looking forward to it as the company was just a shell of it former self. It was very good in 1999 when I joined, and it started going downhill shortly within a few years. When I was promoted with no raise is when I started to see the writing on the wall. I can't imagine how difficult it is today. I also can't understand those who elect to stay. Trust me, there is life, a better life outside of IBM. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Opportunity abounds post IBM. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 12/10/15:

    I was on IBM Short Term Disability (STD) during February-March of this year. I still have not received my GDP payment even though I was a PBC 2+ in 2014 before I went on medical. Is this normal for IBMers on short term disability? I'm seriously concerned that I am going to be unfairly given a PBC 3 and be given that as the reason why I did not get the GDP. It is not my fault I contacted a serious virus and missed billable targets for THIS YEAR when I was fully utilized LAST YEAR and got the PBC 2+. -STD'edGDP'ed-
  • Comment 12/10/15:

    I wouldn't get too excited about the new "Agile Workspace" in RTP. Basically it is management forcing workers back to the office and into a tense, continuously monitored environment with no privacy. It will be loud, you'll have no space of your own, and it will be difficult to think. Mood marbles? Better be sure you always choose the light-colored ones! And make sure your discussion card is always flipped to the green side. What humiliation! The environment will be great for loud-mouthed managers, terrible for workers who do all the work. Worse than cubicles. -Anonymous-

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