Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bad advice from tech magazine

Wired mag gives this bad advice:
On my blog, I reprint letters from newspaper advice columns with my own comical answers. Am I risking a legal smackdown from Dear Abby?

You bet. The advice queen's reps can reasonably contend that your blog violates copyright.
No, Dear Abby does not have a copyright in the letters. Not unless she admits to writing fake letters, and she isn't likely to do that. Any copyright would belong to the author. And copyright law does not block commentary such as what I am doing now.
My company seems to be hiring lots of foreigners on H-1B visas, while recent US college grads like my daughter go jobless. How do I complain about this without seeming racist?

Applications for H-1B visas are actually down this year, what with the US job market shriveling. ... Visa holders must be paid at least the "prevailing wage" for their occupation, as determined by the US government, and immigration paperwork can run up to $8,500 per visa. So the company doesn't have a financial incentive to load up on H-1Bs. It would be cheaper to hire your kid. ... Meanwhile, congrats on working for a company that's actually hiring.
No, it is cheaper to hire the H-1B foreign worker, and that is the only reason any company ever hires the H-1B. H-1B workers are nearly always paid less than American workers doing the same job. It is not racist to oppose an American policy that favors foreigners over unemployed Americans.
Due to my foolish overreliance on equities, the 529 account I've been keeping for my teenage son has lost more than half its value. How do I tell the boy?

Take a cue from politics and lead with a message of hope. Assure Junior that you're still committed to helping him attend his first-choice college. ...

You should also make it clear that you take full responsibility and are willing to make sacrifices. If that means putting in overtime, getting loans, or selling your beloved Harley, so be it. ...
Again, this is completely foolish advice. He is saying that the dad should mimic Pres. Obama by offering a blank check on money that he does not have.

Would he also tell the kid that he can have his first choice of car, regardless of price and availability of funds? No one should make such silly promises.

An expensive college is a luxury. If the kid just wants education, there are much cheaper ways to get it.

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