Saturday, April 14, 2007

Girls-Go-Tech : Creating Technology Dream For Girls

Interesting campaign to create a technology dream for Girls.  Share the word and make sure you work with atleast one girl to encourage to go tech. 

The Girls Go Tech campaign aims to encourage girls to develop an early interest in math, science, and technology and, ultimately, maintain that interest to help ensure a more diverse, dynamic and productive workforce.

Girls Go Tech campaign! - TV Ads

View TV Ad View TV Ad View TV Ad View TV Ad

-->GirlsGoTech Website

-->Adcouncil 's Page

Friday, April 13, 2007

In Technology, Simplicity Sells!

Wonderful talk by David Pogue, NYT Technology Columnist.

New York Times technology columnist David Pogue opens his talk with a rousing musical number about the trials of customer support, then launches into some sharp commentary on "The Software Upgrade Paradox" ("Improve a piece of software enough times, you eventually ruin it"). Next he takes on the worst interface design offenders, the causes of "Software Rage." After a couple of trips back to the piano, Pogue moves to the success stories, offering examples of products that celebrate the power of simplicity.

Link to TED Talks Page

USCIS Selects Final H1B Petitions by Random Selection - Almost a 50% chance for each Application

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that on April 12 it conducted the computer-generated random selection process to determine which H-1B petitions, subject to the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year 2008 (FY 2008), would continue to final processing. USCIS completed this determination ahead of the preliminary schedule noted on April 3, when it announced it had received enough petitions to meet the cap for FY 2008.

The 123,480 cap-subject petitions received on April 2 and 3 were labeled with unique numerical identifiers and selected randomly by computer. The chosen numerical identifiers were then transmitted to the appropriate service center for further processing.

Source: USCIS Announcement

Number 123,480 looks a lot better keeping in view initial estimates. A good 50% chance for each application to be selected. 



Update: 3rd May 2007 Hello friends, I understand your anxiety. But donĂ¢€™t loose your hope and/or temper yet. Please wait till you receive either your receipt or your petition itself before concluding anything about your application. It is true that USCIS mentioned every one would receive the receipt or the petition itself in 2 weeks, but it looks like it is taking time.

Mean time, some people are even receiving the approvals. So please wait till you receive something from USCIS before planning any changes in your career paths.

Update: 11th May 2007 By today, USCIS would have sent all receipts/rejected applications to all. Give a week or two to receive the communication. So with in a week or two you will have some kind of final confirmation. Congratulations for all those who got your applications accepted and some even got approved already.

For those who received an SRC number and waiting for the approval status you can check the status of your petition here:
https://egov.immigration.gov/cris/jsps/index.jsp
or You may call 1-800-375-5283.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

USCIS Update on 2008 H1B Visas : 119,113 as of 9th April

As of April 9, USCIS has determined that approximately 119,193 of the H-1B petitions received on April 2 and 3 are subject to the FY 2008 congressionally mandated cap.

USCIS received on April 2 and 3 a total of approximately 12,989 cases requesting an exemption from the FY 2008 H-1B cap because they were filed on behalf of aliens holding a masterĂ¢€™s degree or higher from a U.S. institution. USCIS can now announce that the cap of 20,000 on these exempt cases remains open and that USCIS will continue to monitor these filings.

Source: Link to Announcement

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Saturday, April 7, 2007

Amazing Bangalore - A Solace in Pictures

Having spent almost 4 years in Bangalore during the peak, I have seen it growing from Green to an outrageously polluted city. A 15 minutes enjoyable commute in 1999 grew to an alarming and smoking 1 hour 35 minutes by 2003 (at the time I finally left Bangalore).  Real estate prices outpaced the salary hikes of Software engineers by a multiple of 100s. Imagine the life of non-IT middle class natives of Bangalore.

Good in some aspect, the worst in some aspects, Bangalore has never paused growing. Here are some pics I received in an email that shows some of the picturesque spots of Bangalore. Atleast for a moment, we can forget about all worries and just enjoy being there.

(Click on pictures to view larger versions)

At the outset of Diwali Celebrations

Architectural Marvels : Iflex

 

Infosys Campus

TwinTowers

Trinity Tower

UBCity 

Stadium

My favorite hangout, Brigade Road

Bird's eye view

 

MGRoad

State Assembly

 

High Court

ISKCON Temple

Malls

Technology Park

Send me an email to murali at inspions dot net. I will forward the email that actually have some more pictures.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

H1B 2008:USCIS released Preliminary Numbers

USCIS today released the final count of number of unique pieces of mail received for H1B petitions. It received 133,000 unique pieces of mail containing H-1B petitions. I guess, each piece of mail will 'mostly' contain more than one petition, as no company would send each petition in a seperate package and its most unlikely that a firm applies for just one petition.

Probably by the end of next week, we might know the actual number of H1B petitions filed and how lucky one must be to get through the initial filter.

Source: USCIS Releases Preliminary Number of FY 2008 H-1B Cap Filings (26KB PDF) 04/05/2007

During Monday and Tuesday, USCIS received 133,000 unique pieces of mail containing H-1B petitions. This is lower that the original USCIS estimate of 150,000. USCIS based the initial estimate on amounts from manifests received along with the mail. USCIS reached the updated number following a physical count of the mail. Each piece of mail may contain more than one H-1B petition. It will take USCIS a substantial amount of time to open and sort through that volume of mail.

As of Wednesday, 28,052 of the cases sorted are H-1B petitions subject to FY 2008 congressionally mandated cap. Four thousand, seven hundred three (4,703) cases are exempt from the FY 2008 H-1B cap as employers filed those petitions for aliens holding a masterĂ¢€™s degree or higher from a U.S. institution.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

H1B Visacap for 2008 REACHED on Day1 itself

Update: Now it is official and confirmed by USCIS. Here is the official press release from USCIS.

As expected, H1B visa cap for 2008 was reached on day1 itself. On USCIS website, there is no official notification yet, but AILA has posted a PDF file that says its a notification from USCIS. Not sure why USCIS hasn't provided this notification on its website but provided the announcement document just to AILA. Quite strange, suspicious and confusing.

Read the USCIS Notification document from AILA website here

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally mandated cap for fiscal year 2008 (FY 2008). USCIS will use a random selection process (described below) for all cap-subject filings received on April 2, 2007 and April 3, 2007. USCIS will reject and return along with filing fee(s) all petitions received on those days that are not randomly selected.

As of late Monday afternoon (April 2), USCIS had received approximately 150,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions. USCIS must perform initial data entry for all filings received on April 2 and April 3 prior to conducting the random selection process. In light of the high volume of filings, USCIS will not be able to conduct the random selection for several weeks.

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Cap On 2008 H-1B Visas Could Be Reached on Day1 itself

It is still not yet officially confirmed by USCIS, but there is a news item here that infers, cap on H1-B visas could be reached on Day 1 itself. If that is true, then USCIS would take all applications received on 2nd and 3rd of April and use lottery system to pick eligible applications.

USCIS began accepting petitions for fiscal 2008 H-1B visas on Monday. It will accept more petitions than the allocated spots because not all the petitions will be approved for the actual visas.

However, if the mailman's bag is any indication, USCIS may have already reached it's total of petitions, says a USCIS spokeswoman.

USCIS service offices in Vermont and California -- where petitions for H-1B visas are collected -- have reported "significant increases in the amount of mail" they receive, she says. "We've hired extra staff to work in the mailroom and sort through it," she says.

It may take a day or so, but it's possible USCIS has already received the maximum number of visa petitions. "Right now, H-1B is still open," she says. "But once we state the final accept date, we'll stop accepting them and petitions will be rejected," she says.

Source: The Cap On H-1B Visas Could Be Reached Soon - Technology News by InformationWeek

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NDTV.com : Fact or Allegation ? Just another twisted title for sensationalism

This is yet another example of NDTV.com’s sensationalism twisted titles. The title says, as if this was a fact, woman made to urinate in pub...