Sunday, April 29, 2007


Rubik's cube…is the act of persisting or persevering; continuing or repeating behavior;

To continue with it in spite of resistance, difficulty, discouragement, etc.

  • “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit.” – Conrad Hilton
  • “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” – Thomas Edison
  • “I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Arriving at one point is the starting point to another.” – John Dewey
  • Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” – John Quincy Adams
  • “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” - Napoleon Hill
  • “Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity.” – Louis Pasteur
  • “You're not obligated to win. You're obligated to keep trying to do the best you can every day.” – Marian Wright Edelman
  • “The most essential factor is persistence - the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come.” – James Whitcomb Riley
  • “Persist and persevere, and you will find most things that are attainable, possible.” – Lord Chesterfield
  • “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” - Calvin Coolidge
  • “It is hard to beat a person who never gives up.” – Babe Ruth
  • “I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” – John D. Rockefeller
  • "Being defeated is only a temporary condition; giving up is what makes it permanent." - Marilyn Savant

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Lou Dobbs on H-1B Random Selection

More polemic about H-1B visas... Check out this video from CNN´s Lou Dobbs Tonight.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Power of Creativity

Surfing YouTube I found this amazing video collection of the latest and most stunning communication, advertising and marketing initiatives from all over the world.

It's just awesome, Enjoy!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

H-1B Final Selection Process

USCIS Clarifies Status of Receipt Notices Dated Before April 12, 2007

H-1B visaWASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 12 that it completed 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 be accepted for processing. On April 3, USCIS announced that it had received enough petitions to meet the cap for FY 2008 and that it would conduct a computer-generated random selection of cap-subject petitions filed on Monday, April 2, and Tuesday, April 3. As a result of the high volume of petitions subject to the computer-generated random selection process, USCIS did not conduct data-entry of all cap-subject filings. Rather, it developed new procedures that enabled the agency to efficiently process cap-subject petitions.

In accordance with 8 CFR 103.1(a)(7) and standard USCIS procedure, FY 2008 cap-subject H-1B petitions were stamped to reflect the time and date of actual receipt.

On Wednesday April 4, 2007, USCIS began assigning unique numerical identifiers to all cap-subject H-1B petitions received on April 2 and 3. USCIS assigned a unique numerical identification number to the 123,480 properly filed H-1B petitions and, on April 12, conducted the computer-generated random selection process to determine which petitions would be accepted for processing. In accordance with 8 CFR 214.2(h)(8)(ii), those petitions not randomly selected, as well as any cap-subject petitions received after April 3, will be rejected.

USCIS did not issue receipt notices for all 123,480 petitions received on April 2 and 3. However, it did conduct data-entry and generate (and in some cases actually issue) receipt notices for a portion of cap-subject petitions prior to conducting the computer-generated random selection process. The issuance of receipt notices prior to conducting the computer-generated random selection process had no impact whatsoever on whether a petition has been randomly selected for processing.

USCIS appreciates that this process has caused some confusion regarding whether petitions have actually been selected for processing and offers a detailed explanation of its procedures below:

  • Some cap-subject petitions were data-entered on April 2 and 3. As a result, fees were deposited in connection with these petitions and receipt notices on Form I-797 were issued. USCIS cannot invalidate these receipt notices because the fees have been deposited. Petitioners who received receipt notices dated prior to April 12, 2007 cannot assume that their H-1B petitions have been accepted for processing. For cases that fall into this group, those that were not randomly chosen will be returned to petitioners and the filing fee will be subsequently refunded. Those that were accepted for processing will be processed under the original receipt notice.
  • Some cap-subject H-1B petitions were data-entered on Wednesday, April 4 and receipt notices on Form I-797 were generated, but never issued to petitioners. As USCIS did not deposit any of the fees submitted with these filings, these receipt notices have been voided. For cases that fall into this group, those that were not chosen will be returned to petitioners with the filing fees and those that were accepted for processing will be issued official receipt notices dated on or after April 12, 2007.
  • Finally, a small number of cap-subject H-1B petitions, filed under premium processing, were also data-entered on April 4. In accordance with USCIS procedure, e-mail notification acknowledging receipt of these petitions was issued to petitioners. Official receipt notices on Form I-797 were generated, but never issued, and USCIS did not deposit any of the fees submitted with these filings. Thus, all generated receipt notices have been voided. For cases that fall into this group, those that were not chosen will be returned to petitioners with the filing fees and those that were accepted for processing will be sent a second e-mail confirmation of receipt and will be issued new receipt notices on Form I-797 dated on or after April 12, 2007.

USCIS will return all petitions not randomly selected for processing, with the fee(s) to the petitioner or their authorized representative. Final notification of those petitions is expected to occur in May 2007.

USCIS continues to accept new FY 2008 cap-exempt H-1B petitions filed on behalf of aliens with U.S.-earned masters’ or higher degrees. USCIS will make a future announcement regarding the “final receipt date” for these petitions.


Sunday, April 15, 2007


Ocean at night
…is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life.

Hope implies a certain amount of perseverance.

  • “One who has health has hope, and one who has hope has everything.” Arabic proverb
  • “All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope.” Alexander Dumas
  • “Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.” Rita Mae Brown
  • “Every area of trouble gives out a ray of hope; and the one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  • “Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” Martin Luther
  • “Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out.” ­ Vaclav Havel
  • “Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.” Anonymous
  • “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.” Albert Einstein
  • “High expectations are the keys to everything.” Anonymous
  • “While there's life, there's hope!” Ancient Proverb

Saturday, April 14, 2007

USCIS H-1B Update

Revised Business Procedures Expedite Processing

USCIS logoWASHINGTON - 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.
Applicants who submitted properly filed petitions that are accepted for adjudication will receive a receipt notice. All petitions not chosen will be returned with the fee(s) to the petitioner or their authorized representative. The total process is expected to take approximately four weeks.

For the cases initially filed for premium processing, the 15-day premium processing period begins on April 12, the day petitions were selected through the random selection process.
USCIS will provide additional updates as the processing of FY 2008 H-1B cap cases continues.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

How Blogging can help you get a new Job

Blogging keyboardCorporate recruiters have long surfed the Web to vet potential hires, but now they are also surfing blogs to unearth job candidates, expanding their talent pool and gaining insights they say they can't get from resumes and interviews.

Ryan Loken, a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recruitment manager, says he spends one to two hours a week searching through blogs for new talent or additional information about the candidates he has interviewed. "Blogs are a tool in the tool kit," he says. Since he joined the Bentonville, Ark., retail giant three years ago, Mr. Logen estimates that Web journals have helped him fill 125 corporate jobs. Most of the recruits were referred to him by bloggers and blog contributors, and some were the writers themselves.

In addition to blogs that focus on their industry or field of interest, recruiters say they check candidates' blogs about noncareer-related topics for evidence of writing skills and clues to how well rounded they are.

Most blog-related recruits are professionals in technology and media because jobs in these fields often require knowledge of the blogosphere, says Kirsten Dixson, a founding partner at Brandego LLC, a career-management firm in Exeter, N.H., that specializes in personal branding.

In June, Brian Balfour's blog,, inspired an unsolicited offer for a product-manager job from an executive at Zoom Information Inc. "I was impressed by the points Brian was making and the way he was making them," says Russell Glass, vice president of products and marketing at the Waltham, Mass., technology company. The blog also offered details about Mr. Balfour's work history and education. "It was a no-brainer to give him a call and see if he'd be interested," Mr. Glass says.

Mr. Balfour says he was intrigued when he heard about the opportunity. "It came at a time that was pretty right for me because I was just coming off selling a business and looking for where I would head next," he says. Three months later, Mr. Balfour, who is 24 years old, got the job.

Greg Sterling, a strategy consultant for Internet companies and a blogger in Oakland, Calif., describes job offers as "a natural byproduct of the exposure you get from blogging." He says he gets about 15 inquiries a month from companies and search-firm recruiters seeking to fill consulting gigs and full-time jobs. "My blog is a vehicle that keeps me exposed to people on a daily basis," he notes.

Mr. Sterling believes that one reason his Web journal, Screenwork, regularly generates job offers is that he has never written about wanting them. "If you [blog] to get a job, you'll be less successful," he says. "It's just like dating. If you appear too hungry, nobody wants to date you."

But Ms. Dixson disagrees. "If you're currently job hunting, say so in your blog's 'About Me' blurb," she advises. "Say you're interested in learning about opportunities in your field."

Blogs also help employers probe the qualifications of potential hires, says Wal-Mart's Mr. Loken. "If they have a blog or made a comment on one, you can see what their knowledge level truly is because resumes can be full of fluff."

Job seekers who blog increase the odds that a potential employer will find information online that the candidate wants to be seen, says Debbie Weil, a corporate blogging consultant in Washington and the author of "The Corporate Blogging Book," which was published last summer. "Everybody has an online identity whether they know it or not, and a blog is the single best way to control it," she says. "You're going to be Googled. No one hires anyone or buys anything these days without going online first and doing research."

Indiscrete bloggers can derail job opportunities. A candidate for an entry-level sales job at Zoom was knocked out of the running in December after Mr. Glass read his blog. "My jaw dropped," he says. "The person started to make disparaging remarks about the people he interviewed with."

Mr. Glass was also put off by instances of foul language and comments about getting drunk. "This was a character problem," he says. "Whether you're writing about people you interviewed with or you're making a public statement that can be construed as immoral, these are the types of things an employer is going to look at and consider in their assessment of you as a candidate."

Mr. Glass adds that he doesn't read blogs on a regular basis. He came across the candidate's blog postings because the word "zoominfo" was flagged by a system he uses to alert him to any mentions of his employer's Web site.

Some job seekers call recruiters' attention to their blogs as a way to boost their candidacy. In an interview for a public-relations job in late 2004, Kevin Dugan says he told recruiters at Cincinnati-based FRCH Design Worldwide that he had been writing a blog for two years. "Blogging was a way for me to build credibility," he says. "It was a way to show my writing skills pretty easily as well as my knowledge of blogging and the public-relations industry." Mr. Dugan, 36, got the job and continues to write his blog, which he says generates about one job lead a month.

Companies that allow their employees to continue to blog run the risk of having a competitor poach their talent. Mr. Balfour, who continued to blog after he joined Zoom, says he has been invited on several job interviews because of his blog, though he turned down the opportunities that were offered.

"We wanted Brian to continue to blog because it's a great way to show leadership through zoominfo," says Mr. Glass. "But it's a double-edged sword since he continues to receive job offers."

Some companies encourage employees to blog because they can use them to recruit others. When recruiter Harry Joiner was hired to fill two positions at Musician's Friend Inc. in November, he used an employee's personal blog to help sell his client's rural location of Medford, Ore., to job seekers. "Candidates were using Medford as a reason not to consider the jobs," he says. "As a marketer, I thought, if you can't change it, promote it."

The blog, by So Young Park, the company's director of e-commerce marketing and customer-relationship management, describes her move to the area a year ago from New York City. It includes details about her work, her experience owning a car for the first time, a bear sighting near her new home and related topics. While she started the blog to share information about her experiences with family and friends back East, she acknowledges that it has also been a good resource for attracting job hunters.

Mr. Joiner says he linked to the blog in ads he posted on job boards and in emails to potential candidates. He says it helped him get professionals to leave jobs in Los Angeles. "The blog made a ton of difference," he says. "It humanized [Ms. Park] to candidates and made the jobs more attractive."

Monday, April 9, 2007

Firefox Future Plans

The key developers behind forthcoming changes to the Firefox browser reveal their plans for how the popular program will change.firefox logo

The difference between online and offline, the web and the desktop will blur in the near future, Mozilla's Mike Schroepfer has said.

The vice-president of engineering at the home of the Firefox browser said small changes to the way the web works will have a big impact in the coming years.

"Things that are impossible or hard to do now, will be possible or very easy," he said.

Big plans

Firefox is the world's second-most popular browser with a 12% market share.

"We have got planned road maps for next three to four years at least and that's over the horizon that we can see," said Mr Schroepfer.

"If you think of your browser fundamentally as your gateway to the web then we must ask, 'What are the capabilities of the web? Are we done evolving the web?'

"The answer to that is 'absolutely no'."

One of the biggest changes to the way people use the web will surface in the third release of Firefox.

"I have been demonstrating recently support for using web applications offline - the ability to take your web-based e-mail, calendar, RSS feeds and access all the old content even when I don't have net access."

With more and more people using web-based applications rather than desktop software their usefulness often stops when access to the net ends.

"Perhaps I am on an airplane, wi-fi access is bad. It happens a lot when you travel.

"Accessing data at all times is one of the things you can do on the desktop, but you can't do on the web today.

"We are going to remove that block when Firefox 3 ships."

Community change

Firefox is an open source browser built by a community of developers around the world - about 2,000 contributed code to Firefox 2 and tens of thousands of people test nightly versions of Firefox.

Internet explorer logoMr Schroepfer said the release of JavaScript 2 - the fundamental technology that powers many of the advanced features of the web - would have a big impact on the flexibility of web applications.

"People are doing these things now in spite of the technology. We want technology on the web to catch up with people's creativity.

"What we're just seeing today people are building on browser technology of four years ago."

Data games

Mozilla is also experimenting with using structured data on the web so that applications can use data intelligently.

Knowing the difference between a phone number or an address, for example, makes that information more valuable and flexible.

"With a little bit of structured data we can add things automatically from web pages to calendars, or you can click to dial with Voip, or export an address to contacts.

"We only need minor tweaks to web pages to get that to work."

More long term, Mozilla is working on making the web a much more three-dimensional world.

"For Firefox 4, we're working on a lot of innovations to advance the state of graphics and text rendering on the web," Brendan Eich, chief technical officer of the Mozilla Foundation, told the BBC's Digital Planet recently.

Users can expect Firefox to improve its display with developments in "smooth text and magazine-style layout".

Adobe and Microsoft are currently developing 3D rendering engines for webpages and desktop applications but Mr Eich stressed that these technologies should be developed as open source software.

"It should be done in an open standard way that all browsers can implement. You shouldn't have to get a proprietary run-time to take advantage of these features."

Mr Schroepfer said that the work to create and develop an open source browser solution continued.

"The game isn't over, the war isn't won.

"A lot of things we believe in around security and privacy we don't see implemented in other browsers."

With 500,000 copies of Firefox downloaded each day, it would seem a lot of people agree with him.

By Darren Waters
Technology editor, BBC News website

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Augusta Masters 2007

Zach Johnson has captured his first major title today, winning the Masters at Augusta National by two strokes over Tiger Woods, Retief Goosen and Rory Sabbatini.

Johnson shot an impressive, three-under 69 on Sunday to finish at one-over-par 289, which matched the highest winning score in Masters history.

PGA Tour logoThis was Johnson's second PGA Tour win after his inaugural victory at the 2004 BellSouth Classic.

The favorite going into the final round was Tiger Woods, not just because of his four previous green jackets, but also because he was in the final pairing with third-round leader Stuart Appleby. The last 16 Masters champions came from the final pairing.

Johnson bucked the trend in the third-to-last twosome with close friend Vaughn Taylor. He made a beautiful par save from right off the green at the 18th to get in at plus-one. Johnson then waited as Woods had to make up two strokes in two holes to force a playoff.

At the 17th, Woods found the right first cut and hit a shot that came up short in a bunker. He thought the wind would take it to the flag, but it did not. Woods blasted out to four feet and drained the par putt, meaning he needed to hole out his second shot at the closing hole.

Woods found the fairway off 18 then hit his approach 25 feet right.

That sealed the title and green jacket for Johnson.

Johnson's previous best finish in a major championship came at the 2005 PGA Championship where he tied for 17th. He tied for 32nd last year at Augusta, the only other time he made the cut at the Masters.

For Woods, this was his third runner-up finish in a major championship. He came in second to Rich Beem at the 2002 PGA Championship and Michael Campbell at the 2005 U.S. Open.

Masters of Augusta 2007Woods shot an even-par 72 and tied for second place with Sabbatini and two- time U.S. Open champion Goosen at plus-three. Sabbatini and Goosen both held at least a piece of the lead on Sunday as both shot 69s.

Jerry Kelly (70) and Justin Rose (73) shared fifth place at plus-four. Appleby only managed a three-over 75 on Sunday and tied for seventh with Padraig Harrington, who carded a one-over 73. That group came in at five-over-par 293, one shot better than 2001 PGA Champion David Toms, who took ninth after an even-par 72 on Sunday.

Last year's Masters champion and the winner in 2004, Phil Mickelson ended his chances at victory rather abruptly. He triple-bogeyed the first hole en route to a five-over 77 and a share of 24th place.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

H1B Quota Reached for 2008

(USCIS Notice)

United States flag and statue of libertyU.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.

Cap Procedures: In keeping with USCIS regulations, USCIS will use the following process to handle H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2008 cap:

  • USCIS has determined that as of April 2, 2007, it had received enough H-1B petitions to reach the FY2008 H-1B cap and has set the "final receipt date" as April 2, 2007.
  • In keeping with its regulations, USCIS will subject H-1B petitions received on the "final receipt date" and the following day to a computer-generated random selection process.
  • USCIS will reject all cap-subject H-1B petitions for FY2008 received on or after Wednesday, April 4, 2007.
  • USCIS will reject and return along with the filing fee(s) all cap-subject H-1B petitions that are not randomly selected.
  • Petitioners may re-submit petitions on April 1, 2008, when H-1B visas become available for FY2009. This is the earliest date for which an employer may file a petition requesting FY2009 H-1B employment with a start date of October 1, 2008.

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.

In order to fully utilize its data entry and initial processing capacity, USCIS may choose to distribute filings received at one service center to other service centers for data entry. In the event that USCIS exercises this option, petitioners may receive receipt notices or other correspondence from a service center other than the one to which the H-1B submission was sent. USCIS advises employers that there is no need for concern should that occur and that there is no need to contact USCIS.

Cap-Exempt Petitions: As directed by the H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of aliens with U.S.-earned masters' or higher degrees are exempt from any fiscal year cap on available H-1B visas. USCIS does not yet know how many of these petitions it has received as those petitions are mixed with the cap-subject cases received on April 2 and 3. USCIS will make a future announcement regarding the "final receipt date" for these petitions.

Current H-1B Workers: Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers do not count towards the congressionally mandated H-1B cap. Accordingly, USCIS will continue to process petitions filed to:

  • Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the U.S.
  • Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers.
  • Allow current H-1B workers to change employers.
  • Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B petition.

USCIS also notes that, in addition to the cap exemption for aliens with U.S. earned master's degrees discussed above, certain H-1B petitions are exempt from the cap. Those petitions are not affected by this release.

H-1B in General: U.S. businesses utilize the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical expertise in specialized fields, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers. As part of the H-1B program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) require U.S. employers to meet specific labor conditions to ensure that American workers are not adversely impacted. The DOL's Wage and Hour Division safeguards the treatment and compensation of H-1B workers.