MOTD::Archive::Spring 1998 (15 May 1998)

Fall 1997 MOTD

I have a "living" document started that deals with computer ethics. Please check it out. If you have any topic related URLs or experiences, then send them to me if you can.

Yikes! In an op-ed piece, Edward Yardeni, chief economist and managing director of Deutsche Morgan Grenfell says that problems arising from the Year 2000 computer glitch could cause a major recession, as businesses fail and government agencies become incapable of delivering basic services, including tax collection, welfare payments, national defense and air traffic control: "The likely recession could be at least as bad as the one during 1973-74, which was caused mostly by a disruption in the supply of oil. Information, stored and manipulated by computers, is as vital as oil for running modern economies. If information is harder to obtain, markets will allocate and use resources inefficiently. Market participants will be forced to spend more time and money obtaining information that was previously available at little or no cost... Furthermore, a 2000 recession is bound to be deflationary. The U.S. may experience a $1 trillion drop in nominal GDP and a $1 trillion loss in stock market capitalization." (Wall Street Journal 4 May 98)

Want some questionable Unix related humor?

The Emerging Digital Economy From the 16-Apr-98 AZ Republic (first section, page 6): The government reported that traffic on the Internet is doubling every 100 days and that business-to-business purchases of supplies could reach $300 billion by 2002. Other findings:
  • In 1994, 3 million people were connected to the Internet. By the end of 1997, there were 100 million Internet users.
  • The IT industry is growing twice as fast as the overall economy.
  • Workers in the IT industry earn an average of $46,000 annually, compared with an average of $28,000 in the private sector overall.
If you want to read and/or download the government's The Emerging Digital Economy report, then visit

I've been called many things over the course of the years, but I can't recall ever being referred to as a nerd. Nevertheless, is a website for nerds that contains some pretty interesting stuff.

High-Tech Cheap Labor Shortage The computer industry has been lobbying Congress to allow more foreign computer science specialists into the country to fill what they say is a significant gap between the number of high-tech jobs and the number of skilled workers available. But University of California professor Norman Matloff says the real shortage is not in skilled workers, but in cheap skilled workers: "The simple answer is they want to save money. They save money by hiring from two main groups of people. Number one, the new college graduates... Compared to the midcareer people, they make less in terms of salary. And they cost less in terms of benefits, because they're usually single and have no dependents. The second group of cheap labor is the H1-B (temporary visas for skilled personnel) work visa people. They, on average, make less than comparable domestic workers. That doesn't mean that all employers who hire H1-Bs are exploiting them. But there are an awful lot that do." Matloff says the industry focus on inexpensive employees has meant a lot of software engineers in their 30s and 40s looking for new jobs, or getting out of the business altogether. (Investor's Business Daily 30 Mar 98)

CSC Forum is a bulletin board that welcomes postings from all students at all Maricopa Community Colleges. Let us know what changes you would like to see implemented at the colleges. Don't be shy!

The D10K Problem? Experts predict financial software may go haywire if the Dow Jones Industrial Average tops 10,000. Many software programs are designed to handle only four-digit Dows, says one software designer, who says that concern over the D10K problem soon "will spawn the usual parade of opportunists" to fix the bug. (Wall Street Journal 26 Mar 98)

Spring break... Isn't it great! Visit New Mexico's Ojo Caliente and the Great Sand Dunes National Monument in Colorado.

Don't get any ideas now... A federal judge in Cleveland, Ohio, has issued a temporary order reinstating a student who had been suspended from school because his Web site included criticisms of his band teacher, calling the teacher "an overweight middle aged man who doesn't like to get haircuts." School officials contend they have the right to discipline the student, whereas a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union argued that "the school cannot control the communication off the school grounds." A full hearing is scheduled for April 3rd. (AP 19 Mar 98)

Computer jocks have penned new lyrics to some Beatles classics. Thanks to Jason Inman (CSC200 at SCC) for this stuff.

Where have all the women gone? The National Center for Education Statistics says that the percentage of women college graduates in computer science has fallen from 37% in the early 1980s to 28% in 1994-95.
(USA Today 9 Mar 98) (music by Paula Cole)

Interested in some Microsoft humor?  Caution:  some people may find this link offensive.

Great high-tech job market! A study to be released by ASU's College of Business found that the state's high-tech businesses employed 111,000 workers in 1996 at an average salary of $46,700.
(22 Feb 1998 Arizona Republic Business Section)

Thanks to Don Munzenmaier (CSC150 class at ASU-RP) for providing a link to Software Visionaries: The Pioneers of Programming. This link takes you interviews with Bjarne Stroustrup, James Gosling, Grady Booch, and Chris Date. The interviews were conducted at the Software Development 98 Conference, which was held in San Francisco on February 10-11.