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Silicon Valley May Finally Get Special Approval for Foreign Founders to Enter the US

By Michael J. Coren // Quartz // August 29, 2016

Vinokurov Kirill/Shutterstock.com

The hardest part of building a startup for many is just arriving in the United States. For six years straight, Silicon Valley lobbied hard to get Washington to offer visas to foreigners who wanted to launch companies in the U.S., but despite bipartisan support in Congress, the effort failed last year because “few people were willing to make it a priority,” immigration activist Craig Montuori told Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration says it is preparing to commit to a compromise of sorts: an International Entrepreneur Rule proposed by the Homeland Security Department on Aug. 26. It’s not a visa, and as administration officials wrote in a blog post “there is no substitute for legislation.” But, they added, “the administration is taking the steps it can within existing legal authorities to fix as much of our broken immigration system as possible.”

The measure allows foreign entrepreneurs to enter the U.S. for up to five years to start and grow their companies. DHS estimates 2,940 entrepreneurs (pdf; p. 130) could qualify each year.

Applicants must hold at least a 15 percent stake in a company started within the last three years, play an operational role in their organization...

The Highest Paid Workers in Silicon Valley Are Not Software Engineers

By Michael J. Coren // Quartz // August 26, 2016

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In Silicon Valley, software engineer is synonymous with eye-watering compensation. Monthly salaries for engineering interns (about $81,600 per year annualized) are about twice the median wage in the rest of the country. While the reality of high-paying coding jobs is not wrong, programming isn’t the only way to climb Silicon Valley’s career ladder, and it’s definitely not the most lucrative.

Online hiring platform Hired released a report Aug. 25 analyzing 31,146 interview requests from 1,848 companies made through Hired’s platform during the first half of 2016. Its findings show product managers consistently get the top salary offers, $133,000 on average.

Software engineers were offered an average of $123,000 followed by designers at $115,000 during the second quarter of 2016. Analyses of H1B work visas and Glassdoor data from Google, Facebook and other tech giants arrive at similar conclusions.

The salary advantage for product managers has only grown, says Hired’s data scientist Jessica Kirkpatrick.

“We see that software engineers have always been paid less than product managers, but that the pay gap has widened over the past year,” she wrote by email. The trend holds after accounting for experience. Software...

Video: This Serious Note-Taking App Can Help You Write it All Down

By Caitlin Fairchild // August 24, 2016

leungchopan/Shutterstock.com

Looking for a way beyond pen and paper to take notes during that important meeting? Check out the MyScript Nebo note-taking app.

A double tap is all it takes for the app to recognize the text you've handwritten with a stylus. It also recognizes corrections: Scribble out a word and it's gone. And don't worry about writing perfectly, as the app can handle differences in handwriting, from loopy letters to sloppy scrawls.

But to get to get the most out of the app, it works best when paired with a quality tablet and Stylus like the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil or Surface and Microsoft Pen.

To see the MyScript Nebo in action, check out the video below from CNET

Can Virtual Reality Help Close the Gender Pay Gap?

By Elizabeth Winkler // Quartz // August 22, 2016

A visitor uses a Samsung virtual reality glasses during the Mobile World Congress Wireless show.
A visitor uses a Samsung virtual reality glasses during the Mobile World Congress Wireless show. // Emilio Morenatti/AP

The numbers always bear repeating: Just a few months shy of what may be the election of America’s first female president, women still make 79 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to the Institute for Women and Policy Research. That’s a 21 percent wage gap that shows up in almost every occupation, across nearly all industries.

To be sure, 79 cents represents significant progress since 1964, when the average, full-time working woman made just 59 cents to a man’s dollar. But progress has stalled. Over the last decade, women have only seen a 2-cent improvement. At the current pace, IWPR projects women won’t reach pay parity until 2059, or another 44 years.

Variable Labs, a California-based virtual reality startup, believes technology can accelerate things. The company develops VR experiences “to foster empathy, develop soft skills, and change behavior.” Recently, Variable developers unveiled a tool that simulates salary negotiations, with the aim of training women to become more comfortable asking for compensation commensurate with their worth.

Salary negotiations aren’t the only reason for the gender pay gap, but empowering women to be more forceful in their discussions about compensation may help. A recent study...

OPM Wants Agencies To Review Their Telework Data

By Kellie Lunney // Government Executive // August 22, 2016

A. and I. Kruk/Shutterstock.com

The Office of Personnel Management wants federal agencies to take a closer look at their telework data to ensure greater accuracy when it comes to reporting the benefit’s use throughout government.

OPM is asking agencies to work with human resources staff and telework managing officers to examine their telework reports submitted through payroll “to determine any potential issues that may be affecting data reporting and accuracy,” according to a recent memorandum from Mark Reinhold, OPM associate director of employee services.

“OPM has discovered telework data collection and reporting remains an area of challenge for agencies,” the memo said. The 2010 Telework Act requires the human resources agency to report annually to Congress on the practice and analyze the data to show how telework is linked to agencies’ goals, including employee engagement.

A new report from the Government Accountability Office concluded that federal agencies in general aren’t doing a great job assessing the cost and benefit of telework. GAO said OPM should issue guidance telling agencies how to identify net savings from their employee telework policies to help the executive branch and Congress assess the value of the flexibility and properly oversee the government’s use of it. Nearly...