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800 comments

A haha. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299516)

Someone should sink it. Just because I hate bitches who fuck with people based on technicalities.

Damnit, (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299517)

Damnit, don't give us dirty linux communists any funny ideas!! Ah shit, too late. You fucked up your national security.

Is it April Fools Day? (5, Interesting)

TimeTraveler1884 (832874) | about 9 years ago | (#12299519)

Let me be the first to say, "Holy Shit!" Is it me, or is off shoring getting out of hand?

Apparently, they have plans for 600 software engineers on this ship. Their major point of having them on the ship appears to be that they can maintain low costs to produce software, while only being 3.1 miles off the coast of Los Angeles. I am assuming they don't have to pay corporate taxes to any entity.
From SeaCode.com:

SeaCode presents an innovative service which offers the reduced costs of a distant-shore software development operation while providing the operational benefits and accessibility of a U.S. based onshore location.

Another SeaCode benefit is that 90% of revenue comes back to the U.S. instead of flowing out of the U.S. to distant-shore outsourcing locations.

But this just seems to be asking for a lot of trouble. Humanitarily speaking, since they are not actually in any country, who protects the rights of those 600 laboring software engineers? Does anyone have the authority to make sure that it's not (child) slave labor? No government agency can make sure that working conditions are safe and healthy.

From SourcingMag:

Before you think, "sweat-ship," hear them out. These workers, they say, will each have private rooms with baths, meal service, laundry service, housekeeping and access to on-board leisure-time activities. Picture the Love Boat with a timecard. Staff can make the three-mile voyage into town in their off hours by calling a water taxi. Or they can spend time shopping in the on-board duty-free shop.

SourcingMag says that SeaCode will treat their workers fairly. That's great and all if we suddenly believed that corporations are honest and will regulate themselves. How many times have companys ran sweat-shops and claimed that they were treating their worker's fairly?

At first, I thought this was a joke. I am still unsure if it is.

Re:Is it April Fools Day? (1)

tonsofpcs (687961) | about 9 years ago | (#12299558)

How about outsourcing to The Principality of Sealand [sealandgov.com] ?

Re:Is it April Fools Day? (3, Insightful)

fishbowl (7759) | about 9 years ago | (#12299629)


>How about outsourcing to The Principality of
>Sealand?

You can't accommodate 500 people in Sealand, and you can't take control of it. A cruise ship on the other hand, affords a broad range of possibilities. It can also be motherf*cking expensive to operate. When's the last time you negotiated a contract for diesel fuel in TONS?

Re:Is it April Fools Day? (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 9 years ago | (#12299709)

One assumes that its not going to be continuously moving around (unless it moves in an arc pattern, it cant be 3.1 miles off the coast of LA and still stay 3.1 miles off the coast) so it wont need quite as much fuel.

Re:Is it April Fools Day? (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#12299745)

That was my thought as well, but then I realized that they're going to need a LOT of diesel just to keep the lights on. On land, you'd sinply run off the grid. But on a boat, their entire power capacity is going to be supplied by the ships engines or generators. Those aren't quite as power hungry as when the ship is under power, but with the number of electronic toys they're going to need, it's not going to be cheap either.

Re:Is it April Fools Day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299559)

It seems pretty clear. You (or a friend) wrote-up the article, you wrote up your "first post" with content, and then submitted the article. It's a nice way to increase karma. But, not very ethical. For shame.

Re:Is it April Fools Day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299625)

I think its more that /. is so slow on news that they actually do think today is April Fool's Day.

Re:Is it April Fools Day? (4, Interesting)

neonfreon (850801) | about 9 years ago | (#12299616)

I must have missed the part where it said they were forcing people to work here? With the workers being 3.1 miles off of one of the biggest media laden metropolitan areas of the world, I doubt these people are going to try and hide very much.

This is probably the oppurtunity of a life time for a lot of people to get out of their home country for a while and see the U.S. a little bit.

Re:Is it April Fools Day? (5, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#12299698)

This is probably the oppurtunity of a life time for a lot of people to get out of their home country for a while and see the U.S. a little bit.

And what VISA are they going to use to gain enterance to the US? The article contradicts itself on this point:

"...and run a 24-hour-a-day programming shop, thereby avoiding H-1B visa hassles while still exploiting offshore labor cost..."

-verus-

"Staff can make the three-mile voyage into town in their off hours by calling a water taxi."

I smell something rotten here. Specifically the usage of the word "staff". As in "American Employees can go ashore when they need a break." Gee, thanks.

Is it April Fools Day?-Presumed Guilty. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299632)

"SourcingMag says that SeaCode will treat their workers fairly. That's great and all if we suddenly believed that corporations are honest and will regulate themselves. How many times have companys ran sweat-shops and claimed that they were treating their worker's fairly?"

Well by that logic. How do we know ANYBODY treats people under them right? Has your supervisor stop beating his employees?

Re:Is it April Fools Day? (2, Insightful)

ShaniaTwain (197446) | about 9 years ago | (#12299661)

Picture the Love Boat with a timecard. Staff can make the three-mile voyage into town in their off hours by calling a water taxi. Or they can spend time shopping in the on-board duty-free shop.

..and golly! don't that just sound like a little slice of heaven? living at work, buying stuff from work... Just like the Love Boat you say? Sign me up!

Re:Is it April Fools Day? (2, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 9 years ago | (#12299703)

Like these managers would let them go to the US.

I bet these workers were searched to make sure they would have no passports so they would be forced to stay under slave labor

Re:Is it April Fools Day? (1, Informative)

slashdot_commentator (444053) | about 9 years ago | (#12299670)

Humanitarily speaking, since they are not actually in any country, who protects the rights of those 600 laboring software engineers? Does anyone have the authority to make sure that it's not (child) slave labor? No government agency can make sure that working conditions are safe and healthy.

The International Law of the Sea. But that only covers murder, maiming, kidnapping, etc. Don't think it would cover child labor laws. Basically, outside of territorial waters, any nation can be cowboy cop, but detainees are only subject to international law. And all nations are "bound" to international law. The problem is "Quis custodiet ipso custodes".

Re:Is it April Fools Day? - must be (2, Informative)

heller (4484) | about 9 years ago | (#12299685)

"International Waters" has been 12 nautical miles for like 40 years now. I'm not even going to go look for links since I bet that 30s and google will tell you that.

Wow (1, Interesting)

michaelhood (667393) | about 9 years ago | (#12299522)

Admittedly, I don't have much to contribute to this born and raised in the States, but it's not often we see something actually using a fair amount of ingenuity.. this is a cool idea. :)

So... (5, Funny)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | about 9 years ago | (#12299523)

So this means the Coast Guard won't save their ass? Finally...about time we scurvy seadogs showed the RIAA and MPAA what REAL pirates are! YAAAR!

Re:So... (2)

superpulpsicle (533373) | about 9 years ago | (#12299657)

You used to need a .com website to start a company. I guess all you need now is a boat for startups.... and upgrade to battleship enterprise status later.

TaskMaker (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299526)

Is this is the same David Cook who created the infamous TaskMaker game [kentlaw.edu] for the Mac platform?

/. Effect Strikes Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299527)

No Posts, already /.ed -- Good Job!

Where do we sign up? (4, Funny)

jarich (733129) | about 9 years ago | (#12299531)

If they'll cruise it through the Bahamas, I know lots of people who'd sign up! ;)

How would this affect taxes?

Re:Where do we sign up? (1)

metlin (258108) | about 9 years ago | (#12299598)


Taxes might have to be paid based on which country's passport you hold.

I'm sure there're international laws for nutheads like this.

Re:Where do we sign up? (2, Informative)

fishbowl (7759) | about 9 years ago | (#12299615)


"If they'll cruise it through the Bahamas, I know lots of people who'd sign up! ;)"

To get to the Bahamas from San Diego, they will either need to use the Canal (expensive and not without documentation issues), or round the horn (not as dangerous as in the 18th century, but still quite an adventure).

Hmm (5, Funny)

MrDoh! (71235) | about 9 years ago | (#12299534)

Not sure this plan will hold water. I hope they've weighed all the options.

Re:Hmm (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299639)

Not sure this plan will hold water. I hope they've weighed all the options.

Bouy, were those terrible or what?

Dumb idea (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#12299536)

Dumbest idea EVER. I do not understand this infatuation with outsourcing professional workers. You can't tell me it's anywhere near as cost effective as they're making it out to be. (My own experience says otherwise.) I smell another crash of DotCom proportions...

But if they're going to do this thing, they should at least do it in style [slashdot.org] . By utilizing an inexpensive aircraft carrier [fleetairarmarchive.net] they could at least send these people home for occasional weekends and vacations. Under the proposed plan, they're basically prisoners on the ship unless they can manage to get a Visa to enter the country. Which, of course, negates the entire point of not messing with H1-Bs. And how do they think the government is going to react to having these people parked right off our shore? (Hmm... maybe they could refit the guns on the old carrier to keep the coast guard off their backs.)

Did I mention that this is a dumb idea?

Yes, dumbest idea EVAR! (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | about 9 years ago | (#12299566)

I smell another crash of DotCom proportions...

I smell a crash of Titanic or U.S.S. Cole proportions.

Re:Dumb idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299684)

umm visas for vacationing are a lot easier to get than h1-b visas.

But I'm not trying to argue with you, it is a dumb idea.

Why can't I get this image out of my head.... (5, Funny)

slashdot_commentator (444053) | about 9 years ago | (#12299542)

...of a horde of unshowered, dropcloth wearing Indians chained to a deck with oars next to their keyboards...

(first post?)

Re:Why can't I get this image out of my head.... (1)

PinchDuck (199974) | about 9 years ago | (#12299643)

And I just used my last mod points! Too bad. You have my vote for funniest post.

Re:Why can't I get this image out of my head.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299732)

Don't forget to add Steve Ballmer up at the bow screaming and pounding on a drum to set the pace.

Is it just me or is that site slow? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299545)

Arg! Torpedo to the server room!

Re:Is it just me or is that site slow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299623)

It is said that early slave ships stunk so bad that people sometimes suffocated to death.

Much like this ship, minus the slaves.

International Waters (1)

Zero_K (606548) | about 9 years ago | (#12299546)

I do believe that America's territory extends not 3, like the rest of the world, but rather 100 or 150 miles out in all directions.

Re:International Waters (3, Informative)

slashdot_commentator (444053) | about 9 years ago | (#12299608)

No, the U.S. considers the fishing, mineral, and sphere of influence within 100-150 nautical miles. U.S. LAW only applies to within 3 miles to shore. The only thing backing up this position is the 15 carrier taskgroups it can call upon. That's pretty much enough so that the U.N. doesn't want to make an issue of it.

Queue Pirate Jokes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299547)

Arh! Shiver'me Packets!

A Slashdot First (5, Funny)

dcigary (221160) | about 9 years ago | (#12299563)

Now, with our awesome Slashdot power, we have now set fire to the servers on the ship, and it is in the process of sinking.

Good job, everyone! Now, World Domnination is within our grasp!

Misleading summary (2, Informative)

smallpaul (65919) | about 9 years ago | (#12299564)

"Visa regulations" do not accompany "outsourcing". Visa regulations accompany the importation of foreign workers. The problems cited with outsourcing are mostly related to distance.

Re:Misleading summary (1)

Zeebs (577100) | about 9 years ago | (#12299627)

Learning corpspeak will make stories like this easier to read. The litteral translation of their sales pitch comes out to be "I'm an idiot; Give me money."

International waters (1)

michaelhood (667393) | about 9 years ago | (#12299568)

Where can I find a map of where international waters begin and end (especially on the California coast)? Catalina Island is west of LA some 30-40 miles, and is part of Los Angeles County.

Hmmm... (3, Insightful)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | about 9 years ago | (#12299569)

... I wonder what the tax implications for the workers are. And what happens if a crime is committed in International Waters? What about a guarantee of workplace safety and anti-discrimination policy?

I see lots of problems here.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 9 years ago | (#12299667)

And what happens if a crime is committed in International Waters? What about a guarantee of workplace safety and anti-discrimination policy?

Crimes would be dealt with, descrimination laws would be nonexistant and workplace safety would probably be weak unless it was so bad it fell under the category of crime.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

tx_kanuck (667833) | about 9 years ago | (#12299681)

well, as for crime...the guy just walks the plank. Though for liablilty purposes, it is the ocean that kills them, not the company. (yes, I stole that from simpsons)

From BoingBoing: (1)

RotJ (771744) | about 9 years ago | (#12299573)

BB reader Kate says:

Generally, maritime folks consider "international waters" to be the high seas, which start outside of 200 nautical miles from any coastline. If by "international waters" they mean Mexican waters then they could have a ship three miles from San Diego. It would be subject to Mexican law, and there are a number of fishing collectives off Baja that patrol the area.

Wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299711)

The 200-mile limit is a "Exclusive Economic Zone".

Countries may claim a 200-mile territorial limit, but that's not recognized generally - IIRC from my days in the US Navy, most countries claim a 12-mile limit for territorial waters.

And the US Navy regularly drives warships through waters that countries claim as there's but where the US (and other countries with maritime industries) don't recognize the claim. IIRC those are called FON ops (Freedom Of Navigation).

And every now and then, the country whose claim is being rather rudely disputed responds. Somewhere in this html [66.102.7.104] or PPT [purdue.edu] presentation is an instance where a Soviet ship actually rammed the USS Yorktown as it traversed what they claimed were their territorial waters. Since I was on another Navy ship also in the Mediterranean at that same time (USS Forrestal battle group), I actually got to see the video of that incident.

How is that international waters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299574)

I thought that a country generally could claim the 12 miles of water offshore and in the case of the United States, we tend to claim 200 miles of offshore waters as being U.S. territory. How is a ship three miles offshore in international waters?

Should we wait... (5, Informative)

rk (6314) | about 9 years ago | (#12299582)

until they anchor it three miles off the coast to tell them the US claims territorial waters twelve nautical miles off the coast?

Re:Should we wait... (1)

Xochil (542406) | about 9 years ago | (#12299719)

Well far be it from me to argue with an encyclopedia web site, but it is in error. Either that, or the Navy needs to be made aware that they are in error. --Mike

Isn't international waters over 100 miles? (1)

mollyhackit (693979) | about 9 years ago | (#12299583)

I think calling 3 miles international waters is misleading. I'm guessing the ship is going to be registered in another country and 3 miles is how far you have to go to be officially "not in a dock". Sorry I don't have a Snowcrash "The Raft" joke

Morons. (4, Funny)

Frennzy (730093) | about 9 years ago | (#12299590)

L. Ron Hubbard ALREADY owns the patent to this! Just ask his friendly help desk people at the scientoloaserfgad
asdfasdfasdfa
ASDFAESRFA

NO CARRIER

U-Boats! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299596)

Watch out for the German U-Boats!

International Waters? (1)

uberdave (526529) | about 9 years ago | (#12299599)

I thought that International waters started at 12 miles, or at 200 miles, not at 3 miles.

This won't last long. (2, Insightful)

TerryMathews (57165) | about 9 years ago | (#12299600)

This won't last. Fed and State of Cali won't like a busniess operating outside its jurisdiction and will make their lives a living hell...

Buying stuff on the ship? Customs time. Don't forget, the DEA will have to check your luggage as well.

Want to go home? Sure thing, we'll just need to make sure your passport is in order. What, you didn't bring a passport? You did know you were leaving the country, right?

Security??? (1)

Freaky Spook (811861) | about 9 years ago | (#12299603)

Because they are in international waters whats their security, a boat full of computer nerds isn't going to put up a fight against a bunch of raiders who decide they want to "aquire" a whole heap of new computers to sell cheaply, no police will help a boat thats used to avoid tax laws getting raided in international waters.

Also whats to stop the RIAA or the MPAA blowing the boat out of the water if they get scared they are developing a new evil P2P network to steal their work?

Really, now? (1)

Danuvius (704536) | about 9 years ago | (#12299621)

no police will help a boat thats used to avoid tax laws getting raided in international waters.
Really, now?

That's pretty fucked up.

Re:Security??? (0, Offtopic)

Frennzy (730093) | about 9 years ago | (#12299635)

good point! what say you and I gather up our guns, buy a boat, and head out before the RIAA does? Let's steal 'at 'er muzak afore they do!

yeeeeehaah!! First wun ta crak mah WPA PSK wins hisself a free iPod! Whoooooooo!

Simply not far enough ... (1)

srealm (157581) | about 9 years ago | (#12299606)

Didn't anyone bother telling them that the US has terrirorial waters of 12 nautical miles, and an exclusive exconomic zone of 200 nauticle miles?

http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/w1/waters-t.asp

Costal Waters (1)

lobsterGun (415085) | about 9 years ago | (#12299610)

The US claims 200 miles as its costal waters....I believe, however, that the state of California ends at the waters edge.

Re:Costal Waters (1)

Xochil (542406) | about 9 years ago | (#12299677)

That wasn't the case when I was in the Navy. Outside of three miles is international waters...which is why the Soviet spy ships hung about 3.5 miles off the coast of San Diego during much of the latter Cold War years. The Soviets claimed 12 miles (which we did not "officially" breach). --Mike

More typos? (3, Funny)

Solder Fumes (797270) | about 9 years ago | (#12299636)

I'd hate to be a coder on the ship during a good storm. We'll probably start seeing variable names like upanddown, backandforth, sidetoside, puke, makeitstop, and soseasick.

Remember the Simpsons? (1)

Cerberus911 (834576) | about 9 years ago | (#12299641)

I think we all have seen that Simpsons episode.

I for one expect hilarious consequences from this.

Re:Remember the Simpsons? (1)

WayHomer (461880) | about 9 years ago | (#12299743)

"See that ship over there? They're re-broadcasting Major League Baseball with implied oral consent, not express written consent -- or so the legend goes."

The Ultimate Reality Show! (1)

fyrie (604735) | about 9 years ago | (#12299644)

600 people, mostly men (but enough women to cause chaos), but a sweet mix of Western Europeon Catholics and Mid-Eastern.*s Never mind the fact that they are all going to go crazy living on the ocean for any good length of time. Sounds like Mad Max on a ship! It's going to be like running a mini Iraq. I wish them luck!

Company team building exercises ... (1)

srealm (157581) | about 9 years ago | (#12299653)

"All employees are required to enroll in one of our two offered team building courses.

'Endurance Swimming', to ensure you can get back to the shore in case of this office sinking.

or

'How to be an effective boat anchor', for those who are out of breath after the 30ft walk to the coffee machine.

Oh shit awesome (5, Funny)

mcc (14761) | about 9 years ago | (#12299654)

I totally want to set up a web server there and illegally distribute Windows ISOs from there, just so I can be charged with Piracy on the High Seas

umm, didn't the simpsons cover this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299656)

monkey knife fights, pirates with multiple parrots, the horror

How would they live without... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299691)

...women? Oh, wait, you said programmers? Ah, never mind!

Simpsons, obligatory, etc... (1)

Tape_Werm (857873) | about 9 years ago | (#12299697)

For liability purposes, it is the sea, not the pirates that will kill the software engineers.

Heh.. (3, Informative)

StikyPad (445176) | about 9 years ago | (#12299701)

From TFA: Staff can make the three-mile voyage into town in their off hours by calling a water taxi. Or they can spend time shopping in the on-board duty-free shop.

I've done my fair share of time aboard a ship, and let me just say that anchoring out and taking a ferry (or water taxi, or whatever you want to call the vomit inducing small craft that transport you to and from the port) a "mere three miles," is a much bigger pain in the arse than you might think. If you're lucky, they run once every 30 minutes. In a situation like this, it's more likely to be every hour, or every few hours.

Do some shopping during the day, and now you'd like to change and grab some dinner and maybe go out? Enjoy catching the ferry back to your boat and then waiting for the next one to get back to land.

Oh, and that moderate sized TV you just bought? Have fun carrying it up the brow.. not to mention just getting it off the ferry, which is probably using its own power to stay pressed against a barge tied alongside the ship. Oops, you slipped? That's a shame. Dropped your TV in the drink? Hope you have a good credit card company, and they believe you.

But I guess maybe it's better than the pay and conditions in the country you come from, and I'm just a spoiled American.

Sealand... (1)

AsnFkr (545033) | about 9 years ago | (#12299706)

Sounds an awful lot like Sealand [sealandgov.com] . They provide offshore webhosting without "imperialist entanglements". Funny stuff.

They need to do their homework... (5, Informative)

Bagheera (71311) | about 9 years ago | (#12299708)

"International waters" don't start three miles off-shore. The US maritime claims are as follows:

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: not specified


In other words, they'd have to be at least 12 miles from shore, and possibly (depending on who's doing the interpretation) over 200.

Also, as far as I'm aware, the ship will have to be flagged somewhere, which means that it's effectively that country's territory when in international waters.

Someones tax man will find them.

I smell Stephenson. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299710)

Where're YT and L. Bob Rife?

What about the 200 Mile Economic Zone? (2, Interesting)

craXORjack (726120) | about 9 years ago | (#12299723)

I think the 200 Mile Economic Zone was intended to settle fishing disputes but I can imagine the politicians using it as the basis for taxing this venture. Another question I have is whether the country that the ship is registered in has the rights already to tax commerce that takes place on the ship. Are cruise lines not liable for taxes? Is there no Sales tax on a cruise booked on-line? Obviously there would be no Use tax.

And while you're at it, why not just drop a super long anchor out at sea, declare your cruise ship to be an artificial island, and petition the U.N. to recognize you as an autonomous state? [luf.org]

Spaceship even better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12299724)

I actually like the idea.
I can't wait for the spaceship version of it.
From above hopefully there is a better perspective about entities like countries, governments, laws.

Sure, sure, (4, Funny)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | about 9 years ago | (#12299733)

it's all fun and games until Hiro Protaganist shows up and carves a hole in the hull with his chain gun on steroids.
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