Archive for November, 2008

Microsoft Mojave Experiment is back

November 26, 2008

Indeed, if it ever went anywhere. Earlier in the year, Microsoft launched its Mojave Experiment ad campaign to great ridicule in the IT community. Yesterday, I saw a Mojave ad on NBC I believe, not sure, but I did see the ad again. Hasn’t Microsoft moved on to Windows 7?

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Recession good for keeping families together

November 26, 2008

The bad times, according to MSNBC, are good for keeping families together by sharply reducing the divorce rate because couples can’t afford tne costs of divorce and setting up separate households:

The economic crisis may be doing what pastors, family therapists and matrimonial counselors have long struggled to accomplish: keeping troubled marriages together.

Marriage counselors and divorce lawyers nationwide say more distressed couples are putting off divorce because the cost of splitting up is prohibitive in a time of stagnant salaries, plummeting home values and rising unemployment.

Trust no one, not even your ‘friends’

November 17, 2008

Worried about layoffs? Backstabbers at work, can’t really trust anyone, not even your ‘friends?’

Scapegoating is also more common during a recession because bad economic times draw attention to problems and inefficiencies inside companies that might otherwise be ignored during a boom, says Harvey.

“When things tighten up, inefficiencies and problems become bigger issues. You can no longer hide them,” he adds.

It’s easy to get blindsided by a co-worker playing the blame game, because such subterfuge takes place behind the scenes and because people are so focused on the specter of a layoff that they fail to recognize coworkers’ machinations. Thus, a victim of workplace scapegoating often doesn’t realize what’s happening until his boss calls him into the office for a tense discussion about why the victim’s software contains more bugs than the Amityville Horror House.

Don’t trust the ones who you obviously shouldn’t trust, and don’t trust the ones who you have been trusting:

You also need to tune your radar to people who might try to throw you under the bus. Take a look around the office and identify the complainers and back-stabbers, the people you’ve heard bad-mouthing others, and realize that they could direct their ire at you, too.

Don’t ignore your friends, either, says Harvey. “It is so common for people to not want to be blamed that even people who are your friends, when push comes to shove, if they feel their career is in jeopardy, they may feel justified in doing it,” he says.

Are the offshore guys really practicing yoga on my time?

November 13, 2008

I saw this long comment posted to a question regarding small businesses in the US outsourcing all their employees in order to survive.

If they are practicising yoga in place of the foosball, I could find that a bit more acceptable. Actually, I find that at least some of this rings true in situations I;ve been party to.

Well not all the outsourcing is good enough. I am on EAD and soon have my green card. I work for the top indian IT consulting company which claims to have a robust and successful outsourcing model. We work on a 80-20 or 70-30 model where 20% or 30% of the people are here in US and rest in India. Typically billing rates for people working in US from our company is $85 per hour while that in India is $21. So indian worker seems to be costing just 1/4 of the person who is working in USA. But quality wise almost all the significant and most critical work is done by US team. They essentially have 12-14 hours kind of work day. They take the calls morning at 7:30 AM and also takes the calls starting from India at 11:30 PM onwards. Very less sleep for these onsite US team folks. And it is this US team which takes the bottomline, respnsibility and accountability of the work. Client grabs their neck for everything. While team in india has got attitude problem. As number of jobs in india are too much, they simply don’t care about the work. They come to the office at 10:00 AM and leaves by 5:00 PM. They have generous 2 hours kind of lunch and tea breaks. They have lot of extra curricular activities, games, sports, gym, yoga classes, training courses at the very good campus with free lunches. Most of these indian team members are looking for excuses for not doing any work. They simply tell these excuses-that their PC is not having enough RAM, program hangs, network cable is missing etc… and so they cannot do the work. As my company wants to increase it’s profit margins in india-they don’t mind kicking out best of breed, talented and experienced folks and rather keep people who are fresh out of college or with less than 1 yr. of experience. And of top of it, in my company-most of these people the moment they get experience of 3 yrs-they don’t want to touch coding or do any technical work. Somebody is lead, somebody is manager, junior or senior manager etc…These non-technical people increases the overhead. As a result there are very few people who are actually working. Better to say in a team of 10 folks, only two are bright and two are above average, rest are there to play plain politics, flatter their bosses and do total time pass. As client is sitting in US-they have no idea what is happening as they do monitoring very minutely. In the end, people who have to suffer are these onsite team members because they cannot afford to be lousy or those 30-40% people in offshore team who are working. When everybody is getting their share of salary why only 30-35% people work in this global outsourced project?

Word of the day: reskill

November 13, 2008

Re-skill yourself! For some reason, I don’t like this word. It is a synonym for retraining (another re-word), retooling perhaps, or just training.

Post #500

November 12, 2008

This is my 500th post on this blog. Here are the Top 10 posts so far in this blog’s history:

Java web framework tournament
Java Tournament Championship
John Hagee says Tony Blair to be the Ant
Casas de Cambio
Computer literacy test example
Cached password in Windows XP a problem?
Java Tournament Final Four
Cash for Keys
Tournament 1st round
Zimbabwean 500,000,000 dollar bill photo

I used to work for these guys

November 12, 2008

Hmm.. $3.4 billion loss in 3rd qtr. Didn’t know Nortel made cars.

At least one analyst quoted in the article is positively gloomy on NT’s future:

The cost cuts notwithstanding, Nortel’s balance sheet and its business setbacks make the company attractive only to investors who betting that it will be broken up or sold, said Duncan Stewart, president of Duncan Stewart Asset Management in Toronto.

“It only exists as a possible speculative break-up value play,” he said. “As Nortel exists today, it cannot become a successful global leader in the telecom equipment industry.”

The good news so far is, analysts had been expecting 4 – 5,000 jobs to be cut. So far, about 1,300 will be let go.

The government will pay you to exercise in the UK

November 10, 2008

Manchester, England plans to start paying citizens to walk, jog and other wise exercise:

The move to address the ‘fat epidemic’ comes after figures which show that a quarter of British adults are obese.

Experts say that by 2050 at least 60 per cent of the population will be obese – so fat their health is in danger.

People will be invited to keep-fit classes or weight-loss clubs, and they could win points on their NHS loyalty card depending on how much weight they lose.

They will even get points for simply turning up to the sessions – even if they actually put on weight.

Running or walking in the local park could also earn points: there would be machines at intervals in parks, allowing people to swipe their card at the beginning or end of their journey. They would get points in accordance with how far they walk or run.

Walking their children to school rather than taking their car would also gain points; as would taking public transport to work, because this involves extra walking than taking the car as commuters have to walk to and from train stations and bus stops.

Hard to imagine in Iceland

November 10, 2008

Having visited Iceland, this is hard to imagine, but there it is. Protesters are surrounding the parliament building in Reykjavik, normally a very tranquil place as I recall. People throwing things? I guess when things have pretty much completely collapsed and all your savings are gone, people do desperate things.

Running a marathon could kill you

November 4, 2008

There was a doctor (I forgot the name, I suppose I could google it) in the 1980s who claimed that anyone fit enough to run a marathon would be immune from heart disease. The doc didn’t figure that the stress of actually running a marathon could kill you dead fast. At the NYC Marathon run yesterday, two participants died.