Posts Tagged ‘IT’

Thanks Sabu for the satire

July 17, 2008

Another IT half empty article, salaries are tight. Lots of griping comments, and this one

One of the commenters left a what I would assume is a satirical comment. Satire seems to be in steep decline these days in America, so here I will quote some IT satire from someone named “Sabu”

Ooooh, I love the United States … it lets me leave the squaller of India and come to America where I can play and have fun and make lots of money.

I have a new home in Bangalore, new car, new wife …. I don’t mind stealing your jobs. Americans are rich, they can afford it.

Ooooh, I am standing beside myself ….

get the picture)


High tech firms hire psychics as consultants

June 23, 2008

Alexander the Great and other leaders of antiquity sought the advice of the oracle of Delphi. You can too!

From Newsweek:

When Seagate Technology, the $11 billion-a-year maker of hard drives for the Playstation 3 and Microsoft Xbox, went searching for a consultant to run one of its management workshops in the fall of 2006, it bypassed the usual list of Silicon Valley gurus. Instead, Seagate’s executive director of software engineering, Gabriel Lawson, invited Laura Day—a stylish New Yorker with no tech experience—to train his Colorado-based team. “She was amazing,” Lawson tells NEWSWEEK, recalling Day’s quick insights into the poor coordination between the company’s research and marketing teams. “Anybody who can afford her will get 100 times their money’s worth.” What exactly is Day’s expertise? While she likes to downplay it as mere “intuition,” her clients prefer another explanation: she’s a psychic.

Hopefully today’s psychics are little more straightforward that the priestess of Delphi was in her prophecies. Corporate types want straight talk.

Genuine Windows Vista comments

June 20, 2008

On the Microsoft Windows marketplace site, I was looking up info on the different Vista versions (because I can’t keep them straight) and I saw that there are 12 customer comments on Vista Ulitmate:

Comment #1:


Wonderful operating system, does everything one could ever posibly need, love it


None Found


I never thought I could get on with another operating system after Windows XP, because XP done everything I wanted. BUT I tried out Windows Vista Home Basic round a friends, and enjoyed the feel of the new features so I checked to find out there was an Ultimate Edition, WOW was I amazed. And now everyday there seems to be something new I find out. My Recommendation is Windows Vista Ultimate for anyone who is upgrading. 5 Stars

Comment #2:


I really like Vista over previous versions of Windows. It’s much easier to use, has some great new features, programs are easier to find and run, and just seems to work better with the rest of the devices on my home network.

Comment #3:


So far I havn’t had any issues after moving to Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 on my home machine. I did notice an increase in speed for gaming, file copying and all around usage.


Still notice a few problems here and there with app compatability but I think that will get worked out.


Works great for home users who want the best bang for the buck and media center built in!

This one got through:


Mounties got their (Nortel) men

June 20, 2008

Former Nortel CEO Frank Dunn and other former Nortel execs were arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (or if you prefer the Gendarmerie Royale du Canada) for lying about corporate results back in 2002 and 2003. As you may or may not recall, Nortel stock hit a low of around 40 cents a share around 2001, 2002 and rebounded to like $8-10 a share on excellent earning news, that turns out to have been, untruthful.

I can imagine the redcoated and Sam Browne belted mounties with chiseled appearances showing up at the respective mansions of the ex-execs to escort them into custody. I would assume that the traditional address is for parade and such, the arresting officers probably just had business suits on.

Full disclosure: I used to work for Nortel for like 3 years, but as a contractor or consultant. I saw the meltdown up close and personally in 2000 – 2001. I’m not bitter about Nortel, I’ve been thrown out of classier joints than that before. I know a lot of people who were (are) though.

Nortel was the darling of O Canada before 2001. It had the largest stock evaluation of any Canadian company, and was the New Economy/DotCom/HighTech face of Canada. So it’s come to this, a perp walk.

From the RCMP website, the details:

(TORONTO, ON – June 19, 2008) – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Greater Toronto Area Integrated Market Enforcement Team (RCMP GTA IMET) has charged:

Frank Dunn, age 54 of Oakville, Ontario, former CEO of Nortel;
Two count under Section 380(1)(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada;
Two counts under Section 397(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada; and
Three counts under Section 400(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Douglas Beatty, age 53 of Toronto, Ontario, former CFO of Nortel;
Two count under Section 380(1)(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada;
Two counts under Section 397(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada; and
Three counts under Section 400(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Michael Gollogly, age 49 of Oakville, Ontario, former Corporate Controller of Nortel;
Two count under Section 380(1)(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada;
Two counts under Section 397(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada; and
Three counts under Section 400(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

The fraud-related charges include: Fraud Affecting Public Market, Falsification of books and documents and False Prospectus. These charges pertain to allegations of criminal activity within Nortel Networks during 2002 and 2003. National IMET Program Leader C/Supt. Stephen White says, “Protecting and enhancing Canada’s economic integrity is one of the RCMP’s strategic priorities. This investigation demonstrates that although capital market investigations can be lengthy and complex, they are most effective when an integrated approach is used from the outset. We remain committed to working with our many partners nationally and internationally to prevent, detect and investigate serious capital markets fraud.”
Section 380(1)(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada;
Fraud Affecting public market

Section 397(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada; and
Falsification of books and documents

Section 400(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada.
False Prospectus

Pertaining to the Section 380 charge RCMP IMET allege that Dunn, Beatty and Gollogly fraudulently misstated the financial results of Nortel. The RCMP IMET further alleges in regards to the Section 397 charges that Dunn, Beatty and Gollogly made false entries and omitted materials particular in the books and documents in regards to the financial results of Nortel. The Section 400 charges allege that Dunn, Beatty and Gollogly circulated or published a statement or an account whether or not it was written or oral, knowing that it was false in a material particular, with the intent to deceive or defraud the members, shareholders or creditors of Nortel Networks Corporation. All of the charges pertain to the fiscal time period between January 1, 2002 and June 30, 2003, and allege that the financial statements of Nortel during this time period were misstated. This fiscal time period represents the fiscal year of 2002 and the First Quarter and Second Quarter of 2003.


June 12, 2008

see how many ping backs I get for this…


Boston Celtics are desktop Linux fans?

June 10, 2008

No, maybe not. They, Desmond Tutu, and the creators of the Linux distro got the term from the same source.

Sports quiz time. Can you name the Boston Celtics’ new rallying cry? It’s something the team chants…not the fans.

The word is “Ubuntu.” It comes from the Bantu languages of Southern Africa and means, loosely, “I am because of you.”


Obama uses LAMP, DNC using Windows, .NET, Silverlight 2.0

June 10, 2008

Obama’s website uses open source LAMP for its implementation, but the Democratic National Committee is planning on using Microsoft Silverlight for streaming video from the convention:

The technology behind the high-definition streaming video, by contrast, is a pioneering venture. The DNCC plans to use Microsoft Corp.’s new Silverlight 2 cross-platform, cross-browser plug-in to deliver rich media and interactive applications. Silverlight 2 isn’t even due for public release until the fall, so the DNCC will use beta software, according to Microsoft.

“There are some incredible applications that have been built on this platform, and it’s becoming more and more popular,” said Aaron Myers, the DNCC’s director of online communications, mentioning NBC’s plan to use Silverlight 2 to stream high-quality Olympic footage. “Some of the features that you can bring to video on Silverlight, without revealing what we’re going to do, are pretty impressive – things that other people are not doing in video.” (NBC Sports also plans to use Silverlight in its web-based videos during the upcoming Beijing Olympics.)

One of Silverlight 2’s distinguishing characteristics is that, as a subset of Microsoft’s .Net Framework, it can be used with .Net development tools. Silverlight 1.0, released a year ago, had “little uptake because it was essentially a JavaScript-centric media player plug-in,” according to Gartner Inc. Silverlight 2, in contrast, is a substantial technical step forward for Microsoft as it strives to compete with Adobe’s popular Flash and Flex, a Gartner report in March stated.

Democratic convention officials said they are aware that Silverlight 2 is still in beta and reiterated their confidence in the new release and the convention’s partnership with Microsoft.

But anyone considering the technology for this summer has some questions to weigh. Ray Valdes, a Gartner analyst, said he views Silverlight 2 as “in effect, a 1.0 release.” He added that it’s reasonable to ask, “Will the technology be bulletproof on this high-scale endeavor when it hasn’t been released yet? How many users will go to the level of downloading the plug-in?”

Microsoft said its Silverlight 2 beta plug-in is a quick 4 MB download for users. A company spokeswoman added that Microsoft is committed to providing a “stable, quality release” that will automatically update with the final Silverlight 2 release. She said customers such as Hard Rock Hotel Inc. and British Broadcasting Corp. are already using Silverlight 2 beta 1, replete with “deep zoom” capabilities, with no issues to date.

In addition to consulting and custom applications, Microsoft is providing business productivity, e-mail and real-time collaboration applications, including Exchange Server, SharePoint, Office Communications Server and Live Meeting. The DNCC also is using Microsoft’s Virtual Server 2005, with Windows Server 2003, to maximize server utilization, in keeping with the convention’s “green” focus.

But all is not lost for the open source camp:

The DNCC, however, is not using Microsoft technology exclusively. The Web site will run open-source Apache servers on BSD Linux, along with Windows servers. Site content and staff blogs are handled by the open-source SilverStripe content management system and framework, according to Colangelo.

Work addiction

June 3, 2008

A sure sign of addiction is the existence of withdrawl symptoms. For work, these are manifested by a class of behaviors known as “disconnect anxiety“:

Picture this… You’re taking a long weekend hike with your family. You tell jokes, sing silly songs while admiring the trees and streams. You have no cell phone reception, no laptop; you haven’t answered a call, responded to a text or e-mail missive all day. You have absolutely no idea what it is going on at work.

Sixty eight percent of Americans feel anxious when they’re not connected in one way or another, they find, and this “disconnect anxiety”–feelings of disorientation and nervousness when a person is deprived of Internet or wireless for a period of time–affects all age groups, who described their feelings as dazed, tense, inadequate and even panicked.

The study also had a several points of humorously embarrassing data, such as the fact that 63 percent of BlackBerry users admit they have sent a message from the bathroom, and 37 percent of laptop owners said they “frequently” used theirs in the bedroom.

It seems that well off people are leading lives of quiet desperation. They are anxious and stressed at work. When they are not at work, they are even more anxious and stressed because they are anxious and stressed at not keeping up with the things at work that make them anxious and stressed while they are at work.

I don’t think it’s per se “technology addiction” which would include people who are Internet porn addicts, hopelessly absorbed gamers, and sleep deprived and obese bloggers. We may be slaves of the machine, but technology is only the enabler. We are anxious about our work, but even more anxious about not having the job that has the work we are obsessed to do. Not that we aren’t always at work, thanks to the technology. But we are afraid, very afraid. McMansions, private school educations, gasoline, health care — all expensive and way beyond most of our actual means. There’s little middle ground here. The alternative is economic obsolesence and poverty. Poverty is not noble and is quite dangerous. And you could be in poverty, homeless, just like that.


Google RIA client that is a CLI

June 3, 2008

I was forwarded this Google AJAX based client that resembles a command shell interface. This is cool and strangely functional at the same time. A dialog with the client goes like this:

Goosh 0.4.3-beta #1 Mon, 02 Jun 08 22:28:01 UTC Google/Ajax

Welcome to - the unofficial google shell.

This google-interface behaves similar to a unix-shell.
You type commands and the results are shown on this page.

goosh is written by Stefan Grothkopp <> 
it is NOT an official google product!

Your language has been set to: en (use lang to change it) 

Enter help or h for a list of commands.> help
google web search
go directly to first result
google image search
wikipedia search
clear the screen
displays help text
google news search
google blog search
google feed search
open url in new window
open url
get more results
<url> <keywords>
search in a specific website
load an extension
google video search
read feed of url
google maps search
change language
add goosh to firefox search box
[lang1] [lang2] <words>
google translation> blogs "audible smirk"
Wall Street financiers spinner class smackdown
He just can’t help the grunting. Nor can he help shouting "Woo-woo!" or "Great song!" or "Good burn," or - inexplicably, "You go, girl!" That’s what a spin-class workout is all about, hedge-fund manager Stuart Sugarman testified ...
Parody or real? A girl software developer
Datamation is running a series of columns from Sara Chipps (sp. Chips?) that I cannot determine if they are the serious musings of a real female software developer, or if it is some kind of parody. This posting, "Natural Programmers ...
Naveen Jain is back
Naveen Jain of Infospace infamy is back!
Curry westerns?
Vinod Chopra is set to make a movie in New Mexico:. Chopra’s Broken Horses, with a screenplay based on an original story by Chopra himself, is the work of several award-winning writers including Abhijat Joshi (Lage Raho Munnabhai, ...

Now I think this is certainly a rich internet application or RIA because it meets the (vague) criteria. It is much more interactive and responsive than a ‘classic’ web application.

Now is this going to be scriptable?

Note: If you go to by mistake, it’s somebody’s personal website. Always make sure to register the major domain suffixes!


How meaningful is your work?

May 25, 2008

IT people often complain about what they do – the long hours sometimes, the pointlessness of corporate America (or whatever country, fill in the blank _______), the fear of losing their job to outsourcing, the loss of creativity in the job due to ‘process’ and pointy-headed management, the struggle to keep up with the state of the art or buzz in their profession. Often IT people look to get out, either voluntarily, or as would usually be the case, involuntary through layoffs or lack of work due to economic downturns or technological obsolesence. Even with a steady job, that is often highly paid (there has been stagnation or decline in some aspects of the industry), people lack meaning in what they do.

I thought a lot of the issue is due to relativism. It is said that people who live in rural villages in Third World countries are often happier than upper middle class ‘moderns’ in the US or the UK. They are far poorer in material terms, suffer more from disease and deprevation. But within the context of their belief system, the bonds of community and family and spirituality, they are more content. Maybe it’s that they don’t have time or the inclination think about how meaningless their lives are. If their lives are actually meaningless, if our lives are meaningless.

The articles "The best way to find meaning at work? Don’t look for it " and "Aim low to find meaning at work " (public access??) are from Lucy Kellaway, self described agony aunt (Britishism for advice columist) and financial columnist with the Financial Times who I’ve enjoyed reading (when I’ve had ready access to copies of the FT). She writes about, among other things, people, people with very high financial compensation from their work, who are increasingly finding their jobs meaningless. She says, get a grip.

As an agony aunt, I am used to people telling me that their jobs are meaningless. In fact this, is the most popular problem that readers submit. Lawyers, bankers, fund managers and all sorts of people with grand jobs write in with the same complaint: the money may be good but where is the meaning? How can I make a difference, they wail.

In fact, whoever coined the phrase “making a difference” has made a difference, though not a positive one. The phrase gestures towards grandiose achievement that is out of reach for almost everybody. Most of us make very little difference at all – which stands to reason if you think there are 30m workers in Britain alone, making it almost impossible that any of us will make a difference, except to the people we work directly with.

In fact as long as we set our sights low enough we all do make a difference at work. By performing the tasks we are supposed to perform, we are making a difference to our employers. If we weren’t, they would have fired us long ago.