Friday, June 08, 2018

Workplace customs change a lot with the times; get use to it; AIG pimps insurance careers



Joann S. Lubin has a valuable piece in the Wall Street Journal, based on her own career with the paper,  about how to negotiate workplace policies as they change with time, especially on how employers reimburse moving expenses and certain other expenses (like hardships with overtime), link here .  These practices change with the times.
  
In the early 1970s it was common for employers to pay travel expenses for interviews and initial relocation, but that had stopped after the mid 1970s oil-driven recession, by the late 70s.
   
Here’s another curious link from the Washington Post’s “brand studio”, from AIG, which got bailed out after 2008, for millennials, to consider careers in insurance.  The site is a bit funky to use.  I got calls to get into this after I retired because I had worked in life insurance as a mainframe computer systems analyst, but I did not want to troll and recruit clients.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Legacy mainframe vendor IBM now vies for industry leadership in blockchain



Tonight on CNN, IBM advertised its own IBM Blockchainservice .

This is interesting to someone whose early mainframe career (in the 1970s and 1980s) was based on the idea of the need to “get IBM” on your resume if you had something else (like Sperry Univac, the biggest competitor until the late 1970s).


But control of a service by one corporation or vendor could provide an existential vulnerability, as Wikipedia’s article explains under “disadvantages”.

Any alien civilization will have mastered blockchain. 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Workers today are much less mobile than a generation ago (even as I was)



A reader of the Wall Street Journal writes an LTE “Why workers aren’t as mobile as they used to be” in response to a heady piece “The Weekend Interview with Glenn Hubbard: A Conservative Economics of Dignity” (May 19), link .

The reader talks about family and filial responsibility, and interdependence of individuals in a family in hard times.  I have been a singleton all my life, and had to be very calculating on how I approached work.  Nevertheless, I “engineered” three relocations to new cities to my benefit, but returned “home” to near parents in pullbacks.  But I remained steadily employed in IT for 30+ years. 
  
But it’s true, only the most talented and able today can make relocation work in this “winner take all” world.  I do see teens making unusual accomplishments and entering college with huge financial independence already.  They are the minority.  But they are also the best parented. 

Note also the AP article today by Anne D’Innocenzio, “Entry-level jobs harder to snag”, link. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Underemployed actors work as undercover journalists, and more



Here’s an odd story about the workplace.  Underemployed or unemployed actors are hired to infiltrate companies that are on someone else’s hit list. 
  
Here is the May 15 Truthout story by Maura Stephens, here
  
Journalists have done this in the past, to investigate working conditions in companies like Food Lion, which have sometimes turned around and sued them and the news organizations for “breach of loyalty” or some such tort.
  
   
The other way this sort of conflict occurs is with associates writing about their employers in social media.  I even think when I was job-hunting in the 2000’s that some employers or clients feared I had a tendency to work somewhere, quit, and blog about the company after I quit.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Possible iPhone 8 bug; disruptive? -- solved by a retail clerk?



Today, I had a rather disconcerting experience with the iPhone8.
  
On the road, I was trying to locate an address in Google, and suddenly the screen went dark. I could barely see it, some bizarre message from Twitter.
  
I finally went into a retail store and a young clerk knew how to fix it – it had to do with the behavior of the activation button on the bottom.  You slide it a certain way and the settings for brightness come back and it lets you reset them.

This sounds like an unwanted feature that can disrupt normal operation.

I was a half hour late to an event because of this problem.
  
I feared it could be malware at first, but it sounds like a bug that a future release of IOS will fix.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

How to get Codeguard to work in Bluehost


I've done the Codeguard backup.

A few tips if you do it with Bluehost or a similar Wordpress provider.

You use the same IP address (as the hostname) for every database (if you have a "dedicated hosting" of a shared "bluebox".

You should enable SHH first (under security) and supply your main user ID and bh password and Port 22 to set up the FTP credentials.

The you add the databases.  The whitelist given by Codeguard may not be sufficient.  Bluehost will probably have to add 3-4 more hardcoded IP's through Remote SQL to make this work.

You should add a new user to each database in MYSQL with a separate password for each.  Bluehost may have to add one more master user on your principal account (if the other db's are addons).

During the backup, CodeGuard will tell you that the provisioning can take up to 4 hours.  Mine took about 10 minutes for the first backup, and then the other three (which are larger) each took around 5 minutes.

Bluehost identifies database names to blogs deep within the File Manager, under PHP code under public-html, specific to each addon.  This is rather analogous to the way a mainframe (COBOL) module might be written to access a specific DB2 table (like in a financial or health care company) through a separate CICS transaction, in the old fashioned work world.

Here's the best static codeguard writeup that I could find.

Note:  to see progress on Bluehost. log in to your account and then go to  .../cgi/codeguard. 


Monday, May 21, 2018

Does SCOTUS think workers should be able to low-ball one another?



The Supreme Court probably encouraged some worker lowballing today, as it ruled 5-4 that workers who have to sign arbitration agreements cannot use federal labor law to bring class action suits.  New York Mag has a typical summary story here. 

The case was Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis.

  
The general result is to favor individual workers who are willing to work for less, probably often singles, and to discourage organizing.  This seems to be a ruling for the “individualistic workplace”.
  
Here’s the document for the 5-4 opinion.