Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Suddenly, when I should have been at the airport, a lot of spam comments

When I travel long distances, especially by air, it’s important for me, in my circumstances, stay wired.
That means getting fragile equipment through the TSA, having reliable and secure hotspot access where I will visit, and also having not only home security but also utilities continuing to work in an empty unit while I’m away.  It also means reliable cab or Uber etc, service to the airport, possibly very early AM.  There are a lot of things that can go wrong.
One problem is that something happens with your sites. 
I was supposed to leave this morning.  Something came up (related at least indirectly coronavirus) so the trip was canceled. 
Shortly after 6 AM, I started getting spam comments from “pharmacies” on my retirement blog.  The comments had only text say how nice the blog was, didn’t have links, but they did identify the company sending the spam.  Since Blogger comment monitoring is turned on, the all wound up generating emails to my AOL account as well as in the moderation queue.  I did find I had allowed anyone to submit comments, so I changed it to Google account holders only.  I still got comments from one company (“Dose pharmacy”).  So I changed it to members of the blog.  That worked and stopped it.  It looks like I already had word verification turned on (Captcha) so this is odd.
Then I shortly thereafter started getting them on the TV vlog.  So I set them all to “members only” and it all stopped.  So meaningfully most comments are suppressed for the time being.
I have used Blogger since 2006 and in the past, in every such instance, Google has stopped the flow of spam comments after maybe 5-10 of them. I don’t know why that didn’t happen this time.  It might have accumulated into the thousands while I was going through security at the airport, although it would not have posted them. 
I don’t know if Askimet is available for Blogger.
The point of the bot spam is to force you to see the names of the companies. But some could be to harass a blogger for political motives.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Youtube videos describe what it is like working at McDonalds or fast food as a prole

What is it like working  at McDonalds?

This is Matt Amys (apparently in the UK) describing a minimum wage, proletarian job.

I had even written in “Do Ask Do Tell” (book 1, chapter 5) that you find out if you can work at all!   This is regimentation.

One of the most disturbing items is getting burns on his arms from carelessness of other worker with the grilling equipment.  Body sanctity gone.

He also describes being held into forced overtime at the end of a shift.

Imagine owning a franchise!
I don’t have picture.  You generally can’t take pictures in a workplace.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Should you use ultrasonic pest repellents to protect your telecommuting electronics?

I suppose it’s common sense that a home workspace area with your electronics needs to be kept clean (and some people who work at home talk about having to control their pet cats climbing over everything).

I saw an article on AOL – really an advertorial, on an ultrasonic pest repeller.

Do these devices work? 

Here are two stories:  Terminix (probably biased), and  Nachi.
I have wondered about some other issues:  could magnetic fields, flux, or anything else from equipment near a residence ever affect your electronics?  Could something in a nearby unit, that you don’t know about, do this?  This could be a critical topic.  There are military EMP devices with create magnetic flux that do not need nuclear technology. They are classified, but there is one on display at Aberdeen MD that I have seen before.   Here is a distantly related book draft (NAP), but I will have to return to this later.  If someone knows something about this, please comment (moderated).

I do recall that in the Pittsburgh area in the late 1960s, there were problems in residences near a military airfield with home entertainment electronics working, and I never found out why.

Monday, February 03, 2020

Could "overreaction" by public health authorities doing contact tracing for coronavirus destroy the workplace and economy quickly? (even in the US)

Will the Wuhan NovelCoronavirus affect attendance and productivity in the workplace in the United States?  I can give one relevant article from National Law Review right now, link

I wanted to bring up the issue of presenteeism, which was an issue in the salaried IT workplace of more than twenty years ago when I was working in mainframe IT.  Mathematics tells us that contact tracing can get out of control very quickly and suddenly, maybe in a matter of a few days. 

I have a concern with just what mathematical models would say.  Soon, we will have people in the US who test positive and have no known connection to people who were in China.  The cat’s out of the bag already.  The whole world is exposed.   It’s inevitable.  How do you check for their tertiary contacts?   Maybe you look for everybody who was in the same bar last week, or same church service.  You could troll social media for evidence of where they have been.  You could use security cameras.  China can do this now.  People in the US worry that this will happen here.
Pretty soon, mathematically, you would isolate everyone at home and the whole economy stops.  Could police and fire come to work?  Would Internet platforms shut down because nobody was allowed to come to work to support them? No wonder some people worry about the government confiscating “their guns”.  Skype would need data centers to be functioning to work (in lieu of travel). So would any work-from-home or telecommuting. 
Do Youtube medical moralizers right now understand who exponents in mathematics work?

There is at least one case in Mexico where Uber canceled 240 accounts of customers who had ridden with a driver who tested positive.  This could make it difficult to get around and catch flights.  

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

How to dress for a job interview at Netflix (or most tech companies)

Ashley Rodriquez has a snazzy article in Business Insider (paywall) about the recommended dress code for interviews with Netflix, as being business casual.

The photo illustrations were a bit adventurous and stress minority appearance.
ThioJoe today did a video on facemasks.  I’ll leave it to the reader to find it. 

Monday, January 27, 2020

HP Envy desktop and power button firmware issue (?)

This morning, I was a little careless reaching over the top of my HP Envy screen for the power button, pressed it weakly, and it wouldn’t come on.  That has happened before, and I would just press harder and hold longer.  This time, when I released the button it would go dark.

I unplugged it, replugged it and tried again.  This time HP sent a message saying it was attempting an automated repair and then said it had removed a firmware update and then it started normally.
I have restarted the machine and tested the cold start again a couple times and it works normally.
Back in 2016, I had Geek Squad replace the hard drive with a solid state drive.  But a 2017 firmware update that was OK then should be OK now, but now it keeps saying ready to download.

The computer was originally purchased in August 2014.  The operating system is Windows 10 Creators Update 1903.  I won’t install 1909 until I find out more about this. I also won’t reinstall the 2017 firmware until I know more.

I am careful about winter static electricity and the power supply.  I now try to ground my other hand while I press the button.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Joshua Fluke, after being "Banned Again" by LinkedIn (??) discusses business ownership, leasing, and contracting

Joshua Fluke has an interesting channel about working in tech, at least in Utah.

He starts out “Banned Again” with finding out that his LinkedIn account is “restricted”.  He says it’s a catch 22.

It would sound like if you lost use of LinkedIn, you could be seriously restricted in any reasonable job market.

I hadn’t really heard of this problem before. He doesn’t know what got him banned.  His videos?  I suppose resume falsehoods would do it, but the company usually wouldn’t be in a position to know, it would require outside complaints.

He then goes on to look at some HR job openings in Utah, and notes he could try to get a job paying $60000 a year to fire people. (“Involuntary termination”, following counseling, verbal warning, written warning – progressive discipline.)

Finally, the talks about owning his own business – and you can set it up to get paid anyway you want – and also working as a contractor for someone else, and the advantages of being a contractor rather than being a W-2 “salaried” employee of a personnel placement company, which is a very common practice in IT (especially when state and local governments are the customers).

Given the “business” situation I’ve outlined in previous posts before on other blogs (what I need to get done by the end of 2021) his ideas are interesting to me.

Let me add, if you own a business, you need to pay attention to trademark law and practice.  You also need to be careful about how you get paid if you need to collect individual customer information with persistent identifiers, or if your business includes selling personal information (the California CCPA for starters). 

Josh also says Jeff Bezos owns nothing.  That's Amazon's secret.