Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mac environments have to be kept updated, too


So, I find out that the reason my MacBook keeps trying to make me sign on to iCloud again is that I haven’t updated to the latest operating system.  I still have Yosemite (10.10) and the latest is Sierra (10.12).

I’m told that it’s important to replace operating systems for the newest security features, just as with Microsoft.

I finally did get my Apple iCloud synched.



I use the MacBook for music composition (Avid Sibelius), for which I have 7.5.  I’m told I need to update that.  I also have Final Cut and will use it soon for video editing.

So I hope all my files (for the sonatas and other pieces, discussed on my newer Wordpress blogs) will be compatible.

Here’s the problem.  Most of my other legacy work (my books and blogs) are on Microsoft (Windows 10, now Creators Update) platforms.  I don’t use the Mac quite often enough so stuff gets out of sync (including the Carbonite backups).

Most people have just one platform to maintain, and a smaller set pf apps. Most people have the formally acquired expertise (like music composition) and focus on just one content-generating activity.  I am spread very thin.
 
But systems not used all the time do tend to get out of synch, with updates and password management and security.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Does cold calling still work these days? "Yeth!"


Is cold calling still an acceptable practice?

Should business people focus educating their consumer with social media, or on actual sales in social media?

I got an email recently, which I can’t find now, reporting on a controlled experiment where focused effort to sell still led to better income.



A lot of people don’t want to be called, or disrupted (or maybe put in danger by unannounced day-to-day visits).  But there seems to be a real divide right now in our culture on what kind of customers will “play ball”.  Consumers who use social media less may be much more responsive to sales calls.
Interesting clue on the video about FSBO.  Someone who lists his house for sale by owner is likely to be sociable and more interested in taking calls.

Someone who says online they are seeking anything tangible might be more receptive.  I do know that trolling who responded to ads or search habits is done to generate leads, but this probably gets harder in a world of “do not track” and privacy controls while searching and browsing.  Still, a lot of people don’t bother.  And then they wonder later at the repeated unwanted calls.

Here’s a recent piece on the topic. “Always be closing” indeed.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Suddenly. my iPhone6 gets disabled, when I don't think I entered the PW too many times


I had a bizarre incident last night where my iPhone6 suddenly displayed the keyboard in front of my key pad and said it was disabled, as I tried to enter the pin.  I hadn’t tried the pin more than once.

It was right after I had walked into a movie theater and I wondered if the theater was blocking it.  I was able to get rid of the problem simply leaving the auditorium for moment, turning off the phone, and then turning it back on again.

Using recovery mode looks very complicated and would not work if you were on a trip or on the road and not easily able to use a synced laptop. Here is a writeup.
 
You can go to an Apple store but typically the “Genius Bar” requires appointments.
 
I have had a problem with an unwanted iTunes sign in popping up, as well as iCloud siginons on my MacBook.  The Apple store cleared it once, but it returned.  I just now signed on to iCloud on a windows computer and that worked and send the usual 2-step verification code.



I also accidentally let the power go down yesterday, but had charged it back up before the incident.
 
The usual reason for a phone’s being disabled is signing on with the incorrect pin more than 6 times (source), which was not the case for me (unless there was a nearby hacker, or somehow the phone had banged into mechanically;  I had stored the AMC movie ticket on the phone).  . I got a “try again in one minute” message.  It’s possible that time consumed in shutting down and rebooting simply caused the problem ti time out.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

When can off-hours activism endanger your job?


Here’s a good question by Jen McGregor on p. G2, “Taking Stock”, of the Washington Post on Sunday June 4, 2017, “Off-hours activism can hurt you at work” (?)
 
She notes that about 12 states have laws prohibiting private employers from interfering with off-the job activity unless it involves trade secrets or privacy issues.  Attorney Gene Volokh says that this problem doesn’t come up as often in practice as one would expect, because most employers find a “live and let live” approach better for business.

However, there can be a hostile workplace issue when people with direct reports engage in some open speech off the job, as I outlined here  or here  on my legacy site.

I would wonder how this plays out in Trump's businesses.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Robots won't eliminate jobs requiring real people skills


Danielle Paqette has a story about wages in the Washington Post on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 that should please Barbara Ehreneich (“Nickel and Dimed”). P. A15, “Low-paid jobs safer from robots” in print, “The worst paying jobs for college grads boasts this sneaky advantage”.
 
I’m not so sure this holds, as a lot of knowledge-based jobs still depend on human judgment (even day trading).  But the writer is right in that provision of personal care (especially child care or elder care) can’t really be replaced by machines.  But it may have been a “career” that was once seen as demeaning.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Facebook to hire 3000 more screeners for removing violent content; but do these jobs require the usual coding skills?


Facebook has announced it will hire up to 3000 more people to screen content (especially Facebook Live videos) in addition o the 4500 it already has, on its community operations team.  It is not clear if these jobs are all onsite or can be done at home, and if they are in multiple locations around the country.

The Los Angeles Times has a basic story here.  Wired is here  The San Francisco chronicle writes here.

Facebook has a link that explains its job interviewing process, which is multiple steps, including peer interviews, and a coding exercise that takes about a half hour.  It doesn’t say what language, and that probably depends on the position (C++, java, Perl, PHP, etc).  But the Facebook article says that coding is “fractal”.


 
It would sound reasonable to hire a mixture of people to screen videos, including many minorities who may recognize certain sensitivities, bilingual, and probably retirees, for social judgment.  LGBT issues in videos could require special awareness.  It's not clear if these particular jobs would require a lot of coding skills.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Should young adults consider working abroad?


I saw a newspaper article a few days ago, that I cannot locate, “If you want a job, get on a plane” and fly East. Don't be skittish about the TSA or airline behavior and delays.

But the article argued for job seekers to be open to working overseas, especially in less developed countries.  Or in more authoritarian countries, like China.

The article also noted that Americans often don’t develop usable conversational skill in second languages.  It argued that everyone should be able to carry on a conversation in Spanish, and maybe noe non-European language, especially Chinese.

Here’s an older article from a St. Louis paper making similar arguments.

All of this sounds challenging for LGBT persons, and companies with major operations in the developing world and needing to bring in people from the US or Europe for technical expertise or in other roles (teaching) could be challenged.



In early 1971, when I was facing layoff from my first job at RCA, I looked into the idea of employment overseas, especially Britain and Australia.

All of this sounds like a flip-side of Trump’s ideas of “America first.”