Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Antideficiency Act seems to contradict the FLSA, forcing some federal employees to work without on-time paychecks



Todd Dickey explains how the Antideficiency Act of 1870 countermands the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and results in a situation where some critical federal employees can be required to stay on the job without knowing when they will be paid. 

  
To me, it sounds like involuntary servitude, the 13th Amendment.

(Picture: Dec 1, walk to end HIV) 

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Clean desk policies


USA Today had a brief article Tuesday on the desirability of keeping workplace desks clean, and having paper purges. I couldn't find it online. 
My own boss at USLICO back in the 1990s used to get after me about that.

But a site called “shredit” discusses the value of a clean desk policy in detail, when there are any questions about security for customer information.  It has always been common in the military. 

Friday, January 04, 2019

Hiring a "Social Justice Warrior" (don't even let her in the building)



Here’s a comic short “Hiring a Social Justice Warrior” from Off-Brand Entertainment and posted by Hello Generic.


Note the buzzwords, like “occupational identity”. Note the aggressive attitude of the applicant.
  
I’ve written about conflict of interest at work over “personal social media”.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Progress with Wordpress 5.0.2




I have experimented today with the new Gutenberg block editor and placed two new entries on a test blog, here 

These are entries from the old “Technology-Law Confluence Blog” on my old legacy apache site .

This site was moved to a new host by a corporate buyout and the old Wordpress blog (started in 2007) lost, but I had not kept the Wordpress installations up to date, so I take responsibility for it. Fortunately, I had saved images of the posts and can repost them at leisure.
       
They actually deal with a couple of topics still timely today:  “free content” and its effect on the hygiene of the Internet, and the possibility of “self-libel” in fiction, which can matter in the workplace.

I found the use of Gutenberg on the free Wordpress site (I had to “convert” it first to 5.0.2, just as with a hosted site) self-explanatory.  Every time I hit space, an add-block symbol appeared on the Left (no political pun intended). The “Paragraph” block did not offer a separate “Classic” block (and there was no separate “Classic” block), but in importing from Word it behaved the same way;  it did import it as text without Word styling.


I tried adding one of my own videos.  First I tried adding one directly from the Canon camera, which it rejected for security reasons.  So I had to use URL’s for YouTube videos I had uploaded.  If you don’t want to go through YouTube or Vimeo, you need some sort of processor app to satisfy the security requirements.

On one site, with a 24-theme, I found that when I tried to do a new post on 5.0.1 I got a blank screen, not a post format.  Reverting back to the classic editor plugin worked. But I don’t want to convert the three others until I can find out what happened.  Maybe I can do this after New Years; it could conceivably require paying a consultant. I use the 26 theme on two blogs. Both themes are supposed to be compatible.  (The 24 theme had been updated with the 5.0 at the same time.)
  
Here are three more references on Gutenberg:  Classic block documentation, testing issues,and Newbies.
  
If someone knows what causes the blank page problem in 5.0 with a new post, please comment (moderated). 


Friday, December 14, 2018

Facebook is reported to have a two-month boot camp and weeding out for new engineers



Here’s an interesting one.  Someone asked on Quora, about being fired from Facebook in less than two months, and whether to include on the resume.

Facebook is reported here  as having a boot camp for new software engineers where you have to deliver a product in two months.

It’s not clear what languages (are the OOP – C++, java ,etc?) they use.   Also it’s not clear what operating system their servers are on, but their products have to work on everything, most of all mobile (both Apple and Android, and others).

So it’s likely there is a steep learning curve, because so few engineers could be fluent in all these.
It’s also not clear how many data centers there are, outside of Menlo Park, CA.
  
I was on the West Coast and visited the Silicon Valley area in September, and I drove around all three major tech campuses and met some people in Mountain Lakes.  It would be a nice lifestyle if you reallyu are a super-coder and know it.  But it has to be something you had started out young. 
   
 Learning coding is a bit like learning to play musical instruments.  The pace is much faster today than it had been in the mainframe days.
  
It’s a good question as to how the current scandals concerning data privacy and misuse of algorithms by foreign powers affect what they look for in hew hires.
  
I would think they could look for older pros (I am really “retired” at 75, but sort of) to help them design content moderation policies.  I could actually help them with that.  Yes, it’s OK for a company to contact me with this issue.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

"Are Boomers Taking Our Jobs": Economic Invincibility entertains his own generation; also, today is an anniversary of my own layoff





Economic Invincibility looks at the question, “Are Boomers Taking our Jobs?


He says, largely so.  In I.T., it was hard for older people to pick up the “quickness” of writing scripts on the fly, that young people learn as if it were playing piano.

But in general, there is a risk that older employees, after a career-ending layoff, will work for less if in fact they are empty nesters and don’t have a lot of debt (like, student debt).

I disagree with EI somewhat on the contention that immigrants take domestic jobs.  Cato Institute and Pew Research, etc. have produced countless studies saying otherwise.  Could I some time not have gotten a job offer because an immigrant was a better match?  Maybe, but I don’t know if this ever happened.  And when Morgan Spurlock picked oranges on his “Inside Man” series, he showed that immigrants (even undocumented) often take jobs Americans don’t want.

Seventeen years ago today, Thursday, December 13, 2001 (93 days after 9/11) I had my career-ending layoff at ING in Minneapolis, when at 9 AM CST, my terminal said “Your account has been disabled, please log off” while I talked to an internal customer.  I finished the call. Yes, I got good severance and retirement both and was much better off at 58 than most people.  But the abruptness was a shock.
  
Also, watch EI’s video, the problem with “Clean Your Room, which amounts to “Skin in the Game”.  I’ll cover this again. Some employers do have clean desk policies.  I wouldn't want my desk to be visible from the street. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Wordpress goes to 5.0.1, and 4.9.9 for those who hadn't updated; 5.0 to 5.0.1 did not work!



I had a problem:  The one blog that I had put on 5.0 was automatically updated to 5.0.1 and when I went to the edit a page, the screen was blank (in Windows 10, Creator’s Update).


So I had to go install the Classic Editor plug in and activate. Then I was able to edit. The blog post is this.  On three other blogs, it went to 4.9.9 which still has the classic editor.  They operated normally. 

The video above discusses how Wordpress 5.0 affects freelancers.