Friday, February 17, 2017

Facebook, Linked-In add new widgets for job seekers, especially for people who don't know they're looking


Facebook will help you find a job, even if you aren’t looking, according to a Washington Post story Friday by Abha Bhattarai.   It will provide widgets to enable you to apply for jobs from Facebook, based on your likes and behaviors.

It would sound conceivable that this could put me in touch with news outlets to become a “real” journalist at 73.

But I wouldn’t look at conventional sales jobs.  Being interested in classical music doesn’t make me want to call people to get them to buy concert subscriptions (any more).

Linked-In wants you to apply for jobs on its site under your boss’s nose, story by Jena McGregor here.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Some employers offering "free" branding tattoos


This hardly sounds relevant to IT, but I’ve noted a story about a pizza company offering free tattoos of the company logo to associates, Washington Post story by Abha Bhattarai     The company seems to have a generic name (&pizza).

I would wonder what happens if an employee leaves.  It seems that some of the tattoos were intrusive, covering entire forearms or chests.
 
A new idea, though, could be to use DuoSkin for temporary branding tattoos, or new “exterior implants” to unlock doors, access computers. Etc.   Could body art, previously considered uncouth, become mandatory?  Your body doesn’t seem to be completely your own anymore.  Remember the barber shop the first morning of Army Basic?

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Rare laptop fire at southern CA home; fortunately, "the kids are all right"


A 2006 Dell laptop exploded while charging on a couch in a southern California home recently.  It exploded four times before finally stopping.  The kids were home and fortunately nothing else caught fire. The story is here.

The old laptop had a lithium battery that had been recalled.  Such fires are rare, but the incident could raise question again about airlines.

Most of us have to carry our laptops with us, as hotel business centers are generally rather inadequate. Yet, around 2000 or so it was still common for people to depend on Internet cafes with desktops (like Kinkos) with time to rent while traveling.

Remember, Donald Trump says, "No computer is safe".

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Spicer hints at the idea of "conflict of interest" in speech only in federal jobs


Sean Spicer has been underscoring the idea that people should leave jobs where they disagree with what the boss wants them to do, as in this story in The Hill about employee reaction to Trump’s immigration ban.  Today, Tillerson, in taking over State, was more accommodating but told employees to “do their jobs”.

Along these lines, several departments have been embargoed from sending out tweets especially on areas like climate change.

This would not normally affect employees with their own social media accounts, or would it?  I’ve always said that once someone has direct reports and can make underwriting decisions that affect others, one loses the right to one’s own public voice (without gatekeepers) separate from work. Back in the 90s, with my work situation and gays in the military, this was a potentially big conflict of interest.

And then in the 2000’s, I suppose that when I was in my old job market, I suppose my tendency to report “like a journalist” on everything I saw later (without gatekeepers) could be seen as making me a potential long stream whistleblower threat as a hire.

Trump's hiring freeze on Federal employees (outside of defense and law enforcement) may hide a bigger problem:  if Trump is serious about replacing Obamacare, the government, or especially its contractors, will need to hire much more mature people than they did before.  And Hillary Clinton's email scandal shows a lack of judgment and maturity in her own IT staff letting her get into this kind of trouble.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Sub-min wage employee dependent on tips get abused by employers


The “Working World” column in the Washington Post Magazine Nov. 20, 2016 has an article by Paula Brantner from her “workplace fairness” feature, “Do these policies reach the tipping point?”


This concerns a letter from a mother about a daughter who works as a waitress for sub-minimum wage ($2.13 an hour) plus tips.  The trouble is employers can require some untipped time at the same rate (up to 20% of hours), and can pool tips.  And work can be regimented, nontstop. 

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Swedish company pushes little microchip skin implants for identification in the workplace


A Swedish company called Epicenter has been promoting RFID’s (“Radio Frequency Identification Chips”), the size of a rice grain, that are somehow planted on the side of the hand or wrist, maybe with a technology like DuoSkin. Here’s the best link I can find on Facebook.

I wouldn’t like the idea of having skin implants for work.  But I don’t do tattoos or body art, which have gradually become more acceptable with the modern workplace dress codes. But making them standard?
 
Remember the line in “Magic Mike” where Channing Tatum’s model character is asked by Cody Horn, “Why do you shave your legs for work?”  Especially when he’s not a drag queen.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The cost of doing more manufacturing in the US may be overstated by many companies


How much would it cost to make iPhones or other popular goods if companies like Apple and various PC manufacturers were not allowed to use low-wage workers (as at Foxconn ) overseas?

Some say that a $600 iPhone would cost $1300, but Business Insider gives much lower estimates, here. The biggest problem would be companies really couldn’t find that many workers quickly.  But there is a “bad karma” problem with US consumers addicted to prices artificially low if actually supported by slave or dorm labor overseas.



But robotics would quickly eat into the job gains.

A relevant issue would be a hidden consumer benefit to doing more manufacturing of PC’s in the US.  Microsoft has trouble correctly integrating all of its massive Windows updates with the hardware and firmware of many manufacturers (HP, Acer, Lenova, Dell).  If more of the manufacturing were one on places like Texas or California, you might see better quality and more stable operating system updates.

Consumers planning new laptop purchases might want to make them soon, if price hikes really happen.  I have thought about the desirability of doing most of my work on a computer actually manufactured for Windows 10 with the 2016 Cumulative Update taken into account.  It’s getting hard to keep most laptops stable for more than three years.  (But a 2009 Dell XPS now on Windows 7 but originally Vista is still pretty stable seven years later.)

Where Trump is really right is that there is a critical national security reason to make more power grid components (especially transformers) in the US, in geographically convenient and stable places like the Shenandoah Valley or Piedmont.



Here is CNN’s account on what really happened when Trump intervened with the Carrier plant in Mike Pence’s Indiana.  (Yes, Indiana wants me.)

There's an obvious issue for many people in that a lot of coding is outsourced (especially to India).  The trend for this started with getting Y2K testing done in the late 1990s.  But companies say without doing so they could not get work done.