Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

It’s real

And you can buy it at Etsy.

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I’ve been dealing with Vista issues for the last 2 years of my life, but sometimes something happens that just astounds you. It’s not only that hotmail is incapable of knowing that my email address ends in “@hotmail.com” when I go to log in at http://www.hotmail.com, or that it seems incapable of preventing me from getting bombarded with spam everyday, no that is not the only failure…It now thinks it can predict that I, that would be me the customer, is sending out something suspicious in my message. That’s right. After I’ve logged in to the web site and manually typed in an email address, it thinks I’m doing something bad. Un-fucking believable.


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I have been monumentally busy lately. Busy at work. I think I can truly express authentically what a piece of crap Vista is. For those people who just don’t like how everything is organized, you don’t know the half of it.

Inexplicably I can’t connect to Oracle databases in Access. The whole dang program shuts down. I’ve attempted 20 different work arounds to fix my problem. At one time I had 10 browsers open with the various error messages and steps to fix them. I really liked this one: “5 tedious steps for removing Oracle.” I don’t blame Oracle though. I blame this f—ing operating system.

In livlier news, I have now started a bicycle repair class. It’s so great to think I’ll be able to fix my main vehicle without paying someone else to do so. The teacher also gave me some good tips on how to ride my bike. He talked about how you are the motor. He said keep the gears low and get better excercise rather than put strain on your muscles and joints in a high gear. Protect your motor he said.

Bad knees has led me to go swimming every now and again. It’s much more daunting than running as there is limited space. Even in the slowest lane I get in the way of others.

I’ll be running a half marathon this weekend. Hopefully my knees hold up. Plus, I hope I get over this cold that I have. Some people ask me how I manage to do so much meaning running, swimming, cycling etc. I would like to say that first of all that I am not terribly good at any one of these. And second, sadly I am a truly ultra-efficient human being. My body can survive on half the calories of a typical person, so I have to be active in order to enjoy the pleasures of food and drink. You would never know by looking at me how much I do, but there it is.

I’m sorry for the spotty posting, but as I said I’m kind of busy these days.

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Founder Visas

Here’s another interesting article on Slate talking about a proposal to create an immigration classification for entrepreneurs.

He wants the government to create a new immigration class for founders of new firms. Every year, Graham’s “Founder Visa” program would let in 10,000 immigrants who’ve shown a plan for starting a new company. These people would be barred from working at existing companies—in other words, they wouldn’t be “taking American jobs.” Instead, Graham argues, they’d be creating jobs: “If we assume four people per startup, which is probably an overestimate, that’s 2,500 new companies. Each year,” Graham writes. “They wouldn’t all grow as big as Google, but out of 2,500 some would come close.”

I have to admit that the above proposal sounds good. One of the reasons I’m reluctant to embrace immigration reform in general is that usually the reform is focused on increasing the immigration numbers for desirable high-paying jobs. A lot of people assume talks of reform are focused on the undesirable jobs that Americans don’t want; that isn’t the case. It’s about keeping wages artificially lower than they would be in the tech industry and it’s about an assumption that Americans are not as capable of performing high-tech jobs as foreigners.

I have known many a Computer Science graduate in America who have not been able to find work. Is that a problem with our education system in America? I believe it almost certainly is. Again from the article:

Why do American tech firms need so many immigrant employees? Because there aren’t enough native workers to fill the jobs tech companies need. According to the National Science Foundation, about 60 percent of doctorate degrees in engineering at American universities are awarded to foreign students who are in the country on temporary visas (PDF). And foreign workers are responsible for some of the tech world’s signature innovations.

I think it’s an important question to ask why our American schools can only send students that make up only 40% of the doctorate degrees in engineering at American universities. I’m making the assumption that 60% of the foreigners are more qualified than their American counterparts, and I’m asking why that is. Can we acknowledge that our education system may have flaws.

It justs strikes me that if we give up on Americans ever fulfilling the American dream then we do our country a disservice.

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Here’s an interesting column about Mad Men where the writer talks about how she romanticizes the job of secretary in the 60’s after watching the show.

It’s twisted, but watching the heckled, thwarted women of Mad Men made me want to be a better assistant, and not (only) because I wanted to dress like them. I wanted to be them. On the surface at least—and surface was powerful in those days—these women (even the secretaries) are femme fatales.

Personally, I know a lot of great administrative assistants who are smart and extremely competent at their job, but for me I could never do it.

I actually started my career out as an assistant and it just didn’t work. I’m too opinionated for one, and very rebellious. Oddly enough, the better I performed in that job the more I was resented by my boss. He didn’t want me to be any better at anything than I needed to be. And he wanted to nitpick about things that didn’t matter. My wardrobe was often criticized. How Mad Men is that? Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a flashy dresser. The criticisms were a lack of nylons and I was told once that I dressed like a postman. Looking back the fact that all of the executives were men should have tipped me off but I guess I didn’t have Mad Men, this was the year 2000, to know what I was getting into.

Just one of the final straws was when I designed a database application that saved collectively 10 hours of time per week from other employees. The male executives took my design and passed it off as their own. I was sitting there in the meeting watching them do it and I couldn’t believe it.

After quitting because I couldn’t take it anymore, I turned down other administrative jobs to take a lowly data entry position. I felt that I wanted to work on something which I owned. Something that wasn’t boosting someone else but actually belonged to me. 9 7 years later I’m a database specialist and programmer. My strategy worked.

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Amazon is being sued for deleting e-books from their customer’s Kindles when Amazon found out the e-books were pirated copies.

The lawsuit said Amazon never disclosed to customers that it “possessed the technological ability or right to remotely delete digital content purchased through the Kindle Store.”

No shit. I didn’t know that about the Kindle either. The book? You’ll never believe. Orwell’s 1984. Check out the story.

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