Random musings on whatever subject strikes my fancy, published every other day.

Category: Geeky Stuff Page 1 of 53

Social Media Update

Where to find me on Social Media.

Since absolutely nobody asked, here’s my take on the current social media scene:

Facebook is a cesspit, a refuge of racists and Nazis, Q-Anon crazies and MLM dupes. It’s trying to hold off having to declare itself a sovereign nation until after it can get Pumpkin re-elected.

Twitter knows its potential to be used for evil, sorta wants to do something about it, much more wants to be perceived as trying to do something about it, and has no idea how to accomplish either goal.

Instagram is putting forward a bunch of Ken and Barbie dolls (oh, sorry, did I misspell “influencers”?) to pretend everything is awesome. They hope they can keep this up until the apocalypse, at which point the board’s plan is to cash out and go hide in a bunker in New Zealand.

LinkedIn is everyone trying to sell something. For the people on there without a traditional product to sell, they are the product.

Reddit is a bunch of Gen Y and Z trying out acting like old curmudgeons and telling everyone they don’t know to get offa their lawn. All the topics of this curmudgeonly passion are so inconsequential that they could immediately cease to exist and the collective impact would be about that of a presidential tweet that somehow managed to neither start a war nor praise a Nazi.

It all is pretty worthless but with newspapers having mostly collapsed, it’s also all pretty indispensable.

It sucks to be us.

Backlog

When I find a bug in a piece of software, I usually want to report it. Some software producers make this easy. Others put the burden of proof on me.

Here’s a fun negative to try and prove: prove that the issue you’re trying to report would not get fixed by the fixes to any one of these we already have in the backlog. It sounds easier than it is. And it doesn’t even sound very easy.

Companies: I have a better idea. Accept all the reports. Your QA staff are better equipped to evaluate them for duplication than we poor users. What’s that you say? QA is understaffed to handle this task? Then QA is just plain understaffed… and that’s how we got here in the first place.

Single Point of Failure

By now you have seen this image all over.

Check out the coverage of this story in The Hacker News. It’s better than most, but still doesn’t get it quite right… in my opinion.

Here’s the thing: Not Obama nor Gates nor Bezos nor any of these prominent figures “got hacked.” What they did was, they trusted their identity and part of their public face to a single entity: Twitter. Twitter is the only one in this story that “got hacked.” The Hacker News article details why they did, but it’s the fact that it matters so much that I find so distressing.

To me, the problem is not that Twitter got hacked, the problem is what a gigantic vulnerability for everyone this points up. I can think of one particular moron who could literally start World War III via his Twitter account. In fact, he damn near did.

Is this what humanity needs as a single point of failure for… all of civilization? Twitter?

Phone Number Search

On a lark I did a quick search today on my own phone number.

You have seen these sites when you get a spam call you try to poke at a little. You google the number and you get dozens of sites offering to tell you everything and anything about the holder of that number.

Well, I tried it against my own number and my wife’s number and the results were hilarious. Unless my name is not David? Think something more like… Milhouse. And my wife’s Jill’s name begins with an R?

I need to spend some more time exploring this fairyland. In the name of science! I will be doing more searches like this and report the ridiculously inaccurate results in this space.

But even my really cursory dip into this water today leads me to give the following advice: don’t trust these sites, not one bit. Don’t give them any money and don’t trust the results for any decision more important than a game of Charades.

Always Ask Why

Feature this scene: I am on my LinkedIn page and I have private messages from two people within minutes of each other.

In window #1, a friend of several years– and a co-worker of several jobs– who’s just been laid off due to COVID-19. They’re a star performer but only began their current job about 10 months ago. And their company followed a strict Last-In-First-Out method for making cuts. (Abysmally stupid but that is a rant for another day.)

In window #2, a recruiter looking for someone just like my friend in window #1. “In NYC”. My friend in window #1 would blow the doors off this gig, and it would be amazing to hook them up with the gig in window #2. But they are on the Left Coast.

My BS alarm goes off right away. Why “in NYC?” Are they going to an office next Monday if they get the gig? Hell, no! So they will start as a remote worker, right? Why can’t they just BE a remote worker?

But that’s just the line I got from window #2: they can start remotely but “after the lock-down” they must be onsite. I tried to get window #2 to poke at this. If a client tells you it has to be onsite, ask WHY. Especially if they are willing to onboard remotely but then switch to the onsite requirement “after lock-down ends.”

First off, I promise you, they have NO IDEA when– or if– the lock-down will end. Second, what is it about the job’s requirements that allows working from home now but magically changes if the lock-down ends? If the job’s information security requirements aren’t compatible with WFH after lock-down, they aren’t compatible with it now, either.

Recruiters, you are missing out on a lot of good prospects. People are already in enough uncertainty, THEY can’t be sure if they will be able to move. Make your clients break their old useless mental habits.

The world is changing about this issue
right freakin’ now

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