November 30, 2009
If i hear one more tv/radio show, read one more article whining about how "there's no employee loyalty, employees just don't care anymore', I'm cockpunching them. You know the shows. Where they bitch about how "employees don't care" and "they're only in it for the paycheck", and how "in the good old days..."
EAT A BIG BAG OF DICKS
You want the loyalty from employees you read about 30-40 years ago? You want that level of caring? Give your employees that loyalty. Give your employees that level of caring. 30-40 years ago, you know what you got if you spend 35 years with IBM?
A great pension, medical benefits for you and your family for life et al.
That shit got canned in the late 90s. So did a tradition of no layoffs. So did the desire to work for IBM for 40 years.
Over and over, you see companies that treat their employees worse than the desks they sit at, and then dare to complain about bad attitudes. Because somehow, even though an employer treats you like you're more trouble than you're worth, will throw you out with the trash at the first opportunity, and cuts your benefits until you're lucky you're not paying a fee for direct deposit, somehow, somehow, you're still supposed to be blindly loyal to them. You're supposed to care more about the company than you do about yourself. You're supposed to sacrifice your dignity, your self-worth, everything, to pump up the profits of a company that will knock your dick in the dirt if it means they get an extra nickel in the executive bonuses.
Then, when (SHOCKERS), their employees dump out for a job anywhere else, or DARE to not sing the company song, these dickwipes cry about how they can't find good employees.
How dare you complain about the loyalty you aren't getting when you care more about the toilet paper in your private bathroom than you do about the people who actually do the work that gets you that bonus. How dare you expect people to treat you and the company like munificent deities when you treat them like shit. You want them to care when you outsource their livelihoods every time some random stock analyst promises you a point gain in return.
Over and over you tell your employees "You don't matter. You are nothing more than ungrateful wretches, suckling at the teat of my 'generosity'", then cry in your fucking tea towel when the employees return the favor. You want loyalty? Show loyalty.
Don't throw your employees out with the trash every time your stock price twitches while they read about your fucking parachute. Don't take away their fucking raises while they read about your six or more-figure bonuses. Don't screw them out of benefits while you get access to more than they'll ever see. Don't take away every reason they have to be loyal, then cry in your fucking brandy that they aren't. You want loyalty, be loyal yourself. You want to know why some companies have that kind of employee loyalty, and yours doesn't? Look at how they treat their people.
My company may be small, and they may be, from my IT POV, totally fucking insane at times, but they show me loyalty. Our benefit package recently changed. It not only got better, but it costs less out of my pocket. While other companies that are much larger, making far more money are fucking their people over with regard to medical insurance, the folks I work for did the opposite. That kind of thing...that's how you get loyalty. You show loyalty. That kind of thing is why I went with my gut when I started, and took a largeish pay cut. Because everything about them told me what I see: that when they talk about the value the rank and file have, they aren't just talking. They mean it, and they show it.
They don't just ask for my loyalty, they do the work to earn it. If more companies really did that, they'd not be crying as much.| Comments ()
So after my post about getting ripped off over Thanksgiving weekend, I wasn't really all that mad. More like just mildly melancholy that once again, humanity had raced for the bottom, and achieved that goal. I was griping about it, because, fuckit, my blog.
What I was not expecting was a reader to suddenly drop a C-note via PayPal to me. Wow. That was beyond awesome dude. In the realm of "it's the thought that counts" both the thought, and the implementation of same...that really kicked ass.
On a larger scale, that's the kind of thing we all can do. Not just for me, but we all know people who had a shitty holiday, or are going to have one, for economic, emotional, whatever reasons. It doesn't have to be a large gift, or one that is hand-made from spit-shined T-Rex corprolites. A paypal donation, a gift card, shit, a ten spot in a hallmark card for that matter. Or just a phone call even. Even something that takes almost no real effort or work can make a monstrous difference to someone in a jam.
If you want my idea of "charity" that's what it is. Doing something small to help someone you know out. Even if they don't technically "need" it. Sometimes, the thought behind the gift is even more important. I know it was for Melissa and I.| Comments ()
November 28, 2009
I am reminded that humans, by and large, are still gibbering apes. Especially the little fuckers who broke into my car, and stole my TomTom, my Valentine, my iPod, etc.
You want to know why I'm such a fucking cynic, and am convinced that kindness, not cruelty, is the aberrant behavior? Petty shit like this. Yet more proof that we're descended from a common pack animal who cheerfully killed his neighbor for an especially juicy grub and communicated by grunts and the flinging of shit.
'Tis the fucking season.| Comments ()
November 20, 2009
Macworld Expo Stuff!
So now that everything is published on the Macworld Conference & Expo site, I figured I'd talk about it here. I'm involved with a lot of sessions, some only peripherally, but some should be fun, especially the Email Client Showdown. (If nothing else, it's me in a Users Conference Session, which does not happen often. This may in fact be the first one.)
Oh, and for those who don't listen to the show, Angry Mac Bastards will be broadcasting live from the Macworld Conference & Expo Main Stage. That'll be a fun time too. Just not in the same way ;-)
As well, if you use the priority code "JWELCH" when you register, (it's the code in the ad in the right hand sidebar here), you get a 15% discount off of any conference package other than the One-Day Users Conference. If enough of you use the code, I get a free night in the hotel. So everyone wins. The full list of what I'm doing is here.| Comments ()
November 17, 2009
Adobe Uber Alles
Okay, not even close. From the release notes for the Flash 10.1 beta:
H.264 Hardware acceleration support on Windows only. Why? Well according to Adobe:
There's also no support for H.264 hardware acceleration on anything but Windows, because "Mac OS X does not expose access to the required APIs," but to keep torches and pitchforks at bay, Adobe is pressing on to "evaluate adding the feature."
I don't know enough to say if this is crap or not, but if anyone does know, please, feel free to expound on it in the comments.
It supports multitouch and Gestures, but the beta only supports it in Windows and Mobile devices. Yeah, because it's not like anyone on the Mac uses multitouch and gestures. GPU Acceleration? Mobile devices only. Why?
Adobe's reasoning for only supporting GPU-based rendering on smartphones is that it "decreases performance [in some cases]" and "driver support varies wildly," even though Mac OS X has supported native GPU-compositing ever since it introduced Quartz Extreme in Mac OS X 10.2.
Oh, and in cases where the Flash Plugin runs out of memory, it handles it "better":
Flash Player 10.1 prevents out-of-memory browser crashes by shutting down instances where a SWF attempts to allocate more memory than is available on the device. When a SWF tries to allocate more memory than is available on a device, Flash Player 10.1 adds logic to shut down Flash Player to prevent the browser from crashing. Users will receive notification to restart the SWF, or will see a notice to refresh the page if all instances must be shutdown.
I suppose instead of crashing my browser, it'll just ask me to restart? Big improvement. Of course, is this on non-mobile devices? Personally, I like the Safari on Mac OS X 10.6 method of just killing the plugin.
There's support for content protection, but output protection is Windows only. Again, it's not like anyone watches movies or streams on a Mac. (Yeah, I know content protection is stupid, however, if you can't watch the shit you want to watch, the stupidity of content protection is kind of a nonissue)
Oh, and on a Mac, it may use more CPU than expected when idle. No, really, they finally admit it:
[FP-2009] CPU Utilization in an idle app is more than expected on Mac. (2294236)
But it's not all bad. Cocoa browsers get scroll-wheel support.
You know, it would be a lot easier to believe that Adobe considers anything but Windows as a strategic platform if they didn't do stupid shit like this, and you know, actually acted like !Windows really matters to them. Considering how little this offers to Mac users, why the fuck even download it?| Comments ()
November 16, 2009
If you're going to talk a bunch of shit about freedom of speech, and social media, and all the rest, then stop being a fucking pussy when someone loudly and bluntly disagrees with you.| Comments ()
We Can't? Really?
(If you follow me on either Facebook or Twitter, you already read this, move along, nothing new. My 17" is out of the shop, so I have my MarsEdit back.)
I look at the GOP, or Democrats, or Libertarians, or whomever saying "we can't" insure more people, because it's "too hard" & "we can't" try KSM et al in NYC because it's "too dangerous", and I think: "When did the US become the home of the timid and the weak?" When did we become a nation of trembling scared old men? When did we let a price tag or a boogeyman make us hide under the bed like frightened children?
Not to get too jinogisitic, but this is the fucking USA! We do the fucking impossible. WE WALKED ON THE FUCKING MOON! Go outside for a minute, and look at the moon, and realize that there is exactly one country that put people on the moon: The USA. Us. We did that. Others may follow, but we did it first, and for now, that is all ours. When the Soviets closed off the roads into West Berlin, we fucking turned the sky into our highway, and kept a city alive. Yippie-ki-yi-yay motherfucker, no one stops us.
That's what pisses me off. This is the US, We.Do.Hard.Stuff, if nothing else, just to make everyone else feel stupid for saying it couldn't be done. We not only built the first nuclear reactors, we put them fuckers in submarines. Hyman Rickover, that was one bad-assed motherfucker. He may have been born in Poland, but he kicked ass in the US. How the hell can we say we can't do anything when we did this (from Wikipedia):
Rickover did not disappoint. The imagination, drive, creativity and engineering expertise demonstrated by Rickover and his team during that time-frame resulted in a highly reliable nuclear reactor in a form-factor that would fit into a submarine hull with no more than a 28-foot beam. These were substantial technical achievements:
- In the early 1950s, a megawatt-scale nuclear reactor took up an area roughly the size of a city block.
- The prototype for the Nautilus propulsion plant was the world's first high-temperature nuclear reactor.
- The basic physics data needed for the reactor design were as yet unavailable.
- The reactor design methods had yet to be developed.
- There were no available engineering data on the performance of water-exposed metals that were simultaneously experiencing high temperatures, pressures and multi-spectral radiation levels.
- No nuclear power plant of any kind had ever been designed to produce steam.
- No steam propulsion plant had ever been designed for use in the widely varying sea temperatures and pressures experienced by the condenser during submarine operations.
- Components from difficult, exotic materials such as zirconium and hafnium would have to be extracted and manufactured with precision via techniques that were as yet unknown.
Yippie-ki-yi-yay motherfucker, we built nuclear submarines.
There is nothing we can't do, from being brave enough and confident enough in the Constitution to put KSM et al on trial in the same city he tried to destroy, to making sure everyone in this country has access to affordable health care. We're even big and bad enough to stop discriminating against gay folks. Our marriages end for a lot of reasons, but this bullshit that they're so weak that the mere existence of a married gay couple will cause them to dissolve is even weaker, and it's bullshit. We can do anything, including marrying gay people, and hoping they do as well as any straight couple.
The GOP says we can't? Hey GOP! FUCK YOU! THIS IS THE US! WE CAN FUCKING DO IT AND NOT MISS LUNCH! The Democratic Party says we can't? Hey Democratic Party! FUCK YOU TOO! Same for the Libertarians. When I see Guliani or Boehner, or whoever talking about how it's too dangerous and risky to even think about allowing this to happen, because we're too fragile to let our poor defenseless legal system handle the eeeeeeevil of KSM et al, I want to kick his undescended testicles through his shittily made up bald skull. When he says "Oh, it will be too stressful and too expensive", my teeth literally grind. Too stressful? For the NYPD? What an insult to a group of people who work their asses off to maintain order in the biggest city in the country. They can do it, and their regular jobs. The only thing stopping them are assholes like Rudy. Too expensive? What is this, accounting? Do we now let costs determine right or wrong? Are our principles not only for sale, but shipped with an ROI? What kinda lame-assed spineless shit is that? Thank $DEITY Guliani wasn't in FDR's spot, we'd have never fought WWII, it would have been too stressful and expensive.
What a goddamned buncha fucking wussies crying for mommy. Go back home if you can't cowboy or cowgirl up and get the job done. I don't vote for scared children. I vote for grownups who do hard things, because that's the example we set for our children so they DON'T get scared. How the fuck do we dare set ourselves up as an example when we have mealymouthed bullshit artists telling us something can't be done because of how much it costs or because it's too harrrrrrrrd. Spare me. If we aren't going to stand up for our principles when it's a pain in the ass to do so, when do we? If we dump the Constitution because someone doesn't like us, well fuck, burn it now, because that's always the case. I didn't notice a convenience clause or a "only if people like us" clause in the oath I took on 31 Oct. 1986.
I did not freeze my ass off in North-Fucking-Dakota because we can't. I did not sign up to defend our right to cower behind mealy-mouthed excuses. I do not set reminders to call the families of my friends who are still in, just to talk to them when said friends are on deployment because we care more about balancing a fucking budget than getting shit done. We do not only do the right thing if it passes an ROI evaluation. Deficit my ass, if we gotta run up a debt to get shit done, we'll run it up, then we'll pay the fucker off, because that's what we do. We run up big fucking debts, then we pay the fuckers off. What the fuck, we should have a balanced budget in a country run by small, cowardly minds? Do we leave the big things to other countries, because the US is now the land of the cheap and the home of the conveniently brave?
That's why "Yes, We Can" resonates with me. Yeah, yeah, it was Obama's slogan, too fucking bad, because he's right. That's what this country is about. Even when we've fucked it all up, it was "Yes, We Can". The times this country has truly failed is when we forget that. When we forget that we can, and we settle for "maybe we will, when it's not so hard." Screw that, this is not a country full of the weak-spined, only interested in padding our own nests so we can have a comfortable retirement. What the fuck is that, a comfortable retirement. Screw that. If your goal in life is to sit around waiting for Beulah to peel you a fucking grape, get on the ice flow now, don't fuck shit up while we wait for you to be even more useless.
Whether it's Obama, or Cheney, or anyone else...the first time you say "Oh no, it's too big, too hard, too expensive", I say "Fuck off and get out of my fucking way. This is the US-of-fucking-A". The Declaration of Independence is "Yes, We Can". It was our first "Yippie-ki-yi-yay motherfucker" to the most powerful country in the world. Not only did we win that war, but we bailed them out of one, maybe two more. Can't my ass. When the Articles of Confederation were failing, we "Yes, We Can"'d them in the trash and came up with the Constitution. Rather than give up, WE CHANGED OUR GOVERNMENT. How bad-ass is that? Sure, it wasn't perfect, and there was some damned stupid shit in there, but we've tried to fix that. Well, we used to. Good thing Clinton wasn't in office in the 40s, it would have been "well, maybe we'll integrate the military, but only when they're ready for it." Fuck that, the goddamned military can handle the obvious better than most politicians can.
Forty-fifty years ago, we made atoms do our bidding, now half of us are a-skeered of that there Large Haydron thingy, because it may cause bad things to happen. We used to hold up intelligence, science, math, and a desire public service as our best qualities. Now we spit on "dirty intellectuals", scientists are somehow Satan's tools, and becoming a politician is only slightly more honorable than becoming a child molester. Is that what this country is about? Being stupid, and thinking that anyone who's willing to be elected to office should be shunned for it?
If that's what this country is about, then let's give it back to the Indians, and go back to Britain, Ireland and all the rest and admit that the US didn't fail because of ebul terrorists, or teh gayz, or liberuls or neocons. If we fail, it wasn't because of muslims, or atheists or fundamental christians.
If we fail, it was because we were too fucking scared to succeed.| Comments ()
November 4, 2009
I had a long post here, but I realized it all comes down to this:
You do the work, you own the work. Everyone else can pound sand.| Comments ()
November 2, 2009
Klout...mmm...not so much
So a good friend talks about yet another Twitter analytics tool: Klout. (Right there, they lose me. Spell.correctly.motherfucker.)
Now, if Mike was only talking about the tool itself, it would be a mildly interesting read. Mike's a social media marketer, among other things, we work together, so when he talks about stuff like this, I pay attention, because he knows his shit. But because Mike is a nerd about stuff, or as he puts it, a meta-nerd, he talks about the larger picture of Klout. Here, the 2.1 paragraphs that really nail what's wrong with Klout, and other tools of its ilk:
What concerns me is there is an inherent bias in the textual descriptions that it's important to move to "higher" categories. The implicit statement is that everyone should aspire to have more followers and more engagement. I see this over and over in different tools, and I see it discussed among social media professionals and marketers. It's complete hogwash.
Most people using social media are not marketers. They don't really care about gaining large numbers of friends or followers. They want to connect with friends, family and people with similar interests. They share information about their lives and the things the love. They don't look for analytics on their profile.
Right there, he nails what all the Scobles, Winers, Arringtons, and Calcani miss: Social Media is not about marketers, it's about people.
So I put my profile into Klout, and what comes out, along with the requisite meaningless graph is this:
bynkii is a persona
You have built a personal brand around your identity. There is a good chance that you work in social media or marketing but you might even be famous in real life. Being a persona is not just about having a ton of followers, to make it to the top right corner you need to engage with your audience. Make no mistake about it though, when you talk people listen.
It's allllmost right, but like a lot of tools that only care about numbers it misses some things.
True, "bynkii" is a persona. A D&D character to be precise. Originally a Ranger, now a Monk. Really, I'm on DDO. So's Melissa. The reason I use Bynkii on da intertubes is because back in the early days of AOL et al, it was either "bynkii" or "john90872348". Yay common names.
Have I built a "brand" around it? Shit, I dunno, that's for others to decide. If I did, it was unintentional. This blog, along with Twitter, are just outlets for me. If anyone other than friends and family read either, I'm glad, although I feel bad for you. (Really, there are better people to read.) I happen to work in marketing, but I'm an IT Director, not a marketer. Really, you don't want me designing your marketing. Your network, sure. Your advertising campaign? Not so much. (If you want to hook up with people who are good at that, email me. But seriously, I'm the IT guy. It's what I'm good at.) So while it's teeeeechnically right that I work in social media/marketing, it's not really right. By that logic, I was an insurance guy, and a weather science guy too.
Do I engage with my audience? I suppose, although I doubt it's in the way they mean. (I doubt "full contact combat" applies in their world.) Do people listen to me when I talk? I dunno, maybe, but if so, I'm not sure why. I'm not always right, and even when I am, I'm certainly not in possession of the *sole* right opinion. I like to argue, it's an enjoyable sport for me.
See, that's the problem with shit like Klout: It's just numbers. For the most part, when I write stuff here or on Twitter, there's not a lot of thought. It's me, in the moment, venting. There are exceptions. AppleScript articles, the SNMP article, the Cacti article, the Nagios article. That's me planning what I'm saying, and I hope the difference shows. The rest? That's brain hooked to internet via keyboard, and very little filter. The fact that anyone reads what I have to say at all is nice, and flattering. The fact that people throw me money to offset bandwidth bills is astounding and really appreciated, but neither are why I do this. Really, all of it are just outlets for me. I suppose without the Internet, I'd have a stack of paper journals. That's really all this kind of stuff is for me.
But Klout can't get that, because it can't interpret data. If you read Klout's interpretation of my Twitter account, you're going to get a really different, and quite honestly, wrong, idea about what I'm on Twitter for, even though it does get the facts mostly right. I'm doing stuff here, on Twitter and other places for personal reasons that happen to intersect my professional life, not because I think I'm all that fucking interesting or smart. There's little I do that any one of a million other smart guys with similar backgrounds can't come up with, and a good chunk of them will do it better.
If you want to get an idea of what someone is about, don't use shit like Klout. Try actually talking to them. The results may surprise you.| Comments ()
RSS worse than Graphics
Long ago, in the stone age of the Web, we cared about graphics. About optimizing graphics via compression, interlacing, shrinking the colors used, all of it. We cared deeply about such things. Recently I took a look at the actual file downloads for this site, looking to see how I could reduce my bandwidth usage, and therefore, my costs. To give you an idea, this site ships, on average, around 7-9GB per month. In the last three month period, (Aug-Oct), the total was 26.79GB. For a site that doesn't really have much in the way of images, and few that aren't hosted somewhere else, that's a lot of text.
So, I looked for what the main file was. I expected that the biggest offender would be my main logo, which accounts for, on average, 12% to 15% of my overall traffic.
However, that wasn't the biggest bandwidth user by a long shot. The number one file in terms of GB transferred from this site to the Internet, averaging 31% of all traffic, a total of 8.42GB of textual data was...
That's right...the atom feed file, all text, was over twice the bandwidth use as any single other file including an image file that is 1.5 times its size. It's really not surprising when you consider the effect that feeds have had on web usage. To reload an image, you have to reload a site. To reload a feed, you do...nothing. Your feed reader will do that. Feed readers hit a feed pretty often, and why not? There's no more work required, beyond a preferences setting, to have your feed reader of choice hit a site every 5 minutes or once a month. My feed reader of choice is Safari, and I hit hundreds of feeds every 30 minutes.
Now, according to feedburner, there are 901 people subscribed to my feed. If we assumed that stayed stable, and their update frequencies are the same, that's (901x49Kx48x365)/12 for 64,457,540KB, or 64GB of data every month in RSS alone. Obviously, this tells us that no, 901 people aren't downloading 49K of data every 30 minutes 365 days a year. But it does tell me that feeds are, or are about to become, the #1 use of bandwidth for websites, (outside of really big stuff like Video/Audio or Flash). For people who include images in RSS, oy vey.
This isn't surprising to me, because outside of web comic sites that don't include the comics in the feed, there are really a small number of sites where the feed isn't my primary UI. Out of those, one, MacSurfer, doesn't have a feed and two, Daring Fireball and Ars Technica, have sites with designs I find aesthetically pleasing enough that I don't WANT to read their feed. The others either don't update enough for feeds to be worth the effort, or the site setup doesn't lend itself to feeds.
Other than yet something else to deal with when it comes to managing bandwidth, I'm not sure what this really means, but it's interesting.
Oh, and the top search strings for each month? "Firefox download error -228" (twice) and "bynkii" (once). Take that for what it's worth.| Comments ()