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January 11, 2006

Job Satisfaction

I've been at my current job for over a year, and I'm still happy with it. In the Silicon Valley, this is a remarkable thing.

My list of problem users is less than 1% of the company. My boss is great, my team is great, and I get some interesting stuff to play with, along with the daily stuff. The users are mostly technical, and most of my time is spent with Linux, not Windows.

The only wrinkle? The parent company's IT can play CYA and slowpoke too often. Not suprising considering the size of the company.

Yes, this place is a keeper.

Posted by ljl at 9:54 AM | Comments ()

January 1, 2006

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Well, it's been a busy new year already for privacy rights violators.

First, Your Cell Records are For Sale. While this may seem like nothing at first, realize that anyone with a yen to investigate, harass, intimidate or unnerve you can, fairly cheaply, buy your cell phone logs. Looking for a new job? If your present employer has a "stop loss" program, they could be regularly perusing your call logs. Have a psycho ex? Now they can finds out everyone you talk to, and include them in the harassment too. Are you a reporter? Your sources are now no longer confidential, as the target of your article buy your call logs to find and whap the whistleblower who gave you the story. Undercover cop? The tip you got by cell phone was the last tip that guy will ever give.

Then, the legislature got way too inclusive with it's attempt to extend the phone anti-stalking laws to the internet. It's now a federal crime to "annoy" someone via network communications (and worse if you don't reveal your "real" name). Great. Anonymous tips sites, complaint sites, and the fine tradition of pseudononymous communication on the net are now federal crimes. All of the above can be annoying. Hell, I find most conservative dittohead blogs annoying, but since conservatives tend to believe that you only should ever use your god-given name, I guess they get a pass. Whistleblowers are screwed over yet again.

If they'd just left it at harrasment and stalking, I'd be cheering. But "annoy"? A very low bar -- way to low. I'm sure that this post annoys someone, even though it's on my blog, hosted at my expense. Some mornings I get annoyed by someone posting a cheery "Hello" before I've had my coffee.

I get the feeling this is a trend -- "silence the critics", "stop whistleblowing, it's bad for business". Problem is, the latter is a fallacy. Most business that need the whistle blown on them are more salvageable if the whistle is blown early, before the whole thing collapses like a house of cards (Enron, Global Crossing, MCI). Certainly there is less economic damage to shareholders, customers and taxpayers. But the "deception in business/secrecy in government/transparency in personal life" crowd doesn't get it. I begin to wonder if they even can.

If it only affects you and another, I consider it your secret to keep. If it screws a lot of people, it should be let out to air. If it's personal, it's your business; if it's corporate, it's the stockholders and the customer's business; if it's government, it's every citizen's business. Simple, no?

Posted by ljl at 9:18 AM | Comments ()

January 9, 2006

New Year, Back to Blogging

Well, I have not blogged a whole lot in the past 6 months, in spite of a lot of stuff going on. In July I visited my Grandma for her 9th birthday. She passed away in early December. I also saw my mother's husband, who she was primary caregiver for. He passed away in December too, after Christmas. For Yule I visited my father at his new place, and my sister, brother in law, and three kids were there.

There was a lot of other stuff, but most of it was not of interest to my presumed audience. That and I wrote very little. Bad Iconoclast, no biscuit.

Posted by ljl at 1:12 AM | Comments ()