Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Spoke To Loud And Someone Heard Me, I'm SUING!

The bandwagon of people and companies that may have been stepped on during Google's rise to the top have found an opportunity to take a swing at the Gentle Giant.

Some people in Oregon have already started a Class Action Lawsuit against Google after Google came forward and admitted to having accidentally stored more information then they had intended to gather when going around gathering information for their StreetView application.

Now i'm NO law guru, nor have I ever studied law. My following comments are going based on the ethics or general behavior of society. (society being used very loosely)

If i were to stand on the sidewalk outside of your house and write down your address, or even walked up your driveway to write down your address, there would be nobody pointing their finger at me crying foul.

With this same regard, people should also be okay with the idea that someone came by and looked the Mac Address of their Wireless Access Point. Right?

If i were to look into your windows from the sidewalk and see your furniture, or even your family, inside your house, i would not have the police knocking at my door coming to arrest meor even a fine in the mail. If you're the kind of person okay with people seeing into your home, then in that same respect it should be okay for someone to see what's going on in the traffic of your wireless network.

Is it polite to sit there and look into someone's house? Probably not, i wouldn't like it if someone i didn't know was looking into my home. But i would put up blinds to keep them from being able to view into my home. The same way i would put encryption on my network to keep them from being able to view into my packets.

You wouldn't consider it stealing if you went and looked at someone's address on the side of their house. So it also shouldn't be considered stealing for looking at their mac address on the network.

You wouldn't consider it stealing if you peaked into someone's window, unless maybe if they had a "no trespassing" sign. (and no i'm not talking about walking right up to their window standing ON their lawn) So it shouldn't be considered stealing for catching glimpse of traffic going on on their network.

I've been in the garage working before, or even in my living room with the door cracked or open with my music loud, and I've had people who were looking for my dad walked into my house/garage and ask me "does my dad's name live here?". I understood they chose to walk right in because i wasn't responding to the normally accepted way of contacting people at their home, doorbells and knocking, but I found it kind of awkward, and was startled when this happened. I didn't go calling the cops trying to get a free handout, or try to get that company fined by the government. Instead? I closed the garage. I closed the front door and locked it. And with my Wireless Access Point, i put a password on it so people can't connect without me first giving them the password.

I'm Sueing!

I'm really not. If you want your networks private, make them private. If you don't know how, pay someone to do it the same way you'd pay someone to install blinds on your windows and locks on your doors.

Wireless Access Points go one step further and allow you to not broadcast your SSID name, which would be the home equivelant of cloaking your house and making it disappear off of the lot!

There is NO reason why people should be trying to get a free handout.

Lets say it was Christmas time and you decorated the outside of your house amazingly well. I take a picture because i'm in awe, and i am at home with my buddies showing them pictures only to have someone point out that you and your spouse could be seen through the window "rubber necking". I immediately remove that picture from my album of pictures i'm showing my friends, and write you an apology for the friends that had already seen it. Are you going to sue me? Could you? Should you?

That is essentially the same thing that Google did. They found the issue, assumingly removed it from public consumption, and made apologies to people who may have been affected by it.

That should be the end of it.

They could go out of their way to publish thorough tutorials\documentation on how to secure your networks, or even go a step further and allow you a way to "opt-out", but there should be no Class Action Lawsuits.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Scrooge For All Seasons

I've been running a few "social experiments" here at work in regards to a certain co-worker of mine, who will remain nameless. This individual always comes in looking super grumpy, and he'll usually ignore you unless he's taking an opportunity to insult you or making a snide comment in an attempt to slight you!

So recently, he forgot his key to the building and my other coworker, Matt, went to open the door for him. I observed as the door was open, and the scrooge walked right past Matt without so much as a smile, thanks, or nod. He acted as if the butler had finally reached the door after he'd been waiting for a while and he was irritated he even had to wait.

People are allowed to have bad days..right?

Well most mornings i'm usually the guy saying "Good morning!" or "Welcome to work!" to everyone who comes in, being i'm usually one of the first people in. Scrooge, as i so lovingly call him, usually doesn't respond. (Though sometimes it's because he's listening to his Zune)

Well, the following morning i decided to address him by name in the good morning i gave him, and he had no headphones in. His response was to glare at me, like i was evil for even insinuating that the morning was anything but horrible lol

Have a good day! already had plans to have a bad one. If you already bought the bullets and the ice-cream don't worry about it...

So the next day, i brought in a bag of kettle corn and dixie cups. After popping the bag, i went around and gave a cupful to everyone in the Systems department and Software Development department. Every single person said thanks, with the exception of 1 person. The Scrooge.

Now, He didn't reject my gift of sugary delightfulness. Without turning to look at me, or anything, he grabbed the cup and started eating it like it was a drink he was expecting the waiter to bring him. Even after the last handful of popcorn was eaten, and the cup was disposed of, not a single word was muttered! I was intrigued.

Good morning's came and went, not much changed. One day, he was complaining to somebody on the phone about how long it was going to take him to move some stuff from one location to another. After his phone call i told him that if he needed my help i'd be more than happy to help. Wrong wording i suppose because he retorted with "Not like you'll be of much help, i doubt you could lift a book".

Now i may not be the strongest of guys, but i can definitely lift my share of a load.

I withdrew my help.

The last incident, his Birthday. I knew his birthday was coming up because of his Facebook (hooray!?? facebook is taking over the world!). So i got into work about 15 minutes early, armed with posty-notes and decorated his office with "Happy Birthday!" written in block-letter'd posty-notes. When he got into work and saw my masterpiece, his words were far from surprising:

"Wow, someone had way too much time on their hands."

This was said in a voice that resonated with annoyance and bitterness. That mood followed him the entire day and he'd snap at anyone who was daring enough to wish him a happy birthday! How dare they!

I'm not sure why he's so unhappy, really. He's married, has kids, makes good money, accomplishes his goals, and he's not that old (30s maybe?). Well later that day, he ended up twisting his ankle going down the stairs. He didn't want wishes of a Happy i guess someone up there heard him :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Insults Are Okay As Long As You Prefix With "With All Do Respect...."

Maybe i'm just on a binge recently, maybe i'm thinking differently, or maybe some of CNN's authors are really starting to lose their edge.

Today's headline "Some quitting Facebook as privacy concerns escalate". I assumed facebook had removed their privacy settings or something, so i went to go feed my curiosity.

I was instantly turned away from wanting to read the rest when i saw the first paragraph.

Concerns over Facebook's new privacy policy and the online social network's recent efforts to spread its information across the Web have led some of the site's faithful to delete their accounts -- or at least try to.

I'm sorry but, if they were the "site's faithful" they wouldn't be trying to delete their accounts. That would make them the UNFAITHFUL. If that's faithful, i'd hate to see those people in a marriage.

Furthermore, you enormous amounts of control over who sees what on your Facebook, as well as you have YOUR OWN restraint (or maybe you don't, that might be the problem) of what you actually put on your Facebook!

Perhaps the article could have more accurately described it as "some users who are unfamiliar with the security options they have available to them, or who don't know how to properly work the security features, have chosen to leave Facebook."

In defense of the people leaving, i think Facebook should have a few "security presets" to allow people to easily set as "MOST SECURE", or something of that nature. Though i don't think having an easy way to set your security is going to keep the majority of the people from leaving. But that would mean... they didn't leave because of the security *gasp*

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's My Company's Fault I Left The Toilet Seat Up

Today i read an article on titled "Working overtime may harm the heart, study says".

The author, Sarah Klein, starts off by trying to reel the reader in by offering up the article as proof you can use at work to get out of working extra hours. The following paragraph, however, starts off

"It's not clear why this is, but researchers suggest"

This post isn't to single out or bash on Sarah, but if there isn't any "clear cause" to tie this case study to truth, then how can you suggest that it's "literally true"? The fact that they have no proof, means that it's not true.

Anybody with have a brain would side with the "suggestions" of the researchers, unless they were one of the people "affected" by this. The wording of the article leads people to believe that the direct effect of the working extra hours is for a person to have heart problems, but this simply is not true. Wording the article the way she did allows people to cop out of taking responsibility for their actions and blame their health problems on an entity that has money, their place of employment.

With our country becoming sue-happy, and the government continuing to overstep the boundaries of free market, it won't be long before someone sues for overtime based on health reasons.

In reality, the researchers are right. It causes people to "have less free time to unwind and take care of" themselves. Very valid assumption. It makes sense that if people have less time outside of work, they'll resort to fast food instead of a home-cooked meal. They'll skip exercising because they're too exhausted from work.

Now there are plenty of people who work overtime constantly, nurturing their business to fruition and whatnot, but who don't have the same risks of heart problems or disease that those who were involved in the case study have.

Why? It's simple. They take responsibility for themselves.

It's not an easy task to be responsible for yourself (and for others, for you parents) after having to deal with your job responsibilities. But if articles like this give someone an easy way out, someone to blame it on, you're only aiding their self-neglect. You go find someone who is in their 80s and ask them their story. Have them tell you about their work life growing up. I'm guessing you'll find they were just as overworked as many of us are. The work isn't the problem, the people are!

That being said, the comments on the article were no better off as far as grouping and generalizations go. Much of the bantering back and forth portrayed people in 3 groups:

  • Those who don't work (In the comments referred to as lazy, or as overweight and having heart issues from lack of excercise)
  • Those who work their normal schedule and are not at risk.
  • Those who work overtime and are at risk for heart problems and diseases.

I however see 3 groups in addition that need to be give thought:

  • Those who don't work and who are responsible for their health and exercise and eat properly
  • Those who work normal schedules, but are still at risk because they don't take care of themselves
  • Those who work overtime, but make time to take care of themselves

Responsibility needs to be kept on the individuals themselves. Yes there are a few exceptions to the rule, but case studies like this allow people to put the responsibility of their health on the shoulders of someone else.

Only you can control your health. Only you can control your emotions. Only you can control your actions. If you have a habit of working overtime, either because it's expected or you're an overachiever, but can't find the discipline to also keep a healthy diet or actively exercise...then you should find another job that won't allow overtime!

Personally, I work overtime all the time. But i'm a software developer and i love my job. I also am disciplined enough to keep up regular exercise and eat healthy. However, i do have a few people who i know care about my wellbeing and when i'm struggling with the working too much myself, i ask for loving reminders to leave work!