Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Employers not to Snoop over Facebook Data

German government is trying to push a law that will prevent employers to check their prospective employees' Facebook data. The draft presented by Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere is a lame -still positive, though, attempt to address surmounting problems created by social networks:

It will be illegal to become a Facebook friend with an applicant in order to check out private details as some people seem to be indiscriminate about whom they accept as a friend. If an employer turns down an application based on the Facebook postings, a rejected job applicant could take the company to court and claim damages.

The new law also aims to limit video surveillance in the workplace like lavatories and locker rooms after a public outrage when it was discovered that some corporations have been checking on employee e-mails and filming sales clerks during coffee breaks. However, de Maiziere continues,

Employers will still be allowed to run a search on the web on their applicants. Anything out in public is fair game, as are postings on networks specifically created for business contacts, such as LinkedIn.

My! Orwell would be proud, very very proud. Let us take stock of what we have so far. There are employers out there that:
  • place video feeds in bathrooms and locker rooms and other places (left to your imagination)
  • befriend current and prospective employees in various networks to gather intel
  • read private e-mails
  • film us during coffee breaks
  • run searches on us to find anything fishy
Do you have a company phone? You really shouldn't, really!

Oh, this also sums up why businesses crash so easily. Apparently the executives are too busy entertaining themselves with workers' data and they have no time left to develop strategy. Focus on people a business guru once said, but I can not remember who.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mobile Nightmare on Life Street

I missed the computer revolution by a few years. True, I could have caught up if I had really wanted to (this statement is not entirely true) but I was in the wrong place and Madame Fortune had swung me on a different path.

I tried to find and correct the missing pieces in the years to come and to a great extent I was successful. Barring programming, I can almost do anything on/with a PC.

Then came the next revolution: the mobile phone. I did not like it very much. Maybe this can be attributed to my age at that time. I do not remember where I read it but it was something like this: humans are quick and eager to grasp (and use) innovations only up to a certain age. Then, we tend to be more conservative. So, apart from its basic and originally intended use, i.e. talking, I hardly use a mobile phone. I usually find it impractical.

I did not make a fuss or give a second thought about it until I decided to observe how people and friends around me used their computers. Their interaction with a PC was almost limited to reading mails and spending time in Facebook, Twitter, etc. Guess what? You do not need a PC for such activities. A mobile phone is more than enough.

You can argue that a computer is much better suited to use within the confines of your home because it has a bigger screen but one day, a genius will find (or already have found) a simple way to connect a mobile phone to a monitor or a TV and poof: you do not need a PC any more.

Honestly this is creeping me out. I have spent considerable time musing over the cultural and social implications of this transition, but I can not say I am happy. The whole process emphasizes being connected, yet I feel more detached each passing day.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Warped Thoughts Flowing Through Butter

I had been expecting the claims guy from my insurance company to come by my work yesterday and check out the damage on my vehicle from the accident I was in on Friday. I was expecting to have to be assertive about having a homebirth so I was kind of nervous. The pregnancy books say its more and more common towards the end of pregnancy, but man am I having trouble in this department lately!! Arthur is putting a little foot on my ribs more and more often now, so I guess he has run out of other places to stick it! Im still pissed off about the other day, and I really, really, really hate Toby Keith even more now.

"What Should I write about?" was the question I asked to my blog drone after a long hiatus. It muttered something along those lines above.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Laws of Attraction

This is probably one of my favorite things about the movie Anastasia was that song. One thing I wonder is this: in how much detail is okay to write about her on-line? I probably would've run over the damn thing and left its remnants in the parking lot here at work. Anyone who has been reading this web page for a while knows that I am a dedicated observer of human quirks and oddities, particularly the collection of human quirks and oddities that rides Chicago public transit. I guess I should thank them, really, for showing me that even a dedicated amateur anthropologist like me has limits.

I guess I just wish that I had that experience or that feeling that puts the little extra spark in someone's eyes, and makes their smile just a little wider, even at the mention of their name. I mean overall it was a good vacation, I got to hang out with my cousins CorCor and Kny and JB and Nato, but the other baby cousin that I have is driving me up a wall.

That just freaked me out for the rest of the time I was there so I had to put that in this journal so someone could feel the same way that I did when I found out, that person is fine though, they just walked away from the hospital with cuts and bruises which is something to praise God for cause it coulda been way worst then it turned out to be. And someone came by my grandma's house the next morning and told us that someone was driving down the road that night and fell asleep, lost control and ran into the pole and knocked all the power out on the whole street, and that noise we heard was that person hunched on over the horn of the car knocked unconscious.

Oh oh oh I have to say this too cause it freaked me out when I found out what the deal was.

And while all this was going on we heard a noise like someone was just constantly pressing on the carhorn of a car.

The thing is was that I was being civl to him as nobody else in the group will even talk to him because none of them like him. She was getting on my nerves.

Remember, he was being seduced by The Ring, as was his brother and other characters before and after.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Organized Waste of Time

"I experienced the web as a powerful tool of organizing life and at the same time as a toy for organized waste of time." These are the words I bookmarked[1] when I read Elliot's The Screen Generation at cDc.

Web as a medium of communication, hence a mere tool, cuts both ways. The underlying difference that sets it apart from other media is participating in content creation. Unlike TV for example, where you are forced to consume whatever the producers broadcast, content can be generated collectively.

I consider any attempt that tries to push content, a state where the user is passive just like a TV viewer, as hostile and destructive for Internet culture. Sharing, participating, recommending, including your own input, searching, etc are the trademarks of Internet, they are what make it tick, and wonderful.

I have recently come across a discussion about copyright, for comments to be specific. Who owns the copyright to a comment made for this post, the author or the domain owner, i.e. me? I believe neither does. Together, we have collectively produced something new. This is the area where the so-called tamers of the Internet fail to understand, or deliberately ignore. When they succeed, we will have a big toy organized by them so that we can waste our time while they reap the benefit. Sad...

[1] One of the reasons I have been using Opera since version 3.x is its Notes functionality. You highlight some text and copy it to your notes, just like a bookmark, but you know why you bookmarked it; an indispensable tool for researchers and collectors.

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