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Comment Believe it or not, you asked for it (Score 5, Informative) 263

Our company has had to set up some email filtering and archiving. Why?

A receptionist for our company was fired for sending out bulk pornographic email, including video. He has done it for months. He's suing us, because he claims he was fired because he is gay. We only have a few of those emails that he send on backup because our backup only goes so far, will it be enough to not have to pay him big bucks and rehire him?

An accountant was fired for gross incompetance. She fouled up our main systems, needed her password reset with the Feds at $100 a pop several times a month, etc. Finally, she comes in and demands to work 30 hours but still get 40 hours pay. She was fired after a public tantrum. She is suing us, because she is black and claims racial discrimination. We need a LOT of documentation to back up our claims that she wasn't a good employee, because she can just say we don't have enough black people, and that can be considered proof of discrimination by itself.

We are heavily regulated about customer information. If someone emails out another persons personal information outside the company, and it makes the news, we all suffer. We have to monitor for that too.

We have to take preventative measures to block bad language from coming in and going out. We can get sued because an employee called a customer a f*cker in an email, or because someone saw a dirty joke on someone else's screen (sexual harassment).

Laws were written up to protect the "little guy", so now we have to prove to government agencies that we have made accurate hiring and firing decisions. We have to support our claims, and take preventive action, because there are so many ways that we can get screwed by employees I can't even count them.

This week we had to let someone go because they came up short by $750. We had two people dedicated to figuring out what happened for two days. We spent a lot on money and time, and we are looking forward to the inevitable lawsuit. We have email to back it all up, and because of procedures we have in place, the emails are professional and straightforward, instead of causal and possibly derogatory. It took us a while to get here, but yes, this is what you asked for. By increasing our risk through lawsuits and regulatory compliance, we have to manage that risk by monitoring our employees.

Go swear to your friends at home.

Comment Also a matter of rewards, I guess (Score 5, Interesting) 478

It's also a matter of

A) rewards. If you're going to put 10x more work into something, then you'd expect the rewards to be worth it. That doesn't mean only salaries (though that sure helps too), but also stuff like overall job quality, social recognition of your efforts, etc. I'd say that in the west, for various reasons and to various degrees, all of those gradually declined.

We went for example from a culture which put its intellectual elites on pedestals, to a culture where being technically illiterate or even outright stupid, is cool and fashionable. In fact, if you show any intelectual interests or aptitudes, it's kinda mean of you and insensitive to your below-average neighbours/classmates/etc.

In programming alone we went from being those wizards doing high tech stuff, to being outright disconsidered. Nowadays for the average outsider it's not "I don't know how to do the things he does", it's more like "I have a life, I don't have time for that crap" or "yeah, the neighbour's 12 year old can do that kind of stuff." The idea from the 90's that you can just retrain an unemployed pizza-delivery-guy or burger flipper off the street, and he'll be just as good as those snotty CS and engineering graduates anyway, also didn't do much for recognition. It was hammered in everyone's head that you _are_ no better than him, and he could have had your job too if only he could be arsed to take one of those two-week java courses.

Now not all countries are at the same point, and not all went in that direction as fast, but that was the general direction all went slowly.

That's one reason to put in the extra effort, that went down the drain right there. For a lot of people that criterion is now actually a disincentive, since all that extra effort might actually _lower_ their prestige in the community instead of raising it.

B) Rampant age-ism also doesn't help. Back then, sure, I was young, I thought I'd never get old. When 15 years is your entire life so far, and you probably remember only 10, living another 45 years to 60 seems like a bloody eternity. No point worrying about something _that_ far in the future. Now I see perfectly competent programmers pushed aside or into a corner, because some PHB learned the mantra that only the smart young kids are any good.

If I had a kid, I'd tell him to stay well away of that field. Chances are you _will_ live to _at_ _least_ your 40's, even if you chain-smoke and get to twice your idea weight and go alcoholic too. If you want a job where you start being discriminated against as early as the 30's, heck, go into prostitution or porn instead. (And considering some bosses I've occasionally seen, prostitution might even be the more dignified job.)

C) It's also a matter of, well, excitement.

In all science or engineering domains, there was a time where it looked like there's so much interesting stuff to do or discover, and only the sky is the limit. (Or in aerospace not even the sky.)

In programming, for example, when I looked at some primitive games or programs on the old ZX-81 or later ZX-Spectrum, I thought, "I can do better." Often I actually could. Heck, I could even paint my own sprites by hand, although I'm no graphics artist, and they still looked good enough at that resolution.

Nowadays, if I look at a modern game, well, there's just not the same sensation. Duly noted, nowadays about half can be modded, so you can still tempt someone to programming that way. But for a while even that wasn't the case.

Ok, so that's only games, but the same applies to any other programming domain. At some point you could have been the guy who created the next big language, wrote the OS for some underpowered mini, or did the next great maths thing with a computer, or designed the next computer itself, or whatever. Nowadays you'll be a cog in a 20-people team writing the front-end to some database app.

Or if we move away from programming, as I was saying, the same applies to any other engineering domain. At one point we had the people designing car engines be the gods of engineering, and making breakthroughs left and right, while nowadays it's a team of peons applying formulas and tweaking the injection pressures. Chances are that the designer making it visually appealing, or the marketer coming up with the ad campaign for that car, actually make a bigger difference to that car than any of the guys who worked on the engine.

It all just doesn't have the same ring to it, ya know. "If you learn and work hard, you too could be a faceless, unimportant, expendable, replaceable worker at a glorified assembly line" isn't quite as motivational as "You too could make the next big thing."

I suppose it's inevitable, and I certainly don't propose to remain frozen in the past. But then let's not wonder if people aren't as motivated to get a degree in it any more.

Submission + - SPAM: Carl Icahn Takes on Yahoo Board 1

narramissic writes: "In a letter distributed this morning to the press and addressed to Yahoo's board Chairman Roy Bostock, Carl Icahn charges the board with acting irrationally and losing the faith of shareholders and Microsoft and announces he is nominating 10 candidates to replace all incumbent directors at the company's shareholders meeting in July. The move, rumored since earlier this week, is intended to ultimately reignite merger negotiations between Yahoo and Microsoft.

'It is quite obvious that Microsoft's bid of $33 per share is a superior alternative to Yahoo's prospects on a standalone basis. I am perplexed by the board's actions. It is irresponsible to hide behind management's more than overly optimistic financial forecasts,' Icahn wrote.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Who thinks Firehose software is working right? 6

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "I find the Firehose software to be infuriating. It seems to have no 'stickiness' but constantly reverts to other views and searches than what I was looking at. I'm about ready to give up on it unless they tell me they recognize it's dumb and are doing something to make it work right. Am I the only one who feels this way?"

Submission + - The Return of Ada 1

Pickens writes: "Today, when most people refer to Ada, it's usually as a cautionary tale. The Defense Department commissioned the programming language in the late 1970s but few programmers used Ada claiming it was difficult to use. Nonetheless, many observers believe the basics of Ada are in place for wider use. "We're seeing a resurgence of interest," says Robert Dewar, president of AdaCore. "The thing people have always said about Ada is that it is hard to get a program by the compiler, but once you did, it would always work." Ada's stringency causes more work for programmers, but it will also make the code more secure, Ada enthusiasts say. Last fall, contractor Lockheed Martin delivered an update to ERAM, the Federal Aviation Administration's next-generation flight data air traffic control system — ahead of schedule and under budget, which is something you don't often hear about in government circles. Jeff O'Leary, an FAA software development and acquisition manager who oversaw ERAM, attributed at least part of it to the use of the Ada, used for about half the code in the system."

Submission + - SPAM: Advertise On The Moon via Laser Beam

Super Geek writes: "Laser Advertisements on the Moon.
Now Why Didn't I Think of That!This great idea is a long time coming. It seems apparent that with all of todays technology that it one day might happen. Imagine how much money you would be able to charge by placing an laser beam generated advertisement in a place that, for the first time, BILLIONS OF PEOPLE WOULD SEE IT. [spam URL stripped] "

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Submission + - SPAM: Burj Dubai officially the new World's Tallest Stru

twickline writes: "The Burj Dubai is now officially the World's Tallest free standing Structure, the current height of the newly installed columns is 630.5 meters. The top of the three new columns are 1.7 meters taller than the KVLY-TV Mast. And the current floor count is 160:mezz 2, so officially Tier 18 has now started.

Below is a photo of the first column just after it was installed, this is the one that broke the record! also I have posted two more photos of the Burj Dubai and the city of Dubai. lastly is a diagram showing the current status of progress on the mighty Burj Dubai. Upon completion the Burj is rumored to be a staggering 819 meters in height.

P.S....... There isnt a topic for architecture, so i selected business feel free to edit the topic."

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Submission + - UK may U-turn and back OOXML ( 1

superglaze writes: "An unnamed source has claimed that the UK could be set to back OOXML, despite previously voting against Microsoft's format. It seems that the technical group advising the British Standards Institution is now backing OOXML, with IBM, unsurprisingly, being the sole hold-out. Still, even if the UK says yes, it looks like the format will fail the ISO fasttrack process."

Submission + - OOXML: Brazil Says NO. Again. (

An anonymous reader writes: It is now official. Brazilian vote was decided by consensus of the entire technical team, including Microsoft crew's: OOXML does not deserve to be an international ISO standard. Our first vote, in august, was also NO, due to the same reasons: OOXML is an awful specification. That outcome was expected because we simply followed the process: technically analyze the OOXML specification, make comments, wait for responses, analyze them and see if all problems were fixed. Is there any single remaining unresolved problem? Vote NO. And in fact there were many many unresolved problems. If every country followed this simple process, OOXML would receive a NO from 100% of them.

Submission + - SPAM: Wine 1.0 Release Criteria updated

twickline writes: "On March 15th Dan Kegel sent a email to the wine-devel mailing list with a outline of the new release schedule for Wine 1.0

Alexandre Julliard replied with his thoughts on the first draft with some suggestions.

We need a code freeze and stabilization period before the release. My thinking is that we should have a 1.0rc1 release, probably sometime in May, and from that point on only accept small obvious fixes. Then we'd have rc2, rc3, etc. as needed until the bug list gets small enough. And by rc1 (or even earlier) any bug that requires more than a small simple patch would be deferred to 1.1.0."

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It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - US Military Secrets Emailed to Factory Hand

The Narrative Fallacy writes: "Factory worker Gary Sinnott had no idea when he set up his website to promote the town of Mildenhall in England that he would end up getting classified e-mails from the United States Air Force. The website has been sent hundreds of emails outlining highly classified information, including emails about military tactics and passwords intended for personnel at the neighboring US airbase. What began as a slow trickle of mundane messages soon escalated and hundreds of classified emails were sent from around the world after people mistook for the military website Sinnott said that when he initially reported the problem airbase officials did not appear phased. "At first their attitude was we are not worried, we are American, our security is great" but that after he informed the base that he had received information detailing the flight path to be used by the plane carrying President Bush on a visit to the region, officials went 'mental'. Now after years of trying to resolve the issue, Sinnott has been forced to close down his website because he is unable to cope with the sheer number of emails arriving in his inbox every day. A statement released by RAF Mildenhall confirmed that officials had tried to help Sinnott: "In November, we confirmed that our base servers blocked any emails going to this site and we sent out a base-wide email advising everyone to use appropriate government email domains and inform family and friends.""
The Internet

Submission + - SPAM: YouTube Outage Underscores Big Internet Problem

narramissic writes: "Pakistan's blocking of YouTube Sunday may be old news, but it reveals a significant Internet design problem, namely the way ISPs share Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing information. Now, the accidental denial of service attack that took out YouTube has happened before and will likely happen again, but what if next time it's not accidental? If criminals were able to send BGP information to a larger service provider that didn't properly check its BGP data, they could cause serious problems, says Danny McPherson, chief research officer with Arbor Networks. 'The reality is that if you wanted to cause global instability, you simply compromise one of those people who have access to a BGP-speaking router.'"
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