Tag Archives: computing in the 21st century

The 2016 election takes a turn for the surreal

This would be a noteworthy and historic election in any circumstances because of the selection of Hillary Rodham Clinton as the first woman to be nominated for President of the United States by a major political party.  And as much as I have problems with many of Clinton’s policy choices over the years, generally speaking I would consider her to be a highly experienced politician and quite well qualified.

Then there’s the other party and their nominee.  If someone had written this story ten years ago as fiction, people would have thought it was totally over-the top.  An egomaniacal reality TV star has gained the party’s nomination for President, and in the meantime, has also pretty much wrenched control of the party away from the establishment.  And to top it all off, there are now questions as to the exact nature of the relationship between Trump and Russia, for God’s sake.

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Hello there, Canada

In the last two days something interesting has happened here on our humble little blog.  We’ve had 978 hits from The Great White North.  In 48 hours.

I wish I could tell you that something one of us had written was brilliantly funny or had gone viral, but somehow I doubt that’s the case.  While both days were fairly international and we did have visitors from around the world and, indeed, our total hit count was more than just the Canadian total for both days, something’s up.

I have a theory.

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Net Neutrality and why the FCC’s new rules matter

I was overjoyed to hear that the FCC voted 3-2 to adopt new rules that treat broadband internet as a utility, much like telephones.  The basic purpose of this would be to guarantee that internet service providers are neutral in terms of treating all customers and web content equally, and not favoring those who can pay more money or slowing down those that pay less.  It means that a cable company can’t slow down the traffic to their competitors’ websites.   It assures that the Internet remains a generally level playing field, so small businesses and start-ups don’t get squashed by huge corporate competitors who can afford to pay more to have their own service prioritized.  And critically for people like me who have complained incessantly about being at the mercy of a few big telecoms when it comes to broadband service, it also means that it will become easier to get more choices, especially if those choices mean expanding municipal broadband service where they were previously banned by state laws favoring those big telecom companies.

And yet, there are those who are still opposed to it and will fight this tooth and nail.  Needless to say, I am not a fan of those people.  But I am encouraged by the fact that so many people thought net neutrality would fail, and they turned out to be wrong.

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Outsourcing IT – not just happening to other people

It is happening to me.

I got word last week that my job is going to be outsourced to external contractors, with the idea that the organization will save money in the long run. I can’t say I agree, but I guess what I think doesn’t quite matter as much anymore, now that my job has an expiration date.  My last day is March 20th.

So once again, I will be looking for a job.  And I am just thrilled, let me tell you.

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I am sounding like a broken record by this point

but we have yet another big snow storm on the way.  Another blizzard, in fact.

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How to fail at Networking without really trying

Anyone who’s spent any time in the job market will tell you that networking will get you everywhere.  Knowing people and being willing to talk to them about what they do and who they know is the fastest way to land interviews and jobs.  I recently landed a new part-time gig that I’m really excited about for precisely that reason: I had the skills and experience and I knew someone who was able to hook me up with the people who were looking for someone like me.

Today I happened upon a lesson in exactly how NOT to network.  Someone failed in spectacular fashion at Networking 101.  Let the following be a lesson to us all.

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Miracles can happen

With Christmas a week away there is a lot of talk of Santa, wishes, and miracles happening.  This time of year can be tough for people who don’t have a lot or who want something special for someone else in their lives.  I feel lucky to have witnessed two really interesting and spontaneous acts of miracle making on the internet lately that have helped me to remember that there are truly good strangers out there in the world.  That’s the easiest thing to forget during this time of hustle, bustle, insanity, and chaos.

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Christmas Card 2014

We’re back at it again this year, we’re saving on postage being environmentally friendly and putting our Christmas Card online.  There’s also the time factor.  It took me more than 8 hours to wrap the Christmas gifts that are being shipped to 3 places in two other states and being handed out here in MA.  Actually mail merging the labels for the over 100 names on our list, labeling, signing and then mailing the cards (maybe not in that exact order) is WAY more time than I have.  So, an hour or so of photo editing it is.

And so, I give you, our 2014 Christmas Card.

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@amandapalmer, @neilhimself, & @GeorgeWBush walk into a bar…

Neil & Amanda sit down and have a drink.  George says OW.

Ok, bad joke.  But it was inspired by this tweet from Goodreads this afternoon.

11.6.14 Goodreads Twitter

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2 Husbands, 3 Children in 2 Countries and no Reality TV Show, Yet

What gives?  Oh, right, internet security and common sense do.

This is where you ask, what on earth is she talking about?  I’ll tell you.

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