Archive for January, 2003

Another HR-focussed blog

Thursday, January 30th, 2003

Now that I’m doing a lot of writing for the Job Blog and the HR blog, I’m spending a lot of time finding sources of good information on those topics.

Rick Miller, the President of our technology partner, CareerCast, gave me a pointer to a Human Capital Management blog. All sorts of good stuff there — go check it out.

You kill the joe, you make some mo’

Thursday, January 30th, 2003

Dennis and Callahan have Terry Tate, Office Linebacker on right now. This guy is a riot. Three cheers for office vigilantism!

The best thing is the disclaimer at the bottom of the Reebok page:

The characterizations in this advertisement seek to entertain and are not in any way an endorsement of the use of force in the workplace. Workplace violence is an important safety and health issue. The Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) has standards and regulations to prevent and deal with workplace violence.

I really hope no one falls off

Thursday, January 30th, 2003

More information the new seats above the Green Monster.

Mike Dee, the team’s vice president of business affairs, said that about 75 seats, or roughly 30 percent of the capacity of Monster sections, will be sold on a single-game basis for $50 apiece.

These will be very cool seats, but I’m not sure how my fear of heights would kick in while watching a game from there. Dan Shaughnessy is not amused.

Online Targeting

Thursday, January 30th, 2003

This is a very interesting article about the history of targeted advertising on the web. If you’re a little paranoid about your privacy, you may be a little disturbed by what’s possible.

I found this site via MarketingFix, which is an outstanding new site I check out every day. If you work in the industry, it is a must-read.

Brokedown Palace

Thursday, January 30th, 2003

Ok, so I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do after my contract at work runs out at the end of June. I’m still thinking of doing the whole India – Tibet – Nepal cycle, especially after hearing from peng you Rachel about her recent Indian project.

There are potential issues with going overseas, though, as the Times talks about in this article about Americans getting in legal trouble while overseas.

“Just because you’re an American doesn’t make you safe, and it doesn’t mean some cop won’t beat the living daylights out of you.”

I haven’t had too many problems during my various travels. Well, except that time I spent 30 minutes detained at the Shanghai airport (pre-9/11) when I forgot that I had my Leatherman in my backpack. And, the time the Yantai police had my passport for a week (along with everyone else’s) because the customs people miscalculated our length of stay. But, other than that, no problems at all….

The Job Blog

Wednesday, January 29th, 2003

We just introduced the Job Blog at BostonWorks. Give it a read and let me know what you think.

Online Navigator

Wednesday, January 29th, 2003

Rich Meislin and the Times have updated their Navigator, an excellent reference library of links around the web.

Does this shock anyone?

Monday, January 27th, 2003

Oakland is burning.

War on Astroturf

Monday, January 27th, 2003

The editorial page editors strike back against astroturfing. Paul Boutin follows up.

Super Bowl: eh

Monday, January 27th, 2003

It wasn’t much of a Super Bowl last night, although it’s always fun to watch Oakland go down in flames. Best part: Rich Gannon doing his Kordell Stewart impression.

I wasn’t even impressed with the ads. The best one was the Office Linebacker ad for Reebok, if only for the Office Space shout-out. TPS Reports, indeed.

I think we can all agree that last year was better.

Grrrr

Sunday, January 26th, 2003

I am so unhappy with Yahoo! hosting (where jpbutler.com is hosted) right now. Last week, my server disappeared for a while, and then was giving me random 403 (Access Denied) errors.

This week was worse though. On Thursday, my outgoing email died for some reason on all my machines. I left it alone for a little while, hoping it would magically fix itself, but this morning it was still broken.

So, I go to the admin site, where there is a note saying “we changed the SMTP setting so that you have to authenticate — here is how to fix it in Outlook and Eudora.”

This is bad in so many ways. First of all, they just broke everyone’s email without telling anyone. Second, to find the answer as to why it broke, I had to go to an administrative page which I almost never visit. Third, the explanation was useless. I’m using mail.app on the iBook. After 20 minutes of fiddling around, I was finally able to make it work.

I am probably in the 95th percentile of computer-savvy users at Yahoo, and it took me a ton of aggravation to just get my email working. I feel really bad for normal people trying to deal with this.

Yahoo! really dropped the ball with this. Maybe it’s time to switch over to Pair for hosting.

Lullaby of Broadway

Thursday, January 23rd, 2003

We went to see 42nd Street Tuesday night at the Wang Center. It was a fabulous show, a spectacle worthy of the name.

The dancers were great. I couldn’t believe how coordinated their routines were. Especially impressive was how they sang at the same time they were running and tapping all over the stage.

I had never seen the show, but I was surprised at how many of the songs I knew. There was the title song, of course, but also Lullaby of Broadway, You’re Getting to be a Habit with Me, We’re in the Money, and With Plenty of Money and You. I may have to one-click the soundtrack sometime soon.

I’m really happy I went with a Broadway in Boston subscription this year. Next show: The Music Man!

Surf and Turf

Tuesday, January 21st, 2003

Remember my astroturfing post from a couple days ago? Gary Stock does far deeper analysis.

Senator Spam. President Spam?

Tuesday, January 21st, 2003

Joe Lieberman believes the best way to run for president is to spam the world.

Ironically, Lieberman has tried to position himself as an antispam politician. “Spam is a tremendous nuisance,” Lieberman proclaimed when announcing his support for the “CAN-SPAM” legislation in May 2000. “It is not requested by the receiver. It almost never contains any information of substance or value…It is costly, destructive, and an invasion of our privacy.”

He got that right. But now, hypocritically, Lieberman thinks it’s fine to invade our privacy–as long if he’s the one doing it.

The next phase

Monday, January 20th, 2003

Every day, I make the trek from Central Square to Morrissey and back. Today, I had my first run-in with the newly opened Mass Pike extension when I came off the 93 offramp (the old beginning of the Pike) and all of a sudden, for the first time ever, I had cars blowing past me on the left. A little scary.

Boston.com has a big map showing this week’s changes along with much more Big Dig information.

Race and the Resume

Monday, January 20th, 2003

WBUR has an interesting segment on Race and the Resume.

Researchers found that people with black sounding names like Tamika or Tyrone were fifty percent more likely to get dropped from consideration and those with “white” sounding names were strongly favored.

Software development moving to India

Monday, January 20th, 2003

This is not a new development, but the Globe has a story today about how more and more companies are transferring software development to India, Russia, and China.

Much of the work of cranking out code will have moved to places like India, Russia, China, and the Philippines, where it can be done much more cheaply – by some estimates, at a third of the cost of creating software in the United States.

A recent report from Forrester Research predicts that, by 2015, the US will lose nearly half a million computer-related jobs to other countries. Most will go to India. While the business of producing and maintaining software in the United States is stuck in quicksand, it is growing at an annual rate of 30 percent in India.

It’s hard enough to develop quality software which meets the organization’s goals when all the people are in one building. I can’t imagine what it is like when the people are scattered around the globe.

The Peking Duck

Sunday, January 19th, 2003

Dave Winer points out this blog written by an American ex-pat in Beijing. His discussion of the plight of gays in China is heart-breaking. Officially of course, as we were told many times by the powers that be, China has no gays.

Reading it brings back a lot of memories (especially the problems with the “banks”). Now I just need to get my peng you men up and running and we can get a lot more of these voices speaking.

It’s always entertaining…

Sunday, January 19th, 2003

when right-wing extremists report on left-wing extremists.

Apparently the crack rhetoricians on both sides have forgotten the simple principle that when you call in the Nazis, you immediately lose the argument.

Random Google Juice

Sunday, January 19th, 2003

Every few weeks, I go through the statistics report Yahoo! provides me for this site. Sometimes, pages in the middle of a travelogue come up much higher than I would have expected. I did a little checking, and I think I may have figured out why.

Here are the Google Search Results for “picture lion roaring.”