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Don't be a Monkey! 

Another Chimp, Chump?


I do get SO tired of the monkey-shine. (No, this time I will not treat you to yet-another politically-incorrect pseudorant on neo-politico-religious values. Un-uha.)

What has gotten my goat during lunch today is yet another clueless company. This one, a computer consulting firm: They are using a 'webco that is trying to fool us into giving them our personal information.

And what could be more personal with our email address, than our very-own computer's IP address? -All just sitting ripe and ready in the html server-logs; Combined with any seemingly anonymous data we might foolishly provide to them, poised for yet another denial of service attack, mindless email marketing campaign, or perhaps even a web-mail-cookie email invasion?

Yawn, yawn, yawn ... !


Since the time of 9600 BPS modems, most of us geeky-folk have know that, whenever we create an HTML link (aka: "anchor"), that we have to supply both a "link", and the "human-viewable" part.

i.e:

<a href="http://mygeekgoop.net/magosh.asp?my_code_to_id_you">You only see this part</a>

What is so annoying about the abuse of this seemingly innocent convention today is that whenever you click on 'You only see this part', the computer gets the 'my_code_to_id_you' 'stuff sent to it.

What is the point?


For decades we have all know that if anyone chooses to click-on such a emailed link, that by using a unique my_code_to_id_you value, that we can instantly know that YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS has done so. All I need do is generate a unique number, and use it as the URL suffix, as shown above.

Booya


What gets me whenever I see things like the following so often today - is just how stupid do they think we are?



I mean, it is bad enough that they are so DECEITFULLY trying to pull the wool over our eyes. --But by pretending that the HUMAN readable part is just any plain-old URL - and that (who, me?) it is going to make NO attempt to associate your personal information with their innocent fact-finding attempt... just plain 'old makes me sick.

Ho well. On a scale of 1 to 10 on the annoyance meter, this is probably a clear five... but, by way of the final insult, guess what the name of the offending webco is calling itself?

SURVEY MONKEY!!

Yup - Unreal, no?

So do yourself a favor: Always check your URLs' before clicking them. --Don't let the link banana-chasers make yet-another monkey, out of you!


Blessings,

-R.A. Nagy



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The Ideal Company Structure? 
LinkedIn Question: "How do you see an ideal structure of IT company? Who reports who? What's the most effective division?"

Response: The problems I see today have far more to do with leadership, motivation, integrity, and ability than with the enforcement of any static hierarchies.

That said, in general I have noted that in between any corporate team"s top (brain) and bottom (hands) that there is often a gap. I believe that the best organizations usually have a way to support, attract, or encourage a hands-on evangelist. One who can bridge the gap between (for example) the boardroom, and the trenches.

Never exclusively an architect, yet never truly a sergeant, the best practice is to grow or recruit people who have a passion for the work, as well as a driving need to tell the truth.

While the passion for completing any task properly can be hard enough to locate, the ability to keep telling everyone the truth often requires that your evangelists have either a superior moral, if not financial, reserve to fall back on. "While wage slaves make extremely marvelous "yes men", they seldom have the intestinal fortitude required to tell everyone the truth, even as they see it.

In short, there is no "magic structure" to find or to enforce. Instead, I believe that the more successful, motivated, and honest the people one has to work with, the better any company will be.

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Sharp Objects 

Helpless


It was late. So late in fact that there was no-one standing anywhere near me in the security line.

That fact, coupled with my unfortunate tendency to arrive hours before my departure time (so I can write freeware or articles like this one), meant that I had time to spare; Even a bit too much time, tonight.

Looking up at that anonymous shadow behind the x-ray scanner, I greeted my lone inquisitor: "Finding anything interesting"?

"never do!" murmured the man.

"Kinda makes you wonder why we bother." Said I.

"A professional deterrent" said he, ever looking down, yet smiling to himself furtively.

"Even so" I mused "there are plastics, ceramics, and hidy-holes that will ever evade detection. Cuts from plastic picknick knives from Wal-Mart can kill someone" I have even seen KFC-lunch slices that required stitches."

"We know" said the guard. "But even saying that should earn you a strip search" he laughed, looking down at me for the first time.

Sharp


Secretly shuddering, I chuckled nervously back "that would probably be more of a problem for your sleep cycles, than for my puritanical modesty."

To my utter relief, the guard laughed then said "are you carrying anything sharp?"

"No" said I. "I am completely helpless. Is the TSA doing anything to protect me?"

"We have armed security men on the planes these days" said he, "but not on every plane."

I queried "So what is to protect me if some nut case decides to try to carve up like a roast?



Do I still have the right to defend myself?"

"Constitutionally, I suppose you might" said my guard "but my entire purpose here is to disarm you" he laughed.

"But what if we were ALL armed?" I mused "Wouldn"t dealing with the threat of a plane full of pissed yet happily armed Americans be a far better deterrent than assuring the world that we have all been disarmed?"


You idiot we all have swords!


"Probably." agreed the guard. "The Constitution of the United States says that we all have the right to bear arms - to defend ourselves."



"So why are you sitting up there, so happily depriving me of that right?" I queried.

"I suppose" said he "that it is because practically no one in the country knows how to defend themselves anymore. Americans have grown to trust others to do it for them."

Conversation over.

Reliance


Thankful for having my britches still firmly in place after this encounter, I waddled back to my favorite corner of this airport to think for a moment.

After awhile, I genuinely came to appreciate the one truly innovative idea our President has mentioned do date: That Americans should not be relying exclusively upon the armed forces to protect U.S; -That we all should be taking a much more active part in preserving our freedom!

Invaders


Indeed, after World War II, it was only as I pondered how, when asking the leaders of the Japanese Armed Forces why they did not invade our shores after Pearl Harbor, that the unusually rational, wonderful truth of Obama"s great idea became clear to me: The truth was that even an invading army was not willing to take on the bloody proposition of facing a fully armed, weapon savvy, American population.

In short, the Japanese were intelligently avoiding re-creating an American version of a house to house, city to city, and town to town, Revolutionary (or Vietnam!) War.

Ripening for Invasion?


So from messing with our gunpowder to taking away our screwdrivers, why is our government wanting to disarm U.S? Why are we not offering military-led training on hand-to-hand, and / or small arms training?

Indeed, I recall how, when I was about 12 years old, the Pilot of an American Airlines prop-job, upon seeing my frequent-flyer Dad and I climb the stairs to sit early on the plane, walked out of the cockpit to hand me a pen-knife bearing the company logo. It was the first knife I ever owned!

No Fear!


You see, back then most American men knew that the most mind-numbingly useful thing anyone could own was a knife. Yet today, because no one sees a knife outside of an Alfred-Hitchcock shower scene, many laws have been passed; Metal detectors are all over our schools.

Yet I, like many others, carried a sheath knife on my belt for much of my high school years I the Carolinas. --That was only 30 years ago!

Who Knew?


My, how things have changed!

Yet even more than ever, the world is still a very nasty place to live. Should we know how to defend ourselves? Celebrating our constructional-guaranteed rights?

I will leave it to you to decide who knew more about running a free country: Our ancestors, or our modern elected representatives. In fact, if Obama can make good on his utterance that we - each and all - should be learning how to defend our freedom ... be he a tax-and-spend socialist or not ... I for one would be willing to support him for re-election!

I love this country: Is anyone far-sighted enough to see how we MUST be ALLOWED to be fearless? Ever willing, ever-able to defend ourselves?



Related: Minuteman: Defending Self = Protecting Others?


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