At IRQportz, we rarely get into politics. Because we realize that opinions are like a long lost Uncle with septum shattering halitosis; everyone has one, and they stink. Among the few of us there are possibly a variety of different political configurations. Indeed, even pizza toppings are a controversial subject around here. But, I daresay, we stand united on this day. On this day we found that a certain politician in California, wants to “blur” Google earth (and by extension, Google maps). Heresy! Why take away such a cool and useful tool based on the unfounded fears of technical ludites?
CNN has so graciously informed us of this information (http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/03/11/google.earth.censor.california/), passed on from CNET. So I am doing my solemn duty, to be another in the long chain of information passing. As CNN’s article exposes, A California lawmaker (in a likely bid to make a name for himself) has suggested the following:
“An operator of a commercial Internet Web site or online service that makes a virtual globe browser available to members of the public shall not provide aerial or satellite photographs or imagery of a building or facility in this state that is identified on the Internet Web site by the operator as a school or place of worship, or a government or medical building or facility, unless those photographs or images have been blurred.”
To quote CNN, “Anderson … is asking only what India and some other foreign governments are demanding for their citizens.”
Because we really are just waiting in line behind India to see what great and innovative things they do next. I see they have recently sent a space probe to the moon; however, the 1950s called and they want their science project back. Perhaps they were actually aiming for Jupiter’s moon, Europa? I don’t know. I realize that India is a very large nation with great ambitions. And God bless them, they’ve been humble toward the rest of the world. Despite this, I don’t think that they are a beacon of all that is current and modern. Perhaps with enough call centers, they will eclipse us all someday. Perhaps.
A secondary argument of Anderson’s was presented thusly:
“I’m all for online mapping, but knowing where the air ducts are in an air shaft is not necessary for me to navigate in the city. Who wants to know that level of detail? Bad people do.”
First of all, what kind of person says they are “all for online mapping”, and then writes a bill designed to blur it? This I find to be puzzling. Moving on, he mentions that Google Earth shows us where the air shafts are. You know, I hadn’t really thought about it lately. But I’m pretty sure I knew that there were air shafts on top of buildings when Google Earth was a twinkle in a software engineer’s eye (as he oggled scantily clad Japanese female warriors sprinting across the battlefield only to pleasure each other mid air; in those dirty, dirty cartoons). Ahem. What was I saying? Ah yes, his argument supposes that we a) Did not know that buildings had air shafts until Google Earth showed us. And b) That we did not know that airshafts generally ended at the tops of buildings, until Google Earth revealed this as well.
I don’t know about you, but I thought they dug a hole that went from the basement of the building and down through to the other side of the planet, in order to vent exhaust and take in fresh air.
Moving on, the lawmaker has some witty comebacks for his critics (or so he thinks). From the article: “I hear the argument that, “Yeah, I want to also ban cars because cars are used in robberies.” Look, cars have other commercial uses. There are no other uses for knowing on a map where there are air shafts. These are all red herring arguments.”
First of all, the argument that cars are used in robberies, and are thus somehow responsible for them is simply an excellent analogy for his entire presentation. I laughed when I read it, and his bringing it up only made things worse. Ok, so of course cars have other uses. And yet you say there are no other uses for Google Earth? Sir, have you not ever wondered if your neighbors down the street had a swimming pool? Have you not wanted to stare at your own roof from hundreds of miles in the sky? Have you never wanted to simply enjoy the majestic beauty that is our civilization while you are planning a simple road trip to the side of town where all the good clubs are at?
I can’t help but mention, this guy called the car argument a “red herring”, which is incorrect. A “red Herring” is a distraction argument, it’s akin to changing the subject. If I had said “I think this guy is wrong because the other day I saw a profesional boxer wearing a tank top and strawberry shortcake apron, spoon feeding an elderly man Vienna sausages while he listened to you complain about Google Earth on his IPod…” then that would be a “red herring.”
As it turns out Google Earth is not “real time.” The pictures it takes are bought and borrowed from various corporations and agencies that own satellites. The picture over your house could be 10 days old, and that picture over the other side of town could be back dated from when they made music worth listening to. I can’t imagine being paranoid of technology. Even if there were a chance they would catch a photographic glimpse of Home Depot employees having greased plunger fights on my roof, I would still not blame the high-tech.
The above is strictly opinion and hyperbole, from portzer #3.
Today we are going to talk about Sun gazing. This is a rare fad, that is starting to pick up some popularity (unfortunately). Some people do not understand the consequences of staring at the sun with their naked eyes, mostly out of sheer animal-like stupidity. But sometimes because they are willing to discard common sense and follow a few yahoos who say it is a good thing. So I’m going to reiterate the problems with this idea.
If you do a google search for sungazing, you will find dozens of sites proclaiming the usefulness of not only staring into the sun, but doing so for extended periods of time. It is mind boggling how people are perfectly wiling to find new and inventive ways to screw themselves for life. And this phenomenon is no different.
Before I dive into my rant, here is what you can expect as a “sun gazer.”
Here is what the grand canyon looks like, to a sun gazer:
Here is what hot lesbians kissing ,looks like to a sun gazer:
Here is what a beach vacation, looks like to a sun gazer:
As you might have noticed, there is a big black hole in the middle of each image. It’s not a mistake, that’s what life looks like when you’ve damaged your eyes by staring into the sun. It’s very simple science, the back of your eyeball called the “retina”, is responsible for interpreting light. When you stare at the sun, excessive ultraviolet light literally burns the back of your eyeball, until it is no longer sensitive to light. The result is a very large dead spot in your vision. In other words, don’t do it. You must be a dumbass to the 10th power to do something like this.
Now I will go into reasons people might do this. Some idiots stared at the sun, and told other idiots that it made them feel better. Cured their diseases, made them feel “invigorated”, and even increased their sex drive. I don’t know about you, but a big part of my sex drive comes from how people look. You can pretty much kiss that goodbye if you listen to their claims (I hate to sound “mean”, but if it saves someone’s eyesight, I’m willing to be insensitive for a bit).
What’s interesting about these sites, is that they all have disclaimers telling you “not to look into the sun.” This should not surprise you. This means that there is a very real likelihood of them getting sued for someone’s eye damage as a direct result of following their advice. They are telling you to do it, and not to do it at the same time. Doesn’t that strike you as a bit odd?
Let’s talk about sex drive, shall we? If you’re middle aged or above, and find your wang a little droopy there is a reason for this. It’s called nature. At that age you’re not supposed to be having children. You’re supposed to be either taking care of the ones you have, or enjoying retirement. It’s a natural process. Besides, if it was such a huge deal you could get hormone therapy and probably get some relief. I just hate to see people screw themselves over because some idiot gave them bad advice.
A lot of people have problems in their life, and are looking for answers, cures, etc. However adding to your problems by destroying your vision is probably not going to help. I’m not being mean to sun gazers, because in all likelihood they can’t read this.
Well if you take your computer to Best Buy for software work anytime soon, that is probably what you are doing. Some sadistic bean counter somewhere has discovered that they can lower the threshold on quality in order to save money in a new and disgusting way.
From what I’ve been reading, the scenario is as follows: you bring in your computer with its software problem, they hook it up to their network and turn on remote desktop. Some guy from India connects to it. Presumably he/she fixes the issue. Meanwhile Best Buy keeps just enough “tech” staff to sell you stuff, mind you, they aren’t particularly interested in fixing it.
But getting back to the remote computer connection. What else do they do? Peruse your files? They could. My issue with it has more to do with being outside US jurisdiction than what country they’re from.
If you think customer service accountability is bad, when it goes overseas it gets much, much worse. Having worked in tech support myself, I got to see what happened to customers who got inferior service from other locales. I used to call them the “magic button pushers”, because they would literally tell customers “I just pressed the server reset button and your problem will be gone in 5 minutes. There is of course, no such thing.
My brother has problems with his cell phone bill, the customer service is exclusively from India. They tell him after repeated calls that “all is well.” This while his phone is repeatedly turned off for non-payment of unexplained charges, even after he pays them. In short, there is little or no accountability when dealing with foreign customer service.
I’m getting off topic some, but I guess my point is, if talking to foreign customer service / tech support over the phone is an unreliable nightmare at times, there is no way in hell I’d trust them to have remote control over my computer. Though I’m sure they could fix a software problem, the lack of accountability and difference in quality standards makes things like identity theft a much more frightening prospect.
And it’s no surprise. Someone leaked that layoffs would be happening (today) weeks ago. AOL must be scratching their heads going “Who told?” Well we don’t know either. But we find it quite amusing.
Anyway, it should be called Happy Tuesday. Because people will just begin to see how much more life has to offer than a thankless, unrewarding job. A job that is one level above fast food, yet promised so much more.
To other “techs” in pseudo “technical” positions around the country. Think about this: If you have a hard time describing your job on a resume, that’s because your job is a joke. Real positions are well defined and easy to explain. If you have to think (like I did) and start listing out things you do instead of giving the name of a profession; your resume will not benefit from this job. Get out now.
Here’s what you can do: Go to school.
No matter how much it costs, or how much effort it takes. If you can afford it do it. At least get concrete certifications if you can’t make it to college. Though certifications are only as good as how up to date they are. Degrees are forever, keep that in mind. Getting an education is about the only reliable way to prevent yourself from being used as cheap labor. There are an unlimited amount of people out there that can fill a tech job. There aren’t an unlimited amount of them with degrees.
Anyway, I wish all those that were laid off well. I really do. Hopefully all will find more rewarding prospects in the future. It’s been real.
– Irqportzter #3