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.
Indeed, the pain you are about to experience is the work of none other than portzer #2. In an email sent to me on April 4th, 2007, he directs my attention to new content for the blog. And what he showed me was this monstrosity. I cannot deny him his foul content wishes, because it would hamper creativity. Censorship is a slippery slope. Thus, behold, from the bowels of hades and portzer #2’s own imagination:
Nake fat guy dancing
Yes sah. We got canned here at AOL, as predicted. Our Tucson site will be closing in December 16th and along with it our jobs. We get one month severance package (yay). I only wish they would start the severance early so I could chill while finding another job.
In any case here is how the day went. On Wednesday, October 18th I went into work and I saw the Channel 13 news van. I figured, either someone got shot, or we’re getting laid off. It was that simple. And I was correct on the second account. I walked in and immediately was greeted by the Workforce management person. They had us go into a room where we listened to a Human Resources person give a spiel about why our site was getting shutdown, and what our benefits were. Well we know this was going to happen (refer to this article).
It was funny, because I was already going to jump the second I got another job offer, so this did not have the “scary” effect they supposed it would have on me. I do however, feel sorry for those who were counting on this job as it will no doubt affect them unless they can get employment quickly.
In any case, I left with a bottled water and a threat not to talk to the media or we risk losing our severance package. (Good luck figuring out who I am). Obviously that went over well. I don’t know why they didn’t want us talking to the media, maybe the media would paint them in a bad light because they are keeping India call centers open. But people should’ve known that was going to happen the second the India callcenter’s opened.
They don’t “augment” workforces with India, they replace them. And it’s so common now no one will make a big fuss when it happens. Any remaining employees working for Dell or any other big company that outsources, your jobs are in jeopardy whether your company admits it or not. I suggest education and training, and looking for a more reliable position. I will not give away my plans as I feel it may be used to identify me, but needless to say I will not be in bad shape.
For those who got canned, we salute you!
It’s rare that we come across a gross video that is too extreme, even for us. This time may be the exception. In this video, you will find some truly repulsive utilizations of dog poo (yes, it’s dog poo, so it’s not *that* bad).
If you’re in the callcenter, you probably won’t get in trouble, but it might make you gag at the customer. If you are the casual internet viewer, watch at the risk of your own disgust. Whatever you do, do not click it.
You were warned!
At one time there was a great deal of speculation concerning AOL layoff rumors. That speculation is no more. It is now clear that all of the Tucson sites will be laid off in the near future (i.e. less than 6 months from now).
It’s an inevitable state of affairs if you look at AOL’s changing business model. They are changing revenue to be advertisement based and not subscription based. To accelerate that, they are giving free service to those who have high speed and do not want tech support. Clearly they are stepping away from a software platform, and embracing one that is web based. Hence no need for techs (us).
To make the possibility even more clear, they admitted to needing to layoff 5,000 people (duh), 3,000 of which will come from Europe. The other 2,000 will likely be us here in Tucson, and whatever callcenters remain (I think Abequerque). It is our belief that India will stay on to be the last techs. Why cut the cheap ones first? (thinking like an idiot bean counter).
So anyway we post here to put any speculation to rest, and plan for the future. Yes we were those guys that walked you through deleting files and reinstalling CD’s. Yes we wrote disgusting articles shortly after talking with you. We were those guys.
We hold little ill-will towards our employer. Much like you would not hold ill-will toward a retarded kid that hits you with a baseball he was playing with. You can’t get mad at him, because he’s retarded. The same holds for our company. I could go into a lengthy diatrabe about corporate stupidity. Let me just say, I have never understood the figure of speech “right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing”, more clearly than I have in the years I’ve been working at this company. For those about to be canned, we salute you!