LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You know you're screwed when...
Your company's new flagship product shipped because the gant chart said to, not because it actually does something.
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
In This Issue...
Protecting the children from your iPad.
Harold Peterson writes...
Hey, this is Harold. A few months back you mentioned a lady who was laid off and couldn't get to her personal files on her work computer. You mentioned this as one of many reasons not to keep personal files at work. The only other one I can think of is somebody going on your work computer and stealing them. What are the others?
Glad I'm working on meteorology and not moon rockets.
If where you work is run by the same type of nosy, yet incompetent IT prats who run WTHAIS, let me ask you this, would you upon entering the work site hand your wallet to one of these guys? I wouldn't. I'm sure they would go through it, copy down the credit card numbers (including those three on the back) and have a great time on Amazon.com.
The laptop I was issued belongs to the company, and is actively managed by the company. IT is able to pull inventories of software from the machine. I have little doubt they can go through the files in my Documents directory. I would never put anything personal on a machine where I am unable to secure the data with a password and encryption. I happen to know that IT can decrypt my files, even without my password.
Every night WTHAIS does an automatic and "secure" incremental back up of my machine to an off-site location. The trouble is if your hard drive goes splat, after IT shoves a new one in, if you ask them to do the restore, they will tell you that's not possible. So the backup is a write only memory (WOM), or just another method for IT to go through your files. Take your pick.
I never knew why we were going back to the moon. I think NASA needs an imperative to help private enterprise with space travel the same as it has done with the aircraft industry. Either that, or put Burt Rutan in charge of the Manned Space Flight Program.
But I'm glad you're still a tax payer.
The best thing about January is the Apple announcement at the end of the month. This used to be part of MacWorld, then Apple decided they didn't want to prop up a show that was dead but didn't know it.
This year, Dear Leader came out to talk about a tablet computer. A gazillion people have speculated for almost two years that Apple was going to build one of these. Now, Dear Leader was going to give us the good news. At the end, there was a feeling of let down that no one could explain. The Reality Distortion Field wasn't strong enough to have the audience creaming in their jeans over the iPad. In fact, during the keynote people were texting feminine hygiene jokes about the name. People just weren't mesmerized. I think I know why.
Dear Leader said that a new device would need to do stuff better than any other device. Then he proceeded to show us how to surf the web. Uh, well... I've been doing that since 1993. This idea of you see, and click on it, and it just opens those amazing hypertext links is so 20th century. That's what all of the iPad feature demos were like. If any one of them actually solved a problem we've been having, we'd be screaming about having to wait 60 days to buy one. But it's not like reading the New York Times has been particularly difficult, or I've never figured out how to look at my pictures. If only email were easier! Dear Leader came out of the Zen Garden and showed us an incremental step in computing.
It's possible this new form will become a very popular way of using a computer. But I think that will happen only after software is adapted to use the tablet form. If software continues to be designed around a keyboard and mouse, the tablet form will always be an "also ran". But if software is designed around the human hand, the idea of tapping, and squeezing, and stretching could breathe new life into what is becoming an old industry. I'm not saying the keyboard and mouse would go away. After all, the command line interface is still around, and in some cases is the best choice for the task.
Why did Dear Leader's announcement fall flat on its ass? Probably because the public sees the iPad as the iPod touch Mega. What was demonstrated was nothing new. The message was wrong. The killer app of the iPad is software designed for the human hand. That message was never driven home. Add to this the requirement that to use this computer you must own another computer capable of running iTunes, and the iPad seems crippled. The iPad is not the iPod touch that you are going to drag everywhere in your pocket. It's a coffee table computer that shouldn't leave the house. Given it's wireless ability, it should not need an external computer to fetch software and manage the iPad's resources. You can argue for that point with the iPod because iTunes is music management software and the iPod is a dinky little music toy that knows someone.
The problem with the iPad is Apple doesn't understand what it is, and so has positioned it wrong. I have no doubt it's going to sell well; and I think it's going to be important in two or three years when we all understand what it is, and use it accordingly. Finally, the iPad needs to be a standalone computer not requiring iTunes to manage its resources. But Apple is ramping up to manufacture a million of these puppies this year, and I think they'll sell them all.
I mean do you really think Janet Jackson's nipple was endangering any children? If so, should she be allowed to breast feed any children she might have in the future? If her hooters are evil, why did everyone's dad keep replaying that clip? (The Janet Jackson wardrobe "malfunction" is the most replayed shot in Tivo history.) And it wasn't like you saw anything. The nipple was covered by jewelry which is why I don't believe it was a malfunction. Janet used a pasty, just like strippers of the past. But evil?
Why is it we have a problem with bare female breasts? Are we trying to keep it a secret from the children where their first meals came from? If they knew, would they freak out and crawl off to a gun store? (I mean kids who don't live in Texas.) The female breast is natural, inoffensively shaped, and only titillates (pun intended) because we've got them covered up. That's why everyone was ogling Janet's jug, because we weren't supposed to look!
Then there's real sex. We lie through our teeth to children about where they came from. We've got stories that make no sense like the stork, and the cabbage patch. Are these the best lies we could come up with? Any kid with any brains knows their parents are full of crap when these whoppers are told. And then we punish the kid when they tell a lie. Wouldn't you just love to be at Chucky Cheese's and over-hear some mother beating her kid for telling a lie about who ate the last slice, and the kid turns to her and says, "What about that horse shit you told me about babies?" It would make the trip worthwhile for me.
Even in Sex Ed, back when I was a kid, they didn't really tell us the truth. The girls were segregated from the boys, and we each saw cartoons identifying the parts of our naughty bits. Their words for the naughty bits weren't nearly and good as the words we were already using. They told us we had something that we gave the girl, and that made a baby. They would not tell us how we were to give it to her. There were no classes in strategy (how to get her into bed) or technique (how to get that damned bra off). Nope, we were still on our own to figure it out by ourselves. I'm sure someone thought they were protecting us from something. They would have done better to have put on that scene from The Meaning of Life where Sex Ed Master John Cleese bangs his wife in front of an uninterested class. At least it was factually better than what we were given. The funny thing is where Sex Ed doesn't get taught, the rate of teenage pregnancies is higher than where Sex Ed is taught. So was any child protected? Not from ignorance. When children aren't told the truth about sex, they aren't taught the dangers, and consequences of sex.
Remember I told you the Sex Ed teacher's words for our naughty bits weren't as good as the words we were already using? Yeah, that's because we had already learned all the dirty words. We didn't learn them from listening to records. As much as Richard Pryor was trying to teach me to swear, I already knew how. What George Carlin taught me wasn't words, but context. The words aren't bad, it's what you're trying to do with them, and what others are trying to do to you with them. Richard and George armed me for linguistic battle.
In the news today I read about a school district that has pulled the dictionary out of the classroom because... it has "dirty" words in it! Oh, you know some moron used the phase, "we have to protect the children" during that miscarriage of logic. Let's see here, the child will be sent to English class, but the book which defines that language is not to be found in the class because parts of the language will damage the child? Do I have this right? By the way, what the dictionary defined was "oral sex". The offensive definition of "oral Sex" is "oral stimulation of the genitals." Filth!
The "dirty" words in the dictionary isn't even new. I remember what fun we had when I was a wee lad and we discovered the word fart in the dictionary. Oh, we had a great laugh. Not that we weren't aware of the word fart. We certainly were telling fart jokes years before our discovery of fun words in the standard reference. It was just fun to find fart in such a stodgy tome. We also found other wonderful words like shit, prick, cock, and... vagina! Of all the words we were using on the playground, I think vagina was about as tame as it got. The truth is, it wasn't the words we were using that was vulgar, it was how we were using them in what passed for dirty jokes.
Leave the dictionary alone you twats! You should be happy that a child has decided to crack it open. Even if you don't like the word he looks up, I can guarantee his horizons will be broadened. And if you want young Johnny to stop swearing, you can do two things. First, stop freaking out every time he says shit. He's just doing it to get you upset. Second, watch your fucking mouth at home! Where the hell do you think he really learned those words?
Smokey The Bear Comes Out of Retirement
Only You Can Prevent Tired Clichés
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"How many cigarettes do I have to smoke to get rid of my frickin' sense of smell?"
"It's not about whether or not what I do works; It's about whether or not I believe what I do works."
"Sorry for the confusion. It was intentional."
"The software uses agile development."
"Too bad the docs don't."
"Today is International Pull My Finger Day."
I need to make another batch of Diet Coke flavored Kool-Aid.
They pay me to think. These are my thoughts. Do you think they are getting their money's worth?
Remember: The Crapolla contains my personal opinions. That's right they're mine, so get your own! And you kids get off my lawn!
Although written with the software professional in mind, my mind tends to wander all over the place, and I sometimes write about politics, mass stoopidity, dumb things I saw, and whatever else comes to mind.
From time to time, I use salty language, thus The Crapolla is not intended for children, or certain people from the Christian Right.
This whole mess is copyright © 2010 by LowComDom Performances, all rights reserved. Wanna send this to your friends? Go ahead and pass out the URL.
feed available from http://www.lowcomdom.com/crapolla/index.xml