Friday, February 27, 2009

Encouraging good behavior

Last month I noted - dumbfoundedly - how certain people make use of the LinkedIn professional networking tool. I subsequently published a counter-example because I was so heartened that all people are not, in fact, utterly clueless. 

And this week I received a message which not only restored my faith in human discretion, but serves as a hallmark example to those who struggle with how to respond to someone else's unfortunate circumstances. 

It is, in short, to be emulated. As such, it also bears publishing.

Subject: Hey Diane,
Just noticed that you are no longer at Schwab. I've got quite a few connections in NYC, SF, LA if you are looking for something, just let me know I'd be happy to poke around for ya.

Although having some time off, I'm sure is fabulous! :)

Take care


And on this note, I officially end my own job search. Hallelujah!

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Don't assume"

I often reflect on these simple yet sage words from my college comrade John when I find myself judging someone's character prematurely.

That said, sometimes assumptions can work to our advantage.

Other times, they can go awry....

Now available: "If You Can't Lick 'Em...Lick 'Em" by Ted Nugent

Dear Customer,

We've noticed that customers who have purchased or rated Bob Seger - Greatest Hits by Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band have also purchased If You Can't Lick 'Em...Lick 'Em by Ted Nugent. For this reason, you might like to know that If You Can't Lick 'Em...Lick 'Em is now available. la direct marketing! And of course, the Motor City Madman.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Regressing... in the name of progress

I knew something just wasn't quite right when I observed the downfall of the musical instrument.

It seemed to be an unfortunate extension of the same trend that has us no longer lathering our soap, pulling the paper towel or turning the sink handle as part of that handwashing ritual of yesteryear. As we kiss our motor skills goodbye, we also seem to be letting go of something on the cerebral front:
“Humans evolved with amazing navigational abilities in our brains from an evolutionary perspective,” said Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive.....Neuroscientists have discovered that people who have occupations that require them to maintain complex mental maps of the world, like London taxi drivers, have an enlarged hippocampus.

What happens when our hand-held computers become extensions of the way we think?

...With this sort of map it is possible to see a three-dimensional view of one’s surroundings, including the annotated distance to objects that may be obscured by buildings in the foreground. For starters, map-based cellphon
es simply translate paper maps into a digital medium, but future systems will probably begin to blur the boundaries between the display and the real world....

“I have wondered about the fact that we might as a culture lose the skill of mapping our environment, relying on the Web to tell us how to navigate,” said Hugo Spiers, a neurobiologist at University College London. “Thus, it might reduce the growth of cells in the hippocampus, which we think stores our internal maps.”

Small brains attached to increasingly-morbidly obese bodies. What would Marshall say?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Life is a continuum

From outright deception.

Once again, the boyz from Redmond just go ahead and merge 2 & 3*.

Of course, it's not surprising..but I sure do resent the branding.

LinkedIn Partner Message from Microsoft BizSpark

Hi Diane,

I’m Jacob Mullins and I work on the new BizSpark program at Microsoft. BizSpark offers you the chance to use the latest software design, development, and production tools from Microsoft for up to three years with no upfront costs. All you pay is U.S.$100 when you exit the program.

Jacob Mullins

Startup Development Manager, Microsoft BizSpark

P.S. If you’re interested in learning about how Microsoft works with Open Source, or want to meet the team, you’re invited to the Third Annual Microsoft Open Source ISV Forum on Monday, March 23, 2009 at the Palace Hotel, San Francisco, California. Hope to see you there.

*hint: since when does "open source" entail pre-qualification and "exit" fees?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How desperate must the measures be?

I mean, times may be desperate...but I'm not sure a bong ever motivated me to do much more than grab some munchies.

Michael Phelps
The Greatest Olympian of All Time

Creative accounting on steroids

Because the king of steroids is in charge!

But IOUs? Reallly....?

I guess it's a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you don't invest in infrastructure, the populace becomes dumb enough to accept just about anything. All roads lead to Idiocracy!

Is it possible to short a U.S. state? If not now, I'm sure the Wall Street guys will figure it out....

Thursday, February 05, 2009


For every yin, there's a yang:


Date: 2/05/2009

Subject: Hey!

You are no longer in the White Pages!!!!! You must have been impacted! I hope this email finds you well. Someone with your credentials I'm sure will soon, if not already, be in a place where you want to be. Take care and keep up on your blog!

  • "White Pages" = Schwab employee directory
  • "Impacted" = current HRspeak for being laid off and used interchangeably with the oh-so-lovely term "severed".