Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Constitution?

If the constitution of the USA meant anythng to anyone, Bush would have long since been impeached, convicted, and executed. If Bush had an oz. of integrity, he would have resigned the day it was determined there were no active chemical or bio weapons in Iraq. But he should have been impeached the day he launched miltary operations without a declaration of war.

If he had, say 4 oz. of integrity, he would have resigned and shot himself for the shame of causing the deaths of so many thousands of people for no valid reason.

But no. He runs around trumpeting his claim to absolute dictatorship because he's the Commander-in-Chief, and can't be limited by what mere mortals, or mere laws provide for.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Literally stupid

I sometimes wonder if I use the term "stupid" too much. Then I remind myself that the amount of stupidity around isn't under my control. Unfortunately.

It is time to call a ban on the use of "literally". 40% of the cases where it is used are wrong. Where idjuts use it to mean "virtually", or "almost", or "I'm grossly exaggerating". Another 40% of uses are just unnecessary wastes of words. Makes them sound like they're not used to speaking the truth.

Sure, there is that last 20% where it's used appropriately and correctly. But because it's rarely used correctly and appropriately, you tend to doubt that it is when you see it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Uniden: A world without sense

Well, the battery on my Uniden cordless phone is getting flaky. I've had this phone for about a year and a half, so that's fairly normal. Normally, I just find a battery that looks like it will fit, and so far, I've done OK. But I thought I'd see if I couldn't get them cheaper online. I searched for them on Amazon, and as usual, wasted a lot of time on the online version of poking through a giant box of junk. For some reason, Amazon cannot categorize electronc stuff properly at all. No matter what I search for, it shows me hundreds of products, and not one of ten is what I searched for. Amazon's web site is so busy trying to tell me what to buy, and it ought to let me tell it what I want to buy. Unless you're looking for a specific CD, DVD, or book, and know its title, good luck.

Anyway, there's no clues on the phone or battery about model numbers. Fortunately, I found the manual, which does have them. The phone is DXI 5186-2, the battery is BT-800. The manual says I should go to www.uniden.com to order a new battery. Well, OK, that's worth a shot. Uniden's wesite is a typical bleak corporate propaganda, and primitive online store. I searched and clicked and looked, but Uniden's website says neither my phone nor the battery exist. Great job. Of course, a Google search turns up dozens of places eager to sell me batteries, and eventually I found one that had a reasonable price, and didn't gouge me on shipping. www.batteries.com is the winner, and their site also has searches that work!

Next time I buy anything electronic, I'm checking the manufacturer's website to see if they know they make it. If they don't, forget it.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Inhuman Resources

I do believe that the so-called "human resources" industry is strangling the USA almost as well as the "legal" profession. I suppose that any business with more than 10 emplyees needs some experts in dealing with the endless federal regulations, procedures, taxes, fees, reports, and what have you that are related to employment. We have come a long, long way from a plain old agreement between two parties to exchange services for money.

But, modern human resourcists seem to think they actually have useful skills and knowledge, and they are infiltrating big companies like a fungus. Slow, smelly, and disgusting.

Almost every place I've heard of has annual (at best) to quarterly performance appraisals. Every study ever done with any scientific rigor has shown performance appraisals do nothing except wreck employee morale. They never enhance performance. Yet, HR people, being bored with their lack of meaningful work, invent ever more invasive and demeaning, yet inane "performance" appraising that at best, merely waste a huge amount of time. But they typically sap the mental enrgy, enthusiasm, and any productivity out of most employees on a regular schedule.

Since HR "professionals" are evidently educated along with school teachers and journalists to know absolutely nothing of value, they are of course massively unqualified to be evaluating candidates to be hired for jobs. However, they are at the forefront of every large company's hiring process; reviewing, interfering, and trying to ensure that only the best politickers and bullshitters get hired, and anybody with technical knowledge and experience is kept away.

They, of course manage all job advertising, and do it as incompetently as the rest of the things they do. Invariably, to read a job posting, you must get through 300 words of boilerplate about what a wonderful and exciting time and place is this company. Gag me. Then, the hiring manager's undoubtedly formatted list of duties, and qualifications is smashed into running text, and spelling errors are introduced. Also, although this idiocy is hardly confined to HR, the font size is reduced to about 6pt, so as to leave enough room for a fancy picture of some well-dressed serious-looking models.

And lastly, you can count on the fact that all job search and other HR web apps are hideous designs, rampant with stupid errors, all caused by chasing the latest and fanciest javascript techniques, with of course, little concern on whether they're needed. All the worst of the web you can still find while perusing a typical company's job listings. Back button can't be used. Page can't be printed. A frame width keeps getting reset just big enough to hide the frame''s scollbar behind the page's scroll bar (on a page with no need for a frame), and ensuring the page has a horizontal scroll bar. Pages that can't be used on anything but IE. Pages that would work fine, but refuse to let you use them except with IE. I don't know whether idiot HR personnel are trying web development on their own, or if they contract it out at $15/hour, or what. For software, and other high-tech companies, you'd think they would be ashamed.

Outsource HR, and get them out of your real employees' life!