The Phantom City

Notes from our travels across a mysterious world.

Category: Work (page 2 of 3)

GE/Durham: Engines of Democracy

GE/Durham makes the pages of Fast Company.

GE/Durham has more than 170 employees but just one boss: the plant manager. Everyone in the place reports to her. Which means that on a day-to-day basis, the people who work here have no boss. They essentially run themselves.

Link courtesy of Jeremy Zawodny’s blog

Here again, gone again, here again

Yep, after over a year of updating this site on a regular basis, somehow the last few months have proven remarkably challenging on that front. Just when I thought things were starting to calm down at work, and I was going to have some more time to blog, suddenly things changed. 😐

Anyway, long story short, I’m now managing our primary Web presence. That proved pretty busy when it was just me and our programmer handling everything. We’ve hired someone to help out, though, and that is working out well. I’m hoping I’ll have a bit more time, as I catch up all the stuff that piled up while I was too busy to think about it.

Thanks for your patience. I’ve been amazed at the amount of traffic to what was essentially a dead blog for the last few months. I guess Jackie Manuel entries really pay off. 🙂

Gap.com relaunches

Apparently The Gap, along with subsidiaries such as Old Navy, shut down their online stores for two weeks to launch a much-improved ecommerce solution.

Their site is kind of slow right now, and I didn’t use it in the first place, so I can’t really give much of a critique of how the shopping experience improved.

…Oops, I guess they’re not selling short-sleeve casual shirts right now: “We’re sorry, but the page you are looking for is no longer available.”

…I do notice that the touted QuickLook feature doesn’t appear to be working with my Firefox 1.0.6 setup. It’s not even showing that a popup window has been blocked.

…Never mind. I think their site crashed. 😐

Anyway, I find the idea interesting, because I know in my various workplaces over the years that we would have been filleted for completely shutting down the online store for two weeks. I don’t understand that development process, but they must have had one heck of a conversion process going on with the backend system.

Personality Type

I took a short online personality test, and I realize since I started working my current job I’ve changed from an INFP to an INTJ. Seems appropriate, given the recommended jobs, but it also seems odd that a few years of web development would change your opinions about interacting with others and the world around you.

Why are there still email viruses?

Here at work we’ve been watching bouncebacks flood into an email inbox, apparently triggered by the recent spread of Sober.p. The bouncebacks are coming from virus-laden emails heading out to the world with fake “From” addresses…in this case, that particular email address.

Now, given the fact that we use this address primarily as an internal address inside a small, secure, virus-protected network, don’t publish it, and have only used it to communicate with a few relatively computer-savvy people, it bothers me that even the few machines where it is likely to exist outside our network are still vulnerable to this sort of thing. Email viruses have been well publicized for around a decade. Why — given the fact that this one doesn’t even look like a real message from us — are people still clicking on the attachments?!? Shouldn’t we be making the virus writers work harder now? 😐

Translating the Adobe/Macromedia Merger

Daring Fireball translates a recent Q&A about Adobe acquiring Macromedia:

“Once Freehand, Fireworks, and GoLive are killed, customers will have the benefit of not having any competing apps to choose from, and we benefit from not having any competitors.”

Link courtesy of ongoing

Adobe acquires Macromedia

This is potentially very bad, if Adobe tries to make Macromedia products more Adobe-like. Adobe might “get” the print world, but Macromedia gets the Web, and I haven’t really seen any Adobe products that do as well for what I do.

Of course, the other problem becomes readily apparent. If the companies’ competing products were already selling for high prices, what’s going to happen now?

Somehow this seems bad…

I was just archiving my Outlook personal folders here at work, and I realized I had sent over 4,000 email messages last year…and those were just the ones that I saved. Ouch.

I’m a Victorian Scavenger!

Channel 4 covers the worst jobs in British history. You can take the quiz and see what you might be doing.

Brainstorm rains on the Internet

I wince when I hear I’m invited to a brainstorming session. I understand why people have them, but I prefer for the ideas that I communicate to be in some sort of thought-out, vetted condition. In other words, I don’t like spouting whatever bizarre idea pops into my head until I think about it. (I save the bizarre ideas for when I’m bored in regular meetings.) 🙂

What we seem to have here is a big brainstorming session on how to save the Internet from growing security and noise risks. At least I think it must have been, because folks came up with ideas such as this one:

“Let’s make all end user devices nonprogrammable. No one can connect to the Internet on a machine that creates code. If you want a computer to do programming, you would have to be licensed. We could license software companies to purchase programmable machines, which would be completely traceable along with the code created on them.”

Wow, that’s pretty bizarre.

Link courtesy of Ars Technica

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