Headlines for Saturday:
- Microsoft booth babes 09:03
- Technology and humans 10:39
- Phonecards 11:25
- New podcasts! 13:05
- Pfft. Open source isn't much better at dealing with this. 13:21
- Remembrance agent for GUIs for the Mac 14:44
- The Great Merge 17:45
- More about call centers 23:01
- Oooooh. Linux Journal editorial calendar up! 23:14
|A||X||@1330-1415 Finish writing lab (teaching)|
|A||X||See if we can merge planner/muse and planner/emacs-wiki with a unified backend, thanks to firstname.lastname@example.org/planner--merge--1.0 (planner)|
|A||X||Fix team lists, remove wanting gan : E-Mail from Peter Shepard (teaching)|
|A||C||Sync with planner-muse (planner)|
|B||C||@1030-1600 Attend ACM programming tryouts at BA3175 (AcmTraining)|
|A||X||Fix my mail|
|B||X||Write Jill Franklin another note (social)|
|C||X||Check out mario.upb.edu.ph/thesis/slides.html|
1. Microsoft booth babes: 09:03
|happy_eclair||there were so many babes at the MS booth|
|sachac||<roll eyes> It figures. Of all the sneaky, underhanded tricks... ;)|
|happy_eclair||they even had Barbie Almalbis of Barbie's cradle|
|happy_eclair||Yeah. Manny Amador was saying PLUG only had one booth babe - me! *laughs*|
I know all's fair in love and business, but must Microsoft _really_
stoop to stuff like that? All the comments I get about
From Jijo's comments:
It was truly weird entering the exhibit area to be greeted by their big booth located front and center, with attractive (and distracting) Microsoft Babes at their booth and at the entrance. I also caught the tail end of a talk on Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2005, which was a time slot ahead of my talk, in the same room.
Oh, wait, it's Microsoft. Right. They're not exactly known for ethics.
This is what makes me grit my teeth and remember that somewhere in Microsoft are good people who like making things that help others. I have friends who work at Microsoft. They're decent people.
They're just weighed down by a terrible corporate culture that focuses on crushing the competition. Court docs: Ballmer vowed to 'kill' Google. At least IBM has guidelines telling employees never to trash-talk the competitors.
Congratulations, Microsoft. You've just succeeded in your marketing objective: distract people from your real problems.
When are we going to see _real_ answers to the stuff we keep complaining about?
I'm going to write someone I know in Microsoft to say how disappointed I am in their marketing...
UPDATE: - Clair's entry
2. Technology and humans: 10:39
Wow, that's an amazing post you did on call centers. I agree. Call centers (as well as nursing, another industry for which the Philippines is being known as a "factory") are not bad things. It's just sad that many young Filipinos see them as their only viable option for making money *legally*.
You really should write more opinion posts, Sacha. :-) Speaking of which, what's your opinion on technology replacing human workers in the long run? Just curious.
Ooooh. Something else to write about. =)
People have always been afraid that they'll be replaced by technology. Angry Luddites smashed Jacquard looms in 1811, afraid that automated weaving would kill the need for master craftsmen. Factory workers protested the introduction of robots and automated assembly lines. Teachers worried that the introduction of the Internet would phase out the need for schools.
Will technology replace human workers?
Yes! Technology should do the dangerous work. Technology should do the boring work. Technology should free us to pursue what we're interested in!
This anxiety about technology is _not_ new. Think about books and you can imagine that many a monk saw the Gutenberg press as a work of evil. Think about spreadsheets and imagine all of those human calculators crunching numbers. Heck, think about your electronic calculator and imagine having to do square roots on your fingers or on an abacus.
I think there will always be a need for human creativity, human insight, human connection. I think technology frees us to focus on more creative things. We can focus on the big picture.
Technology not only makes things easier, but it also transforms what we do. Take the Internet, for example. I just can't imagine tapping all this information and keeping in touch with so many people without the Internet. It would be too much work! Technology not only makes existing things easier. It also makes new things possible.
There are many things we'll still choose to do ourselves. I write lots of letters by hand even though e-mail is much cheaper and more convenient. I handwash many of my clothes even though I've been told that they'll survive the gentle cycle of the washing machine. I play around with paper forms for organizing my life, even as I work on an electronic personal information manager.
What does technology do, though? It widens the divide. You need capital to buy technology, and technology amplifies your advantage. You need time to learn technology, and most people at the bottom of the heap don't feel they have enough time for themselves. (And what little time they _do_ have, they waste on television!) You need confidence to learn and experiment, and far too many people are afraid to break something or don't believe in themselves enough.
So _that's_ where I think the problem lies: not in technology itself, but in our response to change. I want to help people realize that they can and should keep learning. If people embrace change and grow with it, then how can they be afraid of technology?
3. Phonecards: 11:25
There's another phonecard without connection fees, but the cellphone rate for that one is probably higher. I'll try getting that one later.
4. New podcasts!: 13:05
All in all, I see an article written in your inimitable style; concise and non-argumentative - did you know you sound like you're talking even when you're writing? =)
So I thought about recording MP3s of a couple of entries so that people who don't know what I sound like can imagine me. 'course, I was just reading prepared text, so I'm not as bubbly as I can get in casual conversations. But it's a good start, and it'll get better as I get used to it. =)
5. Pfft. Open source isn't much better at dealing with this.: 13:21
|jsgotangco||but the babes where fun!!!! *hides*|
|sachac||And people wonder why there aren't many girls into IT... ;)|
|jsgotangco||clair hasn't told you about Red Hat's booth|
|jsgotangco||it had this huge pic of carmen electra saying fsck me...|
6. Remembrance agent for GUIs for the Mac: 14:44
Onlife is an application for the Mac OS X that observes your every interaction with sofware applications such as Safari, Mail and iChat and then creates a personal shoebox of all the web pages you visit, emails you read, documents you write and much more. Onlife then indexes the contents of your shoebox, makes it searchable and displays all the interactions between you and your favorite apps over time.
That settles it. I want a Mac when this computer falls apart. =) All the interesting productivity developments are happening on Macs.
E-Mail from Sven Kloppenburg
7. The Great Merge: 17:45
It's much, much better than my kludgy attempts when I wrote the first port of Planner to Muse. I kept running into problems thinking of an elegant way to combine both backends. I just wanted to get Planner out the door, so I tagged a new branch and replaced all the emacs-wiki code with muse equivalents.
That spurred a lot of development on the planner-muse front, and we blessed Michael Olson's tree as the canonical planner-muse branch. Keeping up with patches became a real headache, though, because of all the translation between branches.
I've tagged a new tree off Yann Hodique's branch and made emacs-wiki work again. I've also brought it up to the latest dev (I think!), and I'll be using it for the next few weeks. A number of modules still require emacs-wiki, and with the Planner community's help, we hope to open them up to Muse people as well!
You can grab the merged tree with
tla register-archive http://sacha.sachachua.com/notebook/arch tla get email@example.com/planner--merge--1.0 planner
Back up your plans and customize planner-backend. Have fun!
8. More about call centers: 23:01
I firmly believe that tech graduates should be exposed to customers and trained to communicate even if they're eventually going to go into deep systems hackery. There might be better ways to learn these things, but a call center job isn't a complete waste of time. If people learn how to make the most of even their call center experience, then they'll be much better off.
If people think that call centers are a dead end--well, that's _our_ fault! Are we building the companies that provide opportunities for others? Are we offering interesting challenges and competitive salaries to attract and retain people? Or are we just sitting back and complaining about the lack of real opportunities in the Philippines?
9. Oooooh. Linux Journal editorial calendar up!: 23:14
I'd love to hear about any questions, comments, suggestions or links that you might have. Your comments will not be posted on this website immediately, but will be e-mailed to me first. You can use this form to get in touch with me, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org .