James Riley’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Aug 27th, 2009 @ 6:30am

    Good points and bad points

    The fact is, it isn't as simple as that. Very rarely will you have a shop that is set up where EVERYTHING is stored in the cloud and it's possible to reimage machines on a whim - often times there are cloud features available but users choose to ignore them in favor of the local hard drive.

    Yes, it's possible to lock that down too but only to a certain extent. No one backs up their information, or if they do, they use their email account to do so and then freak out if they are told, quite correctly, that they need to knock it off if they want their email to be more responsive. There's a hard limit for a reason - we don't run an email server just to store your kids' 10 MP resolution PNG files.

    There's always the exceptions to the rule, the idiots who happen to be louder than the IT department and insist on using non-standard storage and obtaining admin rights through illicit means (coercion, manipulation, outright lying, etc.), and the supervisors who are just too pissed off and worrying about other things to be concerned with them.

    And let's not forget the asshats who will bitch and moan until the cows come home if you forget to back up that random hidden folder with their personal items in it, despite their having signed, at their orientation, a form basically telling them in no uncertain terms that work systems belonged to the company and they could be fired for using company resources for personal use.

    It's great to talk about how companies need to take a lighter approach to employee treatment and allow them to do whatever it is that they want, but no one understands just how much more of a burden that is for IT to deal with. No one gets that just being able to see this one joke site or this one girl's myspace page full of poorly coded HTML and possibly dangerous SQL injections can cause damage, not just to their computer (resulting in ALL of their pictures / music / work emails / etc.) but to the servers passing the information along, to their co-workers computers, and any devices connected to their computer as well (iPod, thumbdrives, etc.).

    Oh, and let's not forget the risk to corporate secrets when you open up a buttload of corporate computers to the public internet. Wave goodbye to any hope of keeping embarassing secrets from going public immediately. Watch the stock price plunge faster than Gates McFadden's career post-Star Trek: TNG.

    Opening everything up to the public is a great ideal but so is communism.

  • Jul 16th, 2009 @ 5:34am

    Re: Re: Walmart unions

    Point by point, brother. That's how we're gonna do this.

    1) If those small businesses go out of business because Walmart shows up, then they probably deserved to go out of business. Have YOU come from a town like that? Walmart offers cheaper prices and better selection (and 9 times out of 10 far nicer employees - no surly attitudes!) for consumers, so if the small businesses can't compete with them, it means they're doing it wrong. Survival of the fittest - it's how capitalism works. Oh, and those 5,000 employees who lose their jobs at those small businesses? They go over to Walmart and get a job there, with better benefits and rewards for doing their job well, whereas their previous job had nowhere to go but down.

    2) "Some" unions? Do you even understand what the point of a union is? Unions exist to force employers to do what they want, and to use the government to back them up. Look up the Wagner Act next time you get a minute and you'll see what I mean. The problem with unions is that they tie the hands of people actually running a company and force their will on them, while taking money from both the company and the workers. They are a leech on the economy and the best companies out there right now are ones that are disassociated with the unions. No company owes their workers ANYTHING - they all simply recognize that workers have a choice as to where they'll work and benefits (which are things someone offers you as thanks for the job you do) are used to try and sway workers to that company's staff. The better job you do, the more benefits you get. That's how things work in a free market. You do a good job, you get rewarded for it.

    3) Those fatcats got where they are by working their butts off and doing their level best. Yes, every so often you'll see cases of nepotism but by and large if someone's in an executive-level position, they fought like a dog to get there. You're basically saying that these people who've jumped at every opportunity to get ahead and proved their worth to the company need to take a pay cut so that the unions can take that money and toss it into another bloated benefits package that the company is saddled with for workers who have specific and rudimentary job functions, and who refuse to go outside those job functions even if it means goodwill towards the employer and the possibility of higher pay for doing extra work.

    I really have to wonder - did you think "The Grapes of Wrath" was historically accurate? Does your concept of unions come from Hollywood's various portrayals of them? Because it doesn't sound like you're a very informed person.