Category Archives: computer industry

New Java 1.7 vulnerability

I found this in my email:

http://www.h-online.com/developer/news/item/Dangerous-vulnerability-in-latest-Java-version-1781156.html

I will disable Java plugin in all browsers on my machines at work on Monday.

Cert.org is taking this seriously: http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/625617

This could be used against Linux, Mac or Android, not just Windows, if anyone cared to try. They would not have access to root without further exploits, although popping up a window that looks like your Updater, or Microsoft’s, would catch some inexperienced Linux users.

Federal layoff-ment

In the last couple of weeks, I have heard from three people facing layoffs in the federal government. Two are employees. One is in a department that is going to lay off about 8 of 25 workers in the new fiscal year, because their budget went down that much. The second is in a smaller department with fewer layoffs. Apparently there are people calling from other departments because they are in the same boat, looking for a new department. None have official notice yet, as far as I know, but I expect that will arrive at the end of March.

Granted, the larger department might have lost some positions even if the new budget was not cutting jobs, but the message is clear: lots of departments are losing payroll next year.

My other caller was a contractor with a contract renewal at the end of February, expecting to renew until June or July, but the contract is “slow” coming back. Given the employee news, are the contractors likely to be renewed? Some would say yes, but I am not optimistic. I think the contractors will be hitting the streets real soon now, looking for private sector work.

The employees apparently have contracts that allow them some period of months looking for a job in another department before their pay ends. Some of these people will not look to the private sector for some time, so the flood of former government employees may not hit for months, may in fact be a trickle over a year or more. Yeah, that would be great!

Good luck to all those affected, including you and me.

Numeric-only date output? Fail!

Yesterday, I donated blood again.

They have been asking you questions on the computer for the last year or so.
Example: “Have you eaten any pogo sticks in the last 30 days (since 09/01/2012)?”
The accompanying voice asks without telling you what the date was a month ago, fortunately. It was enough of a distraction that they used a different reader or a different room when they added new questions; a computer generated voice would have been actually irritating.

So there was the date, to me it meant Sept 1, and my fast read of it ignored the year which would have made that a future date. The fact that I can’t read is hardly relevant here. 🙂 The real point is that they used numeric dates, which are always ambiguous.

Take this home and tell your friends:
Complain when computers don’t display or print dates with a 4 digit year and a text month that is at least 3 letters long. Maybe we can get a culture going that actually communicates clearly.

And please take any managers you know from Canadian Blood Services to CapCHI meetings on the third Tuesday of the month at The Code Factory. then buy them a beer afterwards at whatever pub we go to.

Have you ever filled out a date field  in DYM or MYD order? Shame on you! 🙂

My ugliest … business card … ever!

My ugliest business card ever

Q-bars on business cards take up too much space and are too ugly. However, allowing people to grab your info from your card into their smart phone’s contact info directly – that’s powerful!

If I keep it, it will soon move to the back.

Exar quietly kills off Neterion product line

Bert Hill covered the Exar/Neterion layoff story in the Ottawa Citizen.

 

Exar announcement

For those people who wanted to know about my layoff from Exar, they posted a press release.

Yet Another Disposition, A?

Hi,

Got laid off today. With the whole team. First layoff for one of the guys. Insert philosophical discussion about the industry here, because I don’t have time.