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The Actuator – June 27th

Level 17

Back from Germany and my first ever SQL Grillen, the event that combines two of my favorite things: SQL Server and meat. I even had the opportunity to drive a BMW on the Autobahn. I hope to make it back for next year, as the event expands to two days of pork-belly goodness.

As always, here are some links from the Intertubz that I hope will hold your interest. Enjoy!

Amazon Prime benefits roll out to all Whole Foods stores

This sounds great except the nearest Whole Foods to me is over 30 miles away. The cost of gasoline would offset the meager discount pricing being offered. Not to mention the money lost due to the amount of time getting there and back. Maybe if Amazon offered me a discount on grocery delivery this might make sense. But for me and others that don't live near a Whole Foods, this isn't that much of a benefit to being a Prime member.

Tesla sues ex-employee for hacking and theft. But he says he's a whistleblower

This seems like it is going to get ugly, and fast. Musk has been having trouble meeting his numbers with Tesla. It's easy for him to make an effort to blame his problems on sabotage. It's also easy for an employee to step forward and present data in a way that shows Musk has been the reason why Tesla doesn't meet their numbers. I'm expecting this case to drag on for a while, and in the end, everyone loses, except Musk because he will still have billions of dollars.

Supreme Court Rules on Mobile Location Data: Get a Warrant

This seems like common sense, and something long overdue. I'm all for enforcing laws, but I'm also a big advocate for privacy. The police still have the ability to access the data, but must provide proof that access to the data is needed.

240 minutes a day separates the rich from everyone else

I'm not including this because I think y'all should be millionaires. No, I'm including this because I like how it breaks down those 240 minutes into specific activities. I challenge you to pick one (education, exercise, goal-setting, relationship-setting) and incorporate it into your daily routine as well.

The Machine Fired Me

The dark side to automation: the most efficient process is the termination process.

Apple to Unveil High-End AirPods, Over-Ear Headphones For 2019

Because the current price of $159 wasn't enough money, apparently.

Facebook will tell you how much time you’re wasting in its app

NARRATOR VOICE: All time on Facebook is wasted.

Just a quick picture to show you the glory of SQL Grillen last week:

speck.jpg

50 Comments

Beautiful griling picture--and just before lunchtime here, too.  Perfect!

Amazon discounts at Whole Foods.  There's one of those stores just about three blocks away from me.  I'll stop by today and see what I can save.  Thank you for sharing this!

Tesla and a troubled employee.  A classic case of confusion.  Who's telling the truth--or "more truth than the other"?

Both sides sound reasonable.  Time "may tell".  Or maybe it won't, if settlements are made out of court.

Will either party be proven to be acting unethically or illegally?

Requiring court warrants before getting access to electronic location information?  I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad one.  If it's used for bringing a criminal into jail and for protecting the public, it seems reasonable.  If it's used to track an innocent person's location for purposes of persecution for political views and constitutionally protected activities, it's unreasonable.

I don't like to think of this information being abused, or of it being made available to anyone at anytime (given the unethical activities and lack of morals of certain groups or individuals).

Yet I don't like to think of law enforcement's efforts being limited in an emergent situation that has the public at risk.

I guess warrants are the only way to go.  But ONLY as long as the warrants are not secret, and made public, without government having the ability to hide them or restrict access to them.

Keeping things in the light of day, away from the darkness and shadows, is a good way to ensure our freedoms aren't being taken away from us.

MVP
MVP

Cool article

That 240 Minutes article is a winner.  Thanks for bringing it to Thwack!

The "Machine Fired Me" story leaves me unsatisfied, incomplete.  I truly don't see the root cause of the termination, and blaming "the machine" seems incorrect.  The Machine did what it was supposed to do, all the things that could fall through the cracks. 

Who actually authorized the termination, and how was it done?  Certainly it should NOT have been done at all, given the employee was in month eight of a three-year contract.

I believe this automated process allowed for a NEW crack to occur, through which this person's life was allowed to fall and become lost and damaged.

Certainly any automated process like this one MUST require review before being allowed to proceed, and MUST have an administrative "Stop Button" to put it on hold while review is performed.  At least it should have a temporary "Put Actions On Hold Button" as people ask questions and receive explanations.  Leaving the ugly part of a termination to a machine, or to an automated time schedule that causes a machine process to terminate an employee, is a bad way for Human Resources to hide from their personal responsibilities towards personnel. 

H.R. should ALWAYS be the place where employees go for succor and assistance against a tyrannical employer or abusive environment.  Crying, traumatized employees should be able to seek shelter and relive in the HR department; they should NEVER go calmly into HR and exit traumatized or crying or worse.

Apple's "news" about speakers and AP's really isn't news.  Just more hype and sales spin.  They're just doing what businesses do.  This one article probably isn't "Actuator-worthy" in my opinion.

But I'm a jaded Network Analyst, continually frustrated at wireless and Apple and vulnerabilities and expenses, so you can put me down as just another person who needs to become more gruntled with Apple.

You use the Facebook Application on your smartphone?  Oh, you poor, uneducated, unsecured, personal-data-stolen-and-sold person!

Fix many of your security problems with your personal information and IT habits right now:  uninstall the FB app.  Get along nicely without it.

And do the same with other info-stealing app like SnapChat, InstaGram, etc.  You'll be fine without 'em, and your browsing habits and location and personal information will be that much safer.

Level 12

In the end it will be the winner that writes the finally entry for this in the history books. For now I am just sitting back and observing this one.

Level 12

HR departments are nothing more then a shield and blunt weapon for top level administration in most companies now days. They don't service the employees anymore, they service the administration in my experiences.

Level 20

That grill looks pretty good!  What kind of meat did they have?  You mentioned pork bellies was that it?

MVP
MVP

240 mins is awesome, thanks for sharing sqlrockstar

MVP
MVP

Facebook will tell you how much time you’re wasting in its app - lol

Level 12

"All time on Facebook is wasted."

You just won the Interwebz.  Game over.

Level 14

Not a lot of savings at Whole Foods for me.  I'd have to fly to the USA first.

Level 14

Tesla.  I'd imagine there is some truth in both stories but the big corporate is doing the usual and jumping all over the little guy.  No matter what happens they will lose reputation.  They should have addressed the guys concerns and thanked him for his help.

Level 14

Tracking via mobile phone location data.  Here in the UK we expect the government will do this but will then completely balls up the prosecution as they don't pay enough for the good lawyers to work on their side.  Only the bad guys can afford the good lawyers.

Level 14

240 minutes.  I do spend time every day relaxing.  Sometimes I'm as relaxed as a newt.      

Level 14

HR departments are ONLY there for the company's benefit.  They are not there to help you.  This case shows a company that doesn't care about its employees / contractors and should be avoided at all costs.  Fortunately where I now work the HR department gave me the wrong contract.  It all seemed OK to me so I signed 'in good faith'.  Now they are trying to change working hours, job title and job descriptions for everyone and I have an ironclad contract that can only be amended IF I agree in writing.  Naturally I won't agree and have already said so in writing.  They could terminate me and then try to get me to sign a new contract but I would just use the IR35 legislation to my benefit (oh the irony  -  I used to be a contractor trying to avoid being caught by IR35). 

Level 14

Apple's earpods  I bought a pair of bluetooth earphones about a year ago.  They are water and sweat resistant, work anywhere in my house no matter where I leave my phone, have noise cancelling and are connected by a wire so they can't fall out and be lost.  They also act as a hands free kit for my phone for calls and, best of all, cost £16.  Why would I want Apple's product.  They are great and are loud enough to work on the tube. 

Level 14

Facebook won't tell me anything.  I'm not on it.

Level 14

If there's one thing Germans do well it's meat (certainly not football at present).  I've had some great times there.  I did once get flashed by a speed camera in Germany.  I was in a hire Merc but had picked it up in East Germany and was flashed in West Germany.  I think they just gave up.

Level 14

sqlrockstar​ I love the grill picture!!!

Wasting time on Facebook - Who knew? My goodness... are we the only ones aware of this serious matter . (insert severe dripping sarcasim here!)

Level 14

The machine fired me - Interesting article. In some ways it reminded me of when I worked for a LARGE fortune 500 company division. Their staffing model was fairly predictable.... hire when wanted... RIF when needed. One of their more interesting methods of performing a RIF was to notify employees in smaller remote offices by phone they would be let go, with instructions to leave keys/badges and other company property on the desk of the office manager. This was usually done (wait for it) at 4 PM on a Friday afternoon. While the practice was widely known it usually produced a few colorful notes being left about the style and lack of compassion for the process. However, there were at least two times that I was aware of when there was some "inventive" sabotage of processes or equipment. That my friends is a story for another time and a few adult beverages.

Although we are very keen on driving fast, our Polizei loves to put up those speed cameras... I have numerous tickets when I am usually in a hurry to get to the next solarwinds installation...

to your football comment.... I have nothing to add. We are still trying to figure out why Die Mannschaft performed like they did... they deserved to exit the worldcup.

Level 13

Grilling is where it's at. 

wait wait wait... on the webpage it says Databses BRATWURST and Beer.... where is the Bratwurst???

Level 14

I've got some nice ones in my fridge. 

Level 14

404 error.  Bratwurst not found.

Level 12

Your Bratwurst is in another database grillout.

Level 17

Pork, brats, and chicken skewers. It was glorious.

Level 17

Oh, we had bratwurst, yes we did.

IMG_9912 copy.jpg

Because I am living in the franconinan part of bavaria, Bratwurst is my "Bread and Butter" food  

Bet Germany is a little down after that World Cup Performance.

While on the surface the Prime benefits for shopping at "Whole Paycheck" may be good there are hidden costs. Amazon wants to learn "You!" All your shopping trends will be pumped into engines for analytics just like all shoppers clubs (However, no other shoppers clubs have the computing power of Amazon). We see what is happening in China with social media ranking. It's on its way here...

We are, but life goes on. Better luck with the EuroCup in 2 years and next try in 4

MVP
MVP

Level 14

More data gathering by Amazon?

Level 20

Just got a new 5 burner grill last week on July 4th sale... I was considering infra-red grill but after asking some others that bought one they all said... DON'T DO IT!  I usually use gas grill because it's easier but I do like a good charcoal grilled steak with maybe even some wet down wood added to the fire to enhance the flavor as well... that's just too much work for me usually.  I got a nice digital temp gauge to replace my old mechanical one.  It's good when cooking large meats like tenderloins.

MVP
MVP

Thwack (thwack.solarwinds.com) will tell you how much time you have benefited from it

Level 20

Wow I was just thinking tomorrow will be the 4th of July actuator 2018!

Level 13

Good Article

Now that is Bratwurst.

Not sure if we are having our weekly Actuator tomorrow or not. For all us Yanks, Happy Independence Day! For the rest of you lot, Happy Wednesday! 😉

MVP
MVP

Supreme Court Rules on Mobile Location Data: Get a Warrant -> This is a cool article

MVP
MVP

Tesla sues ex-employee for hacking and theft. But he says he's a whistleblower - I am sure the ex-employee has put himself into big trouble

MVP
MVP

The Machine Fired Me - Hmm makes sense, if it isn't a calculated risk (yes I'm talking about automation) then we never know ...........

MVP
MVP

SQL Grillen last week ->

MVP
MVP

I did not realize that I was behind on the articles!!!   You picture of grilling reminded me of my college days!!!

I love the article about 240 minutes - I have recently committed to adding an additional 2 hours in my day.  I get up at 4:30 AM now, I exercise and .. as my favorite philosopher... Phillsophophy once said... "you should experience a sun rise at least once a day"

And my favorite ... "if you set the bar of expectations to your ankles... your life will be full of success stories"