Sunday, November 23, 2008

Why I'm done with PostSecret

I have been a fan of PostSecret since it launched in 2005. Every Sunday one of the first things I do is open up the site to read the new secrets. The point of PostSecret is for people to send in postcards that reveal a secret that nobody else knows. Since its inception some of the secrets have been funny or strange, and many have included disturbing personal experiences about trauma and abuse. Some have included PG-13 verging on R rated imagery.

For the last few months some of them are simply statements of fact about how someone feels. These have always annoyed me since they aren't really secrets, but none have really bothered me. Today the moderator of PostSecret, Frank Warren, posted what I felt was a horribly gruesome image, and the note from the submitter simply said it was disturbing. That was obvious and not a secret so Frank posted it for shock value, not because it was a compelling secret.

There is a separate site called the PostSecret Community, also moderated by Frank, where people comment on the week's secrets or share secrets of their own. Very quickly the disturbing image blew up with dozens of complaints and a mostly negative "WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!" reaction.

As far as I can tell Frank never participated in any of those discussions, but he did send an e-mail to all the members of this site asking:
Have you seen the secret and postcard that literally made one woman vomit?

For me the whole thing ran off the rails today. A non-secret was posted purely for shock value, then Frank spammed the entire PostSecret Community to make sure the flames are sufficiently fanned. I'm disgusted by the image as well as the fact that it was obviously posted for sensationalism, and by how Frank has handled the uproar. I won't be visiting PostSecret again.

You will notice that I have not provided any links to PostSecret. This is for two reasons. First, I don't want anyone to follow the link and see the image and blame me for their trauma. I'm nauseated every time I think of it. Seriously. Second, I don't want to drive traffic to any of the PostSecret sites. If you're determined to know what all the fuss is about I'm sure you'll find it without my help.

For anyone who wants to comment and tell me I'm overreacting, don't. I have a right to set the boundaries I find appropriate. This crosses several of them.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I need cordless phone recommendations

I think I saw someone else post this a while back but I can't find it now. I've been trying to find decent cordless phones to use at home for years. All the 2.4Ghz and 5.8Ghz I have tried have poor range, poor reception, or poor volume. I have purchased various Sony, AT&T, VTech, Uniden and Panasonic phones through the years and pretty much all of them have had issues. Most recently I bought a VTech IA5824 5.8Ghz phone, set it up last night, and I only get about a 15 foot range before the static starts.

Can anyone recommend a cordless phone that actually works well?

business insurance and personal effects

I'll be posting some follow ups in the next few weeks regarding our progress in replacing equipment and moving to a fully virtualized infrastructure. We have been wrapping up our dealings with the insurance companies, and something very interesting came to light.

Last year we installed centralized network printers and copiers, and as individual desktop printers died we did not replace them. There were some people who insisted on a printer on their desk and brought in their own. The company did not purchase them or provide supplies other than paper and IT refused to support them, but management allowed it.

You can probably see where this is going...

We learned that personal effects coverage is an add-on for business insurance policies. In our case the maximum amount was $50 per employee. Nearly all the employees who had personal printers are claiming they cost $100 or more and they were very upset by this. While I feel badly that they lost personal equipment it really drove home our policy of not bringing it in to work in the first place.

So if you have something expensive (that you own) or of personal value at work, take it home or get comfortable with the idea that . All it takes is a faulty heating or air conditioning unit and it could be gone in seconds.

It's sad that it takes something like this to get management on board with IT policies, and it also made me aware of another piece of the DR puzzle that I had not even considered.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's official - no Lotusphere for me

I submitted my ILUG session for consideration and it was not accepted. Therefore I will not be attending Lotusphere 2009. Congratulations to everyone who was accepted, and I'm truly jealous of anyone else who is going to Lotusphere.

I do intend to still try to coordinate the Over The Rainbow group. It wasn't my idea in the first place, so there is no reason to should die just because I'm not there.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Lotusphere Over The Rainbow - 2009 edition

For the past couple of years there has been an Over The Rainbow group at Lotusphere to help GLBT attendees find other like-minded people. It's back again for 2009, this time as a Facebook group. Consider this your invitation to join in the festivities. Last year we got together for dinner on Saturday night, then again for drinks one night and met up to do the rides together on Wednesday night. I'll be trying to set up some more concrete events for Lotusphere 2009, but I wanted to get the word out early.