aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, March 12, 2007
Ambient consumption monitoring
Last year we put in all new windows in our house and blew lots of new insulation into the attic. Still, our heating bill was higher last month than the same period a year ago!
I’m not sure a dashboard will help:
Pop quiz. How much energy are you using right now? Admit it, you have no idea. Building Dashboard could tell you. Developed by Lucid Design Group, it provides real-time, Web-based feedback on electric, gas, and water usage. “This once-a-month utility bill nonsense isn’t good enough to change behavior,” says Michael Murray of Lucid, which is working to outfit buildings with consumption sensors. The system sends the collected info via the Net to Lucid’s servers, where it’s packaged into a slick, widget-like interface.
Sour grapes @ Google
Are we really surprised that not everyone’s happy working there?
Does NOBODY out there realize that LESS THAN HALF of the 10,000+ employees are engineers and programmers???
MOST PEOPLE who work at Google are in SUPPORT roles!! And they are getting paid way less than industry standard for working 50, 60+ hours a week for it! Screw the free food, screw the laundry - the MAJORITY of people working at Google are in buildings without any of these amenities, and are certainly without extra money from stock options. (...)
[T]hey are the ones working their asses off, in overtime, but that doesn’t matter because they are salaried but way below industry standards for support positions, to make sure that YOU, the user, has an accessible Help Center, has a kind, email response, has an answer to your question.
Yes, there are foosball tables in the support buildings, but who has time to play them? Giant overhead projectors alerting them to the current turnaround time for their emails is Big Brother enough to ensure that they don’t even THINK about playing foosball when they should be answering support emails. (...)
I’ve been here almost 5 years, and as soon as my refresher grant has vested, I am out like Lance Bass. It’s a load of corporate baloney Ã¢â‚¬” the 400-person company that I started at has become a nightmare that has eaten my soul. God help the users.
Counterweight from the comments:
...as a contractor, you work 9 to 6. you play foos. you go to lunch and eat everything in site. you enjoy the special mid-day desserts that the chefs surprise you with by just leaving them in the small kitchen areas. you help yourself to coffee and breakfast and healthy snacks and lunch and steak dinners and every beautiful damn chicken plate you’ve ever had in your life and not and if you love Indian food you can eat it every damn day. you get free t-shirts. you get to workout at lunch using one of the gyms or after work or go for a jog around campus or play at a nearby pick-up soccer game or just go for a lovely stroll to one of the cafes that is furthest from your building. enjoying a lunchtime stroll across the mountain view campus during the fall was about as close to heaven as i’ve ever come during _any_ life experience, much less while I was at a damn corporate job…
Buses too: Its aim is to make commuting painless for its pampered workers.
It stinks to high heavan
A friend will be boycotting my favorite BBQ place because they use Smithfield meats. Appalled, she sent a link to Smithfield Justice.
I sent back a link to the December Rolling Stone Boss Hog piece in which they describe in intentionally nauseating detail how horrible a company Smithfield is. I urge you to read it too.
When Joel Salatin calls for aesthetically and aromatically pleasant farms, it’s in response to this reality:
Unsurprisingly, prolonged exposure to hog-factory stench makes the smell extremely hard to get off. Hog factory workers stink up every store they walk into. I run into a few local guys who had made the mistake of accepting jobs in hog houses, and they tell me that you just have to wait the smell out: You’ll eventually grow new hair and skin. If you work in a Smithfield hog house for a year and then quit, you might stink for the next three months.
If the temperature and wind aren’t right and the lagoon operators are spraying, people in hog country can’t hang laundry or sit on their porches or mow their lawns. Epidemiological studies show that those who live near hog lagoons suffer from abnormally high levels of depression, tension, anger, fatigue and confusion. “We are used to farm odors,” says one local farmer. “These are not farm odors.” Sometimes the stink literally knocks people down: They walk out of the house to get something in the yard and become so nauseous they collapse. When they retain consciousness, they crawl back into the house.
That has happened several times to Julian and Charlotte Savage, an elderly couple whose farmland now abuts a Smithfield sprayfield—one of several meant to absorb the shit of 50,000 hogs. The Savages live in a small, modular kit house. Sitting in the kitchen, Charlotte tells me that she once saw Julian collapse in the yard and ran out and threw a coat over his head and dragged him back inside. Before Smithfield arrived, Julian’s family farmed the land for the better part of a century. He raised tobacco, corn, wheat, turkeys and chickens. Now he has respiratory problems and rarely attempts to go outside.
BTW, I won’t be boycotting our local restaurant. I’ll explain why in a later post.
New Google Apps competitor: Microsoft
Hilton originally posted information on where the product is headed, then quickly removed it. The original text said”The product has tons of potential and will probably be competing with the likes of Google Spreadsheets, DabbleDB, Zoho and JotSpot Tracker. It’s a really exciting time to be working on this product!
He then removed those sentences and said:
update: I removed some of my personal opinions from this post. I do not want to confuse anyone who might take them as prophecy.
While this doesn’t give away a whole lot, it’s clear that the team is looking to compete directly with Google Apps and Zoho, something they don’t do now. That implies that they are building an online reader/light editor at least for Excel.
Via John Battelle who also points to Microsoft’s roll out of two non browser-based search integrations.