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Gawker Media and truncated blog (RSS) feeds

Posted by Madbot on Jul 21, 2013 in Human Observation, Madbot Madness, Techno

So Gawker Media does it again. After chopping its blogs feeds and place the contents behind ‘Read More’, and realizing it doesn’t work, the feeds were returned to their full glory albeit you had to jump through a couple of hoops to find them.

I am a heavy user of offline RSS reader, therefore relies on the full content feed. Last week, Gawker Media does it again and truncated the feeds unannounced, without so much as a ping to its readers.

Well, it’s been a good run. I stuck with Gizmodo, kotaku, and lifejacket for many years. It’s now time to switch fully to Engadget, joystique, and .. I dunno what replaces Lifehacker. It’s a pity as I have enjoyed the humor and the sometimes silly and relaxed style of Gawker Media writers. But clicking through ‘Read More’ for each article is like having to stop and start your engine at every red light.

So so long Gizmodo, so long kotaku, and an in-advance farewell to Lifehacker.

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Visiting family

Posted by Madbot on Apr 24, 2011 in Human Observation, Madbot Madness

20110424-075223.jpg

Madbot says:

Made a short hop to Taiwan to visit families that I have not seen for many years. Not a long trip compare to going to Australia but was only able to stay 2 nights.

Traveling is getting more tiring but gave me some quiet time. The trip made me realize how nice it can be to have families, and to see them again.

I may be somewhat tired physically (not looking forward to going to work tomorrow) but feel recharged emotionally.

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“Alerts to Terror Threats in 2011 Europe,” by John Cleese

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After all the serious news related to the disasters in Japan, here’s something that gave me a good laugh. From master John Cleese.

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s Get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French Government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France’s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.

The Italians have increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.” The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbor” and “Lose.”

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

The Australians, meanwhile, have raised their security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be Alright, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is canceled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

— John Cleese – British writer, actor and tall person

 
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Monday funny – When management gets too top heavy

Posted by Madbot on Oct 9, 2010 in Human Observation, Workplace Observation

A good friend sent me this little gem:

A Japanese company and an American company decided to have a canoe
race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard
to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile. The
Americans, very discouraged
and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for
the crushing defeat.

A management team made up of senior management was
formed to investigate and
recommend appropriate action. Their conclusion was the
Japanese had 8 people
rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team
had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.

So American management hired a consulting company and
paid them a large
amount of money for a second opinion. They advised
that too many people were
steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

To prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing
team’s management
structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering
supervisors, 3 area steering
superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent
steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that
would give the 1 person
rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It
was called the “Rowing
Team Quality First Program”, with meetings, dinners
and free pens for the rower.

There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes
and other equipment,
extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.
Humiliated, the American
management laid off the rower for poor performance,
halted development of a
new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital
investments for new equipment.

The money saved was distributed to the Senior
Executives as bonuses and the
next year’s racing team was outsourced to India.

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Unintended visit to Osaka

Posted by Madbot on Mar 23, 2009 in Human Observation, Japan, Madbot Madness, Workplace Observation

Madbot says:

As we boarded the plane in Sydney airport today, an announcement was made that there was an accident at Narita airport and the airport is now closed. 9 hours later the plane landed in Osaka airport and we began the long trek crossing japan to get back home (Tokyo).

What this has done though, is to take me to cities I have yet to visit. Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and so on via the bullet train. This has been the biggest trip I have ever done in japan – pity I can’t really see out the train.

The photos are upside down – guess it hasn’t adjusted to the change from south hemisphere to north hemisphere yet..

Update: it turns out a Fedex plane crashed at Narita due to crazy wind. Both crew members died in the crash. Bad story.

 
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God as a sense, a feeling

Posted by Madbot on Feb 25, 2009 in Human Observation, Madbot Madness, Side Notes

Madbot says:

Let’s try a rare religious related post today.

The concept of god as an all controlling being is difficult to swallow. If god is all powerful, why is there suffering in the world? Suffering is one constant that humans have not lived without since history and stories were recorded.

It just dawned on me a different concept of god. Not as a “being” as we normally think, but as a feeling, of a “sense”. It’s similar to emotions, to love, and hate.

It has been said that there are many similarities between love and god. Both cannot be measured, cannot be captured and are very much “concepts” instead of something that we can scientifically prove that exist. However, most, if not all, people believe in love. This is not just the love between lovers, but also love between parents and child, siblings, friendship, mateshop and so on. If you can believe that (concept of) love exists, you can believe that god exists.

Now imagine god as a sense that is similar to love but perhaps more similar to “goodwill”. The urge to want to help others, the feeling to do the right thing. Maybe it emcompasses “love” and includes “good” – that “good” energy, maybe that is god.

In that sense, the concept of “god” being all powerful starts to make sense. God created the universe or the world in 7 days – how was that possible? Easy. Imagine there was a being who was powerful to create the world existed. One “day”, this being felt this sense of “goodwill” and felt the urge to do something amazing and created the universe as per the bible. Without this sensation of goodwill, this being may never have created the universe. In that case, it was this “goodwill” that “moved” this being to create the universe – meaning that it was god that actually created it. The “being” was an instrument utilized in the process.

Similarly, many times miracles were made by people who felt a sense of goodwill and decided to help. Maybe that feeling of goodwill was actually god. Thank god for miracles.

Now, imagine that our feelings are love, hate, goodwill and so on are actually different living “beings” that behave in a way we don’t yet understand and cannot see but can give us the sensations we call feelings or emotions. Similar to virus that can make us sick or healthy even though we cannot see them with our own eyes. These beings may be live with us like bacteria or only live in our subconscious. And they affect us without us completely being aware of it’s influences. You may get sick and feel weak but you still push youself to go to work. You may feel the urge to love, to hate and you may give in to the urge or you may fight it.

Religions are then ways to foster these feelings. People go to church and temples to worship. At these places they feel emotions. These may be for loving, for a sense of belonging, for safety, or for calm. All are related to our emotions. Maybe god is all these emotions or maybe god is just the positive ones with the devil being the negative ones. Maybe this “being” does have special powers or can extend our own capabilities through providing us with emotion boost. And that actually does explain many things.. For me anyway.

At the end god judges us. At the end we are our own judges. Our emotions judge us and determine us to be happy or not. If you are happy then this, right now, is your heaven. If you are miserable, then perhaps this is your hell.

Is god all powerful? Yes, our emotions are extremely powerful. Can god give us world peace and heaven on earth? Yes if we all help each other. But while our emotions can influence us, in the end it is us who have to do the work. And by that god gave he the choice and so far we as a group are still fighting with the selfish and jealous devils within us.

So maybe that’s it. That’s God.

 
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A not so joyful new year?

Posted by Madbot on Jan 6, 2009 in Human Observation, Japan, Madbot Madness

First day back at the office and very little cheerie feeling. It feels more depressive than say just a quiet new year period. Maybe the recession is starting to be felt at the everyday lives. Not much laughter, the usudl greetings that is all.

 
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Incompetent People Really Have No Clue

Posted by Madbot on Mar 31, 2008 in Human Observation


Madbot says:

A bit of an old news..

Another clue to the truth of the universe is revealed..!! Study found incompetent people are not aware of their own incompetencies nor the skills of others. This explains A LOT.

From: SFGate.com

Incompetent People Really Have No Clue, Studies Find
They’re blind to own failings, others’ skills

Full article below and stored here.

Erica Goode, New York Times

Tuesday, January 18, 0

There are many incompetent people in the world. Dr. David A. Dunning is haunted by the fear that he might be one of them.

Dunning, a professor of psychology at Cornell, worries about this because, according to his research, most incompetent people do not know that they are incompetent.

On the contrary. People who do things badly, Dunning has found in studies conducted with a graduate student, Justin Kruger, are usually supremely confident of their abilities — more confident, in fact, than people who do things well.
Read more…

 
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The Percentage game

Posted by Madbot on Jun 26, 2006 in Human Observation, Madbot Madness, Workplace Observation

Madbot says:

Some people frequently refer to the 80/20 rule to describe situations where 80% of profit comes from 20% of your customers while 20% of profit comes from 80% of the customers – some customers are better than others. Or 80% of your efforts are spent on servicing 20% of your customers while the rest 80% of customers only require 20% of your efforts – some customers require less efforts than others. Your percentage may differ.

I learned that life is really a percentage game – there are no fixed rules, just a % of how much of the overall the “rule” applies to. There are always “exceptions” to the rule and the percentage rule simply states that these exceptions are an integral part of the formula (always present) but simply a minority part of the outcomes.

For example, you may describe that a school or college or company is full of smart people. We all know that this is part of the marketing and while the people from this organisation may be mostly smart, you will undoubtedly still always find some idiots in their ranks – it’s just that the total number of idiots may form a lower percentage of the general population than an average school or college or company. And therefore the percentage game.

What organisations do to manage this percentage (if they are aware of it) is to implement systems that help filter out certain types of people who don’t “fit”. Systems such as an IQ test to discover your likely level of intelligence, face to face interviews to see if you fit with the team, etc. They aim to increase the % of the people they like and in the process reduce the % of the people they don’t like. Again, systems are not all perfect and they are only x% successful – and therefore you will still have x% of people getting through the system.

Organisations can then put in more safeguards by implementing systems instructing people to behave in certain ways – training, manuals, incentives to achieve the company goals, etc to reduce the chances of people acting like idiots.

This percentage game applies to EVERYTHING. Last time you bought a Mitsubishi car and it turned out to be a lemon? Does this mean that all Mitsubishi cars are lemons? Probably but likely it is a percentage game. The percentage of their cars being lemons may be higher or lower depending on your experience and perception but unlikely to be 100%. The exceptions must exist.

When that terrorist organization first made it big time by destroying the WTO (conspiracy theories aside), many people speculate that this is these guys are smart, well organized, and they meant business – otherwise how could they infiltrate the safeguards in the system to do what they did. All I could think of was that this is still a percentage game. These people may have a higher percentage of better organised or higher intelligent people – but there must still idiots there.

There was a recent video recording of the no.2 leader from this organisation (who is now deceased) looking mean by firing machine guns demonstrating his strength (?) and leet skillz – except the opposing faction soon pointed out that the ex-no.2 leader fumbled and didn’t hold the weapon correctly – and therefore his shots were uncontrolled and going everywhere. Probably killed a few innocent camels. Last but not least some poor guy who took the gun from him had his hands burnt from not realising the gun barrels were hot. The percentage rule applies again.

So the next time you deal with a company who’s supposed to be smart, a government agency, or some other organisation, just remember – which % is it that you’re dealing with now..

 
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Historical moment – Michael Jackson on trial

Posted by Madbot on May 26, 2005 in Human Observation, Madbot Madness

Well, maybe not exactly historical but still big news.

Michael Jackson on trial

The guy has been booked for a few cases over child molesting in the past but all settled outside of court. This time, however, was more dramatic as he was arrested after getting off a plane from Vegas to LA and the prosecution was allowed by the court to bring up all the evidence from the past cases. The witnesses both sides called up are full of stars and VIPs.

The trial has been going on for quite a while now and today the defence rests. One of the last witness (or maybe the last) the defence called up is Chris Tucker, comedian and also the actor in Rush Hour 1 & 2 with Jacky.

Guilty or not we’ll never know.
Read more…

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