Google

Companies take a stand on what you think

thought_police_poster

If a company can fire you over what you think or an opinion you hold, then wouldn’t they be able to NOT hire you as well?

Recent news of the Colin Kaepernick NOT being hired by teams (especially since there have been injuries to starting QBs) in the NFL because of his actions last season as a San Francisco 49ers  run along the same lines as those employees who are fired because they voiced their opinion, or even as a company decides to refuse your business because of what you believe. These are the same things, aren’t they? Well, that is not the case if you are the PC Police.

There are some who are decrying the fact that Kaepernick hasn’t been signed by a new team because of his actions taken during football games. He is being blackballed they claim. They say the owners want to send a message to football players (or if you really want sinister, the black players) because they don’t want people taking a stand and rocking the boat because it is bad for their brand, the NFL. Celebrities (if you want to call them that, I guess) are jumping on board to support poor Colin and demonstrate against the NFL.

There have been other recent instances where someone’s opinion or belief has caused them to face a backlash for standing up and expressing their opinion. You have a guy at Google who wrote about diversity at Google and he was fired by Google because of his opinion, which happens to create bad press for the company. Google says he violated their “Code of Conduct,” which he may have done. Then, there’s group of people who made reservations at Airbnb locations in Virginia who had their reservations cancelled because the company believes (or presumed) the people may be connected to the controversial “Unite the Right” rally. The Airbnb justifies the cancellations because they don’t support the reservation holders’ opinions or beliefs and it violates their “Community Commitment” terms of service.

Now, the two examples listed immediately above were probably met with cheers by most people because it would seem that justice was being done. I mean, who wouldn’t want a sexist guy at work fired because he creates a hostile work environment, not to mention it soils the image of the organization. Why would an organization want to allow people with offensive opinions or beliefs to be served by their organization or service? If they allowed this to happen they would, after all, be seen as aiding or approving of those offensive opinions and that would just be bad PR, right?

If the PC police have no problem allowing Google to fire a guy over his opinion and they have no problem with Airbnb canceling the reservations of customers with offensive opinions, then why do they question the right of the NFL owners to not hire a guy that they disagree with and would hurt their public image or their bottom line?

To me, these are in the same vein. Google took care of the problem after it occurred. Airbnb is trying to take care of the problem before it occurs. The NFL is trying to take care of the problem both after it occurred and before it occurs again. Why then the outrage?

Another example:

CNN can personality,

 

What do you think? Leave a comment below and let’s talk!

 

 

 

 

America’s Failed Spelling Test

Misspelled

America, you have some work to do in the spelling department. Some of you, more so than others!

Wisconsin…I don’t think there is a single excuse for you…too much cheese maybe?

Most of these words are middle school level and should have been learned a long time ago, while others are at worst twelfth grade level.

If you know these words without looking them up in Google, A+ for you!

 

My Life via the Spam Folder – A Story

 

Yahoo, I took 24 hours and wrote down the subject lines for the email in my spam folder. It is amazing that spam can exist these days given that the subject line pretty much gives it away. People really don’t request this stuff, let alone respond to them do they? What to do with all these spam messages…well, how about if this was really representative of my life?

Yeah, this is my (fictional) life, through spam!

 The Story (Fiction)

Life around here has been pretty difficult as of late. I am broke and have very little education, the car has problems, I am homeless, and my girlfriend decided last week that she just didn’t want to be with me any longer. Luckily, I have been able to get lots of help with all my problems. I don’t know if it is divine intervention or not, but my email seems to offer a solution to all my problems without me ever having to solicit help.

Very accurate!

I decided to get a free psychic reading to see if all this unsolicited help would benefit me in the long run. She said my life in the near future would turn around and I would be well on my way to success. She said specifically, “You’ll get an education and a new job that will allow you to find a place to live, buy a car and keep it running, and find new love in my life.” Good thing I went to see her first!

First, an education seemed like a priority but I didn’t have any money. One offer in my email stood out, I could get a government grant for cash. I assume this will be a large grant since the government is flush with cash and gives it away regularly. With four separate offers for $2500 loans (that totals $10,000 right?), an offer for an instant $6500 loan, and another offer for an instant approval of $5000, I am now flush with cash myself and able to afford that education I have wanted for so long. All of those loans, a government grant, and an offer for a Kaplan University Scholarship will get me the education I deserve!

Education has done wonders for me. I was depressed, but no longer! The antidepressants that I was taking never really worked and now they are no longer needed. So, i sued them for selling me ineffective drugs. My email gave me great advice since there were two anti-depressant lawsuits I could join. As it turns out, others were not happy with their results either.

Now that I am educated, I need a job. So I found one with the help of an email titled, “Jobs in my area.” Sure enough, there were all kinds of jobs waiting to be filled! Some that needed specific skills and some that needed no skill at all. I applied for all that needed skills since I was being educated at Kaplan University. I mean, after all, I am now qualified for everything but why get a low paying job. That is WAY below me. Good thing there are all those nice people out there fighting for a minimum wage of $15 an hour. That way the losers will have something to do too!

SMART? I don’t know.

Can’t get to work without a car, so I bought one now that I have a high paying job. Of course, there are all kinds of things with a car that takes money, like insurance. Insurance costs a lot of money and if you are a good driver you rarely have to use it, so it shouldn’t cost so much. I had two emails offering cheap auto insurance; I bought two for good measure. You never know when you might need it. The dealership recommended that I buy an extended warranty for the car since the manufacturer isn’t really reliable with all those recalls and whatnot. I said no, but luckily there were four extended warranty offers for my car in the email. That really saved me! Plus, who doesn’t like free stuff once in a while. Low and behold, a free oil change was waiting for me in the inbox as well. Life is great.

Sometimes life can be confusing too. I had an email after I bought my car that said, “Lead generator.” Obviously this was spam, because who knew there was a shortage of lead? If it wasn’t about the shortage of lead, then who would want a really heavy generator in their car? That isn’t very good for gas mileage and I need to save money not waste it. I deleted that one right away. I mean, I am not going to click on something that wasn’t intended for me and might contain a virus or something else intended to harm me. Also, there was an email for cheap life insurance. I am young, who needs that stuff? Besides, there is no one to give the money to since I don’t have kids or a significant other. That one went straight to the trash folder as well.

Next, my homelessness needed to be solved. Luckily that was also easily solved by my email! I checked out the two emails on home foreclosures and found several that met me needs. However, I am running short on funds since I just bought a car, got an education, and have to commute to a job. So, I got a reverse mortgage for seniors. I am not sure how I qualify as a “senior” because I am only in my early 40s, but they sent me an email so it was their mistake. As it turns out, they pay me to own the home! I guess the joke is on them! After I got my house I needed to fill it with cool stuff, so I waited for a pre-approval notice for an account to a store I don’t visit often, but hey what the heck! I also got a new visa card and opened a Khols account. I spent to my max, let me tell you. Now I had a big new TV to watch, along with all the clothes, furnishings, and appliances my little heart desired. The new TV was even better when I figured out how to get cheap cable.

The last and probably most difficult problem was yet to be handled. I had to get my girlfriend back. The gift card to Victoria Secret for filling out a survey was a good start. She loved that place! But wait, what is this? I didn’t need her back. There are tons of other options I could use. Besides, I didn’t really like her that much anyway. As it turns out, there are lonely moms waiting for dates or Russian brides waiting for someone to rescue them from behind the “iron curtain.” Those are two great options, but it seems a bit random and a little risky. How do I know if they will want me le alone like me? Maybe the email from EHarmony is a better option. At least then I will know the person really likes me! Now is as good a time as any to prepare for the future so I watched a seduction video aid  and read an article on a stealth seducer. It seemed like good advice, but everyone knows that the ladies really only care about one thing, forget romance and intimacy. I’m not going to fail on that one since there were three emails on how to get powerful erections. Good thing the Canadians have figured out how to offer drugs for this. The two emails from Canadian pharmacy – Viagra/Cialis offering significant discounts was my solution. Now, I am set for relationship success!

Life now is a picnic. My email offered solutions to all my problems and solved them quite nicely. More people should pay closer attention to this stuff. Their lives would be MUCH better…

The Tale of Two Accounts

How often do you look in your spam folder? How much do you pay attention to it? Maybe I am a little odd and maybe not, but I look in my spam folder every day! I look in the spam folder every day to make sure there isn’t something there that doesn’t belong there. Three out of every five days I have to rescue an email that was delivered to the wrong folder. Poor little email.

Algorithms. I completely know or understand how they work, but I know they have something to do with math (something I am not good at). I also know they have something to do with a computer’s brain. I think. But really, it doesn’t matter. I just know that when I send an email it somehow ends up getting to where I want it to go most of the time. The intended recipient lets me know one way or another that they got it. However, I am not sure what algorithms are being used when it comes to the spam folder. I have several email addresses and I watch the spam folders for all of them. Honestly, I don’t know what Google is doing with their Gmail, but it is miles ahead of Yahoo.

I have had my Yahoo email address for many years now and there has been a continual flow of spam emails. They have gotten much better at getting into the spam folder and not in my actual inbox. Remember those days when you had to actually put all that mail into the trash? Yeah, me too. Maybe I shouldn’t be complaining then, but I can’t help it. My Yahoo account spam folder typically has about 50-80 spam messages in it every 24 hours. My question is why? Why is there any spam in it at all?

I have two Gmail accounts, one for work and one for personal use. Google does a phenomenal job at getting the spam into the spam folder! I very rarely see an email that I wasn’t intended to see. However, where Google has taken the cake is in the spam prevention. Their algorithm actually works! In a typical week, between the two accounts I have, I usually only have a total of seven messages in the spam folders. Seven. So, Google, what are you doing that makes you so much better than Yahoo?

Ok, I don’t really want the answer. I just want to say “Thank you.”

 

Not Global Domination, Yet!

A diagonal swath across the globe!

A diagonal cross-section of the globe!

This week I didn’t post a new blog. I have been really busy and sitting down to put my thoughts or opinions down for others to read just didn’t seem like an effective use of time. I enjoy writing and to some degree it is freeing to put yourself out there for others to know what is going on in your head. However, it can also become a distraction and one I can’t afford to spend much time in over that last few weeks.

However, one thing that has fascinated me is that there are still people looking at my blog despite the fact that I haven’t put anything new out there for those who “follow” me. So far this week I didn’t get many “visits,” only ten, and there were only fourteen “views.” Yet I am still being found. How can this be? Who is it and where are they?

That is where the STATS button has caught my attention. When I click on it I am given a running view of the stats my blog is collecting. A picture of traffic, if you will. Ultimately (at least at this point) I am not overly concerned whether or not I am generating traffic at my blog because I am not being paid to write. Maybe some day that will be an option! For now, I just find looking at this stuff to be interesting.

There are some boxes on that screen that keep me clicking to see where and what people are looking at on my blog. The cool thing is that you can tell how people are finding your blog, whether it be through WordPress, linked social media accounts like Facebook, or through web searches. The web searches seem to be where the looks have come from lately. WordPress says that Goggle has blocked the specific terms used by the searcher so all you get is info stating a search was done via their service. However, I have seen search terms from Bing and from Yahoo and I have to say that people are finding my blog through the search terms they use. I wish there was a way to see how long they actually spent on my blog rather than just what they clicked on. Who knows if they actually took time to read or just clicked to find out that it wasn’t something they were looking for. Either way, image searches and search terms to generate looks.

What was recently looked at via search engines?

My home page

Don’t Be So Bossy

An Unfortunate Metaphor

The really cool thing is the photo that I showed you at the top. I can see where in the world the people who are looking at my blog come from! This really makes me curious. Why would someone in Iraq or Malaysia be looking at my blog? What did they find and what did they think when they read it? India? WOW! United Arab Emirates? How cool is that? This particular window into the blog stats will always fascinate me. A very literal diagonal cross-section of the globe has stopped to take a look a what I write. Little ol’ me!

Isn’t that exciting? OK, maybe not for you and, really, not for me. But, it is interesting to say the least. Did I already say that multiple times? See, I DO find it interesting!

So, thanks for stopping in and taking a look. I hope you found something that was worth reading and, at the very least, thinking about. Now, let’s see if I can get the rest of the world to fill in their country’s identifier on the map above. Only 179 more to go!!

Is Personalization Good in All Cases?

Computers have been making it easier and easier to connect with the world for quite some time now. They have been getting better and better at doing it as the years have passed and they are getting faster while doing it at the same time. That is fantastic, until you stop to think about what that could mean if we aren’t careful. Those at Facebook, Google, Amazon, or whatever tech company you name at this point have been working towards a web that allows them to personalize the web to your own tastes and preferences (but really mostly so they can make money marketing stuff to you). This is good to some degree because I don’t want, unnecessarily, to see ads for feminine products. Those things might be useful to those I love, but not to me personally. So, yes, this personalization is good. However, take a look at the video below. Discover what a “filter bubble” is and why total personalization of the web is a bad thing.

What do you think? Does he have a point? Is this progress, progress?