Posts

The non-separation of the LDS church and Utah state.

Look - I understand that mormons think gays are somehow evil, subhumans. I understand that the LDS won't tolerate gays, doesn't like them and thus won't marry them. But for local government to overturn a supreme court ruling about gay marriage is taking it too far. This is religious persecution on a par with the dark ages. The church doesn't like gays, so it leans on its members in government to do everything possible to prevent them from having the basic rights afforded other couples who want to marry. In other words, the LDS church is forcing it's (wrong) opinion about the LGBT community on everyone, via state and local laws that it has had passed and enforced on its behalf. Why should non-religious people be forced to abide by the opinion of a religious cult that they have no affiliation with? Apart from anything else, the uber-conservatives in this state are always the first ones to bitch when something even slightly unconstitutional happens, yet here they are …

Employees don't want much

I'm sitting looking at my company's internal 'learning' system this morning - hundreds of online courses that are available to all employees, some of which we're mandated to take. I'm not sure why the rest of them exist. We certainly don't have time to do any of the courses, and for the average employee, they hold no relevance to what we do, or want to do in our day-to-day jobs. I for one just want to be assigned tasks, and then be left alone. I don't need to do hazardous material training - my job doesn't involve hazardous materials. I don't need micromanagement. I don't need all the various efficiency and ethics courses that are available because I have common sense. I don't need to be instructed how to use the email system, nor how 'just in time' manufacturing is good for the company (it has no bearing on our division). Ok I understand all of this is corporate C-Y-A but so many of these things are just inconsequential to us. O…

EA's failed SimCity launch

If you're not much into gaming, you'll have likely missed this, but EA launched the latest in the SimCity franchise last week, and to say it was a disaster is understating the issue.
For the uninitiated, here was Electronic Art's business plan last week: Take $60 from a couple of million gamers, deliver a game that needs to be online all the time to play (even in single-player mode), and only have 6 servers on launch day, meaning almost nobody can play the game they've paid for. Ensure no refunds are given, and ensure that people who for refunds (via bank or credit card chargebacks) get their EA accounts banned.
EA already had a bad reputation in videogame circles, but last week cemented their place in gaming history as the worst gaming company in the world.
What makes things worse is that when they held their public beta test, they had the same issues of people not being able to play, servers kicking people off, and huge latency making the game unplayable. That was wi…

Gun control in America

It seems America might finally be ready to talk about gun control, and all it took was 20 dead children. The problem now is the GOP and NRA rhetoric has already started. Already I've heard the tired old argument about how the German government took all the citizen's guns away before WW2. Yes, yes, and in that same period in history, America thought nothing of enslaving black people and treating women as second class citizens so suck it up and realise that times change. The second Amendment is an outdated notion; when it was introduced, the gun was largely the most powerful weapon in existence and the predominant form of transport was horseback. The Amendment was put in place to allow Americans relatively equal footing to defend themselves from their own government should it turn on them. Nowadays, if the government turned on its citizens, it has far more powerful weapons and methods of delivery. People are living in the past if they think they'd be able to defend their pro…

Playing the waiting game

You know those times when you know, 100%, that you're right? A lot of the people I work with are 100% convinced which way our company should go with its products. We've been convinced for years - decades even. But every day we fight an uphill battle with the top brass who have a different view, a view that has been proven to be wrong on most occasions, but a view they stick to like chewing gum in your hair. Every time we get into a bitching and moaning session, one level-headed soul keeps telling us to "just wait - things always change". We've been playing the waiting game in its current form for five years now and just today, a single ray of light emerged from the dark storm clouds of this company's future. But it's a really bright ray of light, the sort of light that shines the truth on people. I think the end might be in sight for this round at least, which is more than I thought a couple of weeks ago when one of our most talented programmers walked of…

What is Romney hiding and why?

It's traditional, but not required, that presidential nominees release copies of their tax returns. The posting of the returns is a form of trust despite the fact that only an accountant could understand them. This is a standard set by George Romney in 1968 when he released 12 years of returns whilst running as a presidential candidate. The Clintons released 8 years. Both Bush's (senior and junior) released 3 years and 7 years respectively. Reagan released 6 years. Barack Obama has released 11 years worth (even showing he overpaid by $8,000 on the income from his books last year). Mitt Romney still steadfastly refuses. Sort of.
At first he said he didn't plan to release the returns. Then he said, "Maybe." Then he declared he'd release only the previous two years' returns. Then he said that because of the complexity of the return, he filed for an extension from the IRS so he could file after the April 15 deadline for the 2011 return. Then this past week be…