Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
If you've ever wondered if a web site that keeps timing out in your browser is working or if you're having Internet connectivity issues, got to http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/. Enter the URL of the web site in the box, then click the "or just me?" link. You'll get a quick response on whether or not that server can reach the web site. Of course, if you can't get to the http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/ web site to ask the question, it probably is you.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Ok everyone, by now most everyone knows that with the latest 2.2 updates from Motorola and Verizon, your automated software rooting tools no longer work. Easy Root is of course included in this. The following is what I recommend you do to get your root back.
Droid 1 Users:
1) SBF Flash back to FRG01B 2.2. Here is a great guide for this.
2) Use Easy Root to root your newly downgraded phone.
3) Install ROM Manager by Koush from the Market (If you can, get the $4.99 version to support this great work. If you can’t, there is a free version as well.)
4) Install a custom ROM (I recommend CyanogenMod 6 personally) and never deal with Motorola and Verizon taking all your roots away again.
Droid X Users:
This are a bit unclear for you guys at this time. With the /boot partition getting locked down for now and no “real” recovery partition it makes life a bit difficult. The official 2.2 update will remove your root and block tools like Easy Root. Once the official 2.2 OTA hits we will see what our options are.
So, this post will get updated later for the Droid X when the official OTA hits, but the key thing to get out of this…get away from official ROM’s from Verizon/Motorola. They will constantly try and stop you from using your phone as you like. If you have a Droid 1, get CyanogenMod and enjoy having root and faster more open phone.
Rooting doesn't currently work for Build FRG22D on Droid, but you can flash back to FRG01B and go from there. I haven't tried this myself.
Closing down a campus network to social media for a week should not be imposed on an entire campus at the whim of an Administrator. Facebook, Twitter and IM are only latest versions of social media. When I was in college in the 80s and 90s, there were bulletin board systems, MUDs and chat rooms for multi-user interaction. Telephones were originally implemented as party lines. Why not ban them? As technology has evolved, it's social uses have as well. Singling out a particular population to be cut off from normal interaction for an arbitrary period of time is an experiment that should ethically require consent. Also, students still have access to social media through smart phones and off campus, so the ban on social media is somewhat voluntary. Why not ask for volunteers? I can imagine it being part of a specific class assignment, but imposing it on an entire campus disadvantages younger and lower income students disproportionately. Cutting off a campus from social media for a week is unethical because it is an arbitrary experiment being carried out on a disadvantaged population without their consent.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Question: What is the difference between a sponsor and a mentor? Do I need both?
Yes, you need both, and understanding the difference can make a world of difference to your career.
I jumped for joy and let out a Howard Dean-like scream when I read Harvard Business Review’s Why Men Still Get More Promotions Than Women because I believe the authors have stumbled upon a game-changing, ground-breaking insight into how women can advance within corporations.
The report draws from Catalyst’s research to describe how men and women have roughly equal access to mentors, with women slightly more likely to report having being mentored. However men are still gaining an edge in the career opportunities that result. So the authors asked “If the women are being mentored so thoroughly, why aren’t they moving into higher management positions?”
Read the full article if you have time, and if you do not, here are my key take-aways:
1) All mentorships are not equal.
2) The difference is sponsorship, when the mentor “uses his or her influence with senior executives to advocate for the mentee.”
3) Men and women both get valuable advice from their mentors, but it’s more likely for men who describe being sponsored.
4) In comparison to male counterparts, high-potential women are overmentored and undersponsored.
5) The more senior the mentor, the more rapid the mentee’s career advancement.
The authors concluded by summarizing what companies could do to advance women (less over-mentoring, more accountable sponsoring) but I am more interested in what women can do with this knowledge, to advance themselves.
Firstly, I’d like to defend mentoring as a valuable career tool, and not just for the knowledge you’ll gain. Asking someone to mentor you is a good way to expand your ‘upward’ network, and it is easier than asking someone to sponsor you. Engaging mentors is a great way to break the ice with potential sponsors.
We as women do need to rethink or at least expand the role we expect our mentors to play. Most of us are comfortable seeking guidance from our mentors, asking them for performance feedback and asking for help navigating workplace situations, but less comfortable asking our mentors to open doors for us, make introductions and connect us to career opportunities. Notice if you feel a bit uncomfortable reading that last sentence, and ask yourself if you have recently asked a mentor for any of those things. In my experience, guys are more comfortable asking their mentors to sponsor them. We need to do it more.
Career Planning Conversations
Sometimes a well-placed comment is all it takes to turn a manager or a mentor into a sponsor, and you can’t know what opportunities they might connect you to until you ask.
I call these ‘career planning conversations’, because they involve A) stating your career plan, and B) actively engaging someone who has the power to help you. Here are some things you could say:
- I am interested in becoming (state your career goal). Do you know of any opportunities I should go after? Who should I speak to? Would you be willing to connect me with them?
- I am interested in (job opening). Would you advocate for me?
- I would like to work for you one day.
I was coaching a woman to have more of these conversations, and we did some role-plays. Even though it was uncomfortable, she practiced saying: “I am interested in becoming a (career goal). Can you let me know if you hear of any opportunities I would be a good fit for?” Not long after our coaching session, a senior leader stopped by her office to check in on a business issue. As he turned to leave, she blurted out her pre-prepared script, and although she felt awkward asking for sponsorship, the leader nodded, looked thoughtful, then left. Twenty minutes later he stopped by her office again and said “I think I have an opportunity for you”.
Jo Miller is CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. which offers women’s leadership seminars, webinars and coaching programs. To read more of her career advice, visit the Ask Jo archives. Copyright 2010, Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc.
Excellent career planning advice
Friday, September 10, 2010
According to a Ninth Circuit ruling, software cannot be resold if the EULA forbids it. This could be extended to all other media.
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Over the last 18 months, the administration has rolled out just about every program it could think of to prop up the ailing housing market, using tax credits, mortgage modification programs, low interest rates, government-backed loans and other assistance intended to keep values up and delinquent borrowers out of foreclosure. The goal was to stabilize the market until a resurgent economy created new households that demanded places to live.
As the economy again sputters and potential buyers flee — July housing sales sank 26 percent from July 2009 — there is a growing sense of exhaustion with government intervention. Some economists and analysts are now urging a dose of shock therapy that would greatly shift the benefits to future homeowners: Let the housing market crash.
When prices are lower, these experts argue, buyers will pour in, creating the elusive stability the government has spent billions upon billions trying to achieve.
“Housing needs to go back to reasonable levels,” said Anthony B. Sanders, a professor of real estate finance at George Mason University. “If we keep trying to stimulate the market, that’s the definition of insanity.”
The further the market descends, however, the more miserable one group — important both politically and economically — will be: the tens of millions of homeowners who have already seen their home values drop an average of 30 percent.
The poorer these owners feel, the less likely they will indulge in the sort of consumer spending the economy needs to recover. If they see an identical house down the street going for half what they owe, the temptation to default might be irresistible. That could make the market’s current malaise seem minor.
Caught in the middle is an administration that gambled on a recovery that is not happening.
“The administration made a bet that a rising economy would solve the housing problem and now they are out of chips,” said Howard Glaser, a former Clinton administration housing official with close ties to policy makers in the administration. “They are deeply worried and don’t really know what to do.”
That was clear last week, when the secretary of housing and urban development, Shaun Donovan, appeared to side with current homeowners, telling CNN the administration would “go everywhere we can” to make sure the slumping market recovers.
Mr. Donovan even opened the door to another housing tax credit like the one that expired last spring, which paid first-time buyers as much as $8,000 and buyers who were moving up $6,500. The cost to taxpayers was in the neighborhood of $30 billion, much of which went to people who would have bought anyway.
Administration press officers quickly backpedaled from Mr. Donovan’s comment, saying a revived credit was either highly unlikely or flat-out impossible. Mr. Donovan declined to be interviewed for this article. In a statement, a White House spokeswoman responded to questions about possible new stimulus measures by pointing to those already in the works.
“In the weeks ahead, we will focus on successfully getting off the ground programs we have recently announced,” the spokeswoman, Amy Brundage, said.
Among those initiatives are $3 billion to keep the unemployed from losing their homes and a refinancing program that will try to cut the mortgage balances of owners who owe more than their property is worth. A previous program with similar goals had limited success.
If last year’s tax credit was supposed to be a bridge over a rough patch, it ended with a glimpse of the abyss. The average home now takes more than a year to sell. Add in the homes that are foreclosed but not yet for sale and the total is greater still.
Builders are in even worse shape. Sales of new homes are lower than in the depths of the recession of the early 1980s, when mortgage rates were double what they are now, unemployment was pervasive and the gloom was at least as thick.
The house next door hasn't been lived in and has been foreclosed twice since we moved in in 2007. There are 2 short sales across the street and a lease a couple of houses down. I only know of 1 person who had their mortgage renegotiated while I know many more that have walked away or lost their homes, and these are households that have at least one wage earner left in them. Where are the supposed programs to help people stay in their homes? I have yet to see any substantial indication that individuals, rather than banks, have actually been helped by government housing programs. The question is not whether the housing market will continue to fall, but how far and how fast.
As someone who must be intelligent to be a "distinguished neuroscientist", Lady Greenfield is making some very stupid remarks. The basis of the scientific method is questioning and refuting the null hypothesis. In her attack on Stephen Hawking's statement she is doing exactly the opposite of what she says should be done in science, “What we need to preserve in science is a curiosity and an open-mindedness rather than a complacency and a sort of arrogance where we attack people who come at the big truths and the big questions albeit using different strategies.” She's the one who is apparently closed to the possibility of the non-existence of God.
At a time when nearly one in 10 American workers is unemployed, here’s a crew (the complaint goes) who are guaranteed jobs for life, teach only a few hours a week, routinely get entire years off, dump grading duties onto graduate students and produce “research” on subjects like “Rednecks, Queers and Country Music” or “The Whatness of Books.” Or maybe they stop doing research altogether (who’s going to stop them?), dropping their workweek to a manageable dozen hours or so, all while making $100,000 or more a year. Ready to grab that pitchfork yet?
That sketch — relayed on numerous blogs and op-ed pages — is exaggerated, but no one who has observed the academic world could call it entirely false. And it’s a vision that has caught on with an American public worried about how to foot the bill for it all. The cost of a college education has risen, in real dollars, by 250 to 300 percent over the past three decades, far above the rate of inflation. Elite private colleges can cost more than $200,000 over four years. Total student-loan debt, at nearly $830 billion, recently surpassed total national credit card debt. Meanwhile, university presidents, who can make upward of $1 million annually, gravely intone that the $50,000 price tag doesn’t even cover the full cost of a year’s education. (Consider the balance a gift!) Then your daughter reports that her history prof is a part-time adjunct, who might be making $1,500 for a semester’s work. There’s something wrong with this picture.
The debate over American higher education has been reignited recently, thanks to two feisty new books. Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids — And What We Can Do About It (Times Books, $26), by Andrew Hacker, a professor emeritus of political science at Queens College, and Claudia C. Dreifus, a journalist (and contributor to the science section of The New York Times), is if anything even harsher and broader than the cartoonish sketch above. It is full of sarcastic asides like “Say goodbye to Mr. Chips with his tattered tweed jacket; today’s senior professors can afford Marc Jacobs.” But its arguments have been praised in The Wall Street Journal and given a respectful airing on The Atlantic’s Web site. They are also echoed in Mark C. Taylor’s Crisis on Campus: A Bold Plan for Reforming Our Colleges and Universities (Knopf, $24), which is more measured in tone but no less devastating in its assessment of our unsustainable “education bubble.”
The higher-ed jeremiads of the last generation came mainly from the right. But this time, it’s the tenured radicals — or at least the tenured liberals — who are leading the charge. Hacker is a longtime contributor to The New York Review of Books and the author of the acclaimed study “Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal,” while Taylor, a religion scholar who recently moved to Columbia from Williams College, has taught courses that Allan Bloom would have gagged on (“Imagologies: Media Philosophy”). And these two books arrive at a time, unlike the early 1990s, when universities are, like many students, backed into a fiscal corner. Taylor writes of walking into a meeting one day and learning that Columbia’s endowment had dropped by “at least” 30 percent. Simply brushing off calls for reform, however strident and scattershot, may no longer be an option.
The labor system, for one thing, is clearly unjust. Tenured and tenure-track professors earn most of the money and benefits, but they’re a minority at the top of a pyramid. Nearly two-thirds of all college teachers are non-tenure-track adjuncts like Matt Williams, who told Hacker and Dreifus he had taught a dozen courses at two colleges in the Akron area the previous year, earning the equivalent of about $8.50 an hour by his reckoning. It is foolish that graduate programs are pumping new Ph.D.’s into a world without decent jobs for them. If some programs were phased out, teaching loads might be raised for some on the tenure track, to the benefit of undergraduate education.
And if colleges are ever going to bend the cost curve, to borrow jargon from the health care debate, it might well be time to think about vetoing Olympic-quality athletic facilities and trimming the ranks of administrators. At Williams, a small liberal arts college renowned for teaching, 70 percent of employees do something other than teach.
But Hacker and Dreifus go much further, all but calling for an end to the role of universities in the production of knowledge. Spin off the med schools and research institutes, they say. University presidents “should be musing about education, not angling for another center on antiterrorist technologies.” As for the humanities, let professors do research after-hours, on top of much heavier teaching schedules. “In other occupations, when people feel there is something they want to write, they do it on their own time and at their own expense,” the authors declare. But it seems doubtful that, say, “Battle Cry of Freedom,” the acclaimed Civil War history by Princeton’s James McPherson, could have been written on the weekends, or without the advance spadework of countless obscure monographs. If it is false that research invariably leads to better teaching, it is equally false to say that it never does.
Hacker and Dreifus’s ideal bears more than a faint resemblance to Hacker’s home institution, the public Queens College, which has a spartan budget, commuter students and a three-or-four-course teaching load per semester. Taylor, by contrast, has spent his career on the elite end of higher education, but he is no less disillusioned. He shares Hacker and Dreifus’s concerns about overspecialized research and the unintended effects of tenure, which he believes blocks the way to fresh ideas. Taylor has backed away from some of the most incendiary proposals he made last year in a New York Times Op-Ed article, cheekily headlined “End the University as We Know It” — an article, he reports, that drew near-universal condemnation from academics and near-universal praise from everyone else. Back then, he called for the flat-out abolition of traditional departments, to be replaced by temporary, “problem-centered” programs focusing on issues like Mind, Space, Time, Life and Water. Now, he more realistically suggests the creation of cross-disciplinary “Emerging Zones.” He thinks professors need to get over their fear of corporate partnerships and embrace efficiency-enhancing technologies.
Taylor’s eyes also seem to have been opened to the world beyond Williams and Columbia. After his Op-Ed article appeared, a colleague from a cash-short California State University campus wrote to say that the “mind-pulping” teaching load left no room for research of any kind, even if it fell short of the five-courses-a-semester load at some community colleges. “This is an extremely unfortunate situation,” Taylor writes, “because the escalating cost of higher education is driving more students to these institutions.”
Here we have the frightening subtext of all the recent hand-wringing about higher education: the widening inequality among institutions of various types and the prospects of the students who attend them. While the financial crisis has demoted Ivy League institutions from super-rich to merely rich, public universities are being gutted. It is not news that America is a land of haves and have-nots. It is news that colleges are themselves dividing into haves and have-nots; they are becoming engines of inequality. And that — not whether some professors can afford to wear Marc Jacobs — is the real scandal.
Christopher Shea writes the Brainiac blog for the Ideas section of The Boston Globe.
When I was considering going to grad school, people thought it was great that Baby Boomers were retiring and there would be plenty of openings for professors. Instead positions were closed and teaching is mostly done by adjuncts. Although I'm not sorry I went to grad school, I'm glad I ended up in the corporate world instead of academia.
Friday, September 03, 2010
The Open Letter From OK Go at the link above does a great job of summarizing the current predicament of the music industry in trying to generate revenues. If you want to support the band financially, watch the video on YouTube at http://bit.ly/okgottspvid.>
You can find me on Empire Avenue at (e)JIW. My EA blog is Empire Value at http://empirevalue.tumblr.com/.
Posted by Janine White at 2:05 AM