September 18, 2003

Tivo Needs an Undelete Option

Because I did a bad thing.


Posted by jzawodn at 09:32 PM

Silly Recuiters

This is an amusing story. But to protect the guilty (and innocent) I'm not going to use real names. Otherwise regular readers of my blog would easily identify a few of 'em. I'll begin with the cast of characters:

  • TechCompany: a well-known technology company that's hiring software engineers. (No, it's not the company I work for.)
  • TechCompanyRecruiter: self-explanatory, right?
  • OtherTechCompany: another well-known tech company. HappyFriend, HappyHacker, and UnhappyHacker have all worked there at some point. HappyHacker still does.
  • HappyHacker: currently employed at OtherTechCompany.
  • UnhappyHacker: currently not employed at either TechCompany or OtherTechCompany but job hunting. Would like to work at TechCompany.
  • HappyFriend: a friend of UnhappyHacker and HappyHacker, currently employed at TechCompany.

Recently, HappyFriend thought "Gee, I'd like to get UnhappyHacker and HappyHacker jobs here. I'll submit their resumes for jobs and see what happens."

Well, as it happens, their resumes were under consideration for the same position. HappyHacker and UnhappyHacker discussed this before their interviews. There was no secret.

UnhappyHacker went first. There was a few rounds of phone screening and UnhappyHacker was ultimately told something like "sorry, we're not hiring for that position anymore."

This occurred roughly one day before HappyHacker was to begin a round of phone screening. HappyHacker thought it was odd that TechCompany would say that and not cancel the upcoming call. So HappyHacker decided to mail the person at TechCompany who was set to conduct the interview, asking something like "I guess we'll be talking in more general terms, since I understand that you're no longer hiring for the position we were supposed to discuss."

On the day of HappyHacker's phone screening, no word had come back from TechCompany. So the screening occurred and went quite well. The questions were basic and HappyHacker had no trouble with them. It went well. At the end of the discussion, the topic came up. The interviewer asked why HappyHacker thought the position was filled. HappyHacker explained that a friend (UnhappyHacker) had recently interviewed and was told that. The interviewer asked who it was. When the answer came, he realized that he'd interviewed UnhappyHacker. He said that his interview with UnhappyHacker had gone quite well and that he recommended UnhappyHacker with a thumbs-up.

HappyHacker relayed this info to UnhappyHacker (who was very interested in the findings, of course) in nearly real-time, thanks to instant messaging. After a bit of discussion, UnhappyHacker decided to e-mail TechCompanyRecruiter to ask for clarification. UnhappyHacker included the information that a friend (HappyHacker) had just interviewed and been told that the job was, indeed, open.

TechCompanyRecruiter responded that she'd look into it. No further communication has come from TechCompanyRecruiter.

Meanwhile, HappyHacker tells HappyFriend (via IM): "Hey, your recruiter people are funny. Here's what they did..." and explained the story. HappyFriend was then upset (rightfully so) that TechCompanyRecruiter either lied or genuinely screwed up. When HappyFriend asked TechCompanyRecruiter why UnhappyHacker was turned away, the response was roughly "we were looking for someone with more experience."

Strangely, nobody told UnhappyHacker. Furthermore, HappyHacker and UnhappyHacker have similar levels of experience (at least where it's relevant to this particular job). So one wonders if TechCompany will make the same "mistake" again.

The moral of this story, if there is one, probably goes something like this: It's a bad idea to lie to job candidates. And don't assume that candidates don't talk to each other. Assume they do.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:36 PM

September 17, 2003

I feel so dirty...

I picked this up in another story about Verisign fucking the Internet:

Two companies with ties to Yahoo Inc. are providing the technology and advertising know-how to drive the new VeriSign service. Inktomi Corp., a search technology company acquired by Yahoo in March, is one partner, while Pasadena, Calif.-based Overture Services Inc., a major provider of paid placement services, is the other. Yahoo announced its intent to acquire Overture in July.

Oh, great.

I wonder who we're supposed to slap around here...

Where's that "Proud to be a Yahoo!" t-shirt when you want to burn it, anyway?

In related news, run this search on Verisign's SiteFinder. Heh.

Posted by jzawodn at 12:08 PM

September 16, 2003

IT Job Security

If you're looking for an IT job that won't likely be subject to cutbacks anytime soon, I have a suggestion. Go work at Microsoft. In the group that writes their security bulletins and advisories. That's gotta be a pretty secure job nowadays, huh?

Posted by jzawodn at 10:17 PM

September 15, 2003

Verisign is Pure Evil

In case you didn't see the news on Slashdot (I didn't--someone had to tell me), it seems that Verisign has decided to demonstrate their evil in a way that I thought only Microsoft would:

As of a little while ago (it is around 7:45 PM US Eastern on Mon 15 Sep 2003 as I write this), VeriSign added a wildcard A record to the .COM and .NET TLD DNS zones. The IP address returned is, which reverses to What that means in plain English is that most mis-typed domain names that would formerly have resulted in a helpful error message now results in a VeriSign advertising opportunity. For example, if my domain name was ',' and somebody typed '' by mistake, they would get VeriSign's advertising.

Okay, everyone. Let's all say it together: Fuck Verisign!

In case you haven't already done so, now would be an excellent time to move your domains to a more sensible registrar. I moved all mine to OpenSRS a while ago and have never looked back.

Consider making an appropriate entry for in your routing table and/or firewall.

Some are reporting that not all the root severs have the wildcard yet. I found that it worked sometimes but not others.

See Also: I feel so dirty...

Posted by jzawodn at 11:27 PM

September 14, 2003

Scrmabeld Txet

Thanks to jwz for pointing out this excellent script.

I foresee amusing uses when combined with my innate ability to mistype things. Perhaps it'll do a decent job of fixing my mistakes?

Or, maybe I should have said:

I fsoeere ausimng uses when cbnieomd wtih my iannte abltiiy to mtyispe tgnhis. Ppehras it'll do a deecnt job of fiinxg my mskeiats?


Posted by jzawodn at 11:40 PM

Partially Sighted

While exiting the back seat of a Cessna 182 on Saturday morning, a bad thing happened. I was carrying my camera, GPS, water bottle, and a piece of laminated paper (local map with specific airports marked). A gust of wind caught the paper and managed to sneak the corner up under my glasses and into my left eye.

Aside from the obvious pain, I noticed something else within a minute or so. My vision was blurry. It didn't take long to realize that the piece of paper must have scratched the surface of my eye.

The rest of the day was a real challenge. While it was rather blurry, my brain seemed to do okay if there wasn't a significant light contrast in what I was looking at. But if I looked at a something shiny and reflective, it was too much.

The drive home from the airport was difficult, given what a sunny day it was. But I made it and spent the rest of the day trying not to look at anything and wondering if it would heal itself.

When I woke up this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my left eye's vision is only half as bad as it was on Saturday. I can actually read text on a computer screen today.

The obvious solution to working in this impaired state is to use my right eye only. Except that my right eye has always been the weaker of my two eyes. And my brain knows this. That makes it very hard to keep my left eye closed and get any serious amount of work done.

There's a first time for everything, I guess.

Posted by jzawodn at 09:16 PM