Things I Hate

US Federal Government Declares War on the Matrixed Contractor Employee

DFARS.

If you don't know what that is, look it up. I'm not going to go into it in this article. I only want to discuss the ramifications of DFARS and how it's being interpreted/implemented.

Every federal contractor company I've worked for has a “matrixed” business model. This means in order to save money, they will employ you on a single federal contract - but “leverage your expertise” on other federal contracts. The end result of this is that you'll end up working on multiple projects across multiple agencies. Because federal agencies refuse to get along and agree on standards, this means you get to go through multiple clearances and obtain multiple credentials (i.e. CAC or PIV cards and usernames/passwords).

This is a little disingenius on the part of the contractor company. It's been my experience that they will tie you to a single contract and then matrix you to others. But if the funding lapses on the primary contract, they'll show you the door. Valuable employees are kept but others that are lower level (but still matrixed!) will be laid off.

That's another issue that is between you and your company.

Anyway… DFARS. The way companies and agencies are interpreting DFARS is the subject of this article. Basically, if you're a matrixed employee, the end result is that you will end up with one laptop and one mobile device per project.

That's right.

If you're matrixed across three different projects, you will end up with three laptops and three different mobile devices. None of these devices will be allowed to communicate with the other agency. Your company will likely issue a company-specific laptop and mobile device as well. In my case, this could result in four separate devices to do your work.

That sounds reasonable, but it's woefully ignorant of how a matrixed employee does business. Every agency expects the employee to be devoted to their contract, even if they are on record as having only a slice of time. The agency/customer expects that employee to be available at any time… not just during certain hours of the day.

The end result is that the matrixed employee is expected to manage multiple meeting requests across multiple devices without a single integrated view of meeting and work conflicts. This means the employee will miss meetings, emails and lort knows what else.

I predict this will be rolled back within a few years.

It's untenable.

Me? I'm going to set “out of office” replies that notify senders that I only check my email and calendar during certain parts of the day. They'll receive that autoreply every time they email me. Sure, I can set it to reply once a day.

I wouldn't want to like… be annoying, or something.

Introducing Windows Red: A serious plan to fix Windows 8 | Microsoft windows – InfoWorld

Introducing Windows Red: A serious plan to fix Windows 8 | Microsoft windows – InfoWorld This is an interesting article, but it still addresses the overall cosmetic flaws with Windows. Windows has had much more fundamental flaws since the days of Windows 3.11 that still go unfixed. I’ll list a few of them here. These flaws prevent me from ever using Windows again as my main personal operating system and if you knew better, you’d feel the same way.

Sequels

I’m okie with the idea of sequels if the story arc is longer than a single story (a la Harry Potter) from the very beginning. But why does the movie industry insist on cramming more sequels down our throats when they could move on to other stories? This is a trend that should end. One can only wish, right?

Attempted Virus Attack on Safari

Tonight I was browsing through my normal websites with Safari on my Mac when suddenly, this window took over my entire browsing experience (click to go full screen on it). I either got this from macdailynews.com, macnn.com or msnbc.com. I’m not sure which. I did a force-quit on Safari and moved on with my life, but still… beware.

Yammer’s Bad Form

Have you heard of Yammer? If not, you will. You will likely hear about Yammer after your corporation or business signs a deal with them. Your users will start to flock toward the service and sign up. Lo and behold you will discover that they will be offered a piece of software to install. During the software install they will have the option to invite other users in your organization.

Nintendo chief slams iPhone, Android for devaluing games | Electronista

Really, Nintendo? Maybe the games were overpriced to begin with. When we were looking to get our son a Nintendo DS I pushed hard to get him an iPod Touch. My reasoning: There were no cartridges to lose The games weren’t overpriced The games were more “throwaway” – he’s a six year old boy. His interest level in a game will come and go as quickly as the day He pushed back.

AOL Teeters on Doom

I ran across this article this morning. It shouldn’t surprise anyone… well, with the exception of the people that are getting scammed. My favorite part of the article is the comments. Someone claims in the article that AOL invented email and uses that to defend paying them a monthly fee. Hilarious.

Drobo Rebuild Time and Your Sanity

I am one of the aspiring new media yahoos that bought into the fever gripping folks everywhere – the Drobo (a play on words for “data robotics.”)  Leo Laporte, Scott Bourne and all of those folks loudly proclaimed about what a fantastic device the Drobo is.

I’m here to tell you it sucks.