Hello French Fries!
I came back for a second post… Yay, Dedication! And boy oh boy is it nice to be in front of my computer indoors where the heater is running instead of outside where it’s 17 degrees right now. That’s -8 for all you commie anti-American Celsius using fries out there (JK, I love each one of you who reads my blog; the more diverse my viewership the happier I become!). Anyway, has anyone else noticed how it’s hardest to wake up on a Thursday morning? It’s not quite the pre-weekend like Friday, but you are already exhausted from the work week. I always find Thursdays to be the hardest to wake up, and this morning, I had to also drag my fiancee out of her warm slumber too. She had ALL THE BLANKETS! Well, maybe the dog had a significant chunk, but Bandit is a spoiled brat who knows how to make both our hearts melt with just her eyes, so she’s allowed to be a blanket thief. Regardless, wrestling for the blankets is always a good exercise to start the day because then you are cold, energy is starting to flow as you try to get them back, and at that point, we are both in that competitive mind game of ‘my blankets’, no ‘my blankets’ so, I just have to win them back, but once there’s a winner, we are already awake, and cold, and have the energy flowing, so now we are both up, and that’s how you wake yourself up effectively on a Thursday morning!!!
And now, for my rant of the day: It has been particularly disturbing to me the amount of cases of sexual harassment that has been in the news lately. It’s an issue in society, an issue in the tech industry for sure, and it’s in the forefront of all the news channels and programs out there. We have very powerful men in our society who are abusing their power for the sake of their little man parts who they are sexually beholden to and can’t control for some odd reason. Just right now, Senator Al Franken, Democrat from Minnesota, is announcing his resignation because he couldn’t keep it in his pants and his hands to himself. This is a shame, he was a rising political star, a very successful comedian, and he used his celebrity to take advantage of sleeping women and people beneath his level of power. He has since become a pariah.
He’s not the only politician either to get in trouble, the list in the news right now is extensive, From the President, Donald Trump, who has called his accusers liars, to Roy Moore, likely next senator from Alabama; former presidents Clinton* and Bush 41, trusted newsmen such as Bill O’Reilly, Charlie Rose, and Matt Lauer, to entertainment figures such as Harvey Weinstein, and Kevin Spacey (which is a true shame because I personally am a huge House of Cards fan). The tech industry tends to be a bit lower in the public radar and profile then politicians or Hollywood, but you have notorious scandals within the industry such as Gamergate, and the Ideology Echo Chamber scandal that emerged from Google. Fries, I’ve worked in the tech industry for 10 years, at 4 different companies, the representation of the sexes in the workforce is highly imbalanced, I feel this imbalance leads to feelings of power over women since group mentality of ‘we are all men, who’s going to believe her’ starts to take over.
The tech industry, and society as a whole, really needs to move towards more equal educational and staffing levels of the genders, but this is a rant I’ll tackle in a later post. While gender imbalance in the workforce and the shocking levels of sexual assault are correlative, I view them as separate but equally important issues that need to be addressed. Even though the cases I listed above are in the news now, I firmly believe that the levels of sexual assault are a longstanding issue that has just had the national spotlight thrust upon it recently.
Sexism exists in many faucets of American culture, and as gender equality has been gaining success after success (by no means are the genders equal at the present, legally or culturally, there is still more work that needs to be done), there’s been a volatile push back the past decade or two by those men in power who fear their grip on it is slipping. This could be on a subconscious level, but Jesus H. Christ, I’m a white straight male, and I am quite capable of keeping it in my pants, even with the mind of a horny teenager. Just because these Weinsteins, Spaceys, Frankens, Moores, and all those other successful men are in a position of power, it does not give them a license to be a dick, with their dicks, and abuse women. I think Al Franken is doing the right thing in admitting that he made a mistake, and resigning. It doesn’t excuse him, but it puts him on the path towards redemption. First stage of fixing a problem is acknowledging that you got one. I believe Roy Moore should drop out of his race, I believe that Trump should resign if the Access Hollywood tapes are true.
Women are the better half for a reason… they are generally smarter then men in most of my experiences, have much more self control evidently, and deserve respect for the amount of flak they have to put up with courtesy of men. We men should treat women with respect and dignity, not with malice. God knows, the one person in this world that I’m truly afraid of is my mother: she’s half my height, and physically handicapped, but she is a very successful lawyer, and raised me right as a Jewish mother in the Deep South should, and thus she can make me cower if she needs to. If I did something like what Al Franken has done, she would bury me 6 feet under herself, and then raise my spirit from the grave in order to prosecute my soul until kingdom come. All these creepy sex-addicted men have mothers (since everybody has a mother); if any single one of them tried to make a unwanted move on mine, I would shoot them between the eyes, no questions asked and no s#!@$ given. So, I propose a new rule to all you men out there: When you see a woman that perks up mini-you, would you allow another man to do what you are about to do to the lady in your sights to your mother? If not, DON’T DO IT. That simple.
Enough political ranting…. it’s time for my tech tip of the day: Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a number of my colleagues at my office fall victim to email spams and scams, so I’m going to give you tips on how to spot a spam email. Spammers today are often smarter than we would think, smart enough to outsmart a spam filter (though not smart enough to get a real job instead of thieving around). The latest trends I’ve noticed are using legitimate looking emails from known brands to attempt a bit of human engineering (i.e. manipulate you, the user). They will send an email that mimics and looks very similar to an actual legitimate company or product that you would recognize. Think Office 365, Facebook, Uniregister, GoDaddy, etc. They will use official language saying something like ‘We need to validate your password’. Often, but not always, they will include a warning that will scare you into action, such as ‘if you don’t comply, your account will be deactivated’ or ‘we will report you to the FBI’, something along those regards. Also, they will normally include a link to a website that, with a bit of HTML magic, looks like it is linking you to a legitimate product website. Look out for the language used, sometimes there will be some iffy word choices, a spelling or grammatical error, or something that will tip you off. Also, check the spelling of domain name in the sender’s email address, I got an email last week from ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’, very similar to Microsoft, but if you look closely, they switched the ‘c’ and the ‘r’ since, obviously, they don’t have access to the Microsoft domain. If you scroll your mouse over the link in the email, normally on the bottom of the window or in a little blurb box, the linked address will pop up if you hold your mouse long enough. Check to see what that link is actually linked too. Is it a unrelated organization? What is the TLD (top level domain, such as .com and .org for all of you non http fluent fries out there)? I’ve seen .cd (Central African Republic) and .zw (Zimbabwe) in the past couple weeks. These are countries in sub-Saharan Africa suffering from political turmoil and civil unrest right now, so their policing authorities are too preoccupied to worry about internet piracy and spammers. If you have a TLD from a random country that you don’t have any regular business or care about, that should ring a lot of alarm bells. Furthermore, most companies will not directly email you and demand you insert your credentials unsolicited, so just keep an eye out because it’s been a common problem as of late.
Anyways, I hope you fries have a great rest of your Thursday. It’s almost the weekend, yay!!! I need to brave the cold and go shopping for my company’s Secret Santa program, so I’m going to sign off now. Beware of spammers, and lets try together to make this world welcoming and safe for women as well as men, smizmars, and any other genders and sexual identities that may or may not exist.
As always, the ketchup is in the sauce!
*Update: When I mentioned Bill Clinton being in the news, his episode of sexual misconduct occurred in the 90s when he was president and nearly impeached for said offense, now known as the Lewinsky Scandal. I’ve linked an article detailing that below…