Hiring Excitement: TikTok Helps Ensure Dedicated Applicants with Social Video Skills

July 30, 2021

Even before AI assistance, employers were considering applicants’ social media presence in the hiring process. According to Fast Company, that may be a good thing for companies and workers alike. Writer Tomas Chamorro-Premuzik describes “How Social Media Data Secretly Reveals Your Personality to Hiring Managers.” The premise is that embracing the phenomenon can lead workers into more satisfying careers. We’re told:

“A constant feature throughout this time has been organizations lamenting their inability to find the right talent, and, on the other side of the problem, too many talented people complaining about meaningless or uninspiring jobs. … Our notions of talent have not evolved to keep up with the times. When university credentials have become disconnected from job-relevant knowledge, hard skills quickly become outdated, and what we know is less important than what we can learn, organizations are often left looking for talent in all the wrong places. This also harms their desire to create a diverse and inclusive workforce. When your main talent currency is still the resume, and the value of a resume depends on outdated talent currencies like college qualifications or past experience, it is hard to avoid hiring the same type of people over and over again, optimizing for ‘culture fit’ rather than diversity. In this context, social media emerges as a promising alternative to the dominant currency for talent. Its data acts as a talent bitcoin capable of redefining human capital more inclusively and meritocratic. Our social media activity already reveals a great deal of information about our deep character traits, precisely the type of stuff employers need to know (and at times also want to know) before they decide to hire us.”

Chamorro-Premuzik gives some examples to support his premise, from Facebook and Twitter to TikTok and Spotify. He admits to the ethical and legal issues here, but suggests they could be addressed with transparency and an option for applicants to opt in. We wonder, though, how optional would that really feel (or be) for most job hunters. We are reminded this use of data is happening anyway, so we might as well welcome the process and make it official. It is true that old hiring methods are woefully out of touch, but the idea that this trend is the best solution may be a stretch.

Cynthia Murrell, July 30, 2021

More Management and PR Deftness at the Google

July 23, 2021

I read “Google Leader Quits, Alleging Corporate Racism.” As a stellar American baseball professional allegedly said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” The allegedly accurate real news story stated:

Ashley Ray-Harris, a project leader for Google content creation, quit the company, saying in an email to Google that she experienced “some of the worst bureaucratic, corporate racism” that she “ever experienced.” “At a certain point I realized that even if you find a team that makes you feel welcomed, we still work within a company that views Black women as lesser than even as we sacrifice our mental health and work/life balance for this company,” Ray-Harris wrote in her resignation letter, which she posted to Twitter on Friday evening [July 16, 2021].

Several observations:

  • Recruiters representing may have to some convincing in order to attract certain talented individuals.
  • High school science club management principles are remarkably effective at generating publicity around high profile experts who quit on the very high school-centric service Twitter.
  • SHRM might be able to do a session about the Google HR methods.

As the wise Yogi Berra allegedly said: “How can you think and hit at the same time?”

Another strike called.

Stephen E Arnold, July 23, 2021

Google Explains Censorship: Disambiguation Not Included

July 23, 2021

Navigate to this Google “documentation” page: “Abuse Program Policies and Enforcement.”

Now a quick exam to determine how Googley you are. Keep your answers brief because you don’t want to exceed Google storage limits.

What do these words mean?

  • Sites
  • Positive
  • Abide
  • Artistic
  • Scientific
  • Considerations
  • Delete content
  • Abuse.

I think these mean censorship. What do you think? More important, I assume, is what Google thinks. Wait, does Google think? It is a giant corporation which used its intellectual capabilities to craft what I call the Timnit Gebru strategy?

Stephen E Arnold, July 23, 2021

Three Here and Now Amazon Management Milestones

July 21, 2021

July 21, 2021, is a day of Amazon management milestones. In my newsfeeds this morning, I noted three items. Obviously none or some or all of these “real news” stories could be falsification from the fecund multi-verse. Who knows? Perhaps the error corrected Google quantum computer’s “supremacy” or IBM Watson can answer the “know” question. What do you think?

ITEM 1: More Competitive Zing

Build a SQL-Based ETL pipeline with Apache Spark on Amazon EKS” states:

The Arc processing framework strives to enable data personas to build reusable and performant ETL pipelines, without having to delve into the complexities of writing verbose Spark code. Writing your ETL pipeline in native Spark may not scale very well for organizations not familiar with maintaining code, especially when business requirements change frequently. The SQL-first approach provides a declarative harness towards building idempotent data pipelines that can be easily scaled and embedded within your continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) process. Arc simplifies ETL implementation in Spark and enables a wider audience of users ranging from business analysts to developers, who already have existing skills in SQL. It further accelerates users’ ability to develop efficient ETL pipelines to deliver higher business value.

Remember Elastic, the open source search champion? What about Lucidworks? Oracle, anyone? Amazon wants to get the ingest, normalize, and analyze market in the AWS environment. Will these just named outfits be invited to the celebration of open source life? I don’t need a super smart DeepMind Alpha gizmo or the outstanding IBM Watson to answer this question.

ITEM 2: Big Rocket, Big Boat, Big or Small Body Dysmorphic Disorder

I missed the launch of the brilliantly named Blue Origin. I know. The story was everywhere. I live in rural Kentucky and the power was out. I did read “Jeff Bezos Says His Launch to Space Gave Him Greater Appreciation of Earth’s Fragility.” If true, maybe Green Origin would have been a more poetic name. Have those Bezos delivery trucks, servers, and automated warehouses gone green? Once again, no smart software like Sagemaker is needed. The answer is, “Maybe in one’s imagination” like an expensive amusement part ride powered by solar energy.

ITEM 3: Sensitive Human Resource Management

I spotted “Amazon Denied a Worker Pregnancy Accommodations. Then She Miscarried.” I did some quick checks, and this “real news” item is not too popular in the technology feeds I monitor. The write up states:

Patty Hernandez, a 23-year-old Amazon warehouse worker in Tracy, California, miscarried after pleading with her manager and human resources for lighter duty… Amazon’s human resources denied Hernandez’s doctor’s note, according to Hernandez who said the denial was communicated verbally by a human resources rep. “[HR] just told me there was no specific area for light work that wouldn’t require over 15 pounds of lifting, or for me to be off my feet,” she said.

To sum up: Brilliant competitor tactics management, outstanding management messaging about the environment, and the human resources management approach. Should I mention that some of NSO Group’s processes were allegedly running on AWS servers? Nah, probably just a rumor like Amazon being in the policeware and intelware business itself.

Stephen E Arnold, July 21, 2021

Zuckin and Duckin: Socialmania at Facebook

July 19, 2021

I read “Zuck Is a Lightweight, and 4 More Things We Learned about Facebook from ‘An Ugly Truth’.” My initial response was, “No Mashable professionals will be invited to the social Zuckerberg’s Hawaii compound.” Bummer. I had a few other thoughts as well, but, first, here’s couple of snippets in what is possible to characterize a review of a new book by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang. I assume any publicity is good publicity.

Here’s an I circled in Facebook social blue:

Frenkel and Kang’s careful reporting shows a company whose leadership is institutionally ill-equipped to handle the Frankenstein’s monster they built.

Snappy. To the point.

Another? Of course, gentle reader:

Zuckerberg designed the platform for mindless scrolling: “I kind of want to be the new MTV,” he told friends.

Insightful but TikTok, which may have some links to the sensitive Chinese power plant, aced out the F’Book.

And how about this?

[The Zuck] was explicitly dismissive of what she said.” Indeed, the book provides examples where Sandberg was afraid of getting fired, or being labeled as politically biased, and didn’t even try to push back…

Okay, and one more:

Employees are fighting the good fight.

Will I buy the book? Nah, this review is close enough. What do I think will happen to Facebook? In the short term, not much. The company is big and generating big payoffs in power and cash. Longer term? The wind down will continue. Google, for example, is dealing with stuck disc brakes on its super car. Facebook may be popping in and out of view in that outstanding vehicle’s rear view mirrors. One doesn’t change an outfit with many years of momentum.

Are the book’s revelations on the money. Probably reasonably accurate but disenchantment can lead to some interesting shaping of non fiction writing. And the Mashable review? Don’t buy a new Hawaiian themed cabana outfit yet. What about Facebook’s management method? Why change? It worked in high school. It worked when testifying before Congress. It worked until a couple of reporters shifted into interview mode and reporters are unlikely to rack up the likes on Facebook.

Stephen E Arnold, July xx, 2021

Quote to Note: Fire, but Not the Wheel, Is a Loser

July 16, 2021

If Google says something, I believe it. Don’t you? Google is the Oracle of Shoreline Drive. No, not the Oracle on Dolphin Way, which is just south on the brilliantly designed Highway 101.

I had my enthusiasm for Google’s brilliance confirmed after I read “Google CEO Still Insists AI Revolution Bigger Than Invention of Fire.” The write up states:

Pichai suggests the internet and electricity are also small potatoes compared to AI.

Absolutely. AI makes possible much more than mere frightening animals at night, cooking said animals if a humanoid was able to kill it, melt substances to fabricate computers, and enable some types of power generation used to produce Google tchotchkes. AI is more, much more.

The write up continues with original secondary research from the Beeb:

“The progress in artificial intelligence, we are still in very early stages, but I viewed it as the most profound technology that humanity will ever develop and work on, and we have to make sure we do it in a way that we can harness it to society’s benefit,” Pichai said. “But I expect it to play a foundational role pretty much across every aspect of our lives. You know, be it health care, be it education, be it how we manufacture things and how we consume information. And so I view it as a very profound enabling technology. You know, if you think about fire or electricity or the internet, it’s like that, but I think even more profound,” Pichai continued.

The article points out that the Google Oracle does not define artificial intelligence. Never mind. Google says it, I believe it. My hunch is that if you want to get hired or become a consultant to Google believing that smart software is more important than fire is a precondition for becoming Googley.

Don’t believe me? Don’t understand the “profoundness” of the Timnit Gebru – Google dust up about AI? Not my problem. I believe. After walking my French bulldog, I will set on fire (a secondary discovery as you know) an America Online CD ROM.

Stephen E Arnold, July 16, 2021

News Flash! Security Measures Only Work if Actually Implemented

July 14, 2021

Best practices are there for a reason but it seems many companies are not following them. According to TechRadar, “Ransomware Is Not Out of Control’ Security Teams Are.” Reporter Mayank Sharma interviewed Optiv Security VP and former FBI Information and Technology official James Turgal, who puts the blame for recent ransomware attacks squarely on organizations themselves. In answer to a question on the most common missteps that pave the way for ransomware attacks, Turgal answered:

“Every business is different. Some older and more established organizations have networks and infrastructure that have evolved through the years without security being a priority, and IT shops have traditionally just bolted on new technology without properly configuring it and/or decommissioning the old tech. Even startups who begin their lives in the cloud still have some local technology servers or infrastructure that need constant care and feeding. Some of the themes I see, and the most common mistakes made by companies, are:

1. No patch strategy or a strategy that is driven more by concerns over network unavailability and less on actual information assurance and security posture.

2. Not understanding what normal traffic looks like on their networks and/or relying on software tools. Usually too many of them overlap and are misconfigured. The network architecture is the company’s pathway to security or vulnerability with misconfigured tools.

3. Relying too much on backups, and believing that a backup is enough to protect you. Backups that were not segmented from the network, were only designed to provide a method of restoring a point in time, and were never designed to be protected from an attacker. Backups need to be tested regularly to ensure the data is complete and not corrupted.”

Another mistake is focusing so narrowly on new projects, like a move to cloud storage, that vulnerabilities in older equipment are neglected. See the article for more of Turgal’s observations and advice. Surely he would like readers to consider his company’s services, and for some businesses outsourcing cybersecurity to experienced professionals (there or elsewhere) might be a wise choice. Whatever the approach, organizations must keep on top of implementing the most up-to-date security best practices in order to stem the tide of attacks. Better to spend the money now than pay out in Bitcoin later.

Cynthia Murrell, July 14, 2021

Milestones in Management: Twitter and India

July 14, 2021

When I graduated from a so-so university, I participated in an interview day. I signed up with some companies which seemed interesting to me. One of them was an outfit engaged in manufacturing massive earthmoving equipment painted what today would be a NASCAR color. I spoke with the individual representing the company, and that individual asked me what my major was. I replied, “Medieval religious poetry.” The recruiter laughed, and I felt as if I were a total failure. How could that human resources professional not see the direct correlation between my knowledge of religious poetry and the design and engineering of sheep foot rollers. (You drag or push these gizmos over trees and the irrelevant bounty of nature is crushed like a bird run over by a tractor trailer on I-80.)

I wish I had known about the job “resident grievance officer.” I learned about this thrilling position in the article “Twitter Appoints Resident Grievance Officer in India to Comply with New Internet Rules.” The write up explains:

Twitter identified Vinay Prakash as its new resident grievance officer and shared a way to contact him as required by India’s new IT rules, which was unveiled in February this year and went into effect in late May. Twitter has also published a compliance report, another requirement listed in the new rules. Earlier this week, the Indian government had told a local court that Twitter had lost the liability protection on user generated content in the country as it had failed to appoint compliance, grievance, and a so-called nodal contact officials to address on-ground concerns.

What are the qualifications for this lofty and crucial role? My thought is medieval religious poetry. Here’s my logic. The part-time leader of Twitter needs an individual able to make sense of Christianity and the Celtic legend of King Arthur. Creating the mental bridge between a nation state and a high flying technology giant requires imagination. One cannot just follow the rules. One must elaborate, understand metaphors, and appreciate the value of short items of information, opinion, and fiction which can be marshaled to create a reality for some users.

Alas, I missed an opportunity to apply for this Twitter job. I can hear the words of this unknown writer now:

Ech day me comëth tydinges thre,

For wel swithë sore ben he:

The on is that Ich shal hennë,

That other that Ich not whennë,

The thriddë is my mestë carë,

That Ich not whider Ich shal farë.

Lucky person, that Vinay Prakash. Grievance officer and a nodal contact to boot.

Stephen E Arnold, July 14, 2021

Microgoof: JEDI Knight Defeated by Unknown Death Ray

July 14, 2021

I read “Losing the $10 Billion JEDI Contract Is Bad for Microsoft Not Just Because of the Money. It’s about Credibility.”

Here’s an interesting passage:

More important than the money was that it gave the company a level of third-party validation, that its cloud-computing platform is  on par with Amazon, the market leader. The Pentagon, arguably the world’s most sophisticated cyber customer, had chosen Microsoft over Amazon to fully revamp and modernize its tech ecosystem. That gave Microsoft credibility. Now, however, the Department of Defense says Microsoft’s offering wasn’t going to “meet its needs.”

The write up then indirectly links the death ray to none other than the mom and pop online bookstore:

Amazon challenged and eventually sued the federal government complaining that Microsoft was awarded the contract because of President Trump’s animosity towards the Washington Post, owned by Amazon’s founder and former CEO, Jeff Bezos.

Politics! Not technology! The write up points out:

Amazon controls roughly a third of the market and a host of government contracts, including with the Central Intelligence Agency. By comparison, analysts estimate Microsoft has cornered only around 20% of the market.

How could the defenses of the JEDI be breached? Was it the same weakness that causes printers to fail, supply chain attacks to thrive, and fuzzed communications about the minimum requirements for Windows 11?

No, no, no.

The Microgoof will take months, maybe years, to figure out. Where was Windows Defender when the Redmond giant needed its support? Maybe the service could not access Teams? Maybe the call did not go through because the parties were using a Windows Phone? Maybe the Windows update interrupted the system? What if the unknown death ray was crafted by the Bezos bulldozer now guided by Max Peterson who replaced the former Microsoftie Teresa Carlson, who is now a Splunker?

One thing is clear: First SolarWinds, the printer thing, then Windows 11, and now the JEDI zapper. I smell the exhaust from the Bezos bulldozer. Who else will?

Stephen E Arnold, July 14, 2021

Google and France: Whoa, Will Googlers Put That Trip to Provence on Hold?

July 13, 2021

Many news sources reported that the French government has put a price tag on Google’s content frivolities. The fine is in the neighborhood of $600 million. To put this in perspective, Google generates about $600 million a day in revenue, so no big deal.

CNBC’s “Google Hit with Record $593 Million Fine in France over News Copyright Battle” reports:

Google was ordered to present an offer of remuneration to publishers within two months, or risk facing fines of up to 900,000 euros per day.

From a practical point of view, Google will work out a plan. The plan will be discussed over numerous two-hour lunches, and then revised if warranted. If agreement is not reached, Google will seek redress in an appropriate manner. Google could write a check, threaten Apple-style to pull out of the country, or embrace the fascinating French legal system. Keep in mind that red tape is allegedly an invention of the Spanish has been a favorite method in France for centuries.

I found the Russian viewpoint interesting. “France slaps Google with Biggest Fine Ever of €500 Million for Failing to Comply with Copyright Rules” states:

The US company expressed upset at the French authority’s decision in a statement: “We have acted in good faith during the entire negotiation period. This fine does not reflect the efforts put in place, nor the reality of the use of news content on our platform.” The battle between Google and French publishers, including Agence France-Presse, has been going on since early 2020. Despite Google claiming that it has acted appropriately, French publishers insist that the company has used copyrighted articles and images without fairly paying the original authors under the EU “neighboring rights” rule. In February, Google was forced to pay out $76 million dollars to 121 French news outlets, with $22 million to be paid annually over three years.

The French fine might encourage other European Union entities to take a harder line with regard to what Google has been doing for the last 20 years. If that happens, the fines might consume a week or two of Google’s revenue. This begs the question, “What’s the point?” Either regulators take action that incentivizes different behavior at Google or just use the money, buy a good Beaujolais, rent a super yacht, and cruise to Antarctica to look at the big penguins.

Stephen E Arnold, July 13, 2021

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