"It's yet another in a long series of diversions in an attempt to avoid responsibility." - Chris Knight

Archive for the ‘Random Thoughts’ Category

Have You Been Victimized by Malware?

January 9th, 2008 by iDunzo

Crime reporting often includes the victim’s side of the story. This seems to be less common with cybercrime reporting.

There are several reasons: Many of those with computer viruses are unaware that they’ve been victimized, and IT workers don’t want the world to know that their systems have been compromised.

I’m hoping some of you, anonymously or not, will be willing to contact me or post a comment below if you prefer and share your experience with malware.

With news of ever-more-sophisticated cybercrime, what is the real-world impact of malware?

Does it mean longer hours for security professionals? Does it mean being fired for mistakes? Is it nothing to be concerned about? Has it changed your outlook?

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Six Tips to Managing Workplace Conflict

December 4th, 2007 by iDunzo

Ever held a differing opinion from your boss? Boasted dissimilar ideas than your co-worker? Been knocked out by a colleague over a disagreement about a project?

OK, so the last one might be a stretch, but it’s happened before… I’ve seen it. Ka-blam!

Like birth, death, taxes, choice and change, conflict is a constant fact of life. It’s also a fact of the workplace, especially when you deal or interact with people.

Make use of the following tips to resolve conflict at work:

1. Choose your battles

How important is the dispute really? Does it truly affect you, and is it a chronic problem? If it’s a one-time incident or mild transgression, let it pass.

2. Expect conflict

Decide that friction will occasionally emerge in the course of human relationships. Don’t fear it – rather, learn to spot the symptoms early and see opportunity in the resolution.

3. Use neutral language

Avoid judgmental remarks or sweeping generalizations, such as, “You always turn your reports in late.” Use calm, neutral language to describe what is bothering you.

For example: “I get very frustrated when I can’t access your reports because it causes us to miss our deadlines.” Be respectful and sincere, never sarcastic.

4. Practice preventive maintenance

Avoid retreating to the safety of withdrawal, avoidance or the simplistic view that your co-worker is a “bad person,”. These are defense mechanisms that prevent the resolution of conflict.

Try focusing on the problem, not the person. Never attack or put the other person on the defensive. Focus on actions and consequences.

5. Listen actively

Never interrupt the other party. Really listen and try to understand what the other person is saying.

Let him (or her) know you understand by restating or reframing his statement or position, so he knows you have indeed heard him.

6. Get leverage on yourself

When dissent between you and a co-worker appears without resolution, it is time to get leverage. Ask to be held accountable.

This brings your performance evaluation into the equation but without taking away your responsibility for resolving the conflict.

This is hard to do, but remarkable change can happen when you are held to task.

Remember to Fight the Good Fight and if you ever have conflict at work, remember these six tips. They could help save your mind, body and soul. If you feel you still need help navigating workplace conflicts, you could consider taking online negotiation courses from Creighton University.

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What Happened to the Autonomous Heart Surgery Robot?

November 1st, 2007 by iDunzo

In May 2006, Engadget and a few thousand other sites featured variations on this headline, “Robot surgeon performs world’s first unassisted operation“.

Some of the write-ups around the web told of how the robot had been trained in the relatively simple heart surgery that stops atrial fibrillation, which is caused by chaotic electrical activity in the heart (almost like epilepsy for the brain).

To treat the condition, surgeons burn some of the heart flesh, to short-circuit the nerves causing the trouble.

Apparently, an Italian doctor, Carlo Pappone, had gotten a robot to do this surgery. The last sentence of the Engadget post contained this tantalizing promise:

Pappone, who initiated and monitored the latest surgery from a computer in Boston while it was occurring in Milan, plans to release a commercial version of the unnamed robosurgeon later this month.

But here we are, almost 18 months later, and no such robosurgeon has appeared in the market.

So, I’m putting out an APB for Dr. Pappone, the creator of the world’s only autonomous heart surgery robot.

After some exhaustive searching, I haven’t been able to find any good information on what Dr. Pappone has been up to since last May.

Did the robot encounter problems? Is it snaking its way through hearts in Italy or the 3rd world, but not in the US?

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