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Unlock Internet or Risk Losing Staff?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the productivity-still-the-bottom-line dept.

519

Dan Warne writes "People don't want to work for employers who heavily restrict internet access, a senior Microsoft executive said in a keynote speech at the opening of Tech.Ed 2006 Sydney today. From the article: 'These kids are saying: forget it! I don't want to work with you. I don't want to work at a place where I can't be freely online during the day," said Microsoft Senior Design Anthropologist Ann Kiera. She dubbed internet-wary employers "digital immigrants" and said the new wave of younger workers were "digital natives".'"

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Nothing to see here move along... (4, Funny)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961737)

Nothing for you to see here move along...

Damn work filters.....I'm quiting

What is the right browsing? (5, Insightful)

cluckshot (658931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961785)

The issue of internet access at work and its use is a curious one. We have been allowing people to use the telephone at work for years in a limited fashion. As long as it didn't invade the work day too much it was sort of accepted. It also generally wasn't recorded.

Internet is just telephone communications. No different. Treating it differently isn't wise. The employers are right though if the use gets out of hand.

There is of course the problem of not knowing what browsing is legitimate anyway. This isn't easy to determine either. Remember that clicking on a link might be accidentally the wrong one or you might be searching a topic and get one of those trick sites listed for the Porn types. It isn't really a matter of any or filters, it is a matter of content and time.

Re:What is the right browsing? (4, Insightful)

jcorno (889560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961872)

Internet is just telephone communications. No different. Treating it differently isn't wise.

They're not treating it differently. Show me an employer who doesn't mind employees spending all day on the phone making personal calls. That's the problem. Like you, they don't see the difference.

Re:What is the right browsing? (5, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961976)

They're not treating it differently.

Yes, they are.

Show me an employer who doesn't mind employees spending all day on the phone making personal calls.

Show me an employer who places indiscriminate blocks on numbers that you can call during the day, in order to prevent you from making calls that *might* be personal.

Re:What is the right browsing? (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961988)

Well if you're spending all day on the internet then you aren't doing your job. The problem isn't the internet, but the fact you aren't doing your job and the employer should deal with that issue accordingly.

Re:What is the right browsing? (5, Insightful)

zaphod110676 (211758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962084)

That's basicly what I've been trying to get accross to people for a long time. This isn't a technology problem. This isn't a problem with the Internet. It's a management issue. I can surf the net all day or I can sit at my desk and read a novel all day. There's really no difference. If I did the latter I'd probably get a stern talking to or worse. They probably wouldn't go so far as to ban books from the office.

Re:What is the right browsing? (1)

teflaime (738532) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962102)

Okay...here's the obligatory: What if you job is pretty much all about the internet? Blanket statements... Anyway, if you have a tech job, it is almost guaranteed that you will use the internet in the course of your work. Sys admins use it to look up solutions to problems. Programmers use it to "not reinvent the wheel". Etc. Etc. Etc.

Re:What is the right browsing? (1)

jd142 (129673) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961925)

Internet is just telephone communications. No different. Treating it differently isn't wise. The employers are right though if the use gets out of hand.

Except I can't get a virus that infects the entire network from my phone. If I browse out to a site that drops some piece of malware on my computer, then my computer can spread the infection to the entire network.

Re:What is the right browsing? (1)

kinzillah (662884) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962026)

If you browse out to a site and it infects your computer, you have access rights that should have been denied to you by the administrator of the network. If you are browsing the web from an administrative account you should be canned.

Re:What is the right browsing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15962095)

Unless of course you manage to browse to a site or open an email which attacks an unpatched vulnerability.



Perhaps you did this from a computer with your company's source code installed?
Perhaps you managed to get a rootkit on your computer, despite SEVERAL layers of security?


Perhaps the site was porn related, and it wasn't easy to find a porn site that wasn't blocked by the filters?



When this happened...I failed to see the fault residing with NetAdmin group.

Re:What is the right browsing? (2, Insightful)

crosstalk (78439) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962101)

While I was at IBM, the standard was, don't go look at porn. the trick sites happen, and they did not go looking for porn on desktops, but if you were stupid enough to look at it day after day in your open cube, don't be surprised when you get fired. THere the idea was you have a job to do and do it, I bean hey they were not worried about us taking breaks, as we had fooseball, pool, and airhocky, within 20-60 feet from each persons cube. and a plasma tv in the same room. Happy workers are productive workers, and forums by themselves are not inheritly bad.

Re:Nothing to see here move along... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15962043)

SSH -D

Quite right (3, Insightful)

bodger_uk (882864) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961743)

Aye, there's no way I'm working without my porn site access. Can't get a single thing done without it!

That and all the chat channels, the streaming music videos, and all those flash sites.

Spyware! I need my spyware! (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961948)

I can't survive without my daily dose of popups, spyware and weird malicious javascript hacks at work!

Hep me! Somebody hep me!!!!

Re:Quite right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15962035)

Surfing porn all day is not always fun, trying working as a designer for a porn company.

Most people surf porn and use news sites for "boss keys".

I surf news sites and use porn for boss keys.

Boss walks by, quick, pull up a porn site!
Walks by "Ahh, keeping up with the competition, good job."

I'm afraid my job is warping my fragile little mind, and my next job is probably not going to be as understanding.

Dragged into a performance meeting: "Sorry about the porn, I really wasn't surfing it. Its just habit to always have it open in the background."

Well, you know... (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961744)

...there's always port 80.

Re:Well, you know... (1)

absinthminded64 (883630) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961899)

Yes, but those nasty application level firewalls inspect your packets to make sure it's material worthy of port 80.

Re:Well, you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15961974)

always port 80 ? Huh i used to work where we had port 80 only during lunch time and one hour in the morning. The only thing we had all the time was SMTP and POP3 and these only because we had to communicate with our customers via email all the time.

Meanwhile our boss of cause had full access to everything online.

And i dont even talk about spyware we had installed on our desktops all the time

Is that the real reason? (5, Interesting)

ExE122 (954104) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961751)

People were increasingly making use of anonymous proxies that couldn't be easily blocked by corporate firewalls, bringing in their own wireless broadband services for use with a personal laptop or with a work PC or accessing instant messaging via mobile phones and PDAs.
BrowseAtWork.com [browseatwork.com] can fool some of them some of the time.

"Organisations have valid concerns about security risks, but all you need is technology to secure the network perimiter properly," Arrigo said.
Now this statement isn't true at all. Anyone who has ever worked in network security realizes what a complete nightmare this is and that "technology" is having a hell of a tough time keeping up. This article is completely dismissing security as the reason for blocked websites. Leaky browsers and constantly exploited new technologies have made security a serious priority. (I'm not even gonna go into the irony that these comments were made by Microsoft execs...)

A company I had worked for recently had systematically blocked most popular online services over the past couple years. Myspace, hotmail, AIM, gmail... And I see the reason behind it considering we were in a sensative compartmented information facility that restricted external communication (not even allowed to have a cell phone). The company couldn't afford to have a large-scale information leak caused by viruses and/or non-secure communication.

However, there were always ways around. I could still check my old college email through their website, which was not on the restricted list. There were endless forums that were also left unrestricted (they left slashdot alone, thank god). And there was recently an incident within the company recently where someone was fired for pornography. So the general frustration stemmed from the fact that people could still spend all day on forums and looking up porn, but I wasn't even allowed to check my gmail, update my myspace, or send an IM. However, I'm sure the company would've like to block every forum, porn site, and web-based email site if they could. It's just not something that is in any way possible.

At any rate, I don't think most companies are blocking these sites because they are seen as unproductive, but rather for the risks that they pose.

--
"A man is asked if he is wise or not. He answers that he is otherwise" ~Mao Zedong

Re:Is that the real reason? (1)

slack_prad (942084) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961857)

Your organization's Internet use policy restricts access to this web page at this time. Reason: The Websense category "Proxy Avoidance" is filtered. URL: http://www.browseatwork.com/ [browseatwork.com]

Re:Is that the real reason? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961911)

I work for an agency with basically the same policy. The irony is that I can't check my gmail account at work, but gmail is actually MUCH more secure and better at filtering out viruses and spam than our internal email system. My work email box gets loaded with all sorts of spam every day (and displays images in HTML email by default, has all sorts of other holes, etc.), whereas my gmail account gets relatively little spam and has all sorts of security features we don't have.

I suppose it makes our IT people *feel* (or look) like they're guarding the network security. But in reality, it just highlights the inadequacies of our system.

-Eric

Stolen Data (1)

elzurawka (671029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961913)

The main reason that the internet is locked down at my work(a large canadian bank) is for secutiry. Its not to stop people form browsing. Obviously for sexual harasment, etc reasons pron and things of that nature are blocked.

But also they block webmail, webmsn, pastebin's and other technologies like that.
Otherwise whats stoping me from grabbing this 10 meg spreadsheet with all kindsa of useful customer info on it and emailing it to myself at home?

Only email i get is companny mail through outlook, and everything i send is logged for the next 7 years.

Why do people expect to be given free internet access at work? Your there to work, not to check your personal mail, or watch some youtube videos. Its a perk if they allow these things, but i dont think they should be expected

Employer's on the back foot... (1)

jtcedinburgh (626412) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962053)

Is to create your own website with an upload facility. Or your own webmail. Or anything that isn't (a) blocked by services such as Websense, (b) dependent on non-standard ports and (c) isn't publicly known.

Though I've never used it for anything untoward, I did create such a site for storing things like my CV, code samples, etc., which is password protected and not linked from any other website. Works well, and since it's using only port 80, it's generally freely available wherever I am.

The fact is, were there's a will there's a way - if I was of a mind to steal work-related information, as an IT pro I would find a way - either something already available or something I could create. Short of blocking all external access, or allowing only white-listed sites, employer's will always be on the back foot.

john

Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15961753)

So please corps! Unban MSN messenger from firewalls and the likes so we don't lose that much revenue. K thx bye.

So phones too? (2, Interesting)

joshetc (955226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961757)

Do they think they should be able to talk on the phone all day too? While they are "working". I'm a "digital native" and still think its up to the employers. If the employees don't want to work without internet then they should get the boot, screw letting them quit. Their job is to work, not surf.

Re:So phones too? (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961840)

Do they think they should be able to talk on the phone all day too? While they are "working". I'm a "digital native" and still think its up to the employers. If the employees don't want to work without internet then they should get the boot, screw letting them quit. Their job is to work, not surf.

The question is, how bad does the employment situation have to become before you start finding employees that will put up with that attitude and how quikly will you lose them to the competitor the moment the economy improves because they are tired of the tyranny. In the end you will have to live with having to give your employees a few 'perks' like these if you want to keep employee turnover at a reasonable rate.

Re:So phones too? (0, Troll)

joshetc (955226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961919)

Tired of the tyranny? Their job is to WORK. Now, if it isn't a hamper on production I could almost see a reason for the employer to be interested in giving them access, not a right to the employee reguardless.

I'm a smoker but you don't see me bitching about how mean my boss is for not letting me smoke at my desk, is that any different? Maybe I should hire a lawyer..

Re:So phones too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15962002)

I'm surprised you haven't been fired for beeing a liability to the companies health insurance. Your job is to WORK. Not to give yourself lung cancer.

Re:So phones too? (1)

Politburo (640618) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961975)

You haven't been in enough offices. There are people who talk on the phone all day at a lot of organizations that ban web surfing. The only reason web surfing is banned is because it's easier to do.

*Shrugs* (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961763)

1) Who cares. If they don't mind missing out on high-paying (but boring) jobs in the finance & defense sectors (amongst others) - areas that are traditionally paranoid about network access, then they don't have to.

2) WTF from TFA:
"taking a mobile phone away from a teenage girl is the same as child abuse."

*shakes head* Child abuse?

3) It's Anne Kirah, not Ann Kiera. I know she works at MS and has a ridiculous job title, but at least try to spell one of her names right.

Re:*Shrugs* (2, Insightful)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961798)

It is a silly title. At first I thought I read "Senior Design Apologist."

Re:*Shrugs* (0)

dosius (230542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961814)

Taking a cell away from a teenager is child abuse?! What the hell planet are they living on?

-uso.

Re:*Shrugs* (1)

RShizzle (983535) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962097)

Probably Earth. I mean... just sayin'.

But in all seriousness... consider this. The cell phone is the primary method of communication for many young individuals. It's the way to instantly access their friends. It's mobile. It's easy, and pretty damn cheap. It's how a teenager keeps in touch with friends (and to a lesser extent, family). Although other methods obviously exist (IM, email), they are not nearly as omnipresent (how many kids do you know that have a blackberry?), and aren't immediately answered (it's harder to avoid a call than to forget about an email). Taking that away from a child, especially one that is physically distanced from his/her friends... could easily be placing them in a state of confinement, especially if internet priviledges and so forth are also revoked.

If you start seeing it from this sense, you realize that you're essentially putting the child into digital solitary confinement. It might only be during the evenings, after school... but at that age the child is so dependent on the presence and company of friends, even when they're all doing absolutely nothing, it might very well seem like torture. If this "torture" is not of absolute neccessity (no cell phone for a week, because you didn't take the trash out!) or doesn't reinforce a point, or is punishment that's unreleated to the crime... and chosen only because that's "what hurts"... isn't that a little cruel? Even... abusive?

I personally believe that using the term "child abuse" is a little strong, but we should also realize and respect the importance that cell phones and other communication devices play in the lives of our children, and then act accordingly.

Re:*Shrugs* (2, Insightful)

kalirion (728907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961827)

*shakes head* Child abuse?

Seems strange to me as well, but remember, times-are-changing. What 50 years ago was considered a light punishment would be considered child abuse today.

Re:*Shrugs* (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961887)

"taking a mobile phone away from a teenage girl is the same as child abuse."


*shakes head* Child abuse?

Maybe if you throw it at her head or something? I'm sure the idea is at least tempting.

KFG

Re:*Shrugs* (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962089)

There are degrees of child abuse, and one of those is somehwhat subtle. If you don't allow your child to socialize with other children, I consider that a subtle form of child abuse. The question is: are you depriving your teenage girl of socialization by removing her cell phone? In SOME situations, the answer would be yes, but those are limited. Certainly in a city environment, that would not be the case.

Also, if you're talking about removing a cell phone and providing a land-line, then that's perfectly reasonable (though no teenager is going to see it that way). I'm talking about removing access to a cell phone and NOT providing other means of communication.

Of course, even the worst-case scenario doesn't compare on the same order of magnitude with physical abuse, neglect or trauma-inducing phsychological abuse. That doesn't make it a good thing, either.

True (1)

Alphager (957739) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961764)

I am commenting from my work right now. Working for a company which does not allow me some non-work related surfing is not acceptable for me. I want to be informed about what's going on, and as long as my productivity does not suffer, employers should encourage web-surfing.

Re:True (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961917)

Dude,

Your employer is free to impose 'no surf' rules or not. You are free to decide if that policy is acceptable or not. Nobody is coercing anybody. So, things are OK right now. Right?

Perhaps one way for you to address this is to start your own business and then do not adopt a no surf policy. All you have to do is create a business that sells a product that lots of people are willing to pay for. That should be easy. Right?

Re:True (1)

CustSerAssassin (883923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962051)

Ya know, I think this all comes down to human nature. One group of people believe something is wrong or unacceptable, and the group directly affected by it finds it more tempting and desirable because it is labeled as a deviant behavior. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, if the policy was not "NO INTERNET USAGE AT WORK", but rather a policy of "No internet usage ABUSE at work" then it wouldn't be such a big deal. Any corporate structure that can block levels of access also have the ability to monitor usage on an individual (or at least in different areas of the network) basis. I don't see that it causes that much problem for someone to have Yahoo music in the background in their office while they file papers or to keep email lines open between spouses attempting to plan a lil dinner or something for after work. On the issue of comparing Internet surfing to talking on the phone at work, I see that they are almost in no way related. I am sitting in a college Statistics class right now, but even as I check slashdot articles and email my mom about my financial aid papers, I'm still listening to what the professor is lecturing on; something I could not do were I on the phone.

Microsoft exec being sensible?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15961768)

That might be one of the most sensible things ever to come out of the mouth of a Microsoft executive.

Yes! (1)

Advocadus Diaboli (323784) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961773)

I'd really love it if I would get paid for posting comments on Slashdot. :-)

Re:Yes! (1)

wampus (1932) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961955)

You may have better luck getting paid to post on some gaming forums.

If you're going to surf at work... (4, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961783)

Go waste somebody else's money. I don't want a bunch of slackers "working" for me, taking my money, and doing other things when they should be productive. I don't ask my people to work overtime becuase we schedule so that things get done in the alloted schedule. If you are so addicted to the internet that you can't put in 4 hours before lunch and 4 hours after lunch without access to all of it, you're not going to do what I need you to do.

Oh, and you'd better not spend a bunch of time on your cell phone in my office either. Everybody has emergencies...nobody has them so often that I should know which ringtone your girlfriend is.

Oh, and get off my lawn you damned whippersnappers.

Re:If you're going to surf at work... (5, Insightful)

th1ckasabr1ck (752151) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961860)

Working as a programmer, the very nature of my work leads itself to periodic breaks where it doesn't hurt my productivity at all to get a chance to check my e-mail or browse /. quickly (honestly, I'm not just saying that).

So normally I sit down with a goal, I think about how to go about implementing it, I bang out the code, and then I have a few minutes of downtime (sometimes more) while the damn thing compiles. Now most of the time I use this time to think about the next step of the problem, or to jot down notes of possible issues to take a look at, or to finally get around to answering e-mails about other issues in the code, etc. but if none of these are pressing then I don't feel guilty at all browsing around online for a few minutes. As I write this I'm waiting for my first build of the day to finish so I can get started.

Re:If you're going to surf at work... (2, Insightful)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961912)

doing other things when they should be productive

That means all your people are ones who can be "productive" for 2x4 hours continuously, starting from your mark ? You're labelled "funny", but still, in case you're serious, I'd really like to know what planet you're writing from.

Re:If you're going to surf at work... (2, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962023)

Actually, I'm dead serious.

That said, nobody (well, very few people) are 100% productive for four hours straight. Still, I don't provide magazine racks, several daily newspapers, or televisions in the office area. The internet can be a real time sink - it's like going into a well stocked library, it's very easy to get distracted and lose 30-40 minutes. I'm just as guilty (hell, I'm on /. at 9:30 am, right?). I happen to be out of the office this week, but it's not uncommon for me to chekc /. twice a day. My admin checks cnn two or three times a day(I know, she tells me if something interesting is happening). I know one of the CAD guys likes to see what's on (hmmm, can't remember the name). I don't mind it for down time, and we do have it, but it can easily become a waste of time for all but the most dedicated.

Occasional use is okay, just as we used to bring the morning paper into work and read an article with a cup of coffee mid mornng. There are a lot of folks who really get caught up in the internet, and don't realize that they're wasting 60-120 minutes in an 8 hour day. For what its worth, I have no limitations on my (or my employees) internet connections - it is not a problem - however I can see the need in a large organization for controls.

I've considered actually turning off net access to all the desktops (yes, even in my office) and putting a stand-up web terminal in the library area. If you need to look something up, look it up and trnasfer the pdf to the library on the internal server. If you want to surf or chat on IM, stand there and surf - at least it's honest, and you're not alt-tabbing back to your work every time somebody walks past your cube.

Re:If you're going to surf at work... (2, Insightful)

ajgeek (892406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961981)

I see it like this (being all full of P&V) I'm very intolerant of being told "go do this job" which CONSTANTLY involves some sort of internet research or a post to a forum only to find a big ASCII red hand that says this site is denied because it blah blah blah blah blah. I get sick of people saying "all you're going to do is surf" when I, and tons of people in my position (I'm IT, helpdesk, computer repair etc.) *NEED* access to the net, as a whole, and are fully capable of avoiding sites which shouldn't be viewed at work. But because of senior administrators who think they know best about the internet, I end up locked out of sites (see, Ad-Aware) and have to find means of getting around these barriers to DO MY JOB! Not all of us are internet surf addicted freaks, y'know. I *DO* have work ethic.

The good ol' days (1, Funny)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962012)

You're absolutely right. In my days we'd have to walk two miles, in the snow, uphill BOTH WAYS to get to the water cooler to gossip and otherwise waste company time - and we LIKED IT.

Tough (5, Interesting)

PinternetGroper (595689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961792)

"Bill Gates said years ago that if you worry about internet productivity, you're worrying about people stealing pens from your stationery cupboard... there are bigger things to worry about."
Stealing pens doesn't knock the entire network down because Johnny and his "rights" just downloaded a virus-infected movie from his IM client...

YRO? (2, Informative)

sparkhead (589134) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961793)

Why is this in YRO? You have no right to internet access of any kind while at work. Yes, it's common, and I believe any loss of time from a worker doing a little browsing or IMing (within limits) is more than made up for by the productivity gained from a happier worker, but it isn't a violation of your rights to not have access or to have limited access.

Re:YRO? (0, Flamebait)

Pao|o (92817) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961897)

Microsoft was mentioned in the article ergo this is a YRO. Blame /. fanboy bias.

Immigration Reform (2, Funny)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961797)

From the article: 'These kids are saying: forget it! I don't want to work with you. I don't want to work at a place where I can't be freely online during the day," said Microsoft Senior Design Anthropologist Ann Kiera. She dubbed internet-wary employers "digital immigrants" and said the new wave of younger workers were "digital natives".'

Amazing how you can pervert one science to make yourself sound smarter. Senior Design Anthropologist? What does she do? Dig through old Commodore PET and TRS-80 computers looking for clues to the outgrowth of the Internet?

Re:Immigration Reform (1)

pdhenry (671887) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961927)

Senior Design Anthropologist? What does she do? Dig through old Commodore PET and TRS-80 computers looking for clues to the outgrowth of the Internet?

Methinks that would be "Senior Design Archaeologist."

Re:Immigration Reform (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961961)

Senior Design Anthropologist? What does she do? Dig through old Commodore PET and TRS-80 computers looking for clues to the outgrowth of the Internet?

Anthropology is the study of existing culture. Digging up artifacts is archeology. The study of prehistoric culture is paleoanthropology.

Sorry, once upon a time I went and married an anthropologist. She could be a bit touchy on the subject.

None of which makes her job description any less doofey.

KFG

Re:Immigration Reform (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962098)

Sorry, once upon a time I went and married an anthropologist. She could be a bit touchy on the subject.

I sympathize -- I married a project manager. I'm always missing milestones...

Would be nice for a change... (3, Interesting)

Evro (18923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961805)

In the US, the labor market is a buyer's market - there are more people who need work than employers willing to hire them. Because of this employers are able to impose annoying rules on their employees because they know their employees don't have anywhere else to go, since the employee's only recourse is to quit. If people would start wielding this power to their advantage it would benefit everyone.

On the other hand, unfettered internet access is frequently not a good idea, especially for security reasons - people downloading malware, etc.

Re:Would be nice for a change... (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961888)

n the US, the labor market is a buyer's market - there are more people who need work than employers willing to hire them. Because of this employers are able to impose annoying rules on their employees because they know their employees don't have anywhere else to go, since the employee's only recourse is to quit. If people would start wielding this power to their advantage it would benefit everyone.


There are other solutions as well:

1) Develop a skill that is in high demand and you'll have many opportunities - ever try to get a plumber on short notice?

2) Unionize - while that has it's own problems you increase your bargaining strength

3) Work where your knowledge, not equipment, is what is really valuable. Companies where 90% of the revenue producing assets walk out the door at the end of the day tend to take care of their employees.

Re:Would be nice for a change... (1)

Harlockjds (463986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961924)

>In the US, the labor market is a buyer's market

i wouldn't say that... I'm confident in my skills and know that i could have a replacement job in a reasonable amount of time (4-6 months) if i decided to leave my current job (or lost my job due to downsizing etc) and i make sure i have enough money in savings where i can live off it for 6 months without a problem. The problem is that it is a buyers market for people who aren't very good at what they do and for people who are not able to relocate. Plus people who are not smart enough to have savings and a huge amount of debt and live paycheck to paycheck can't really take a stand and leave a job they don't like... but that's their fault not the companies.

Heck in some fields (nursing) it's definitely an seller's market. My fiancee knows that she can get a new job (likely with a signing bonus) any time she wants anywhere she wants. Heck the entire reason she's even in this country is because of how desperate the medical field is for nurses.

Re:Would be nice for a change... (1)

TheGreek (2403) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962038)

Heck the entire reason she's even in this country is because of how desperate the medical field is for nurses.
Don't forget her killer intro paragraph on the mail-order bride website!

Please.. (1)

omega9 (138280) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961808)

Won't someone think of the children?!

What's up with those job titles? (5, Funny)

qazsedcft (911254) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961821)

First there was Chief Hacking Executive, now Senior Design Anthropologist? What next? Chief Chair-Throwing Gorilla? Oh wait...

Yo, Doc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15961830)

Why not take a look at your company's lousy products and ask why smart kids are saying "No, thanks. We don't want to work for a company that rates the quality of our work so far down its list of priorities that it overflows one of the 16bit numbers still laying about in the code of IE7"?

Asshole.

Duh (1)

Klaidas (981300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961834)

Yet another announcement that gets to my "Well, DUH!" category.
If I'm responsible for my company's server, why can't I read slashdot/forums/other, or maybe read bash.org when I'm bored?
Not allowing employees (specially IT staff) to browse freely is like not allowing a secretary to write e-mails for her friends, you get the idea.

Blocking is not the answer for many sites (1)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961836)

There are certain things that just waste time and companies can easily block. Many people I know don't always have easy internet access at home and blocking at work is so prevalent that they can't do things like check email, book flights even where they might only do that rarely. In such instances it's better to have acceptable use policies and control that limit the time spent and allows some light browsing. It's the same a taking personal calls at work. Are you allowed to have a brief chat to organise something such as meeting a friend or should you be locked away from all communication with the outside world and have this affect your personal life.

Some of the things might include checking a weather forecast. Takes 10 seconds but kinda important if you play sports which are dependent on the weather. You can plan around it.

Internet's the new phone (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961837)

It's the new telephone.

Originally phone access was restricted - as it had a cost involved.

As time progressed (certainly in this country) phone access has become one of those things that you take for granted at work. Sure, people make personal calls. However, it's generally thought to be "a good thing".

Internet access goes the same way. Businesses' instinct to anything new is to ban/restrict it, then gradually it becomes liberalised.

Like phone access, those who abuse it either by making calls to premium rate (smut and the like) site/numbers or through massive non-business use should be brought to task. This does mean that people will have to get used to having their usage monitored.

Ummm... (3, Insightful)

DarkNemesis618 (908703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961839)

Well isn't it the business's network? That means they should be able to do what they want with it. Whether completely open it up or block certain sites/ports. Like it or not, they have good reasons for it. Employees for one may be more likely to sit around browsing the web rather than doing the work they're assigned. Security threats from spyware/adware could increase. Yes, you can block those certain sites, but those sites tend to be less likely be accessible from a network with some kind of surf control. I work in a help desk and the spyware/adware problems went down tremendously once we implemented our surf control system. Yes there are some sites I wish I could go to, but its not that big of a deal to me...I can still get to slashdot. People have to grow up and realize that they're getting into the real world, and the real world does not revolve around any one person. I don't mean to offend anyone by saying that, but its how the world works fortunately or unfortunately. Besides, most companies will unblock a site if it's blocked but is needed for work.

I'll be unpopular and say web filtering is good (2, Insightful)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961846)

As a manager, I get peeved when deliverables are late but I see developers checking out some girl on Myspace. I have no problem with job-oriented surfing, but I want limits on what is accessed by my staff.

I want my teams focused on the job at hand during the day when the entire staff is around to help each other out. Having people working outside normal hours, while admirable (kind of), may be unnecessary if more work and less surfing is done during the day.

Re:I'll be unpopular and say web filtering is good (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961922)

"As a manager, I get peeved when deliverables are late but I see developers checking out some girl on Myspace."

Have you considered perhaps that a desire to make developers work 9-5 and deprive them of web access in the office might, maybe, lead to you only hiring those who can't get work in companies with less oppressive policies?

"I want my teams focused on the job at hand during the day when the entire staff is around to help each other out."

And what do your teams want? The most productive developer I've ever worked with didn't even bother getting to work until the early evening, unless he'd been there all night: their boss was eventually sacked after trying to impose a 'core hours' policy that would require people to be at work by 5pm.

What matters at the end of the day is getting the job done on time and on budget. Silly rules just discourage the more productive and creative people from working for you, or working as hard as they could: why stay late and get a bit more work done if you can't faff around on the web and read your personal email while your test program is running?

Re:I'll be unpopular and say web filtering is good (4, Insightful)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961950)

With a name like "ip_freely_2000" I kind of figure you're joking. However, I gotta say that that post sounds almost word for word like what my previous boss would have said on the issue.

That strong-armed attitude is definitely very prevalent in the business world and is exactly the kind of thing that demoralizes employees.

When I first started at that previous employer, I had a different boss... one who gave me room to do what needed doing. The result: I would regularly put in 60 to 80 hours per week (on salary). When the new boss (the one who I said sounded like your post) came in, he made it very clear that he was very much against comp time, telecommuting, and flex time. He wanted everyone there the same times... roughly for the reasons you mentioned. I went from 60 to 80 hours a week to watching that clock. I was in at 9:30 and out at 5:30 every day. If there was an emergency that required extra hours, my attitude and thus my performance were most definitely negatively affected.

If management treats their employees like children and creates an environment of monitoring and restrictions, they will find that morale and productivity decrease over-all. That kind of environment will not attract creative, energetic people, it will drive them away. Even in non-creative jobs, a bit of online shopping or visits to the DMV site or aonline bank sites keep people from having to take time off (cough, cough, I'm sick today) to take care of personal tasks that can't be done off-hours.

Re:I'll be unpopular and say web filtering is good (2)

dtietze (708094) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962007)

If deliverables are late, then it's YOUR job, as a manager, to motivate your people to keep their commitments and complete their project work. If the deliverables are late, then people browsing MySpace is a symptom, not the cause, of the problem. If you block Internet access people will spend time staring out of the window, go on smoking breaks, spend long hours on the toilet, whatever.
If you can't motivate your team to produce on time, then you certainly can't force them to do that by taking away their Internet access.
There's PLENTY of research indicating that the freedom to "goof off", to spend time on other things, INCREASES productivity. If your people are letting deadlines slip and spending their time unproductively, it's not the fault of the thing they spend their time on.

Re:I'll be unpopular and say web filtering is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15962045)

Try setting reasonable deadlines and you'll get less of that. Very few people are truly lazy. Most end up surfing to deal with the stress imposed by pointy haired managers who promised twice the product in half the time.

Re:I'll be unpopular and say web filtering is good (1)

mrcparker (469158) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962056)

If your deliverables are late, fire the people who did not work. I bet that you know the people who are slacking off, and that if asked you could easily point them out. There are probably other better people who will respect the project timelines and not spend the whole day browsing the web. It is common sense. Plus, people who are going to take your money and browse the web instead of working will probably still not work when they have their internet access blocked.

That was my attitude when I got out of college. (1)

olddotter (638430) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961848)

I guess the catch is I got out of college in 1992. But at that time I would not consider a job where I didn't have always on internet connection. I wanted to have e-mail, access to net-news, and the ability to telnet into computers on campus where I still had accounts.

They wont work with it either. Go ahead, lock it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15961863)

If people are going to quit their jobs because they can't play on the internet,
well, they were not working very hard to begin with. Your company doesn't need people like that.

The majority of the internet is a 'barrier to productivity' for undisciplined people.

The time and place to play on the internet is at home.

You still have your cell phone for quick calls and text messaging.

Lock it down and prevent software download virus infections and hacks to your corporate systems!

Re:They wont work with it either. Go ahead, lock i (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961963)

The majority of the internet is a 'barrier to productivity' for undisciplined people. [emph. added]

That [undisciplined people] is what you should kick out, not internet access.

There are very few people who can continously concentrate on doing quality job on the same thing for 8 hours, if there are any at all. In fact, I'd say if someobody can do 4-6/8 hours serious productive work (here I'm talking about work requiring continuous, not-negligable amounts of brain usage) that's really good. Why you should pay them for the remaining hours from 8 too ? So that they spend that quality time with you and with your competition, that's why.

Site blocked (1)

phlegmofdiscontent (459470) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961869)

About a year ago, my company's internet filter started blocking Slashdot. That lasted all of a couple hours. I think some of my co-workers (who managed the company's directory services) complained. Unfortunately, the filter now blocks a couple of my favorite webcomics and Wikipedia (filtered because they are "Personal Pages"). I used to use an anonymizer to get around the filter, but they've blocked that too.

Careful Balance (1)

porkUpine (623110) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961873)

I am a network adminstrator for a fairly large company (3500+ users). We REALLY do try to strike a careful balance between what is blocked and what is allowed. We don't allow access to Pornographic sites, Web-Based email or Chat(Instant Message... most forums are allowed) sites... however most everything else is allowed. All downloads are virus scanned at the perimeter, and our users don't seem to mind seeing the "THIS SITE IS BLOCKED" page because they generally understand that we only block things that might harm the user's PC (spyware/virus)or the company (sexual harrasment suit, defamation etc...).
Those who do complain usually come back from visiting a client site (top 5 oil companies) and remark how OPEN we are compared the them =)

There are, of course, different levels of blockage (1)

T_ConX (783573) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961878)

I think some employees are willing to put up with a certain, reasonable level of blockage. Porn sites are a no brainer example of this. My office filter doesn't block out /. BUT blocks out the Games section, in addition to every URL with 'games' in it.

It's really quite understandable. You're using a company paid computer, on a company paid pipe, on company paid time. It's their right to make the rules on internet usage.

Also, most would probably like a system where they can contest certain websites. On Monday, I was mortified to find that Wikipedia had been blocked. Category: Porn (Thats what they say about YTMND [ytmnd.com] too). It would seem that I was not the only one who got annoyed by this, as we had it back the next day.

Now, I have to get back to work...

Digital immigrants/Digital natives (1)

xorowo (733585) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961894)

Both the article and the summary seem to imply that she came up with the "digital immigrant" and "digital native" labels. While others may have posited the idea prior, it seems that Marc Prensky has been discussing this [marcprensky.com] (warning - PDF) since at least 2001. It is within the larger issue of how we reach these natives to educate them. It is a concept easily used elsewhere because the relevancy and the approach it suggests are easily seen. I find it somewhat amusing, however, when others simply use it as an observational tool, using it more as a justification for their approach than a truly meaningful response to a larger issue. I wasn't there for the keynote address, so I can't accuse Anne of this, specifically. But it does seem like a psuedo-intellectual argument designed to impress the crowd while giving only surface-level answers to the issue.

Company has the right.... (1)

FiveDollarYoBet (956765) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961920)

Sure, it's the company's network so they have the right to block whatever they want.

And I have the right to work at another company that has a more open internet connection.

I worked at one job where 6 months after I was hired they installed websense on the firewall. It took me and the other coders 45 min to get an anon proxy working. A week later they removed websense cause two thirds of the company was using proxies. Of course the net admins at this job weren't the sharpest knives in the drawer.

So in other words... (1)

Bin_jammin (684517) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961946)

as a new crop of worker refuses to perform jobs because they can't have internet access, freely, there will be massive job openings for guys like me that are old enough (not old, 31) to respect an employer's rules and security, realizing there's a reason for restricting access to distractions like the internet. Oh, but if American workers refuse the job, you mean I'll have to swim to India to get it?

Re:So in other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15962028)

Except you'll have the good sense to demand silly things like health care and more vacation time, both of which cost far more than a bit of web surfing.

My place of work... (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961966)

My work blocks all IP traffic except HTTP requests which are via a filtering firewall. While I can understand they don't want people looking at porn, it is extremely annoying that it blanket blocks entire sites and urls for no good reason. Perhaps one page out of possibly thousands runs afoul of the filter but the whole site gets blocked. Blogs for example. Archive.org being another even though it can be very useful. It even blocks links to things with no legitimate objectionable content of any kind. I was looking up something about genetic algorithms and discovered I was blocked from an evolution site that the article linked to! It wouldn't surprise me if they decide to block some huge resource of technical info such as Google Groups on the same flimsy premises.

All in all, it is incredibly annoying. In stark contrast, the security / tech ops group in my last company couldn't have been cooler. They basically opened up all the ports, but said plainly to us that they can monitor what we request. So it was up to us what we could browse. You could get fired just as easily if you looked at porn, but the security group was mature enough to trust us.

I Concur.... (2, Interesting)

Demanche (587815) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961971)

At my workplace we have a desktop for our own company usage/personal usage which is unrestricted, and them a tablet that is locked down for use on the clients network. Makes tech support fun again, and I'm actually really productive when I have work to do. About time companies start to notice this trend.

Tough. (1)

DaEMoN128 (694605) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961972)

Too many children (all ages, Im talking mentally) are worried about what can I get. You work for a company. It is their resources, they get to determine how you can use it. If you are caught violating those rules... you should be fired. Why should an employer put up with people who cant even be trusted to obey the rules? I grant that I would love to surf freely from work, but if my employer doesn't want me to surf.. I wont. A school my wife works at is trying to stop people from visiting myspace.com, not because of the content but because but because of the bandwidth drain. Some people are actually trying to be productive but cant because some person wants to surf. When your surfing actually stops someone from being productive, you are hurting a company (or a persons senior project). Remember, you work for the company.. what is bad for the company is bad for you. If you are the cause... its real bad for you.

Quote taken out of context (5, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961978)

The quote was taken out of context. Here is the full exchange.

Employer: Of course we have Internet, but our firewall restricts access to "inappropriate" sites during working hours.

Kids:Forget it! I don't want to work with you. I don't want to work at a place where I can't be freely online during the day. I'll just move back in with my parents and use their DSL.

Parents: Sure, OK. What do you think would be a fair rent?

Kids: Rent? Where are we suposed get the money to pay rent?

[parents and employer exchange significant glances]

Parents: Umm, honey, I don't know if they explained this in school. "Work" is the eight hours out of the day when you do things you'd rather not be doing so you can pay for things like food and rent.

Employer [taken aback]: Eight hours?

"Digital Natives" (1)

RagingFuryBlack (956453) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961990)

I can't speak for work, as we have no filtering software, however, our histories are stored on the server we pass through with user-identifiable information attached to them. You do something wrong online, the boss will find and fire you.

At school, though, its a different story. Everything is blocked. Hell, we had google blocked at one point. Sadly, our tech department can't understand the difference between webmail, forums and news sites (the NY Times is constantly switching between blocked and unblocked). I understand we're there to learn, but seriously, why block everything but the school webpage and some half-ass "research sites" (Which normally give no information which is useful to you, anyways)

interesting discussion (5, Funny)

ats-tech (770430) | more than 8 years ago | (#15961994)

What I think is funny is that most people here are posting from work.

Proof is in the Pudding (1)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962009)

If a member of my team is efficient enough to finish everything I require in the time allotted, well then it's their little bonus for being so efficient. If they're not finishing everything I require in the time allotted, then if it resists corrective measures and goes on long enough, I fire them. I don't care if the reason is that they're good but just can't stop blogging at work or whatever. The proof is in the pudding. A coder might be Einstein, but if he never does any work then he's no good to me.

Thinking that blocking internet access will make a difference is a childish yet warped paternalistic impulse.

Where I work, this played out well (1)

Hyperx_Man (936387) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962019)

I refused to lock down internet access. This has played out well. If you expect someone to work long hours, expect for him or her to buy things online, check message boards and just play around. Everyone knows what they need to do, and productivity is high.

it depends on the type of employee (4, Insightful)

grapeape (137008) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962020)

I have worked for two ends of the extreme, one company that was very restrictive with internet access and one that was wide open.

Working in IT I found the overly restrictive company made repairs and troubleshooting increasingly difficult since many times I had to research a problem at home and then fix it at work. I remember one incident where we had a scsi backplane go bad on a server that was out of waranty, they had a couple of lower techs hammer against it for 3 days before passing it to me. I looked at the error logs, ran some diagnostics and looked up some error codes, had the problem isolated in 10 minutes, but ended up getting written up for "using the internet" on company time. I found that after a while I did the bare minimum required not be fired since half the time I was doing busy work at home and the real work at home anyway.

The other company was a telco provider we had unrestricted access, it was great troubleshooting and repairs had an amazing turnaround time, but there were people that abused the priviledge. Eventually they weeded themselves out through poor performanace reviews or being called out for slacking off. Basically it comes down to what kind of employees you have, if they are responsible and take their job seriously internet access isnt a problem, its a matter of trust. If you dont trust your employees you either need better ones or perhaps need to find out what you may be doing that causes them to have no dedication to the job.

Doesn't really matter (1)

paulsomm (92946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962021)

SSH or SSL tunnel to my home machine (depending on whether SSH is blocked) and proxy surfing and IM through that. Or, worst-case, using Tor.

Though I do agree it's less desirable to work for a place that restricts internet access, the truth is you're there to work, not surf. It wouldn't affect my decision unless I had a choice between two equal places where one does and one does not restrict, which isn't usually the case as there are for more important considerations than net freedom (i.e. salary, benefits, skills to aquire)

Seriously, if not being able to surf myspace or IM your buddy will keep you from accepting a position, that's just sad.

I get the pen AND the ink (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962024)

I work at a great company with intentionally lax internet policies. It's definitely for the best.

I'm a tecnical writer and I rely on a great number of resources to get my job done. For instance, I have friends that are engineers, IT professionals, and designers and it saves me a ton of time to be able to speak to these unofficial resources unhindered when I have questions. IM and FTP are far more convenient than email and fax when I need a mockup or schematic. Sometimes I attend webinars that stream on weird ports, and the IT staff is always happy to temporarily tweak the firewall just for me. Other services like telnet and remote desktop come in handy when there's a resource I need that I've forgotten at home.

Even our Exchange spam filter is optional, which is a good thing since on the rare day where I get 1 spam I get 3 emails from the filter telling me about it.

I guess I'd be an "internet native" according to TFA, but even if I wasn't I'd be frustrated by any hinderance on internet connectivity. If my workplace blocked websites, my generation knows to just use a sneaky proxy like Babelfish [altavista.com] anyway.

I respect my company for respecting me.

I'd quit if I'd lock my network down! (1)

SirJorgelOfBorgel (897488) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962029)

Well I have been working as software developer for several companies and I always demanded full internet access and the network folks to keep their hands of my work equipment. Sure for the average worker, lock some of it down. But through MSN Messenger I connected quickly to all other developers all over the building to quickly discuss things, send links, etc. Sure you can use the phone on the desk, but that's a much bigger distraction. Walking over only when it's big. The chatting can be done while you work, but for phoning you need to stop working. I also need access to any arbitrary site, to look up information I need, discuss framework or development tool oddness and their workarounds etc etc. And indeed I did read my personal email and news sites at work at well. So boohoo. On the other hand, I'm also the guy that you could never find at the cantina or taking a coffee break. On several occasions I have needed to go all the way up to the CEO to get network folk to stop messing with my stuff. One brilliant networking person once had the idea of installing Norton Corporate AntiVirus. You can guess what happened next. Never again. Here's all the stuff that needs daily backups, and that's all your touching. Security updates? I'll pick them up myself thank you, after reading up exactly what update breaks what. I'll install my personal choice of AV software that can actually run on development machines and otherwise make sure my system is doing fine. I'll take full responsibility. As for stuff like MySpace and such... well who uses that crap anyways. I'll do all that and still be more productive than if anyone messes with my systems. Today however, I am the owner of a startup. I'm pretty sure I'd quit if I'd lock 'my' network down though. Call me paranoid, but I never trust network folk (for good laughs: if you have the authority, go visit the networking center of your local big city's police hq and take a look at the things you can find there...)

The workday is 24 hours (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962030)

Frank Arrigo said it wasn't only about using the net at work: employees are also becoming increasingly frustrated with companies that don't make it easy to access complete company network resources from home.
This is another face of the same coin. Today's younger workers expect to be able to work from home in the evenings, just as they expect to be able to goof off during the workday. A lot of the younger salaried workers I deal with beleieve that they are paid to complete their work, period, and that it's up to them when/how it gets completed. I.e., it's quite alright to goof off all day if you dial in from home to get the work done in the evenings.

I see this all the time at my company, and in the long run, it leads to burnt-out employees. We've had much more success with staff retention and productivity my asking that employees do not work from home (to the point of canceling almost all of our GotoMyPC accounts), do not stay late (with exceptions, of course). If employees want to get their work done, they've got to do it during the work day. If they don't, well, they face the same situations that most employees who fail to meet their objectives face...

Work is work. As an employee (and this is the part of the legal definition according to the IRS, btw), your employer has the right to tell you how and when you do your job. If you want to work on your own schedule, you should be freelancing or consulting.

Hit and Miss (1)

Downtown (112988) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962057)

My workplace recently increased their filtering. It went from blocking the usual suspects to blocking all sorts of nonsense. I discovered the changes right away too... I loaded up slashdot and it blocked any article from games.slashdot.org...

So I checked some forums that I was reading... I can still browse one of the games related ones... but not it's main site...

There are blocks for streaming media(google video still works), and free hosting sites. It's gone overboard in terms of blocking. Although I think it was more of a regime change here that caused the increased blocking.

I'd rather work for a place that had an intelligent policy about these things. Not just randomly blocking sites because they may cause a problem.

Oodod (1)

Konster (252488) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962064)

Pay me to screw off or I'll go to work somewhere else!

"The door is to your left."

Justification of having http.sys on every machine (1)

carstenkuckuk (132629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15962076)

They're trying to somehow justify why they silently rolled out http.sys, a rebranded IIS, as a kernel driver with Win XP SP2. With that on the machine, each and every XPSP2 and Vista machine has an HTTP server running as a kernel driver that ordinary user processes can use to publish whatever they want.

Go back to 1976 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15962088)

So the boss grew up listening to radio while the 20-something workers grew up watching television. The owner of the company sometimes lets people listen to radio in the background if it doesn't interfere with the job.

But that old guy won't let us bring our small tv sets into the workplace and put them on our desks -- he just doesn't understand since he didn't grow up with it.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15962103)

There are so many things I hate about this article...
Kirah cited a Norwegian psychologist who claimed that young people were now so reliant on digital communication that "taking a mobile phone away from a teenage girl is the same as child abuse."


I worked with a contractor who talked on his cell phone a lot. a lot. several hours everyday. he constantly interrupted team efforts to talk when it rang, he would walk out of the room talking on the phone and leave us waiting for him. i wanted to cram that cell phone so far up his ass that i didn't hear the ringtone. myself and another employee approached management and had him fired, he worked for one week and maybe produced about 2 hours of work. if there is some company that panders to letting people chat on cell phones, than i hope i never end up working at it.
 
 
"Digital communication is part of people's lives now. Their friends online are the people they identify with."

The first bit is fine, i dig that, i digitally communicate with friends more often than i actually see them. I moved a lot so my friends are mostly far away physically. This has nothing to do with the work place.
 
People were increasingly making use of anonymous proxies that couldn't be easily blocked by corporate firewalls, bringing in their own wireless broadband services for use with a personal laptop or with a work PC or accessing instant messaging via mobile phones and PDAs.


I knew there was a reason that people signed agreements before getting accounts and that I installed group policies to prevent people from making use of the companies network. If you bring your own laptop to do work, than great, do work, but if you expect to do what you do at home with your laptop, than i'm bringing my bedroom furniture from home and making my office like home too, where i will stop working and just read comics - good luck getting me to fix your pc then.

 
"Bill Gates said years ago that if you worry about internet productivity, you're worrying about people stealing pens from your stationery cupboard... there are bigger things to worry about."

Nothing to worry about, eh? i installed websense for a nameless international company and ran it in just monitor mode first and than selectively started blocking. you know what i ended up seeing was pretty repulsive. late night warehouse workers going through child porn and rape fetish sites. I so hope this quote is misrepresented, but to say thats on the level of worrying about stealing pens is revolting. There are more things happening than just a loss of time with respect to employee network access.



Arrigo said employers needed to rethink their assumptions about internet usage. "For a lot of people now, instant messaging is a legitimate work tool that allows quick communication between colleagues, avoiding voicemail-tag and long distance charges, yet many companies block instant messaging completely."


A survey done by logging and going through instant messages at one company I worked at showed that although instant messaging had been added for easy employee communications of technical issues, it was 90% used for informal chatting. So much so that it was discovered that people were dodging work through loopholes to maintain chats. In other words it was a direct impact on the whole companies performance that was solved by removing the instant messanger. Chat's online would extend for hours at a time.
 
I was never the manager at any of the above places, but these are just my personal experiences alone. in every case, I would have to take up the slack generated by the employees (expect in the warehouse case, that would have been someone else, but that employee was fired only because the web blocker caught him, otherwise he would have continued to be there and a possible danger to the female staff - not proven,but if you saw what i saw you would have crapped).
 
If there is some company that is with Anne Kirah on these statements, than I hope to never have the misfortune of working for them.
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