Tag Archives: work

Thoughts on NSA Data Mining

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Think about it; every small company has their servers backed up to “the cloud”. The company I work for didn’t until recently, but when the dude maintaining our server retired, we hired a national company to handle our IT needs. It seemed like the thing to do; it only costs a couple hundred bucks a month & everything is backed up each night. They maintain our software & hardware, etc.

So what is on the server that gets backed up? All of our email, for one thing. All of the job quotes, purchase orders, subcontractor communications, discussions with the accountants, financial statements, loan documents, vacation requests, discussions with bankers, wire transfers, etc. God only knows the discussions the owner has with the huge national companies that make up our customer base. God only knows the discussions the receptionist has with her friends/lovers.

Stored on one of the massive server hard drives is every drawing for everything we have ever built. Every contract we have ever signed. Every piece of paper, which we wanted to keep the info but not store the hard copy, has been scanned & stored on those hard drives, which in turn are backed up to some server somewhere out there in internet land.

One of the massive server hard drives is dedicated solely to me for all of my accounting functions. Every company we have owned since ~Y2K and all of their financial data is there. Every sale of every company is there. That is where I store all of the data for all of my accounting programs, which in turn stores all of my customer and vendor info including all of their FEINs & invoices, payments, etc.

So every piece of information that a company has to have to be a company is on our servers, being backed up to what is almost certainly some sort of Microsoft backup system. You know it is. This is what the NSA IRS BLAH BLAH is going after. They want all of the small company information. Small companies are notoriously tight-lipped about their operations, but then they voluntarily throw all of their “secret” info out there online.

Sure, the NSA wants info on individuals, too. They want to be able to crucify any target with that target’s own cross, that the target put online themselves. I get that. But here’s the deal, how well are They going to be able to put it all together? I’ve been online since you had to put the phone receiver in that little box & you could only communicate with huge companies & universities. Then slowly there were different bulletin boards you could access. Remember when almost every archaic website decided to start charging for content? I think that was the very early 90s. That didn’t last long.

How many variations of me does the NSA have? Hell, I don’t even remember some of the different usernames I have used throughout the years. I’ve never used my real name. Remember the heady days of day-trading penny OTC stocks? No, of course you don’t, you were 13 years old. It was all the rage & everyone who was anyone was meeting up on the OTC pages of Raging Bull. I was there every day. What was my user name? I seriously can’t remember, lol.

What was my user name on AOL? LiveJournal? Myspace? Blogger? I used to frequent Gawker back when it hired heterosexual males & then years later when Jezebel used to actually be a site where you discussed difficult periods instead of just screeching victim feminism. What was my user name? What is my user name on Street Carnage? I’ve been on there since day 1 & have contributed numerous times. Hell, I have had long term blogs on different blogging platforms since the 1990s using various names. What are those names? Have They put them all together yet?

So, if you are out there NSA & have all my data of everything I have put out there, please send me a copy of it all because it would make for very entertaining (yet cringe-worthy) reading. Kthxbai!

Bitch & Moan & Grumble & Groan (Part 2)

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During this time of physical upheaval there was also workplace upheaval. I went from having health insurance paid by the company to insurance paid by myself. Not too bad though – I have the least of all insurance with a $3000 deductable for $160 per month. Not too great, not too terrible. Of course, at the same time I went from being an employee to being self-employed while still working the same exact job! Yay, I am responsible for my own estimated taxes! I have no idea what the hell I’m doing! I’m an idiot! Holy Hell! Kill me now!

So, now I have to do estimated taxes quarterly, I get paid hourly instead of salaried, I do not get paid for holidaze nor do I get vacation pay. I am on my fucking own. I did negotiate all of that into my new hourly rate (plus a tidy 20+% increase in pay), but I still suffered monetarily from all the time off during Xmas, etc. Another thing I negotiated was a four day week – Fridays off. Now I’m working 4 days a week and getting paid roughly the same as when I was working 5 days a week. Ish. Same amount of work, fewer hours, more of a pain in the ass tax-wise. Eh, whatever.

The saga continues…