Death March

We need more, more, more…

In project management, a death march is a project that the participants feel is destined to fail, or that requires a stretch of unsustainable overwork. The general feel of the project reflects that of an actual death march because project members are forced to continue the project by their superiors against their better judgment.

Software development and software engineering are the fields in which practitioners first applied the term to these project management practices. Other fields have since recognized the same occurrence in their own spheres and have adopted the name.

Death marches of the destined-to-fail type usually are a result of unrealistic or overly optimistic expectations in scheduling, feature scope, or both, and often include lack of appropriate documentation or relevant training and outside expertise that would be needed to accomplish the task successfully. The knowledge of the doomed nature of the project weighs heavily on the psyche of its participants, as if they are helplessly watching themselves and their coworkers being forced to torture themselves and march toward death. Often, the death march will involve desperate attempts to right the course of the project by asking team members to work especially grueling hours (14-hour days, 7-day weeks, etc.) or by attempting to “throw (enough) bodies at the problem”, often causing burnout.

Often, the discomfort is heightened by the knowledge that “it didn’t have to be this way”;[tone] that is, that if the company wanted to achieve the goal of the project, it could have done so in a successful way had it been managed competently (such as by devoting the obviously required resources, including bringing all relevant expertise, technology, or applied science to the task rather than just whatever incomplete knowledge a few employees happened to possess). Patent under-resourcing is especially offensive at a large corporation with sufficient financing. Business culture pressures, such as the corporate pursuit of short-term maximization of profits, may play a role in addition to mere incompetence.[tone][citation needed]

The term “death march” in this context was discussed at length in Edward Yourdon‘s book Death March: The Complete Software Developer’s Guide to Surviving ‘Mission Impossible’ Projects (ISBN 0130146595), which has a second edition simply titled Death March (ISBN 013143635X). Yourdon’s definition: “Quite simply, a death march project is one whose ‘project parameters’ exceed the norm by at least 50 percent.” [1]

Jane Faraola

Jane Farola
Solutions Program Manager at Cisco

Seasoned Localization Program Manager who thrives in fast paced environments where a pragmatic passion for improving existing processes and infrastructure, tools and technologies is appreciated. I’m described as an advisor/influencer who instinctively works to move teams to action so that we can achieve the best possible results for our customers. I work to make sure that localization is considered at every stage of product development.

STRENGTHS
Solid in-depth knowledge of software and content localization. Known to “run a tight ship” when it comes to budgets and vendor management. Excel at establishing and managing localization roadmaps, overseeing multiple projects with competing schedules and deadlines, managing remote or on-site contract and on-staff project teams.

Why Are Americans So Stupid — And So Proud of It?

Written by Ted Rall

Why are Americans so stupid? Why do they think it’s okay to shout down facts with opinion, rumor and hearsay? Ted Rall has a theory, and it ain’t pretty.

This story was updated Nov. 9, 2016. -Ed.  

aNewDomainted rall LA Times Los Angeles Times firing and the LAPD — Americans are dumb.

That’s what people say. Especially non-American people.

But lots of Americans think that Americans are stupid, too. They don’t think they are the dumb ones, of course. They think other Americans are stupid.

It will not, even if you’re an idiot, come as a shock when I admit here that one of the Americans who think Americans are intellectually challenged is … me.

I know moronitude is ubiquitous, but …

ted rall anewdomain why americans are dumbMoronitude exists everywhere, of course.

But what makes stupidity in America stand out is that most Americans — the dumb ones, I mean — don’t even think it’s bad to be dumb. Far from being ashamed, they’re dumb and they’re damned proud of it.

And the dumb ones even make fun of the small and constantly shrinking population of intelligent ones as clueless hopelessly out of touch.

Want to study astrophysics? You’re a nerd. No prom date for you!

Do you know that bogus story going around about Hillary Clinton selling Uranium to China is wrong? Don’t say so on Twitter. Trump fans will tell you you’re just a mindless, brainwashed idiot. Never mind the facts. Maybe you are also a traitor.

For the new wave of stupid Americans, facts aren’t worth more than opinions they come up with or the fake stories they find on the many bogus news sites that target them.

Even dwarf-tossers think Americans are dumb

Now, I haven’t been everywhere, but I have traveled a lot. And what historians have documented as the tradition of anti-intellectualism in America seems to be pretty unique.

Even Australia, land of our cultural Anglo-Saxon brethren, where dwarf-tossing was a thing (and for all I know it may still be), never had an actual political party called the Know Nothing Party.

America did have such a party. It did. And not only that, but when historians reference the Know Nothings, no one ever chortles in derision. Instead they nod knowingly. Maybe.

Flat affect. That’s what we do.

From “The Simpsons” to Green Day’s punk rock opera “American Idiot” to the semi-banned Mike Judge movie “Idiocracy,” our cultural commentators have taken repeated stabs at our “dumb and proud” national attitude.

Yet it doesn’t change anything.

The dumb and the proud just keep hanging on.Why Are Americans So Dumb ted rall

The U.S. is a country where smart people have to pretend to be stupid

This, after all, is a country in which smart people have to pretend, in the words of an old 1980s song by Flipper, to “act stupider than you really are” in order to fit in.

Reality TV and televangelists aside, nothing epitomizes the national cult of stultification more clearly than our electoral politics.

On the Republican side, there are well-read men and women of considerable accomplishment and impressive educational credentials who pretend to believe  things they obviously know to be untrue  — because so many of the voters they need are just that damned stupid.

And that’s how they relate to them.

When US president-elect Donald Trump claims that global warming is a myth China foisted on America in order to destroy our economy, listen, he knows better. His followers don’t, though, and they find such comments refreshing, something they themselves might’ve come up with if they were just a bit more … clever.

Ted Cruz, no dummy he, pretends not to believe that climate change is caused by humans, too. Because that is what he (correctly) thinks his mostly uneducated base of lower middle class Americans and Bible thumpers want to hear.

And he is right. It comforts them.

And forget about that nutty bunch of governors and senators — senators! — who claim to think the Earth is about 6,000 years old because: Bible. Most of them ust pretend to believe that “God” wants them to believe this ridiculous fairy tale.

Why? Because ignorance is good for business. And that’s something even the stupidest Americans can get on board with.

Get this: George W. Bush is actually smart.

Just last week, a friend who hung out with George W. Bush told me something I’ve heard often enough before to believe: the guy is actually smart.

In a way, this comes as a relief, because: launch codes. Also Yale and Harvard.

Even a legacy admit shouldn’t be half as much of the colossal idiot brush-clearing hick Bush pretended to be his entire political life.

All along, there were hints of Bush’s non-stupidity. Every now and then, his aw-shucks cornpone veneer would flake off, and the Connecticut Yankee inflection of a grandson of Prescott Bush would peek out like the cobblestones and streetcar tracks of an old paved-over road after a hard winter.

That stupid accent — all fake!

Which reminded me of something Bush biographer Kitty Kelly reported: After losing a local election in Texas, Dubya swore, Scarlet-like, to never get out-countrified again.

And he didn’t.

And it worked.

How depressing.

Obama and Hillary Clinton purposely downscale their brains, too.

Given how much I used to beat up Generalissimo El Busho while he was bombing and Gitmo-ing and bank-bailing, it’s only fair that I point out: Bush isn’t the exception.

He’s one of many.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton both apply a reverse-classist downscaling filter to their locutions.

And Jesus H. W. Christ, it’s so over-the-top phony, I cannot believe I am the only one who has noticed.

On the power of stupid-sounding accents

Speaking of which, I attribute all of the popularity that Bernie Sanders and Trump enjoy to their unscripted authenticity, part of which derives from both candidates’ unspun, startling, old-school New York accents.

 

Listen to Bernie. He sounds like a throwback from Welcome Back, Kotter once he gets going.

You see, even for Bernie, platform planks have taken a back seat to reality. Which really says something.

And would you believe Trump is actually smart?

It’s true. Yes, I know Trump often sounds like an idiot in his speeches and especially on Twitter, where he tweets with the grammar and vocabulary of a fourth grader.

But it’s just an act.

This is, after all, an Ivy League graduate whose sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, is a senior circuit court judge. She was appointed by Bill Clinton  to the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit years ago. And Trump’s uncle is no intellectual slouch either: John G. Trump was a physicist and MIT engineering professor.

Despite “The Apprentice” and the Ivana mess, despite not having much of a grasp on economics, science or world politics, Trump still feels he has to dumb himself down still further.

Case in point: That dorky “Make America Great Again” baseball cap.

His calculated attempt to seem uneducated works wonders with his huge base of seriously uneducated working class supporters. And he knows it.

Trump knows what it took the mainstream media so long to get: That a huge swath of Americans are dumb — stupid, really — and they are happy to stay that way. In fact, they wear their stupidity like a badge of honor. They are proud of it.

So why are Americans so stupid and so proud of it?

Burying the lede as much as I can, what I want to know is: Why? And what went wrong with America that caused generations of kids to grow up stupid? What could possibly have make this okay?

I blame our schools.

Kids no longer learn how to think in schools. They learn facts, that’s it. Rhetoric, debate, logical reasoning are after-school activities.

This explains why so many among Trump’s dedicated base of “deplorables” has so much trouble determining facts from opinion online, and puts real news and Politifact, the Pulitzer-winning fact check site from The Poynter Institute on equal par with the fake news pedaled by so-called “conservative news” sites like Infowars.

They don’t know how to put what they read into perspective — or how to check out the outrageous claims such sites try to feed them. It isn’t that these people are stubborn, it’s that they were never taught any better — and their reasoning skills aren’t sophisticated enough to make them try. That’s a failure of American education.

And so the vast majority of American kids in this country end up as grownups who believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion, each as valid as any other.

Even though this cannot possibly be true —  even though you can’t argue a fact with an opinion, no matter how loud, nasty or insulting you get — they believe it nonetheless.

Also, maybe the fragmentation of the media caused by Internet technology, which allows minds unschooled in logic to sit around eating their own crap editorial dog food all day, is responsible, too.

Then again, I could be wrong.

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

New Assange indictment adds 17 espionage charges

Obtaining, disclosing “National Defense Information” charges could trigger 1st Amendment battle.

Supporters of Julian Assange protest outside the Ecuadorian embassy as the WikiLeaks founder awaits a High Court hearing to determine whether he will be extradited to Sweden on sexual charges. Now, new US charges have been added to a previous indictment: 17 counts of espionage.
Enlarge / Supporters of Julian Assange protest outside the Ecuadorian embassy as the WikiLeaks founder awaits a High Court hearing to determine whether he will be extradited to Sweden on sexual charges. Now, new US charges have been added to a previous indictment: 17 counts of espionage.

Today, the Department of Justice filed a new indictment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with the US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia—adding 17 more charges atop the original hacking charge used to file for Assange’s extradition from the United Kingdom. The new charges are all espionage-focused: conspiracy to receive, obtaining, and disclosure of “national defense information. Each of the 17 counts carries a potential prison sentence of up to 10 years.

In a statement announcing the filing, a Justice Department spokesperson said, “The superseding indictment alleges that Assange was complicit with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the US Army, in unlawfully obtaining and disclosing classified documents related to the national defense.” The new counts allege, among other things, that Assange conspired with Manning to steal “national defense information,” obtained that information from Manning, and “aided and abetted her in obtaining classified information with reason to believe that the information was to be used to the injury of the United States or the advantage of a foreign nation.”

In a Twitter post, a WikiLeaks spokesperson wrote, “This is madness. It is the end of national security journalism and the First Amendment.”

The charges will no doubt raise First Amendment arguments, as the laws they are based upon have been largely untested in court in cases against public disclosure.

In the indictment delivered by the grand jury—the same grand jury that Chelsea Manning went to jail for refusing to testify before—the Justice Department asserted that “Assange and WikiLeaks have repeatedly sought, obtained, and disseminated information that the United States classified due to the serious risk that unauthorized disclosure could harm the national security of the United States. WikiLeaks’ website explicitly solicited censored, otherwise restricted, and until September 2010, ‘classified’ materials.”

The indictment calls out Assange’s repeated solicitations of specific sensitive data, including both unclassified but non-public sources and explicitly classified data. Assange’s “Most Wanted Leaks” were cited, which included:

  • Intellipedia—the intelligence community’s shared database of open source intelligence maintained by the CIA Open Source Center;
  • Other “Bulk Databases” of military and intelligence data
  • Classified “Military and Intelligence” documents, including “Iraq and Afghanistan Rules of Engagement 2007-2009 (SECRET);” operating and interrogation procedures at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; documents relating to Guantanamo detainees;
  • CIA detainee interrogation videos; and
  • Information about certain weapons systems

“Assange intended the ‘Most Wanted Leaks’ list to encourage and cause individuals to illegally obtain and disclose protected information, including classified information, to WikiLeaks contrary to law,” the indictment states.

The indictment asserts that Assange published classified documents that “contained the unredacted names of human sources who provided information to United States forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and to US State Department diplomats around the world,” the Justice Department spokesperson said. “These human sources included local Afghans and Iraqis, journalists, religious leaders, human rights advocates, and political dissidents from repressive regimes.” The indictment claims that Assange “created a grave and imminent risk that the innocent people he named would suffer serious physical harm and/or arbitrary detention.”

The indictment even links WikiLeaks to Osama bin Laden and noted that the Taliban used WikiLeaks documents to hunt down informants working for the US military and Afghan government. When US Navy SEALs raided bin Laden’s compound on May 2, 2011, the indictment states:

They collected a number of items of digital media, which included the following: (1) a letter from bin Laden to another member of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda in which bin Laden requested that the member gather the DoD material posted to WikiLeaks, (2) a letter from that same member of al-Qaeda to Bin Laden with information from the Afghanistan War Documents provided by Manning to WikiLeaks and released by WikiLeaks, and (3) Department of State information provided by Manning to WikiLeaks and released by WikiLeaks.

Assange is currently jailed in London, serving a sentence for breaching his bail while facing extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges. Swedish authorities have also begun to seek Assange’s extradition on some of the rape charges. The new indictment comes before the US has formally filed for Assange’s extradition—which the US must do by June 11.

Game of Thrones (IT version 1.0)

Go to the profile of Glenn Reveille

 

We’ve never met but I know a few things about you.

Don’t be so surprised. I know you’re coming into this role excited and anxious. For good reason too, the unknown of working in such a fast paced, high profile environment can be exhilarating. And it’s a new playground ripe with your desire to build the way you see fit, this is a new beginning, another opportunity to create. In my experience of working in entertainment for the last 15 years, I can only say good luck — sincerely. I’m not going to preach about what works and what doesn’t, this isn’t a manifesto. Rather, a gentle reminder to stay with yourself, stay honest, and stay humble.

Sounds obvious, right? Except something happens when we start anew. There’s a desire to balance your self image with your self projection, the idea of who you are ought to be (in this role) and/or whom you wish to become as a human. This is a natural evolution in us all, throughout our lives and career. For you, it begins in the hallway with a seemingly innocuous conversation to heated boardroom debates. We pick and choose what we say, how we act, all while learning a new environment, new personalities, processes, and politics.

 
 

Brace yourself. Here you are again, sitting in the middle. Longing for relevance and opportunity to prove value or worth. You witness your new found colleagues dance to the tune of self-promotion, you listen to coworkers pass blame for fear of being at fault, and finally you figure out who the bus drivers and game players are. Your keen perception is what was builds the arena in your mind, like a chess board you apply the capabilities of people to pieces that navigate on it. Some people are playing checkers, others chess.

When you speak, count on your intention to be questioned. The simple rarity of honesty, openness, and vulnerability raises a flag amongst your new peers. But it doesn’t matter. You, like most IT professionals adhere to a particular set of responsibilities, maybe because we realized early in our careers that we hold the keys (or maybe it’s because no one really knows what we do). Regardless, we are naturally entrusted with a silent code of conduct, that exemplifies good character and truth.

The ethos that guides the most junior engineer to senior IT management professional reinforces a consistent effort to improve everyone around us, either by the use of technology or the purposeful lack of it, by thankless work and professionalism that sets the example across every department and employee. Our work, sets a pace, a tone, and we facilitate efficiencies and effectiveness throughout the organization, from top to bottom. It is through our creativity, patience, forward thinking that we make organizations tick. Perhaps another contributor to our success is our imperviousness to office politics. Or are we?