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Microsoft to Intuit – You Win

2009 has been a much different year than 1999 was.

Microsoft is working with Intuit to help develop a file conversion process that will help Money customers more easily convert their existing data files to Quicken. Both Intuit and Microsoft hope this will be ready to go for the new release of Quicken this fall.

I never thought I would see that coming. Money management seems to be as equally pervasive as the need for the Office suite. Perhaps even moreso.

Read More -> Microsoft Discontinues Money Programs

Be Careful With Your Online Footprint

There have been many articles over the past couple of years telling you to watch what you say online. The same holds true for who you associate with. Your Facebook, My Space, Blogger, etc. pages are burned into the archival powers of the Internet for years to come. You are leaving footprints every step of the way. Many have warned that this information may be used against you when applying for jobs. And that is true – I know hiring managers that will do a quick Google on your name before hiring you (note to self: take down picture of me & Michael Phelps).

We are starting to see incidents of companies disciplining employees for their online behavior. Offending postings don’t have to be made on your employer’s computers or networks and they may well be made during your personal time. While you may think the constitution protects your freedom of speech, it only does so to the extent that the government won’t stop you from expressing yourself. If the private sector takes umbrage with your words, they are free to dole out the discipline. It would be just like dis’ing your friend – he wouldn’t be pleased, why should your employer be any different?

A recent article expoesed this phenomenon in the world of journalism. A reported had sent ‘Friend’ requests to managers so that they would join his Facebook page. Only, they weren’t really his friend. In fact, one turned him in for his ciriticism of the company. A News Media Guild representative summed up the situation:

 

“We have seen about six Facebook problems over the last two months, with employees — maybe managers you have as friends — reporting potential issues to management,” union guild chief Kevin Keane wrote in a memo to union members last week. “You must be careful who you allow on as friends.”

 

To take it a step further, you need to really be aware of the friend of a friend concept and not put anything negative out on these social networks. I know you still will, but I at least warned you.

Read More –> AP Reporter Reprimanded For Facebook Post; Union Protests

I Thought Colorado Was Cyclist Friendly?

This woman kills two cyclists while driving under the influence of morphine and barbituates, after shoplifting at the local Safeway. She gets 3 years in jail. WTF? I am beside myself right now. She had a summons to appear for a hit-and-run incident she was involved in two years before.

 

Thomas struck and killed the men at S. 26th Street, minutes after leaving the West Colorado Avenue Safeway. Police said she had been shoplifting and banged into a man’s car in the parking lot before driving off. The man followed her and saw her hit the bicyclists as she tried to turn left onto Westend Avenue — without yielding to oncoming traffic — in her 1986 Ford F-350. Police found her speech slurred and her eyes bloodshot, according to an arrest affidavit.

 

Read for yourself -> Woman gets 3 years in death of bicyclists

Lesson Learned: Don’t Provide Options Your Users Don’t Actually Have

During a recent software launch, we added a screen that presents an updated technology agreement and put accept/decline buttons on it. After you decline a certain number of times, your manager starts to get an email. The agreement is not actually optional – all users must accept it just like they must accept the email policy, the technology usage policy, etc. By displaying a “decline” button, we inadvertently made it appear optional.

Perhaps we should have given them a “Defer” button and allow them some number of grace logins before they had to accept. This would’ve given them time to print out the agreement and review it so they understood what they were reading. However, just like the shirnk wrapped EULAs that come with software, this agreement is mandatory and should have been positioned as such.

Experiment Complete

Over the past week, I have experimeted with some technology that would post some links at the end of each day. You could think of these links as your reading assignment for the day (especially if they were tagged with a category you were interested in). I have ended this little experiment and the results were very successfuly. Stay tuned for the launch of what I hope will become something fairly significant over the summer.

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