Category Archives: Underneath the Radar

HERO reports news that you probably missed because something very interesting was on telly.

The Search for Meaning

Let’s assume for a moment that you think of life as two major bits-the work bit and the home bit. The home bit is what it is, something we create in our lives to make babies, houses, and toys. The work bit is, for many people, the platform where we express who we are. Most of us actually define ourselves by our work-“I’m this sort of person because I’m an Engineer”, for example, so when we “look for a job” were not looking for just a job, especially if you have trained or indeed have once been in the lofty clouds of professional endeavour.

So why then do we, as soon as we commence the hunt for employ, start on the back foot with the intonation “I need a job.” when what we really mean is “I need meaning in my life.”?

Employers generally are not stupid. They are not going to give you a job where you may be unhappy, as you won’t last long, and then they are stuck again. Again, generally, they are in the best position to judge what happiness in this context is. So, here’s the thing-you’re probably not going to get a job that you really didn’t want anyway, and as a bonus your self-esteem will be savaged with the deal. So, what to do?

Step one-Define your immediate need-this may ideally be “meaningful” interviews. Face-to-face moments that string together with a possibly fateful bind of employ-that sort of meaning.

Step two-Describe how you are going to get there. Describe the type of employment that will give your life meaning in this context-oh, all right, “job” if you must. This takes courage, as there is need to deselect types of jobs you don’t want-remembering that even if you got one you probably would be unhappy.

Step Three-Construct an article to transport you to step one. This usually is a resume, but not always. There’s a lot of energy on resumes. Everyone is an expert, and they are all correct in their context, and usually employed, which backs up their credibility. Assessment of effectivity is negligible, as recruiters in 2014 have a diseased “reply” button. So what to do?

Use your best judgement given Step One. If you want your resume to be read, make it readable. If you want the reader to be compelled, make it compelling; a story, a minor legend if you will.

If they are looking to hire a drone then they will overlook the energetic resume; but if you’d like a drone job then you know the drill-make a boring resume, nab that job, go home, make babies and play with your toys.

 

More follows on the Energetic Resume.

 

 

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Positions Vacant!

Several vacancies are open for several very clever, and very bad people who, though cunning in the ways of duplicity and exploiting job candidates in dreadful ways, were not clever enough when to know precisely the right time to pack up and leave. The time to pull out was long before October 2012.

A gang of fraudsters have been jailed for stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds from job hunters using fake online adverts for companies in the UK including Harrods and Argos.
The group of five men and one woman included one of the UK’s first home-grown financial malware writers to be convicted for targeting banks, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said. They targeted people looking for work on internet sites such as Gumtree and posted bogus job adverts for reputable companies like Blue Arrow. They themselves called it the “Gumtree Fraud”.
Adjibola Akinlabi, 26, Damilare Oduwole, also 26, and Michael Awosile, 27, who all lived in South London, were each jailed for seven years. Malware writer Tyrone Ellis, 27, was jailed for four and a half years, while Temitope Araoye, 29, was given a two-year prison sentence. Nadine Windley, 26, who pleaded guilty to using her position as an employee of Santander bank to provide the gang with customer account data, was handed a two-year suspended sentence. Babatunde Akinlabi, 28, who previously pleaded guilty to a 2008 offence of fraud with his brother Adjibola (after they used illegally obtained bank details to obtain cash from online bank accounts) will also leave a vacancy.
Here’s some of the ways they managed the heist. The group targeted people looking for jobs. Locating what looked like reputable UK organizations, including Harrods, Securestore, and Argos, they posted job adverts, even apparently masquerading as a reputable Employment Agency, Blue Arrow-(amongst others), over what appears to be a number of years. Therein lies the mistake, as they came to the attention of the UK Police force, who combined intelligence to hunt and gather.
One of the technical tools the criminals used was HT-F41 – The Crossbill SpyEye Malware-a very naughty virus which started live as the ZeuS banking Trojan. The SpyEye toolkit is similar to Zeus in a lot of ways. It contains a builder module for creating the Trojan bot executable with config file and a Web control panel for command and control (C&C) of a bot net.
Applying online, the applicants were then asked to “fill in that application pack for further consideration.”-then the magic happens, via this nasty ass (or more correctly задница) program called SpyEye which uses a variety of tricks to stay hidden.

It can inject itself in DLLs, or dynamic link libraries — code libraries used by applications — that are legitimate-even deleting its own installation files! Once infected, users who clicked the job link inadvertently downloaded the computer malware which recorded their keystrokes, capturing their private financial and personal data, and transmitting it back to the criminal gang.
The fraudsters used personal data to telephone banks claiming to have lost their credit or debit card. They would request a new pin number and credit card, and then wait outside the victim’s address where they would intercept the postman before he delivered the letters, the NCA said (!)
They also defrauded the emergency cash systems of several banks by providing illegally obtained security passwords, at which point the bank issued them with a special code so they could obtain £60 from cash machines.-all very clever. Mobile phone and online chat records apparently showed the group had made more than £300,000 from their fraud, but officers believe this figure could be much higher – possibly more than £1million, maybe even an amount so embarrassing as to be almost surely censored, as the group were sprung late in 2012 after a long multi-agency hunt.
The idea has spawned some interesting copycat crime, according to the Australian Financial Review.
In Shanghai, China recently, fake job adverts, with fake jobs, fake addresses, and all purporting marvellous jobs with great companies are simply trolling for resumes, which are then on-sold!
One Australian executive working in human resources in China said recruiters used well-known foreign companies to lure high-achieving job applicants to websites. They could on-sell their database of resumes to companies in the industry concerned. (AFR) Fascinating?
So what can we do to prevent online fraud? Well, if a job looks too good to be true, it usually is. Use known recruiters, and known job boards. Stay aware-if the site looks dodgy do some further investigation. Use a post office or private box. Keep your antivirus up to date-and then some!
In the long run there is no certainty, no absolutes. Learn resilience. For example, monitor your bank accounts. Any money stolen is probably going to be returned by the bank-it’s what they do, but you must report the money stolen, and so on….all resilient strategies designed to ensure you bounce back in this uncertain world full of clever thieves who live in grey as well as dark worlds.

Bot Bird

Robots are Free

 

 

 

 

 

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Who Are We ?

Who are we, Huawei?

Shenzhen, China was a bizarre dystopian town at the end of Hong Kong’s magic train line when I first visited it a decade or so ago. With the illusion of civilization suddenly shattered by two cruelly rude border guards who literally threw our passports to the ground, my partner and I entered mainland China for the first time, and whilst Hong Kong was, by then officially China, it was China Lite, like the Louis Vuitton version, and quite harmless….charming even.

Headquartered in this town, then rising out of the sludge with bamboo scaffolding, was a Telecommunications Company called Huawei. It’s huge, having taken over the leading role from Ericsson in 2012, which is amazing, considering it was founded in 1987 in Communist China. (Wikipedia)

They want in. Here. Big. NBN is, for them, a hot chick-very hot.

When NBN Co issued a media release on June 24, 2010, coincidentally the day Julia Gillard rolled Kevin Rudd as prime minister, announcing it had selected Alcatel-Lucent as its “initial” equipment supplier, Huawei was blindsided. The company’s Australian representatives say they had been led to believe they were a shoo-in to be appointed as one of the NBN Co’s two primary vendors in a multi-company model that maximised competitive pricing tension and product innovation. For the next 18 months, Huawei continued to believe it was still in the race. In late 2011 the company’s Australian chairman, John Lord, former Victorian premier, John Brumby, and Huawei’s chief spinner, Jeremy Mitchell, met with Julia Gillard’s chief of staff, Ben Hubbard.

In November 2011 President Barack Obama paid his first official visit to Australia. One conspiratorial month later the Attorney-General’s Department asked Huawei’s brass to come to Canberra. The Chinese telco thought it would be the news they had waited so long to hear. Instead, Lord and Mitchell were shocked when ­officials informed them they were being barred outright from involvement in the NBN, a message that was formalised in a letter months later. (AFR)

Much has been made by the CIA, where Huawei has been on the nose for pretty much ever, banned in the US, though not so in the UK, where the tech gear is right through the whole joint like the blue in blue vein cheese…which is what networks do, organically.

So what’s the problem? Well, it’s the spying bit. China has been caught with their pants down, multiple times, prying into all sort of places, which is bad. Stealing secrets, which is bad. So we hate China and love America, like Cisco, right? Home of the brave? The problem is really the ultimate Hubris-EVERYONE SPIES ON EVERYONE and always have. Can we trust the Chinese? Shit no! Can we trust the American Cisco folk, who are in bed with the Feds? Niente-we can trust no one, for their track records are, well, quite bad. Really bad.

It’s about risk mitigation then, and meeting and greeting the world’s best experts in rooting out the bugs from the system, like Kaspersky Labs. Sure, exclude Huawei if you have mission critical gear, and your research indicates, and merits, risk aversion, but don’t include the Americans, Israeli’s as a matter of course. Do your homework, build safeguards, resilience and build silos of data, but not shared human information. Eugene Kaspersky was reported to have relied to a similar question lately “IT business and IT security is a business of trust, only companies which are trusted can be suppliers of national products,” he answered, before saying companies that wanted to change their perception, needed to open their code and products for scrutiny.”

I believe him-the Russians have always been proud of their intelligence network, and made us work very hard for a living during the cold war.

Handy to Know

Talk to the Hand

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The Moving finger Writes…

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,

Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.” The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam, 1859

 

In some obscure examination paper will be the question “who was Steve Jobs?” It’s unthinkable that a household name would be forgotten, but like all cabbages and kings, soon the younger set will have other modern heroes. Thank you Mr. Jobs, and I wish I could hope for your dynasty to remain as creative and attentive to the needs of your loyal fans, but I’m afraid the first cracks are starting to show.

The latest ios7 was released with bugs-none of which seemed to bother me, and have since been repaired…at least for now. It’s quite horrifying that the operating system passed Change Management control in the first place. What my beef is that this new layout constitutes what is in effect an entire new mobile phone. I didn’t sign up for that. Having bonded with my iPhone in ways that we are all too embarrassed to admit, Apple made my phone transform into something quite Alien, or maybe in this case, Android looking.

Now I’m looking at hours of familiarization with my new creature, and so far I like about a third of what I see. Also now it looks a lot like the other phone models some of my friends have, and they look cool.

Purchasing a Macbook was an even more disappointing buy-most of my commercial applications did not run on a Mac. I was stunned, and equally stunned to find very few alternatives being offered from the Mother ship.

Microsoft must be giggling along with the Samsung’s of the world who just got handed a free ride. Miss you Steve.

 

 

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Financial Report

Australia’s unemployment rate decreased to 6.2 per cent in August 2015

Australia’s estimated seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August 2015 was 6.2 per cent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage points. In trend terms, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.2 per cent in August 2015, as announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The seasonally adjusted labour force participation rate decreased 0.1 percentage points to 65.0 per cent in the August 2015 estimate.
The ABS reported the number of people employed increased by 17,400 to 11,775,800 in August 2015 (seasonally adjusted). The increase in employment was driven by increases in male full-time employment, and female full-time and part-time employment, with the largest increase seen in full-time employment for males (up 10,100).
The seasonally adjusted number of people unemployed decreased by 14,400 to 781,100 in August 2015, the ABS reported, but the truth is that many have simply given up looking.
Overall, the outlook for employment is grim, has been for some time, but the good news is that its mostly on the mend from here!

 

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NBN Conquers Tasmania! Gimme six!

NBN Co, Australia’s answer to archaism, has adopted a brilliant new media plan. The previous cunning plans have worked so very well, being

a/ Coming at you from nowhere, with no public discussion or input,

b/ Making it completely unintelligible, and

c/ Pretending you’re an ignorant Luddite if you cant understand a,b, or how much $43 Billion dollars is such a bargain…and counting.

The current cunning plan is to make accessible utterly, staggeringly boring media releases, using as much blue as possible. Blue goes towards credibility as we know.

Its our fault. At what time did we, the Australian public, make it OK to spend our money on, well, anything approaching a billion dollars, let alone $43 plus? Lets make sure there’s some probity in the future. Make a fuss.

 

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Omega AS acquires Omniware AS

Ølensvåg, Norway – 30 November 2010, Omega AS acquired all of the shares in Omniware AS. The transaction includes all subsidiaries of Omniware AS: Omniware Australia Pty Ltd; Omniware America Ltd; and Omniware UK Ltd.

Proudly smiling as an unshaven example of Australian manhood, Shane Butt, recently Chief Technology Officer is now a President of Vice. What a guy ! Apparently Omega is in to oil and gas, project staff, and stuff like that. Just like Shane himself, they are “big enough to deliver, and small enough to care.”

Shane has moved to Houston in January 2013 to take up the role of Vice President Enterprise Systems, after his marriage to a stunning woman in NYC. The author will miss our all to infrequent golf days.

Locally, Sally Dietzler will take over as General Manager of Omega Australia-you may recall her as Sally Han. Unfortunately not everyone is as nimble with name changes as we would like, as you may note from the place card at a recent conference. 

We are expecting Omega to power up in the Projects Area especially….

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That aint workin, that’s the way you do it…I want my AIC!

In the words of the Great Monty Python “Here comes another one!”-yes minister, if you’re not board with the number of current government bodies, we have, in full living grey, the Australian Information Commissioner, under the Australian Information Commissioners act 2010. Initially labelled the AIC, some bright spark realized that acronym had been taken-though an easy mistake. Now it’s OAIC, not to be confused with oink.

The job is (wading to section 7) “the collection, use, disclosure, management, administration or storage of, or accessibility to, information held by the Government”. There is also a lot of gobbledygook about the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) and something to do with things that may be changed. Or not. To be perfectly clear

“10  Functions and powers of the Information Commissioner

(1)  The Information Commissioner has the following functions:

(a)  the information commissioner functions;

(b)  the freedom of information functions;

(c)  the privacy functions.

(2)  The Information Commissioner has power to do all things necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of functions conferred by this section.”

I can’t wait for the movie. If it’s as riveting as the Potato Marketing board rules then we’ll have cool stuff like “you are allowed to plant potatoes, at eight designated times of the year, are restricted to 13 varieties, and must notify it on a daily basis you intend to harvest”.

Quancocrats, an animal similar to a Quokka but less kicked, comprise Government boards. Western Australia alone has more than 1000 (yes, one thousand).-I’m going for the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporations Selection Committee. Hic. I need to find and fund trips for overseas wine writers to visit Australia. I so want this job.

 

Lets take this down to the coffee shop!

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Zombies amongst us!

Take a stab at what percent of global e-mail is spam. Ten ? Sixty ? Nyet, a whopping 92.6%! Thanks to a recent kill by the Digital Crimes Unit of Microsoft, the heinous crimes of Rustock, or to be precise the Rustock botnet, that figure may be shrinking. Rustock’s MO focused on image spam and spoofing HTML templates from legit newsletters to give recipients the illusion that their spam is legitimate and professional. The Rustock botnet was estimated to control over one million zombies (infected computers) and was capable of sending billions of spam every day.

How big ?

If you’re a Greenie then have a herbal tea and think of how much heat would be generated by the cooling stacks of a well known computer company…..in a place that must-not-be-named …by all those billions of emails..over 200 billion per day it seems, and how much cooler it would be…

 

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Sub Contract-it’s your right!

In the authors lifetime at least two major wars have been fought over what was considered “the communist menace”. Right or wrong, win or lose, many thousands of Australian servicemen died for the right to “be free”. This includes the freedom to associate, religious freedom, and the freedom to be pretty much who you want to be. You can be a bricklayer, a lawyer, a banker, or you can be self-employed-currently pretty much anything including unemployed. In most cases you are protected by law from exploitation and inappropriate remuneration or what is called exploitation. If you want to trade freely as your own entity-say sub-contract, however, you come into the sights of the Australian Government, and in particular the Australian Tax Office, who are given the powers to strip you of your assets and dignity.

The Federal Government loathes subcontractors, and has treated subbies with complete disdain for as long as the author has been in the employment game-some twenty years. It is understood that there is a need for a part-time work force. It is understood that the lower socio-economic tier of labourers quite frequently require protection from exploitation-we get that. Clear, concise, precise and accessible laws are actually in place to protect Bob the Builder. The unions, bless their belligerent buttocks, are to a large part responsible for this When professional services comes into play they leave the Unions behind. Don’t need ‘em. Don’t like ‘em. Don’t want ‘em. Are we cool with that? Computer says no. The ICT industry has resisted Unionism for as long as it has existed, mostly due to the three “D’s”. Sensing a weakness in the force, the Feds have sought to penalise the ICT industry. Why? Is it because the average ICT worker earns more? Doesn’t wear blue? Seems to be too blithely happy? Just the vibe?

Grandad did it for Oz

For whatever reason there is not a clear-cut, safe method of sub contracting. The thin ice that is current subcontracts law shifts with the mood of the ATO. It’s deliberately thin, as evinced by the “Personal Services Income Test” for sole traders, which was cobbled together by someone very fond of cryptic crosswords and multisyllabic obfuscation.

To maintain subcontractors in the firing line they have no compulsion to superannuate like everyone else. There’s no easy way of paying tax. The state governments are generally cool with subcontractors, save for the idiotic state payroll tax grab. In this one case only they treat the subbies as employees.

Is it a coincidence that Australia is the only western democracy with no bill of rights?

Wake up Australia-we need a flexible workforce, and an easy way to do that legally. It’s good for our careers and our pockets. We learn so much more through flexibility and the clients don’t need us full time-once the implementation is over we skedaddle. Many of our clients can’t afford IBM and the big guns. Most subcontractors genuinely want to pay tax-they are not all stupid, so don’t treat the ICT professional world like they are nascent criminals. Get annoyed-I am!

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  • CareerCafé is always on the hunt for ICT (Information Technology & Computing) specialists.

    Equipped with a good resume, we can approach clients who have an “open” specification lodged with us as a requirement.

    All applications are treated with dignity, respect, and privacy.

    Please note: we cannot assist those without a full “work-ready” visa - not a holiday visa or a variant of a 457 – sorry!