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    • CommentAuthorENGINE
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2009
    You could also try installing PortableApps on a hard drive and plug it into your work computer: it provides a separate application loadout to work from which never enters the computer in the first place so when you eject the HD, you're golden.
  1.  (4956.2)
    @ ENGINE

    ZOh My God, that is amazing.

    I guess there would be limitations, like games that require sound & video drivers, but for your basic work time wasting it's brilliant. Now I just need to buy a portable hard drive and scour the work HDD clean.
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2009 edited
    @joe.distort -

    Read back a few posts - you specifically want a collection called the WinPenPack and a 2 or 4 GB pen drive depending on what size you get. Optionally encrypt it, but to mount an encrypted drive you need to have Administrator on the machine you are using.

    First, this caveat - you can never completely trust a machine you don't control. There could always be a keystroke logger installed that records everything you type. This is the worse case scenario. If you really can't afford to be without the job and you can't trust the computer, then don't screw around. If your company has an Acceptable Use policy, know what it is.

    That being said, the ultimate trade secret for IT folks about how to get away with stuff at work is this - we CAN know everything about what you're doing on the computer, but most of the time we don't want to be bothered. Its a lot of work, mostly boring, and we hate having to bust people. Keeping track of stuff people are doing generates an ass-ton of data, so what you want to do is make sure you don't stand out.

    This mostly means don't abuse the data service by doing streaming radio, streaming video, downloading huge and/or copyrighted files, or installing stuff on the computer that might lead to compromise such as pirated software. If you just want to have some leisure time, check your personal email and Whitechapel and so on, then using Firefox off of a portable drive is a good bet.

    However. Ultimately no matter what you can get away with on your machine, remember IT also owns the data connection and can see everywhere you are going if they are so inclined. To really get around this, you need to use some sort of what's called a proxy server to get around the company firewall, or bring your own data connection such as on your cell phone. A good technique, if a little advanced, is to install your own proxy server on a home machine (Freeproxy by Hand Crafted Software works well) and open it up - carefully - to your company's IP address, or use VPN software to connect to your home network. You can also find lists of "open proxy servers" on the Internet. The proxy server settings get plugged into your browser.

    When you use a proxy server, all of your requests actually get sent out through the proxy, not your local machine, so all that shows up in the firewall logs is that you were talking to a proxy. A VPN connection is even better, as it is fully encrypted. Many commercial home routers (Linksys) support a VPN connection, but again you need to have permissions on your work machine in order to install the VPN connection software.

    The ultimate best strategy is to have a good cell phone with a data connection and to do all of your personal activity on the phone. But should you have enough permissions on your work machine, remember the combination of an (encrypted) thumb drive, WinPenPack, and VPN software + a proxy server. Ultimately your very keystrokes may be logged, so don't be too confident, but stay casual and don't attract attention and you will likely get lost in the noise. Most importantly, though, once you have established a secure routine, maintain discipline and don't get tripped up by how apparently easy it is. Always use your encrypted or portable solution to access anything non-work related - all it takes is one thumbnail image or browser history entry to get caught.
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2009

    Eons ago I worked at a car dealership, in suburban Houston TX, one summer as a Car Porter, meaning I drove the cars from the front lot to the mechanics and back, and cleaned and vacuumed them too ("sucking the farts out of car seats"). After chatting with the mechanics I learned how the dealer handled repairs.

    The mechanics were all independent contractors and they had to bring their own tools (and probably rented the repair bays). The repairs were essentially piecework. The dealer paid them a flat rate ($38/hr then; customer was charged $50 I think), but had a book that allotted a set time for every job. Did the dealer eat repairs of cars under warranty? Did they hell. They took it out of the mechanics, not by lowering the paid rate (they couldn't) but making them use the "Warranty Book" which lists the jobs but allots only half the time per job. Kaching!

    Hence the dealer's unofficial name, N____ Fraud.

    But I suspect this was industry-wide.
  2.  (4956.5)
    thanks guys! yeah, im pretty much doing the minimum right now, but my boss doesnt care what i do when she does see it because a) im extremely good at my job, so she cant bitch that im behind and b)i dont download shit/stream music all day, etc etc etc. like some of the careless idiots i work with.
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2009
    ^ yeah - the smartest IT departments take the approach that computer use is an H.R. issue, and if the employee is doing their job, then there isn't a problem so long as they don't make it one.

    Sometimes I've printed out the entire list of "suspect" URL's that I can view at the firewall, without IP addresses or user names attached. I have then posted this in the breakroom with a "Big Brother is watching you" message. Once it becomes clear that we know what is going on but don't wish to make it an issue, peer pressure very often sorts any problems by itself.
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2009
    This one (I think) still applies to any job in Britain where you might be required to show I.D:

    If little jimmy buys an 18 rated film, or some alcohol, and the police finds out - it's the individual employee who gets fined, not the company. So yes, fuzzy chinned youth, I will risk offending you rather than getting hit for a few grand.
    • CommentAuthorNolaa
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2009
    My personal experience working in a porn shop/novelty store:

    -Most of us don't care of you're under 18. We only ask for cards if you're giggling like an idiot at the toys or being a bastard. If you look 18 we'll leave you alone, unless the boss is in, then we card you.
    -We are (mostly) not druggies, nymphos, or freaks. Most of us are probably college students who thought it would be an easy/fun job. Most porn shops are open late, have no dress code, and very little foot traffice. It's a great place to study and do homework.
    -No, we will not 'try on' that toy you want to buy your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/whatever.
    -We sold a lot of stuff to ship overseas to Iraq to soldiers. The #1 thing we sold were one time use disposable masturbation tubes for men.
    -Yes, we talk about you and occasionally laugh at what you bought once you leave.
    -That $100+ dollar toy we sold you? We lied, it's probably no better than the cheap one. I worked on commission and could really care less about your wallet or personal pleasure.
    -Don't ask me what my favorite DVD is. I sell this shit for a living, the last thing I want to do when I go home is watch more.
    -We would purposely sell weird or bad DVD's to people, just to see if we could.
    -Don't ask out, proposition, or offer to pay a clerk. Depending on how bad you are, we may call the police.
    -If you're a regular, you have a nickname based on what you buy.
    -We don't recognize you outside of the shop unless you act weird around us, then we <em>might</em> remember you. But usually not, so relax a bit.
    -We have probably taken your toy out of the box at some point in time and handled it in some way (not in THAT way), probably to show a customer, which means it's been held in strange hands. Make sure you wash it before you use it.
    -We know you're buying that glass pipe to smoke weed, so you don't need to wink when you say tobacco. Also, when you call them crack pipes we think you're stupid.
    -Don't try to return body flush because you used it and still failed your drug test. You're a moron.
    -Never, EVER buy batteries in a porn shop. We insanely mark up the prices cause we know you probably won't buy them and will end up getting AA's out of your remote otherwise.
    -Please don't tip us, that's just tacky.
    -The flirting? Yeah, that's just to make you buy more stuff. I don't like you, and chances are you kind of gross me out.
    -Occasionally, we actually do want to help you out. Usually if you're a shy guy/gal trying to do something nice for your significant other, and we can usually tell who you are before you say a word.
    -Don't use disgusting slang for body parts. Just because you're in a porn shop, doesn't make it ok. I have asked people to leave for being excessively vulgar.
  3.  (4956.9)
    • CommentAuthorseverian
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2009 edited
    Current trade secrets:

    -You can scream all day that you gave us exact Pantone/CMYK/RGB information but nothing looks like it did on your screen. You have no idea what you were looking at anyways because your monitor isn't color calibrated properly (or at all). If you're dropping a significant amount of money then your name will be cursed unless you look at it in person, because elsewise something just isn't "they way I imagined it." If you don't, don't bitch.
    -We suggest fonts/layout/color for a reason. Your artsy fonts suck ass & look horrible even on your laptop, let alone $200+ piece (before letter/time costs)
    -Just because I'm self taught, doesn't mean I don't know most of the same tricks pro designers use. if you do know anything about design & layout, don't tell me how to do my job since you know nothing about the methods/machines I have.
    -If you're contacting any other business regarding graphics anything & can't supply in the requested filetype/resolution then don't be surprised when we "offer" to create your logo. It'll end up being over half the cost of the work, and you will never get a copy of the file. The worst violator sent a photocopied & then scanned (for added lack of quality goodness) image of the logo from company letterhead. It was cropped in MS Paint & was only 32x32 pixels. Given a 600dpi process, we needed at least 2000x2000 pixel image to start with if we weren't going to vectorize the logo.
    -Christmas sucks. Valentine's Day sucks. January really sucks.
    -We are 4 blocks away from a doughnut/pastry store & 7 blocks away from yet another doughnut/pastry place. Such donations do help when you forgot your event that you knew about for 4 months. You're still getting a rush charge though, but at least we'll be too sugared up to fuck with you.

    Computer repair & tech, adding to the book already here.
    -dd (the Unix tool) is a wonderful thing. I can copy a whole drive & look for incriminating evidence in my spare time. Paired with a loopback device I routinely do things that make me look like a god to the less knowledgable techs.
    -When I did it for a living, if I repaired your system & found ANY traces of P2P software on your system I tacked on at least a 50% charge on top. This was to discourage you from doing it again unless you took the time to learn what you were doing.
    -Burnt cat urine + orange juice is the most rancid thing I've ever smelled outside of a landfill that didn't involve a dead animal/person.
    -Never ask a tech to look for the evidence of your spouse/SO cheating on you.
    -Never ask a tech to hide evidence of a crime. Take a drill press to the hard drive yourself.
    -Never give your child a digital camera/webcam before the age of 18. Sooner or later they will record themselves in an intimate situation. Murphy's law extends & says that if this is on a computer connected to the 'net that said evidence will end up being spread around by the kinds of people that make comic book nerds look like great conversationalists with an active social life.
    -Never ask what the strangest things I saw were. I still have the cards for a dozen different detectives/agents in my wallet several years later.
    -IT consultants will use your company systems/LAN as a toy for themselves. I've found all kinds of ftp/bittorrent installs. We "stole" a NAS drive that one guy installed in our building so he could hide his porn collection. It is now one of the parts of our nightly backups. The old adage is still true; no matter how fat the network pipe, nothing really beats a <vehicle> of <easily transportable, hotplugable media>.
    -The first step in diagnosing almost any hardware problem is verify/replace the power supply.
    -Most software problems clear up once the tech looks at it because they're PEBKAC errors.

    -More then a few horse farms (& other farms) have a bit of a black trade involving bestiality.
    -Most of the adult video stores I've been in were quite clean & nicer then a Blockbuster. This surprised me since one of my first contracts was to maintain the 5 systems for a local store back when Windows NT was still not that old. Also surprising was they were one of the few contracts that never had a problem paying. Even if money was tight they always had my checks on time or before.
    -Never walk in a 24-hour Wal-Mart between midnight & sunrise.
    -Never curse about anyone in sales in another language while in their presence. You'd be surprised how many fragments of other languages some Americans already know.
    -As above, but in social situations. Lines like "Get her away from her boyfriend & whisper in Spanish that you want to fuck her in the ass. Her panties will be dripping wet." tend to have a certain psychic vibe.
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2009
    To be contradictory:

    The best time to go into any store that's open at the ungodly hour of before sunrise is before sunrise. The only people that are there are the cleaning crew (maybe), the vendors, and the stock crew. While most of them look like creepers, they're working at before-sunrise-thirty, and are socially inept and will go out of their way to not bother you. Usually the cashiers that work these shifts are generally amiable. Therefore you can get in, get your shit, talk to one person for 30 seconds, and get the fuck out. I love any store that's open 24 hours.
    • CommentAuthorIan_M
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2009
    - If you're looking for work, dress as though you were going to work. Even if you're just making phone calls or sending out cover letters. If you're not looking for work - For God's sake, at least wash and shave.
    - Get off the internet and get out of your home once a day. Otherwise you'll turn into a CHUD.
    - Do something that gives a schedule to your week. Buy lottery tickets, join a writer's group, play RPGs, whatever. Just do something that reminds you there's a difference between Saturday and Tuesday.
    - Lattes are expensive. Buy a cheap coffee, dump out half to two-thirds of it, and top it up with milk and sugar. There are enough calories in that mix to get you through about four hours of moderate physical labour.
    - Groceries - Bread, porridge, milk or milk substitute, frozen vegetables, one piece of fruit a day, chicken <i>or</i> pork once a week. Consider everything else to be a luxury.
    - Yes, drink is a luxury. <Sob>
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2009
    to be contradictory to rickiep00h's contradiction:
    last time i was in a walmart that late, they were playing the chicken dance over the loudspeaker (or whatever it's called... there's a trade secret i'd like to know). the chicken dance. and heavy set customers were dancing to it.
    shit gets weird.
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th 2009
    ...that's surreal. I surrender.

    Heebie jeebies.
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st 2009
    From the insular world of law librarianship:

    - English law is old. Online databases are not. The chances are that if the date of the case you want is before, say, 1994, the lower the chance of it being on an online database and the higher the chance that you will, actually, have to look in a book. The horror. If it's before 1945, it definitely won't be online. And it will still be good law.

    - Yes, you do have to have a post-graduate qualification to be a fully qualified librarian. Yes, I have a Masters. And a bachelors degree. I didn't just drop out of school with my GCSEs. Implying so will make it extremely unlikely that I'll rank your query high when I'm being hammered for time.

    - No, I didn't become a librarian so I could read books. If that was the case, I wouldn't be working in law now, would I? (Oooh, a book on the laws of trusts! Thrilling!)

    - If you don't sign the books out, I can't track 'em. Therefore, if you want to see less recall notes in your email, sign the damn books out. (see also: don't kvetch at me if you can't find a book on the shelf because the lawyer who borrowed it hasn't signed it out.)
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st 2009
    Halcyon, a friend of mine worked in the Law library of the Supreme Court of my state, they suffered regular thefts of key reference works - sometimes finding them back in the stacks months later stained, battered or with pages torn out.

    Nothing they did could stop the thefts - until they installed a tag reader on the corridor leading to the private elevator used by Justices and their staff. The thefts stopped immediately.
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st 2009
    @Kosmopolit I would love nothing more than to have a tag system on my books but right now I work in a law firm and that's never going to happen. Plus, as they work longer hours than I do and the library is quite isolated, no one will notice the tag reader going beep beep when they take a book out at 9pm. Baaah.

    Thankfully no one has damaged a book yet (although a friend of mine in another firm got a book back yesterday that had been highlighted to buggery. should she find which lawyer had it, they will be wishing they'd never been born.) I have instilled a sense of fear in most of them. Heh.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st 2009
    You'd love the set-up at the Court building - the public elevator goes directly to and from the ground floor (the intervening floors are closed ot the general public). If you take a book out that way an alarm doesn't ring - a light comes on on the ground floor and you're met by an armed security guard when the lift doors open.
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st 2009
    The law section of Trinity College Dublin was famous for students ripping cases out of the texts.

    Fucking losers.
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st 2009
    Ah. I've learned another one. All by myself.

    When you deliver services which people need to be alive, you need them to trust you.

    If you fail to make them trust you, they will be a pain in the ass. If you can't regain their trust or pass them on to someone who does have their trust, then you WILL bend over and take the resultant constant whining, begging, grandstanding, attempts at bribery, second-guessing, insults, impossible demands, unreasonable schemes and pure, free-flowing stupidity that results. Because in their mind, they are FIGHTING for their life, or that of their loved ones. They're not just being obnoxious to fuck with your day. If you can't do that, apply for a job at McDonalds instead.

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