Telework Or Die! The Flu Pandemic

Bad news from the Florida CIO Council Pandemic Preparedness Committee today. According to the Florida DOACS Pandemic Planning Toolkit,

  • “Susceptibility to the pandemic influenza virus will be universal.
  • Illness rates will be highest among school aged children (about 40%) and decline with age
  • Among working adults, an average of 20% will become ill during a community outbreak
  • Per HHS planning guidance, Florida is planning for a severe influenza pandemic similar to 1918, as compared to a moderate pandemic similar to 1957, 1968. Either one could happe.
  • Persons who become ill may shed the virus and can transmit infection for up to one day before the onset of illness. Viral shedding and the risk of transmission will be greatest during the first 2 days of illness
  • Multiple waves (periods during which community outbreaks occur across the country) of illness could occur with each wave lasting two to three months
  • A future influenza pandemic in humans is considered a certainty by the scientific community. When it will happen is entirely uncertain
  • In a severe pandemic, absenteeism attributable, to illness, the need to care for ill family members, and fear of infection may reach 40% during the peak weeks of a community outbreak, with lower rates of absenteeism during the weeks before and after the peak.
  • Governmental and business planning should include contingencies for worker absenteeism of 20% to 50% during the several-week height of a pandemic wave

Page 9 of the Planning Toolkit contains a plan for the impact of a pandemic on businesses and government. This includes

  • “Train and prepare ancillary workforce (e.g., contractors, employees in other job titles/descriptions, retirees)” (and let’s not forget those dedicated OPS workers!)
  • “Establish policies for flexible worksite (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts)”

Looks like there could be lots of rapid promotions in the future, like on Omaha Beach on D-Day.

The 4-Hour Workweek

Just got a copy of Timothy Ferriss’  “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich“. There’s some interesting stuff here, particularly for those of us who already work some or most of our hours as teleworkers. A sample:

“What separates the New Rich (NR), characterized by options, from the Deferrers (D), those who save it all for the end only to find that life has passed them by?

D: To work for yourself
NR: To have others work for you

D: To work when you want to
NR: To prevent work for work’s sake, and to do the minimum necessary for maximum effect

D: To retire early or young
NR: To distribute recovery periods and adventures (mini-retirements) throughout life on a regular basis and recognize that inactivity is not the goal. Doing that which excites you is.”

Open Web Education Alliance

The Open Web Education Alliance is the W3C’s attempt to “help enhance and standardize the architecture of the World Wide Web by facilitating the highest quality standards and best practice based education for future generations of Web professionals”. More from the charter:”Because of significantly differing curricula and standards of quality between educational facilities, students are often not adequately prepared to immediately enter the Web development profession, and prospective employers do not have sufficient information to judge applicants’ knowledge and skills. … the wide scope of the profession, ranging from presentational design, to user interface design, to client-side and server-side programming, makes comprehensive education more difficult.”

Popstar Dies: Hail And Farewell

It seems like the entire world has been affected by the death of Sky Saxon , singer and bass player for  The Seed’s on June 25th. Here are a couple of videos of The Seeds lip-synching their way through “Pushin’ Too Hard”.

Competition for the day

The following paraphrasing of copy was a part of the lead paragraph on a real estate-related blog post this morning. Needless to say, it caught my eye… and put a very grumpy spin to my Friday morning.

logo-tournamentAre you a new business in need of a logo, or are you a company that needs to update your brand logo? Well, you can hire a fancy pants graphics designer, who will take a month or so to give you something you’re not crazy about (and bill you a handsome fee)…. or try Logotournament.

So how do you respond to this kind of service? Would you throw your name into the tournament and give it shot? If not, why not? Like me, do you have a sense that the quality of this work is “a good enough value” in the minds of a LOT of people? If so, how do you compete against it? And on a related note, what are your thoughts in general to “off-shoring” design and programming?

Pick a question. I’m interested in your thoughts.

QR Codes: I’m In The Matrix Now

Wikipedia tells us that QR code is “matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code)” that can be read by phone cameras. This graphic qr1 is my “mobile tagged” name, CCLA phone number, and email address. It was generated from my iPhone Contacts with the Optiscan iPhone QR Scanner and Generator iPhone app.

More about this from The Librarian’s Bane – “QR Codes storing addresses and URLs may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards or just about any object that users might need information about. Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader software can scan the image of the QR Code causing the phone’s browser to launch and redirect to the programmed URL. This act of linking from physical world objects is known as a hardlink or physical world hyperlinks.”

QR codes are used on wine bottles, signs, and lots of other stuff.

The Wisdom of Michael Dell

Dell’s earnings have dropped by 63% this quarter. However, Maximum Leader Michael Dell sees blue skies on the horizon and says “We are preparing for what we believe will be a powerful replacement cycle”. One of his wish-dreams is that next year businesses and governments will rush out to buy new computers to run Windows 7. Of course, this is the same guy who in 1997 said of Apple “I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

Apple’s market capitalization passed Dell’s in January 2006.

Yesterday Dell’s stock closed at $11.48.

Yesterday Apple’s stock closed at $135.07.