The NFL draft is fast approaching, and with it comes the multiple prognostications and mock drafts that try to divine which teams will try to link up with the which talent coming out of the college ranks.
Lately, the news has led with stories about the alleged Russian hacking of various American political organizations, ostensibly for the purpose of influencing the 2016 elections. U.S. law enforcement has surmised that the Russian government orchestrated a number of incursions into networks controlled by the major political parties and that they used or disclosed certain information. You’ll recall the leaks of major Democrat Party and Hillary Clinton campaign e-mails. Now, news reports claim that the investigation revealed the Russian government may have collected compromising information about President-elect Donald Trump.
As with any hacking story, we can’t be sure exactly what’s out there or what’s real. However, we can’t deny that hacking goes on beyond government and politics. Private organizations and businesses are just as enticing to data thieves, and are often softer targets. We have seen prominent data thefts from all industries: Telecommunications, manufacturing, tech, and consulting are all targets.
“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”
This post may not be the usual finger-wagging scold you may have come to expect from an employment lawyer. I’m confident, though, that this blog’s audience of fellow practitioners and human resource professionals will take a little solace in it. After all, it’s no fun to be a killjoy and we are thrust into that role more often than we’d like.
Why? Because potential liability under the employment laws too often compels us to manage to the lowest common denominator.
In case you haven’t seen the news, no, the title is not a joke. The last word, however, is probably illegal now in North Korea (not that I worry much that this post is making it through the Hermit Kingdom’s web filters).
First, a little background. North Korea’s government, as we all know, displays two consistent tendencies: (1) it likes Dennis Rodman and (2) it doesn’t cotton to criticism, and its leaders aren’t shy about responding in ways that would make Draco blush. The North Korean people, on the other hand, still seem to show at least some vestige of the human urge to be smart alecks. North Korea’s government and state media (but I repeat myself) has a much-mocked habit of blaming the country’s legion of woes on outsiders, particularly the United States.
Books are supposed to be my bailiwick here at the blog and after several posts on anything but, I figure it’s time to return to that groove. This week I want to focus on new businesses, or “startups,” if you prefer.
If you’re starting a business and have grand plans for future growth, you really need to check out Randall Stross’s eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists at Work. eBoys has a bit of age on it at this point—it was first published in 2000 and came out soon before the dot-com bubble burst early that decade, and so you could criticize it as out-of-date and out of context. I don’t subscribe to that view.
Silicon Valley’s third season is in full swing on HBO, which raised a question in my mind: if Michael Scott’s Dunder Mifflin warranted an entire blog from the FordHarrison crew, isn’t the Hacker Hostel’s Erlich Bachman at least due his own post?
My answer: Of course he is!
Saturday Night Live has made invaluable contributions to American humor, but the best may be the show’s political parodies. Chevy Chase was famous for mocking Gerald Ford’s clumsy reputation (undeserved, for sure, considering Ford was a standout athlete). Dana Carvey practically built a career mimicking George H.W. Bush, and Phil Hartman had Bill Clinton down pat.
One of the best lines, however, came from Will Farrell’s George W. Bush. During a mock debate with Al Gore, Farrell brought roars after responding to a question with, “I was not told there would be math.”
If you’re on the lookout for an easy laugh and a good time on television these days, you can certainly do much worse than Lip Sync Battle on Spike. If you haven’t seen it yet or run across the clips on YouTube, you really need to check it out.
Here’s the setup—each episode pits two celebrities against each other in an audience-judged contest. The celebrities will lip sync two songs apiece. The first is just the celebrity but, for the second song, the show gives them access to just about any prop, professional dancers, or any other bells and whistles they could possibly want.
It’s mid-January, and I’m sitting in my office writing this post while snow falls outside. (Yes, we get snow in South Carolina and, yes, it terrifies us.) The snow, however, reminds me of the frozen northern Wisconsin landscapes featured in my latest binge-watching favorite, Netflix’s Making a Murderer.
If you’ve not seen it yet, Making a Murderer is a fascinating serial documentary about the murder trial of Steve Avery. Mr. Avery swears by his innocence and defends the murder charge by claiming that the local sheriff’s office framed him. DNA evidence had exonerated Avery of a prior rape conviction (or at least raised sufficient doubt to require his release from prison). He sued the county for his earlier conviction, and soon after key depositions were taken in his lawsuit, a young woman went missing. Key evidence was found near Avery’s home (including charred remains of the missing woman), and he was arrested. He claimed someone set him up and that the police overlooked evidence of his innocence.
This blog’s mission is to be witty, entertaining, and informative. That mission is difficult when the headlines are as sobering as what we’ve seen since last Friday in Paris. Before I launch into this week’s EntertainHR installment, I want to extend my sympathies to and express my solidarity with the people of Paris and, in particular, the lawyers and staff of Capstan Avocats, our French affiliate through Ius Laboris. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
I have a mindless indulgence—ghost-hunting shows. Maybe it goes back to my childhood days in the Ozarks listening to my family tell stories that had come down from across the generations but, whatever it is, I just can’t get enough of these things. I love watching a group of people wrap themselves in electronic gear, stumble through a purportedly haunted house in the dark, and scare themselves senseless. I eat it up when they manage to catch something—a voice, an image—that actually defies explanation. I once got myself so wrapped up and spooked watching one of these shows that I screamed bloody murder when my wife simply walked in the room. (No, not one of my better moments.)