The Worst Gets Worse

I’ve complained about the network goons at my company restricting access to harmless websites before. I’ve lost access to Twitter, kottke.org, Zeldman.com, and a number of other sites which seem to have no worse impact on my productivity than checking the news.

Well today they crossed the freaking line, without warning as usual. Now they’ve blocked Gmail. Yahoo! Mail is also blocked, incidentally, though I rarely use it. They’d already blocked the chat functionality, which was understandable, but blocking web-based mail in general? This is ridiculous.

Oh yeah, YouTube is still freely accessible, which continues to make little sense and boggle my mind.

Stinkin’ paranoid network goons.

UPDATE:
I have my access again. I don’t know whether it’s the email I sent to the Help Desk (likely not – I received no reply) or somebody many levels above myself complaining about the same problem. I’m just glad to have it back.

Early to Rise

Last night I actually managed to get to bed before 7:30 and – Miracle of Miracles!!! – fall asleep before 8:00.

I did this because I semi-voluntarily came into the office this morning at 4:15 to oversee my portion of a production database release. I woke up once at about 11:40 to hit the head, and then only woke up again at 3:25 this morning, five minutes before my alarm was to go off anyway! So now I’m sitting here in the office at 4:45 AM typing a blog post.

If there’s any advantage to being up SO early, it’s that I’m leaving the office around 2 PM this afternoon. I plan to take a nice full hour-long lunch at noon – anyone care to join me? – and then finish up my day before heading out to FINALLY shoot that roll of B&W film in what’s supposed to be a glorious afternoon. Heck, if today is as sunny as it’s supposed to be, maybe I’ll even fire off that roll of slide film in my bag…

Chatty Cathy

The Almighty Network Administrative Overreactors for my company have seen fit to block the chat portion of Gmail. Now I feel like I’m missing a life line to the outside world.

That’s right, Corporate America. Keep showing your employees that you don’t trust them to simply get their work done, and cover it up with the weak blanket response of “it’s in the name of security.”

They cut off my twitter.

Mugs, try not to laugh too hard at that post title…

It appears that as of some time this morning, the network control freaks at my company cut off access to Twitter. Now when I attempt to visit the page I get the ominous restricted access notice. I’m sure sending the infrequent 140 character message through a web page was putting a real drain on productivity and security.

UPDATE:
It’s worth noting some sites that are still NOT blocked: YouTube, Apple’s Movie Trailer page, Flickr, just to name a few. Boggles me mind, it does.

When Corporations Overreact

I just received an email at work about the impending blockage of iTunes on company computers.

Let me start by acknowledging that yes, it’s not my computer or my network, so I have no right to install software of my choice or what-not.

Well I’m still pissed, because it helps me get through my day. I use iTunes at work to listen to my iPod. This way I can control the music on my iPod through the computer, and sync up some podcasts as well. I also can’t think of a reasonable cause for blocking the entire program. Is it because of ripping CDs or streaming media? Because we can still do those things with Windows Media Player. Is it because of buying music through the iTunes Store? Because I can still buy MP3s from Amazon on the internet. Is it because of some obscure security hole? Because I’m pretty sure our use of Windows and Internet Explorer alone is enough to make iTunes look like a fortress.

I think they only accomplishment here is the clear display of incompetence by some folks higher up the IT chain (and likely not even in my office building).

Welcome back, you say?

I like to get to work earlier than necessary. My office’s hours are pretty flexible, so I could technically sit down to work as late as 9:30 AM if I so chose. This, of course, would require me to stay later in the day as well, and this I can’t abide.

I’m the sort of fella who likes to arrive by 7:45, work through lunch, and be out the door by 4:30. This allows me to accomplish certain errands that require attention before 5, and I get to leave the office while there’s still some shreds of daylight, even during these shorter winter days.

Well this morning, I wish I’d stayed home an extra hour or so.

I arrived at my usual time, and I was digging out from under a vacation’s worth of email. I’d just about finished when, at 8:33, I noticed that my network connection had dropped. Before I could consider the impact, the fire alarm for the building went off, and we were all ushered outside. In the 30 degree cold. With wind. For a FULL HALF HOUR.

Thankfully, I’d brought my coat (and my phone, just in case). After we were allowed to return, we still had no internet or phone for a solid half hour while much of the employees milled about with nothing to do. Clearly, the network has been restored…though I have to admit I was kinda hoping for the sort of outage that would have sent us all home 🙂