The True Reason Behind The 40-Hour Work Week & Why We Are Economic Slaves

The True Reason Behind The 40-Hour Work Week & Why We Are Economic Slaves” doesn’t really say anything new, but it explains things nice and simple.

We automatically accept a 40-hour workweek with meager hourly pay as normal, even though many work overtime and still struggle to survive. There are also those who make enough to live comfortably but are unable to request less hours—you either work 40 hours a week, or you don’t get to work at all. We submit when told what to wear, when we have to arrive and depart, when we’re allowed to eat, and even when we’re allowed to use the restroom. How is it we have come to allow this?

The 40-hour-work week came about during the Industrial Revolution in Britain when at one point workers were putting in 10 to 16 hour days and began to protest. Working situations for Americans began to worsen as well, and by 1836, labor movement publications were also calling for a 40-hour workweek. Citizens in both situations were so overworked, an eight-hour day was easily accepted. This system is unnecessary now, if it ever was, but we still accept it due to the effects of our capitalist society.

It goes over the relationship of inflation, debt and consumerism with a few historical references.  Good reading for anybody wondering why the paycheck-to-paycheck life cycle is difficult to change, no matter what’s the size of the paycheck.

Dear Al, you are fired!

Being fired is usually not much fun.  But as far as firings go, this one is pretty funny – as reported on Slashdot:

On Friday, more than 1,300 employees of London-based Aviva Investors walked into their offices, strolled over to their desks, booted up their computers and checked their emails, only to learn the shocking news: They would be leaving the company. The email ordered them to hand over company property and security passes before leaving the building, and left the staff with one final line: ‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and wish you all the best for the future. ‘This email was sent to Aviva’s worldwide staff of 1,300 people, with bases in the U.S., UK, France, Spain, Sweden, Canada, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Finland and the Netherlands. And it was all one giant mistake: The email was intended for only one individual.

Obviously, in the corporate address book, “All Stuff” and “Al Not-the-Pacino” were right next to each other…

GitHub Enterprise announced

GitHub – the place to host and manage your source code – announced the release of GitHub Enterprise. GitHub Enterprise is a self-hosted version of GitHub. What I find the most interesting is the pricing.

GitHub Enterprise is priced at $5,000 per 20 users, per year. It comes with everything you need in one tidy package: code browsing, code review, issue tracking, wikis. No extra software to buy, no extra software to install, no extra software to manage.

The target is not on the disk space (understandable, with your own severs) or private repositories, but on the number of developers. $5,000 per 20 developers per year is $250 per developer per year, or about $20 per developer per month. That’s not too much, especially when compared with the salaries paid to the same developers each month. A fraction of the salary.

So, not only GitHub Enterprise is an excellent option for those companies that cannot use third-party hosting for source code, but it is also a Christmas present for those companies that work on a lot of projects. With private repositories, the price of a regular GitHub organizational subscription can go up pretty fast. With GitHub Enterprise you’d be able to have everything in-house for a tiny fee, compared.

It’ll be interesting to see how well this business will go for GitHub. It sounds viable to me. Convenient and not too expensive. With easy OVF-based installation, that would work on many virtual machines (VMware, VirtualBox, etc), with additional features for enterprise integration (LDAP!), I don’t see why not.

My office window

The latest theme for Flickr blog is called “my office window“.  There are some nice photos, as always, but what’s more interesting is that it is quite an engaging subject.  Pretty much everyone who ever worked somewhere can participate, share photos, and discuss.

For me personally, the last few years weren’t very lucky in terms of a good office window view.  I currently work in the premises which are on a busy Omonia avenue, which runs between the new port of Limassol and the highway.  Not too much to see.  My previous office was even worse – it had no windows at all.  The office before that had some windows, but the view wasn’t any good.  And so and so forth.  But I don’t feel bad about that. Because for six years or so I had the best office window ever.  It was during my time in PrimeTel, where I had a sea view window. I especially enjoyed it when I was working night shifts.   I had to see a sun rise several times a week!  And also PrimeTel’s office being next to the new port of Limassol, there were always ships to provide some focus and highlight to the view, not just sun and water, which I guess would have become boring pretty soon.  Here is one of the many pictures I took during those mornings.

What about you guys?  What’s you office window like? Do you have one? What’s the view like?  What was the best (or worst) office window you ever head?  Got any pictures to see?

Corporate design process

This video would have been so much funnier if it wasn’t so true.  This is one of the main reasons I don’t want to work for a large company – neither be employed by one, nor have one as a client.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wac3aGn5twc]

The simpler the thing that needs to be done, the more people participate and feel competent. This is also known as Parkinson’s Law or a bike shed discussion.

One of the things to love about Red Hat

Karsten Wade shares five reasons for which he loves working at Red Hat.  Not a reason on its own, but a part of one is this excellent quote:

At this company, the technical people have a serious influence on adjusting the mindset of the very smart people we bring in who haven’t yet fully absorbed the open source way.

Just brilliant!

Corporate slavery

I’ve heard an excellent phrase today – “corporate slavery“.  The moment I read, it made all the sense in the world.  A brief and clear description of something, straight to the point.  Here is how I heard it on Twitter:

Corporate slavery begins Thursday

But aparently the term is in use for a few years.  Here is an excellent photo set on Flickr.  And here is a gaping void back of a business card.

Perfect.