Sunday, October 9, 2011

Random Rants: Marathons, Terms of Service, QR Codes, Job References

The Chicago Marathon was today.  I think deciding to run 26.2 miles is pretty ridiculous, and this is coming from someone who used to be a varsity distance runner.  It is not good for your body to subject it to that amount of work.  I am surprised to see how many people sign up to do it each year.  Most people probably don't run the whole time.  Maybe if you are going to do it with some friends and do a lot of walking in the middle it can be something fun to do, but running that distance is not a good idea as far as I'm concerned. 

Terms of Service agreements always bother me, especially when they put them in those little confined boxes, use capital letters, and have a long drawn out agreement using tons of "legal" words that no one understands.  You have to agree to these things all the time whenever you sign up for something of install a program.  And of course they don't give you the options to say no, so you have to "agree" or else you can't move forward.  Few people actually read these and usually it doesn't matter, but there is always the chance that they could put something in there that you wouldn't want to agree with.  That is why I don't trust these companies that make their agreements so hard to read and understand.  It just shows that they are trying to hide something and don't want you to read it. For once can we get a terms of service that is written in plain English?

What is going on with the trend of QR codes?  From what I understand, they are little squares that you scan with your phone and it pulls up a website or more information on a product.  It seems like these codes are showing up everywhere.  I think this is another one of those fads that get blown out of proportion for no good reason. I mean, I see and advertisement with a code.  They expect me to scan it and look up more information about it on my phone?  No thanks.  I'm trying to get less ads, not more ads.  There may be some practical applications, but for now, I'm not buying into it.

One thing that bothers me about filling out a job application is the references section.  You know the part where they ask you to put down the name and phone number of 3 people who know you so they can call them up and ask them if you are a good person to hire.  First off, I don't like giving out other people's information to people I don't know.  I know I wouldn't really want random companies calling me up asking me to talk about someone who put me down as a reference.  The 2nd reason why I think references are overrated is because of course people are only going to put down the contact information of people who like them and will say good things.  So what is the point?  No one is going to put down the names of people they don't get along with who might not put in a good word for them.  In theory the references concept sounds like a good idea, but in reality it is not very helpful in determining a good candidate for a job.

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