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Alexander Jack
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Outsource your job
Personal Shadow Outsourcing
For years I've heard apocryphal stories of knowledge workers in Silicon Valley who had permission to work at home, but in fact outsourced their work to cheap Chinese or Indian labor. The digital worker would work only a few hours per day overseeing his help, and goof off the rest. The Asian workers under him were delighted with a real job that paid well for them -- but only a fraction of what the CA guy got. And the CA guy's boss was delighted with the great work he was getting. It was an ingenious racket! Win, win, win for 3 sides; everybody happy. But all this shadow outsourcing was only rumors as far as I could tell.

Now comes some hard evidence from a Verizon security team that at least one person was really pulling off this sweet scam. From this article:

"As it turns out, Bob had simply outsourced his own job to a Chinese consulting firm. Bob spent less that one fifth of his six-figure salary for a Chinese firm to do his job for him. Authentication was no problem, he physically FedExed his RSA token to China so that the third-party contractor could log-in under his credentials during the workday. It would appear that he was working an average 9 to 5 work day. Investigators checked his web browsing history, and that told the whole story.

A typical ‘work day’ for Bob looked like this:

9:00 a.m. – Arrive and surf Reddit for a couple of hours. Watch cat videos

11:30 a.m. – Take lunch

1:00 p.m. – Ebay time.

2:00 – ish p.m Facebook updates – LinkedIn

4:30 p.m. – End of day update e-mail to management.

5:00 p.m. – Go home

Evidence even suggested he had the same scam going across multiple companies in the area. All told, it looked like he earned several hundred thousand dollars a year, and only had to pay the Chinese consulting firm about fifty grand annually. The best part? Investigators had the opportunity to read through his performance reviews while working alongside HR. For the last several years in a row he received excellent remarks. His code was clean, well written, and submitted in a timely fashion. Quarter after quarter, his performance review noted him as the best developer in the building."

Tip to +Wayne Radinsky 

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This is great!

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Cradle to Cradle used as promo for Google Search in the App Store

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Kicked it.

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If you are not listening to Radio Lab you are missing the best thing on radio outside of This American Life. In fact, Ira Glass the host of This American Life, has just written a very long, very detailed, very generous commentary on why Radio Lab is better than This American Life. Ira says, "For my part, I find it comforting that this level of excellence is so labor intensive that they [Radio Lab] only can make ten full shows a year. If they could do an hour of this every week, I think I’d have to quit radio. What would be the point of continuing? How could anyone compete with that?"

The entire essay is wonderful and deeply insightful on WHY Radio Lab is so effective. If you have never heard the show, it might make no sense, though it would be a good commercial for starting to listen. If you have heard the show, Ira Glass, the master radio maker and story teller, will tell you how Robert and Jad do their magic. Even if you have no interest in radio, the insider details of how the stories are put together are worth your while.

Finally, Ira's account is a fantastic rendition of the role of innovation, and the virtues of being authentic. It also moves Ira Glass up two notches in my esteem.

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How Mad Max is this! Solar chips ~ $21 per/lb
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