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Comment: Re:Good Luck (Score 3, Informative) 180

by Firethorn (#49357443) Attached to: Amazon Requires Non-Compete Agreements.. For Warehouse Workers

Remember this isn't a criminal offense. Most warehouse workers are 'judgement proof', in that they don't have the assets to pay anything. The court isn't going to say 'you have to quit your job' because it has financial interest in NOT paying for their welfware because they can't work at what they're skilled at due to the non-compete.

Amazon would pay more than they could recover pretty much every day the court trial went on. Also, there might actually be enough push-back if they tried to change laws.

Personally, I'd like to see a law of 'sure, write up whatever non-competes you want. However, it means that the the employee is still your employee during the non-compete period. Which means you still have to pay them their salary and benefits'. Don't want them working for the competitor for 12 months? You gotta pay them to sit on their ass for 12 months.

Finally, it sounds like they stuck the non-compete into their boilerplate employment documents. It's not intentionally targeting warehouse people, though I suppose that with the increasing amounts of robotics in them, it might be deliberate, so said workers don't go describing how the robots work.

Comment: Cumbered (Score 1) 165

by fyngyrz (#49356529) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

And this is why closed source combined with black-box development is so much safer than open source. Sigh.

I really don't mind -- actually, I think I'd be kind of of flattered -- if people were able to look at my code, go "hey, I can use that" and then proceed to use it. And in fact, I've written a fair bit of code I think would fall into that vein. I think I could write something book-length in the line of "cool coding stuff" and quite a few programmers would find it quite useful. I've been doing this since the early 70's. I write signal processing, and image processing (but I repeat myself, sorta) and AI code, with a strong background in embedded and special-purpose systems, a bunch more.

But because a lawyer might look at my code, and use it to screw me, and through me, my family and employees quite harshly?

Bang. Closed source. The opposite of furthering progress by virtue of passing along what I've learned. I give away some of my work product such as this, but you will never see my source code because of the legal environment.

As far as I'm concerned, if I wrote it without referring to "other" source code, then no one else has any claim on my work. I don't have any idea how to fix copyright and patent and still retain the supposed commercial motivation to create, but fact is, as it stands, it's completely fucktarded.

Pisses me off, it does. :/

Comment: Re:LOL .... (Score 3, Interesting) 48

by Firethorn (#49356429) Attached to: US Air Force Overstepped In SpaceX Certification

I remember reading that the $20k 'hammer' was actually a set of tools, including a spade & pick, made of a special set of alloys(can't remember what) designed to be non-magnetic, non-sparking, and a few other nons for use in helping to clean up stockpiles of explosives that were destabilizing, getting more sensitive. Given the location and amounts, they couldn't just set them off in location.

The toilet seat was actually a whole toilet system, I can't remember if it was for a plane or submarine. Still not cheap, but something that had to be custom designed and produced for that vehicle, and they were including design costs.

Comment: Re:We should lobby to break the cable companies (Score 1) 519

You're only using the FIRST definition of 'break'. There are many more.

"To break something is to" also covers:
  to overcome or wear down the spirit, strength, or resistance of; to cause to yield, especially under pressure, torture, or the like:
  to disable or destroy by or as if by shattering or crushing:
to ruin financially; make bankrupt
  to impair or weaken the power, effect, or intensity of
to train to obedience; tame
  to become inoperative or to malfunction, as through wear or damage

I think my use of the word is particularly appropriate.

Comment: Not being a metric ton of bit rot (Score 1) 168

by fyngyrz (#49356339) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

Fast; efficient; not bloated; not buggy; respectful of the user's privacy; hardened with regard to hacking if that's relevant; not encumbered by dependencies; adequately featured; well supported; well documented for the end user.

As far as I'm concerned, if you can't hit those 00001000 or 00001001 targets, you should be looking for different line of work.

Of course it is lovely if it's easily read code, well commented, well structured -- but if the former list is covered, I'll give the 00000011 latter a pass.

Comment: Au contraire (Score 1) 708

by fyngyrz (#49355543) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

Adding weight to the airplane reduces its range and/or capacity for carrying paying passengers so it would be an ongoing cost.

Who says it has to add weight? Use modern materials for the partition; carbon fiber structures can be ultra tough and very light weight, for example. And probably not used in any near-current design as aircraft take a very long time from paperwork to production. A door in the fuselage weighs about the same as the fuselage; thicker in the middle, thinner at the edges. It might even reduce weight by creating more open space in the cockpit. You can argue that it would reduce passenger capacity, but inasmuch as US passenger aircraft are typically not fully loaded, it doesn't add cost in most cases either. No matter what, it wouldn't cost as much as the TSA does, between the actual money spent and the huge amount of people's time they subtract from pursuits that would actually benefit the economy. Not to mention the level of irritation and the follow-on effects on productivity and civility...

Always wondered why they didn't design the passenger seating to be removable and collapsible and just pull all the empty seats out as a pre-takeoff action after the aircraft is fully loaded. Be a heck of a weight savings. Plus they could probably leverage it to reduce the anti-passenger effect of the seat designs created by the one-armed, one-legged engineer that all the airlines seem to hire.

+ - Underhanded government practices get a skewering->

Submitted by fyngyrz
fyngyrz (762201) writes "Blogger and activist Maggie McNeil puts fingers to keyboard in an amazingly concise, robust and well-cited takedown of quite a few police and government practices slashdotters condemn on a regular basis. Well worth a read, and it is also worth following the various links in the post; they range from eye-opening to absolutely horrifying."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Should have been spelled out in the contract (Score 1) 121

by bill_mcgonigle (#49351641) Attached to: GAO Denied Access To Webb Telescope Workers By Northrop Grumman

Lesson learned for how to draw up future contracts, I guess.

Hahaha - if the contracts were designed to produce on-time, on-budget they would be written that way (fixed price, fixed requirements, penalties for late delivery). Their intended purpose is quite the opposite of that. If something useful happens to be generated in the process of funneling money from taxpayers to the MIC, so much the better excuse for the next contract.

Comment: Don't hold your breath waiting for news of them... (Score 1) 74

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49351405) Attached to: Facebook Sued For Alleged Theft of Data Center Design

Most of the claims aren't listed so it's hard to draw a conclusion.

And don't hold your breath waiting for them to be listed publicly, either.

If this is over trade secrets, the alleged trade secrets, if legitimate, will still be secret. So unless/until Facebook gets a judgement that the claims are bogus, the proceedings will be under seal.

Even if they ARE bogus it may not be in Facebook's interest to publish them, either. They might be little-known enough that exposing them to their competition might make the competitive environent tougher for Facebook.

So don't be surprised if the "secrets" and the details of the verdict or settlement remain under wraps.

Comment: Re:We should lobby to break the cable companies (Score 1) 519

Such agreements actually exist in the USA, it's just that there are exemptions like 'only if it's 300 ft or less, in which case the person requesting service has to pay for the extra distance'. Generally said distance is 'around' double the average necessary hookup distance, and the extra install is at the marginal cost - IE the extra labor & materials. If it costs $1k just to show up on location and start pushing pipe, but only $1/ft after that, a 100 foot install would cost $1100, the maximum 300 foot one $1300, and the homeowner that's 400 feet away would be charged only $100 for being hooked up.

The goal of Computer Science is to build something that will last at least until we've finished building it.