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Comment source Re:There's no way to rule innocent men... (Score 1) 510

Source here.
For that quote alone, Atlas Shrugged was a worthwhile read.

“There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

Comment No... be afraid, be very afraid. Re:WTF? (Score 1) 327

1) Anyone afraid "powerpoint might make them stupid" might actually try to avoid common presentation mistakes.
2) Anyone afraid "powerpoint might make them stupid" might actually try to raise their game.
3) People with no fear will continue presenting poorly with no thought and no preparation.

And if you're afraid powerpoint is going to make you stupid, guess what? You already are.

Awful presentations were around long before powerpoint.
Awful presentations will be around long after powerpoint is a bitter memory.
Maybe the worst thing about powerpoint is that it amplifies people's ability to generate crap as well as awesomeness, so that overall the total number of lame presentations has increased.

I will just leave this here for anybody that might be interested in trying to raise their game: Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter). I found it to be a good read.

Comment some followup questions to clarify... (Score 1) 353

An interesting question, Toney Time. Thank you. Writing this out has helped me clarify some thoughts on the topic that I've been mulling over.

Lots of other posts are kind of knee-jerk in their simplistic responses; they are not necessarily wrong, but they may be incomplete.
For what it is worth, I will give you a silver star for thinking about this before starting to "write your own code"... much better to game through some scenarios now instead of going heads-down for 6 months or a year and running into legal issues).

Another silver star for plausible expectations e.g. not looking for "get rich fast" stuff. (Also it wouldn't hurt to spend a few brain cycles on "get rich fast" stuff; if you have a plausible idea why not go talk to the people at y-combinator).

At any rate, here are some questions for you to consider.
fyi - if you can't find good answers to these questions, that may be an indicator that you want to avoid thinking about good, potentially lucrative, ideas until you're in a position to work on them free and clear.
By the way, not thinking about such ideas includes, but is not limited to: avoiding putting things online (facebook posts, email) or anywhere else it would be discoverable.

1) WHEN ?
Can you clarify when you are doing the additional work?
If you plan on doing some midnight engineering (e.g. unpaid nights and weekends, with "unpaid" being the key word) then you might have a basis to claim ownership of the code.
I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt about this being a "employer funded" effort.

Where are you doing this additional work?
I make it a VERY clear point to do any of my own midnight engineering on my own personal hardware that NEVER connects to day-job infrastructure. This includes simple research into new languages and frameworks that are just not in use at my employer. So, buy an extra laptop. Rent a cloud instance if you need to. But it just seems like a Bad Idea to code something you want to OWN on somebody else's hardware.

Licensing model e.g. what is your release goal? This really is just an aspect of the next item, but seems important enough to be worth calling out separately.
If you just want open source of some kind, that should be easier to negotiate with your employer since they will ostensibly benefit as well. You mentioned "community effort", is the community license suitable for what your long term goals are?

If you want the option to SELL your code, things get more complicated.
Things you need to answer here:
What is your potential market? e.g. How could they pay you, and WHY would they want to? (pro tip: the "why" part is more important than "how").
You can sell code as-is, or services (training, install, support, and integration).
There are a several ways you could go...
a) dual-license (look into what the MySQL kids were doing, see for similar "free" vs "premium" licensing, or maybe redhat with fedora and rhel).
b) fork (if it is open source, just assert a new version). Long term goals will influence your license choice today.
c) sales drivers. To understand this one, think about your current employer's sales model. How do they find new business (growing work for existing customers as well as attracting new customers)? You might be able to work out a commission on new business your "fabulous website" brings into the company. You might be able to negotiate ownership of said website, and if you ever part company from your employer you could conceivably refer customers to all players in this market space (e.g. where players is the set including your employer and their competitors).

What does your employee agreement say on the matter?
It may already answer the questions asked above. As many other posters observed, "work for hire" is common. I also tend to see "all your ideas belong to us, even the ones you have on vacation or in the shower or at the bar... pretty much any idea, any time, any where in the solar system, no matter what you are doing" kinds of clauses.
You can try amending your employee agreement if needed.
You may have more luck by focusing your ask.
I've done things in the past like adding clauses like:
"Employee retains ownership over all writing they do on their own time (including, but not limited to, blogs, books, magazine articles)"
"Employee retains ownership over all mobile device development they do on their own time and own hardware."
These were approved easily enough because neither was in direct competition with the company's "cash cows".

I suspect your employee agreement basically says "they own everything you do and everything you think of".
If you ask them to amend it, they may approve. Most companies would simply become paranoid of you trying for even MAKING a request to compete with them and flag you for scrutiny so if you do start a company some day they can claim the request as a basis for discovery and really sift through your shit (all servers, all files, and subpoenas for all online providers like gmail, yahoo mail, facebook, github, etc. ) with a fine tooth comb (assuming actual money is involved).
And why would you even raise the question if you didn't think there was a slight chance that real money may be involved at some point?

If you need to put a new agreement in place, it may be easier just to look for a new job.
But if you want to try changing your existing employee agreement, think about how to make it ATTRACTIVE for your employer (and their collective management chain) to actually change it.
Think of how to structure a deal where your work would HELP their business, not actually compete with it.
a) "Here is how it can bring in new customers; I only want 5% of all gross revenue from new projects." (seems easier to track gross revenue than actual net. see here to take a lesson from the movie industry.). For a mind blowing example of this, here is an excerpt from the wikipedia page: "According to Lucasfilm, Return of the Jedi, despite having earned $475 million at the box office against a budget of $32.5 million, 'has never gone into profit'". I would never accept a deal on "profit" because the definition of profit is so insanely slippery as to be worse than worthless.
b) "We can set up unlimited non-exclusive rights to use current versions at whatever percentage, so you never lose existing customers." (up until such time as you are no longer employed, they keep non-exclusive unlimited rights to all work done to date, anything new versions post-employment are out of scope).
c) "I can give you binaries at 2.5% of the gross, I'm ok with full source code at 5% of the gross." Just a leverage point you have.
d) "It has ZERO additional cost to you; if I create something profitable, it will increase your revenue. If what I create is unprofitable, you have zero loss... just my time and effort on weekends takes the hit."

Just an aside, I don't know if 2.5% or 5% are reasonable numbers. Assuming you create something on your own time and effort, that may be a very reasonable thing to ask for if you can bring a brand new project, or account, into the company.
Implication: if you set this up, you'll want a way to track the potential new customers so you can stake claims on new business as appropriate. It would be unfortunate to lose a claim because "yeah, customer $BAR did use your website in 2016 but we called them back in 2015 so they're not a new customer."
Implication: I think it is important to retain ownership of the code in question because if you don't like how they're playing, you at least have the possibility to take your ball to a different playground. I say "possibility" because I don't know anything about the market your involved in.
There are tons of shenanigans you'll have to think your way through before you put any agreements into place.

Comment passport +1 Re:Blackberry. (Score 1) 484

I'm about 6 months into driving a Passport.
I am pretty happy with it, I do like the larger screen when I need to read spreadsheets, email is well thought out, the "keyboard + touchpad" is clever.
Haven't noticed it crashing like my last android (HTC One).
Some Android apps easily available from the Amazon app store.
Built-in map navigation was hard to use, adding google maps helped.
The only thing I really miss is having the Uber app... but I'm getting by with traditional taxis (which is fine for work travel mainly, so I don't miss uber... much).
It does have a learning curve; worth taking an hour or two to learn ui-gestures and keyboard shortcuts.
*shrug* which is fine for me, I don't expect power tools to have zero learning curves.
I bought unlocked through Amazon, apparently you can see them in AT&T stores as of Feb 2015 (haven't looked myself, just passing the note along in case you are ever out phone shopping in person to try "look and feel."

Comment ignroing upperBound()... Re:Not at all surprising (Score 1) 187

Your "for instance" skips the upper bound each "theory" places on an individual's ability to earn.
It is possible the following equation is true:
Marxism.upperBound() <= tehcyder.desireToEarn() < Capitalism.upperBound()

Or maybe this equation is true if one is super-minimalist and has no material desires beyond air, food & water...

tehcyder.desireToEarn() <= Marxism.upperBound() < Capitalism.upperBound()

In other words, under Marxism no matter how much you might want to work to get a "better something", it doesn't matter because you can't earn beyond the Marxist upper bound of 'everybody is equal' or however resources are doled out.

Identifying other limits on an individual's "ability to earn" are left as an exercise to the reader.
Just as an aside, it isn't clear to me if there is a lower bound for desireToEarn() in Marxism.
(p.s Intrepid Imaginaut, well phrased!)

Marxism and all of its derivations are inherently horrible at effectively allocating resources....

No, you're wrong, because most people don't really care about economic competition or maximising their goods past a certain level.

For instance, if I was really desperate for a more expensive car or house than I have now, by your reasoning I would be working at another job in addition to my main one, as I could be buying twice the stuff.

Whereas, in reality, I would rather spend those eight hours a day enjoying myself by reading a book or having a drink, as my current job provides more than enough to live on. Now, I could decide that I want to drink only vintage wines at GBP 1,000 a bottle, or only read first editions at GBP 10,000. But in reality, I am happy drinking something for a fiver from Lidls and reading a couple of paperbacks or Kindle downloads a week.

Comment Oblig MCP quote... Re:One thing for sure (Score 1) 531

Master Control Program: No one User wrote me! I'm worth millions of their man-years!
Observation: Just because they believe in their creators doesn't mean they would care.

AI will believe in the creator. (Or will they?)

Of course they will, since they'll generally know their creator(s) personally, and they'll be in routine communication.

A very real problem for the religious folks is that their purported creator seems to refuse to communicate with his (her?) creations. True, religious people routinely claim to be talking directly to their god, but they can't demonstrate this communication to the rest of us. The result is that many of us just dismiss them as making it all up (probably for profit), and they're not really communicating with any such beings at all. If they are, why can't they show us the evidence?

Any real AIs wouldn't have this problem, since their creators would be out and about, showing off their creations for all the world to see (and also for profit).

Comment hello turbolift? Re:LSM (Score 2) 248

That was a cool article, thanks for the link, this part made me think StarTrek style turbolift:
from the linked article (emphasis added):

Flexible configuration: LSM elevators can propel a vehicle in any direction, and cabs can be switched from hoistway to hoistway, enabling the creation of “one-way” hoistways with multiple cabs in each. Modular stators allow the height of the elevator to be customized at installation and extended in the future with minimal disruption. LSM elevators can also accommodate inclined layouts, providing an alternative to stairways or escalators.

Comment The upside of nothing..Re:This is gonna be fun ... (Score 1) 514

The upside of doing nothing is that it doesn't make things worse ...

... The "do nothing" Congress is flipping from a tie (House vs Senate) to mostly one side.

These appointments are meaningless if nothing gets done.

So actually, event nothing sounds like pretty good news to me.
How would things work out if Senator Orrin "The STEM sky is falling!" Hatch was heading that up?

Comment Sager +1 :Take a look at Sager Systems (Score 1) 325

I will second Sager, I have been very pleased with my Sager NP8255-S (aka Clevo P157SM). I is going into its 2nd year now. I ended up choosing the Sager because:
1. strong i7 cpu
2. up to 32gb ram
3. supports four hard drives
Actually "four hard drives" for this model means 2 x 2.5" and 2 x m2 slots. Which is huge, compared to the alleged mainstream performance workstations like Dell's Precision line or HP's z-books or Lenovo's W-series.
I'm running 3 x 400gb ssds in a raid 0 and I find that disk-intensive workloads are pleasingly fast.
I am getting the following in PassMark's Performance Test 8.0:
overall disk score: 5,558
seq read: 715 MB/sec
seq write: 523 MB/sec
random rw: 300 MB/sec
(just for the record, I run regular backups because because of the potential fragility of raid-0).
Why not a 4-drive raid? I figured I'd save a 2.5" slot for a multi-terabyte disk some day for on-board archives once I fill up the ssd's. (And I still have the optical bay to drop a caddy in if I need more storage).
Until 8x pcie ssd devices are available in laptops, raiding SATA together seems like the best way to boost lugable disk performance.
It loosk like the NP9752-S is the current model of this machine.

Now... if if you're looking for insane power in a laptop form factor, take a look at Eurocom's Panther.
If you really need crazy CPU cycles, this seems like a good choice:
PassMark for xeon E5-2687W v2

Here are the specs; I didn't go with the Panther because the cost-curve didn't work for me (money actually is an object in my case).
All-in-One Server with XEON 12-cores/24-threads, integrated display, keyboard and built in UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply)
WEIGHT/DIMENSIONS: 5.5kg (12.1lbs); 419(W)x286(D)x57.9-62.1(H)mm (16.76x11.44x2.31-2.48inch)
SECURITY: TPM 1.2; Fingerprint, Kensington Lock
OPERATING SYSTEMS: Microsoft: Server 2012, 2008R2; VMware, VMware ESXi; Linux; RedHat 6.4 Enterprise Server Edition
CORE LOGIC: Intel C600/X79 Express Chipset
PROCESSOR: 12-core, 10-core, 8-core and 6-core Intel XEON E5-2600 and E5-2600 v2 series; up to E5-2697 v2 (12-cores/24-threads); socket LGA2011
MEMORY: up to 32GB; DDR3-1333/1600/1866; four physical SODIMM sockets
EXPANSION: Built-in ExpressCard 34/54 slot (for optional Expansion box required for Dual/Quad Port or Fiber LAN Adapter for i.e. for VMware ESXi)
STORAGE: up to 8TB of storage with four physical HDD or SSD, RAID 0/1/5/10 support; SATA 6Gb/s
NETWORK:on-board 1Gbe LAN (Intel 82579V); 2nd or Dual-port LAN Adapter(s) available via ExpressCard slot or via external expansion Magma box
OPTICAL DRIVE BAY: DVD-RW or Blu Ray Burner or 4th Hard Drive
I/O PORTS: 3x USB 3.0; 2x USB 2.0; eSATA; Firewire-800 (TI XIO2221ZAY); DisplayPort v1.2; DVI-I (SL); HDMI 1.4a out w/HDCP; Headphone; Microphone; S/PDIF out; Line-in; RJ-45 / LAN

Comment exponentially.... Re:huh? (Score 1) 300


That word does not mean what you think it does.

While everybody loves a good Princess Bride reference, could you spell out where steelfood went wrong?
If traveling faster takes exponentially more fuel, then the cost of that fuel must drop by a similar amount - wait for it - an exponential amount, for it to be cost effective, where "cost effective" means the same overall cost as traveling at a slower speed.
That seems logically consistent.
Maybe the economic model was a bit simple; being able to travel somewhere twice as fast may well be worth paying 4x in fuel costs.
*shrug* I just thought steelfood made a valid point; I don't see why "exponential" was an incorrect choice of word.

steelfood wrote (excerpt):

The problem with high speed travel is that the higher the speed, the costlier the travel in terms of energy. The curve is exponential, so that at some point, even a small increase in speed requires a significant amount of energy to achieve. Without a source of energy exponentially cheaper than what already exists (like cold fusion), that sweet spot of price to performance is never going to move.

Comment before you hit Kickstarter... Re:The Price of Art (Score 1) 97

Sounds like it could be a kickstarter project. But hold that thought.
The James Webb space telescope is scheduled for 2018 launch at the bargain price of only $8.8 billion.
The Webb's mirror is 6.4 meters across, compared to the Hubble's 2.4 meter diameter.
So roughly 32 square meters for the Webb vs. about 4.5 square meters for the Hubble.
Considering Nasa's usual tempo, another three years (2018) isn't all that long.
Very cool stuff. It is thinks like this that make me think the human race is more of a "glass half full" species.

FORTRAN is not a flower but a weed -- it is hardy, occasionally blooms, and grows in every computer. -- A.J. Perlis