People still publish Shakespeare and Mark Twain, even though they are in the public domain. You can even find the King James Bible if you look for it. If a book is popular enough there will be a demand for it, and someone to fill that demand.
Realistically, Paramount (or any big entertainment company) isn't going to be able to pass off your work as their own. Even if the public neither knows or cares, the industry insiders will know it is yours. If the big production of your script is successful, everybody in the industry will know that you are the person to get on-board for the next big success. The big production gives you publicity, even if your name does not appear in the credits.
Having a history of success is what gives you leverage.
The chicken and egg problem has a well-known solution, the one used by musicians. You start by writing for free, to gain an audience. If and when you achieve popularity, you can quit your job and write professionally. Don't think that is realistic? Imagine how many people would pay Stephen King or Tom Clancy to write another best-seller. If you aren't in their league, you remain a hobbyist
Get paid for that work once. Ask for enough up front to cover your expenses for the work just like in ANY other market: See also, Mechanics. Bid, do the work, get paid; No fee each time you start the car and benefit from the work. You want more money? Do more work.
OK, I'm an author who self publishes.....Or do you propose that I just write for free and get a job at McDonald's to keep a roof over my head?
You've figured it out. If you aren't popular enough for your readers to pay you in advance to write a book for them, then writing is a hobby for you, and you also need to have a job. I used to be paid to write computer programs. Today it is a hobby, and I have a job so I can eat.
It is possible that the spacecraft is going through layers of falesafes, until it finally just points its solar panels at the Sun, points its radio antenna at Earth, and cries for help. Remember the mission to Eros: http://klabs.org/richcontent/Reports/Failure_Reports/NEAR_Rendezvous_Burn.pdf
Likewise I say "true GB" for 1024-based and "salesman's GB" for 1000-based. Because the 1024-based units ARE the true units, and the 1000-based units WERE created just to make hard drives look bigger than they actually were.
Your second sentence turns out not to be correct. The decimal prefixes were long-established by the time binary computers were invented. I use GiB for binary and GB for decimal. If Microsoft Windows did the same, confusion would be reduced.
If the computer industry can't adapt to counting the way of the rest of the world does, that's our problem. We should be pointing at whoever originally decided that they should usurp the already established term Kilo to mean 1024 and slapping them upside the head. Anything less is pure arrogance on our part.
I don't know who originally decided to mis-use "kilo" to mean 1024, but the mistake was made in the late 1950s or early 1960s. I first heard that the PDP-1 was a "4K" machine in 1963, and the terminology was already well-established. It might have been done by several people independently.
The difference between 1000 and 1024 is only 2.4%, and the Ki prefix didn't exist yet, so perhaps the misuse is forgivable. However, there is a slippery slope: once you are comfortable with Kilo as 1024, it is easier to successively misuse Mega as 1048576 (4.9%), Giga as 1073741024 (7.4%), Tera as 1099511627776 (10%) and Peta as 1125899906842620 (12.6%).
The obvious solution is for all operating systems, even Microsoft Windows, to display hard drive sizes in decimal, and RAM sizes in binary. When displaying RAM sizes they should use the binary prefixes.
If you are interested in early software, consider FLINT. FLINT was a floating-point package for the IAS computer, which was designed by John von Neumann in the early 1950s. FLINT was intended to be a high-level language which could be implemented on other computers.
FLINT, "which, as far as its user is concerned, transforms our machine into a slower, less sophisticated instrument for which coding is much simpler," insulated the end user from having to communicate directly with the machine. "The planned general external language should be influenced as little as possible by the peculiarities of the machine; in other words, it should be as close as possible to the thinking of the programmer" it was explained. The user "need not know machine language at all, even, and in particular, while debugging his program."
The above paragraph is from Turing's Cathedral: the origins of the digital universe by George Dyson, 2012, ISBN 987-1-4000-7599-7, page 318. The quotations are from "Institute for Advanced Study Electronic Computer Project Monthly Progress Report, January 1957", page 3. See also http://paw.princeton.edu/issues/2012/04/04/pages/1670/index.xml?page=7&.
Given how frequently (and often painfully, toward the end) companies seem to founder in the face of structural changes that they can't do much about (short of essentially re-founding as something else, just carrying over the campus and the capital), I have to wonder if there has been any work done outside of the barbaric corporate raider sector on building companies with clean exit strategies...
After all, there isn't any reason why a company needs to struggle to perpetuate its existence forever (any more than a company would struggle to perpetuate the existence of a given product line forever). Sure, the process that companies who do fight and then die go through is pretty grim; but that is, at least in part, because they keep struggling even after the situation is hopeless, and just bleed and bleed and bleed.
Is there a process where you just quit before you are behind, wind down neatly, rather than the corporate equivalent of spending a few years stuck full of tubes and unresponsive in the ICU?
It is possible for a company to cease operations without lots of pain. All it requires is a management willing to face facts. Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, used to tell the story of a corner barbershop that knew its finances very well. When their landlord increased the lease on their parking lot, they immediately closed: they knew that with the increased cost they could not survive.
Some years ago, I owned and operated a store which sold and serviced the Commodore Amiga. When Commodore folded, I had two choices: convert to an IBM PC store, or close. There were already several IBM PC stores in town, better established than I would have been, so I decided to close.
I decided that December 31 would be my last day. I told my technician to go home, but I would continue his health benefits through the end of the year. I paid my rent and hired kids off the street to help me clean out the store. Most of the stuff in the store was trashed, but I took a few items home. I kept the store name for my personal consulting business.
No pain, no tears, just the orderly end of a retail business that had lost its manufacturer.
The two things I ask about are a design document and an automated QA system.
Don Knuth's Literate Programming is the very best way to write a design document, but even much less than that is better than nothing. The worst case is having nothing but uncommented code. I once had a programmer tell me that he didn't need to comment his code: the names of the variables provided enough information. He was coding in Macro-10, a language that limited variable names to six characters.
The automated QA system is crucial for maintenance. You need a test for every feature described in the documentation, plus one for every bug fixed, to make sure it doesn't come back. The QA system must be automated or management will insist you skip running it because a bug fix has to ship "right now", and you don't have two days to run the manual tests. Having a QA system that can be run after each build is so important that it should be the first thing you write when taking over legacy code. If you aren't allowed to write it because fixing bugs or adding features is more important, pass on the project.
When I started programming I didn't have to deal with legacy code, even though I was at a large university. That was because when I started programming there was no legacy code: we wrote everything ourselves. A friend of mine wrote the original recursive binary to decimal conversion subroutine for the DEC PDP-1, and was astonished when it worked the first time. The world has moved on, however, and the situation I was in no longer exists.
Nevada or New Mexico or Oregon are alllll calling...
Don't forget New Hampshire! We have high property taxes, but no sales tax (other than stuff tourists buy) and no tax on wages.
A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a truck driver from Montreal. He comes here every few weeks with his wife and daughter to shop. He said the prices are lower, he can take back everything he buys duty-free, he can get the famous brands of stuff, and the quality of the cloth in the clothing is better. Anybody who will drive an 18-wheeler from Montreal to southern New Hampshire to shop has got to be motivated!
There's not a single car sold in America that gets 50+ mpg....
I drive a 2000 Honda Insight, which is rated by the EPA at 53 miles per gallon. You can't buy them new, but they are available on the used market.
.... You already have the people that could do the job, but I suspect there's too much pork, and possibly outright corruption, bound up in all that money that goes into local voting systems, to do it without a lot of resistance even if it was done at a state instead of federal level.
It's not so much pork or corruption, but a desire for local control, based on a distrust of higher levels of government. Where I live, we vote for the Town and School District budgets every year. Our property taxes are based on those budgets, so they are very important to every property owner. We have election procedures which are efficient and transparent. We don't want the State (or, worse, the Federal Government) telling us how to run our elections.
When I first moved into my town, ballots were placed in boxes. When the polls closed, volunteers counted in pairs: one counting and the other verifying. We switched roles occasionally to stay alert. When the lally was finished the ballots went back into the box in case the totals were close and someone called for a recount. Today, we use a Scantron for the preliminary count, with the paper ballots retained inside the machine. The results are available on the Town web site the day after the election.
If we were to convert to an electronic system, perhaps the results could be available an hour after the polls close. That would please the national media, but we are afraid of losing the transparency that makes our system work. I have seen the loser shake the hand of the winner after the preliminary count was complete, and wish him well. Without confidence in the accuracy of the count, close races might lead to endless bickering.
I introduced my girlfriend to Star Trek by buying a color TV small enough to fit in my studio apartment, and inviting her over once a week to watch the next episode. We watched the original broadcast of what is now called the “original series”. She liked so much she married me. We raised our two kids to love Star Trek and other types of science fiction and fantasy.
At our son's wedding a few years ago, I ended the traditional father-of-the-groom speech with “live long and prosper” and the accompanying hand gesture. His friends were amused, but knew exactly what I meant.