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Comment Re:Sounds like a new corporate prison system (Score 1) 151

There is no such thing as a "good lawyer", perhaps you mean "competent lawyer", but thats not important right now...

If stupid people do it stupidly, of course you are correct. But give Google, Apple, GM, Ford, Amazon, Verizon, AT&T, GEICO, McDonalds and everyone some credit, that if you dangle a monster revenue stream in front of them they'll connive a way to exploit it legally. Look at Waze... data entry is disabled while driving unless you (wink wink) click the "Im a passenger" button. Ha ha ha. "Gee your Honor, we spent years, YEARS DAMMIT, making the system safe, and the driver LIED to bypass it! If only he had opted out of windshield pop-ups by buying a Happy Meal and visiting the dealer as stated in his EULA this senseless tragedy could have been avoided!"

Comment Re:They still sell those? (Score 2) 105

Yep. I havent seen a fixed code DIP-switch remote for 20 years. And the last door I hacked with one only took 10 minutes brute force guessing. Even if its 29 minutes, who needs a hack? And, to do it in 10 seconds you need to know the frequency in advance.

If you're looking for a hack for the IM_ME this Spectrum Analyzer mod looks downright cool and possibly even useful. Pretty wide frequency response too.

Comment Re:Thanks, Obama (Score 3, Funny) 389

"It was garbage, but it had been cooked by an expert. Oh, yes. You had to admire the way perfectly innocent words were mugged, ravished, stripped of all true meaning and decency, and then sent to walk the gutter for [Justin Amash], although “synergistically” had probably been a whore from the start." - T Pratchett

Comment Re:Both ways? (Score 2) 84

Non-competes are basically unenforceable in California

Thats my understanding as well, which is why A123 sued in Massachusetts, and Apple tried (unsuccessfully) to move the case to California. According to Wikipedia the current applicable MA law states “A covenant not to compete is enforceable only if it is necessary to protect a legitimate business interest, reasonably limited in time and space, and consonant with the public interest”. The most recent test case I could find is IBM v. Papermaster (2009) involving (perhaps not coincidentally) Apple poaching. The court backed IBM and granted an injunction against Papermaster, citing and expanding "inevitable disclosure". Papermaster & Apple settled before trial, just like they did with A123.

Google, Microsoft, Apple and so on have all settled these cases in the last 10 years or so, so nothing has gone to trial so no case law has been established, but IBM v. Papermaster lays the groundwork for more enforcement of non-competes in some cases. IANAL but it seems the anecdotal assumption that "non-competes are basically unenforceable in xxx" may not be as absolute as we engineers assume it is.

Comment Re:Both ways? (Score 4, Informative) 84

Well, the suit claimed that Apple hired Mujeeb Ijaz (in charge of R&D), who in turn enticed his key scientists and engineers to follow him. A123 claims that:
- Ijaz has a non-compete clause in his contract,
- The other employees have a non-compete also
- Ijaz has a non-solicitation clause in his contract
- Apple knew about the clauses and enticed them to break them
- All the employees shared A123 proprietary knowledge and trade secrets with Apple
- Apple orchestrated all this to obtain trade secrets illicitly
- Ijaz attempted to solicit A123 partners on Apple's behalf

Yeah yeah, 'A123 claims' doesnt make it true. And, non-compete clauses may or may not be enforceable, though this type of situation may be one of the rare cases where it is. Still, if Ijaz had a contract to not solicit his former employees, thats enforceable, as is violating confidentiality, as is enticing people to break the law, as is conspiring to do so. I'd say it was far from a slam-dunk dismissal and there was enough risk that they settled. While A123 may have not had the resources to fight a protracted legal battle, their Chinese buyer apparently did.

Comment Re:Decent (Score 5, Insightful) 482

According to other articles, it will cost them an average of $19k for 30 employees, so $570k. And not well publicized is he is going to spread it over 3 years. So $200k year one, $400k year 2, and so on. The $930k pay cut is immediate. The company is completely owned by the two brothers, and makes $2M in profits per year, which presumably they reinvest or take out in bonuses. The absolute WORST way to get money out of your own company is salary. I would be shocked if the tax advantages of changing disbursement methods dont outweigh the $190k first year costs, while raising profitability on paper, and making you the darling of the media and the White House (they're cozy with Obama already). If their goal was to sell the company, this would be a pretty good way to pump up the profit margin and P/E ratio before cashing out, and a little media blitz helps too.

Good for them! Gaming the system to make a buck and help their employees at the same time. But this is not sheer altruism at work.

The goal of science is to build better mousetraps. The goal of nature is to build better mice.

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