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Comment: Re:court (Score 1) 353

by Spazmania (#47785563) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

Beware that freezing or seizing assets as a result of a small claims judgement is unlikely to work out for you. I worked for a company in which the gruddy lunchroom microwave was "frozen" for 6 months as collatoral for a $150 judgement we were fighting. Basically the police show up, advise that they're required to freeze assets worth $X and then ask your help to determine which assets add up. They slap on an orange sticket and then go away.

Comment: Re:court (Score 1) 353

by Spazmania (#47780927) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

Yes, exactly. The next court up is still a court in your state and they have to actually have grounds for an appeal (an error of law by the judge, not an error of fact. They gave up challenging any error of fact by failing to show up.) They can't even argue venue -- removing it to federal court requires a case whose damages are generally in excess of what the small claims court awards.

Comment: Re:court (Score 1) 353

by Spazmania (#47769813) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

They also (and this is important) have to show up in court to defend themselves.

I had billing trouble with the local natural gas company. The billing department took a similarly hard-line stance about my complaint. A year and a half later as I refused to pay, they escalated the matter to a lawyer.

It took one 5-minute conversation with their lawyer and the matter was resolved. Because I was right? No. Because it was cheaper to let me have my way than go to court, win or lose.

Comment: Re:Pick a different job. (Score 1) 548

I'm not a fan of rules, of someone telling me how to do my job. Not a fan when the boss tries to do it. Even less a fan when the local 409 do it.

Programming is a creative endeavor. If I'm not free to create then its just another suck job. And life's to short to spend it working a suck job.

Comment: Re:Pick a different job. (Score 1) 548

So the deathmarch would be acceptable if the boss further cut the quality control work in order to deliver on time? Really? 'Cause unions don't demand schedule changes, they only demand that workers get paid. And the kind of boss that requires a deathmarch places a priority on his uneducated concept of "good enough."

Seriously, if that's acceptable to you I don't want you on my team or anywhere near my code. At any salary.

Snowden and Manning are heroes.

Manning is a vile, conscienceless poor excuse for a human being who thinks the world owes him something. The patriotism in Snowden's behavior is at least debatable but Manning? The guy/gal whose response to a bad month was to indescriminately dump every secret he could get his hands on? What's wrong with you?

Comment: Re:C++ is not the language you start with (Score 3, Insightful) 548

I disagree. Learn how to program in a well structured manner that other programmers have some hope of following when they read your code. THEN learn how to juggle memory while programming in a structured manner.

If you haven't written code in C and assembly, you're not yet a computer scientist. But don't start there! Learn addition and subtraction before you learn algebra and learn Java or another learning language before you learn C.

Comment: Re:Pick a different job. (Score 1) 548

I'm 41. I started my own software consulting business this year. I had plenty of job offers. I even interviewed at Google a couple of times. But I wanted to do my own thing. And I'm doing quite well at it.

If your programming career was over at 40, what did you do that caused you to miss while I kept on hitting?

Comment: Re:Pick a different job. (Score 1) 548

programmers aren't smart enough to unionize

What would a union require of management that would make an unacceptable programming job acceptable?

Would you enjoy the work if only the boss didn't demand you work Saturdays? You would not.

Would the union be able to get rid of the office fool who screws up your otherwise beautiful code while convincing the boss its your fault? It would not. That's not what unions do.

Would you be paid more? Programmers who are any good are in high demand. If your boss isn't paying you fairly, find the next job. If no one is willing to pay you more despite the high demand for talented programmers and you're not willing to start your own business and take on the risks yourself then you're already paid what's fair for your level of talent and the level of risk you're willing to accept.

Unions are for folks whose labor is trivially replaceable. Work that most anybody can be "trained" to do. Programmers are artists. Instinct is not trainable and talented programmers are not easy to hire. Managers who think otherwise don't last long as managers of software development projects.

Comment: Re:C++ is not the language you start with (Score 1) 548

Python is a terrible choice for learning. C++ is not a great choice either. You want a learning language to be highly structured so that you're pushed away from sloppy programming practices that less structured languages allow.

Pascal was a good choice of learning language. Now that OOP has proven out, Java is a good choice. Stay away from the rest until you're competent in one of those two. Like Picasso said: Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.

Comment: Re:What if it were Microsoft code (Score 1) 191

by Spazmania (#47677679) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

AFAIK, torrent clients don't keep a log of who they transferred parts of the file to.

If the pirate sold your software (directly or as part of a derivative work) then it had monetary value to him. There are a couple other ways to calculate it as well. Basically, plaintiff and defendant both produce analyses of how much of the defendant's software was actually the offending work and the judge either picks the one which makes the most sense or uses parts of each to produce his own analysis. Both sides have to be careful here to maximize their respective benefit without crossing the line to unreasonable since the judge will discard any analysis he deems unreasonable. Apply that formula times the defendant's gross revenue for the software. If the infringement is willful (defendant knew up front he was infringing and did it anyway), the judge then triples it.

Comment: Re:What if it were Microsoft code (Score 1) 191

by Spazmania (#47675777) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

I believe you mean that copyright and patent infringement is a more serious _tort_ than license violation. We're talking about civil law here, not criminal law. No one at Versata is going to jail over this.

Statutory damages are a substitute for situations where real damages can't reasonably be proven. Such as making songs available via torrent where it's plain impossible to know how many folks ultimately received the song. That doesn't appear to be the case with Versata. Courts hate to apply statutory damages where it's practical to calculate real damages.

Also, you missed option E: stall the court proceedings while revising the software to work around the infringement, then do everything practical to minimize the monetary payout for the then strictly past infringement.

Comment: Re:What if it were Microsoft code (Score 1) 191

by Spazmania (#47672339) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

The recipient of the derivative work can enforce the GPL license between himself and the creator the derviative work. Said license came into effect as a result of the creator's acceptance of the GPL when he received the original work and its subsequent distribution.

The end user has no standing against the creator of the original work -- that license is between the original creator and the derivative creator. But he most certainly has standing in his license with the derivative creator which the derivative creator is shown to have established as a result of his acceptance of the GPL from the original creator.

Only if the creator of the derivative work accepted the GPL license of course. If he didn't then the work is simply infringing and the GPL does not come into play at all.

Comment: Re:Misreading section 7? (Score 1) 191

by Spazmania (#47672177) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

Here's this wonder free software, please use it! By the way, down here buried in the fine print you might not be allowed to use it, we'll let you know later if we don't like you. Trust me, it's fraud.

You can distribute your own code with any licenses you please, but each license must completely spell out the rights granted and responsibilities demanded. Lies of omission are still lies, lies with a financial impact are fraud, and the GPL doesn't allow for modification -- if you want to add patent limitations you have to use a difference license.

The one day you'd sell your soul for something, souls are a glut.