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Comment: Re:Remind me again (Score 1) 331

by TechNeilogy (#49360981) Attached to: Amazon Requires Non-Compete Agreements.. For Warehouse Workers
I believe in the right of people to form contracts, even for employers to require contractual conditions for employment. But it has to be balanced against the relative economic power of the two parties.

It's like saying a match between a pee-wee league football team and an NFL team is fair because both parties are governed by the same rules. “Fair” is only a correct assessment if you ignore the most important facts about the situation.

If a bazillion dollar company wants to require minimum wage, near-zero net-worth, workers to wear certain clothes, work specific hours, not moonlight (if employed full time), not be allowed to abscond with company secrets, etc., I have absolutely no problem with that. But if that same company wants to dictate that those employees will be bound, to their economic detriment, even after they are no longer being paid, from taking the type of jobs that they are trained for and that are commonly available to them, that seems inequitable.

After all, even if the cost of that employee going to a competitor is many times the hourly value of that employee, that still implies less harm to the mega corporation than hindering the future employment of that person.

And I should state that I am not an Amazon-hater; I am a loyal customer since the days when they started out just selling a few books on-line. I remember what it was like (not living in a big city) to try to buy uncommon or technical books before Amazon -- in a word, it sucked. But big companies just need to remember that a large part of what made them into a bazillion dollar companies was all those people depending on those commonly available jobs for money -- sometimes a significant fraction of their small income -- to buy the books, music, etc.

Comment: Re:Good try, but a bit dissapointed... (Score 1) 94

I haven't seen the movie, but the book is one of my favorites. One of the things that worries me is that the book is one of those rare, so self-contained and complete pieces of art that it seems anything added or deleted -- even a single word -- could spoil it.

Comment: I agree with the Pope... (Score 1) 894

by TechNeilogy (#48820977) Attached to: Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression
...in a personal sense, that is. I go out of my way to avoid offending others on very personal topics like religion. Not because I'm afraid, but because I want to be a nice guy :)
As a citizen of a republic, however, I support the right of free speech, even offensive speech. In fact, offensive or unpopular speech in particular needs to be protected: there's neither need nor reason to protect the speech people want to hear.

Comment: "technical debt" (Score 1) 153

by TechNeilogy (#48616613) Attached to: In IT, Beware of Fad Versus Functional
In my experience, a huge fraction of the marketing surrounding any IT fad is the promise that it will magically erase or prevent technical debt. This is attractive because in many ways technical debt is THE great unsolved problem of software engineering. TL;DR there is no magic bullet; the only solutions are craftsmanship and paying the technical debt up front. Unless management understands this, no IT fad will ever solve the problem.

Comment: Small Town (Score 1) 454

by TechNeilogy (#48445643) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars
I live in a small town / large village, and I would love to do without a car, but it's just not practical. The town is at an uncomfortable size where it's too large to walk to many places, but too small to make public transit feasible. What would help the most, I think, is some kind of "lane management." It's too dangerous to use the highways as they are now configured with bicycles, motor-scooters, or motor-carts -- though these would suffice for most tasks. If this were made safer, it would be more feasible to rely only on rental cars for longer trips. The city council has taken steps to add bike lanes, and has just approved the use of electric motor carts. These are steps in the right direction, but we've got a ways to go. Still, I like the idea of being able to give up owning a car -- and not just for some green / altruistic reason -- I just don't want the bother.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen