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Comment: A complete response would take too much space... (Score 1) 147

by ZahrGnosis (#48340751) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Data Warehouse Server System?

This is a wildly nontrivial question. Volumes are written about building data warehouses, and there's a lot to consider. In a large complicated environment, you could spend weeks doing comparisons (some people spend years, but that seems extreme); and some of the decisions are worth weighing.

The first question is what capability are you looking for -- why are you sure one of these vendors is correct, and have you truly explored your options? If you want a place to capture and gather lots of near-real-time sensor data, then Hadoop might be good, if you want a more traditional Kimball or Inmon style warehouse for a small or mid size amount of data, then Microsoft, Oracle, Teradata, IBM, MySQL, and others have decades of experience that is, in fact, useful. But that's just a single-source vendor, and your question is focused on database vendors. Asking what "capability" you need includes ETL, Reporting, Meta Data, Master Data, Data Quality, User Interaction, Training, Methodology... if you're going to in-house all of that, or spread those things to multiple vendors then your answers will be different.

All of those lead to follow-on questions. Where does cost play a role? Watch your up front costs vs long-term TCO. Do you have a development team with any expertise that may make it easier to in-house decisions and developments for one platform over another? Is your corporate buy-in strong so you can weather people second-guessing your decision? There are technical issues, personnel issues, cost issues...

The first ANSWER is really that any vendor will work, and every vendor will have different headaches. Older vendors have very specific ways of doing things, but that can make developers less expensive and more uniformly capable (although you'll always find extremes). Asking several Oracle DBAs to question each other and report back on each other's competencies is rather easy. With newer capabilities like Amazon, Google, and other cloud-big-data vendors, the landscape is newer, people are using different approaches (each of which may be valid), and it's not clear which are going to survive long enough to have the richest eco systems. But again, these systems came into being for a reason -- Hadoop and NoSQL databases can perform better and more cheaply than older databases in raw throughput, or unstructured data, or other areas but they sacrifice different things -- ACID compliance, strong typing or data models, or what have you.

Some of it just depends on taste. Some people avoid a single provider "lock-in" and pick and choose different ETL tools (see Informatica), Reporting Tools (Cognos, Microstrategy, Tableau, Jasper, Pentaho), and other tools (Talend DQ/MDM comes to mind... there are many), while some people prefer single vendors due to massive integration (particularly Microsoft if you're a Windows farm). If you're Gmail based, then Google's apps have good integration; if you have an Oracle ERP then several tools speak nice to it.

I'm generalizing a lot of examples that don't always apply, to keep things shortish, but the bottom line is that every option has strengths and weaknesses. I wish it were easier.

Comment: Re:Inventor here... (Score 1) 224

by ZahrGnosis (#48156443) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

Nice to have a first-hand opinion. Thanks Yaz. Someone else mentioned the corporate holding aspect, but then pointed out that they'd see it as deceitful if they found out a job applicant was sole owner of a company that held their IP, although the licensing benefits of that approach seem to make it worthwhile.

Would I be right in assuming that the patents on your resume make you feel MORE marketable, rather than less? Some people have mentioned that it could lead employers to fear conflicts of interest and that is an aspect I hadn't considered.

Thanks, Yaz.

Comment: Re:Not on my watch (Score 1) 224

by ZahrGnosis (#48156411) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

Hell, if I found out you owned the holding company with the patent, I'd probably not hire you for the same reason.

Precisely one of my concerns and similar to the sentiment others have issued merely for having an industry patent, much less a holding company. I'm not trying to be dishonest, and frankly I wouldn't have minded if more people recommended granting a limited non-exclusive license to an employer; really I was hoping that a few inventions would look good on a resume. I'm rather taken aback by the number of people that actually perceive it as a negative. Thanks for the feedback; I don't want a holding company be a negative any more than some IP. More to consider, thank you.

Comment: Re:Be careful of the Employment Agreement... (Score 1) 224

by ZahrGnosis (#48156333) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

"in recognition of the compensation being offered and accepted by Employee, Employee hereby assigns to Employer any and all intellectual property rights which Employee currently possesses, or may come into Employee's possession during the term of employment by Employer."

That's brutal. I will absolutely look for that; thank you for that perspective and your input.

Comment: Re:Are you patenting software? (Score 1) 224

by ZahrGnosis (#48156307) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

Yes, IP is meant to be wider... In point of fact, I used IP, even knowing that people like Stallman disagree with the term, because I didn't want the question to be bogged down by patent rhetoric. Obviously I failed. While my primary situation is patent related, I hoped the question would apply to any pre-existing IP that is somehow encumbered... one example -- I have a large photo portfolio; if I go to work for someone, and they're aware of my existing body of work, and they want to use a piece I have for a project, is this something I should have already addressed at the job interview?

Comment: Re:Are you patenting software? (Score 2) 224

by ZahrGnosis (#48156053) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

I think we're in agreement on how the world _should_ be, but maybe we don't agree on how to operate in the world the way it is. I definitely considered the patents software oriented, so if I came across as playing coy there, that was shadowing a much deeper discussion that I didn't want to get into. I think there are shades of grey even there... I'm very happy with the recent court opinions striking down software implementations of things that were derived from non-software ideas. Doing something on a computer that used to be done without one should not be patent-able at ALL. For other, truly "novel" inventions (and I realize there's always contention there), I tend to follow the EFF's guidance. Their current recommendations -- their 7 steps -- don't get rid of software patents entirely. They limit their duration, which I'd surely agree with, and require more specificity, which again i agree with.

But you're accusing me of being "antisocial" (I'd think bringing this up on Slashdot is the opposite of anti-social; that's certainly my intent), and "wrong", while I honestly do struggle with the issue, as I think many people do. The EFF and FSF don't seem to fully agree on how a software inventor should handle this. I hold both groups in high regard, but there is certainly not unanimous consent in the slashdot crowd). I'm familiar with the register allocation history (maybe not as much as some). I had closer contact with the photo-mosaic patents that were at issue some years ago, and I always find the codec IP issues (MP3, H.264, GIF, etc.) fascinating and troublesome. In fact, I worried over the use of "IP" in the original post, due to Stallman's position on the phrase (and in retrospect probably used the term too much).

I intend to focus on these issues, and I certainly don't want to be accused down the road of being similar to any of the debacles you cited. I'll let my actions speak for themselves as time unfolds. I'm optimistic that there's a "right" way to behave, within the current system, that is ethical while still affording the protections that patents are idealistically designed for (even if reality is not ideal). Maybe we disagree on those details. In any case my reason for posting this question to slashdot was different and, importantly, time sensitive, so I'm going to stop veering off topic (I felt your post was nice enough to deserve a response).

I do appreciate the even-handed and non-trolling response, and the advice on estate planning; I have a nice flowchart in my will; I'll make sure to add the legal assets to it, and yes, donating them to someone like the EFF is the path I'd like to take -- hopefully it won't matter by then. Thanks!

Comment: Re:lawyer up (Score 1) 224

by ZahrGnosis (#48155463) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

Dizzying, but thanks (and thanks to parent post). Undoubtedly the lawyers are helpful and yes, I'm talking to legal counsel. I do still see some useful non-legal advice here, however. I'm interested in how many people say they would not hire someone with patents because they worried they had a hidden agenda or were more motivated to leave the company, and it's also relieving to see the number of people who recommend complete up-front disclosure.

Thanks!

Comment: Re:Are you patenting software? (Score 4, Informative) 224

by ZahrGnosis (#48155419) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

No, I didn't patent those ideas, the links were examples; but I completely agree that the patent system is failing, and I pointed that out. The question is how to deal with it. I think it's a valid approach to continue to patent ideas until the issue is fixed because the mixed-bag approach is very difficult.

The EFF agrees at least that the situation is not black and white... from their site: "While [abandoning patents is] compelling, there are risks to this strong approach. Every piece of software released to the world without legal protections may leave open a door for someone else to attempt to patent the same technology (and may leave its creators more open to legal threats without a patent to wield defensively)." (https://www.eff.org/patent).

I am genuinely not trying to get rich (well, not through patent evil or trolling), or to be exploitative, and while I don't want to contribute to the problem, I don't want to be a victim of it. Anyway, I appreciate the comments, but again I was trying to shy the focus away from software patents... much ink has already been spilled on that topic. Assuming the patents were one that met your complete approval, would you feel differently?

Comment: Re:What "de-facto license"? (Score 1) 224

by ZahrGnosis (#48155217) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

The situation that worries me is that, while working for them, they'll ask me to solve the problem that the patent solves, which seems likely since I keep working in the same industry. I mean, say you invent something that makes cars a tiny fraction more fuel efficient; enough that it's useful but not so much that you can quit your job to market it. Then, you start working for a company who asks you to make their cars more fuel efficient. The patented ideas are relevant to my job; it's a small but useful aspect of what I do, and it would be reasonable to encounter the same problem that I've already solved.

Most of the time that's what an employer looks for -- someone with experience solving the sorts of problems you'll encounter working for them. Right? So when they ask you to make their cars more fuel efficient, what do you say then? That conversation changes a lot based on whether you talked about the patent when you were hired. But that's how I expect the two will intersect... the IP is related to my industry and it will likely be related to the job. Employers have an assumption (thus the de-facto) that something you know how to do is something you can do for your job. Violating copyright or someone ELSE's patent is clearly not covered... but using your own IP seems more grey to me.

Comment: Re:Are you patenting software? (Score 5, Informative) 224

by ZahrGnosis (#48154941) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

I almost put a note in the original question about that, but I decided not to, in an effort to keep the talk on topic. So let me point out my stance. First, I'm against software patents and frankly I think the whole patent situation needs reform far beyond software patents. At the same time, if something is patentable, I'm not sure anyone should avoid patenting the idea simply because you disagree with the system. I'd rather patent them and donate the patents to the EFF and GPL an implementation. On the other hand, I want to avoid a situation where for-profit companies co-opt the idea and charge people for it. Maybe I'm not altruistic enough; I'm conflicted on it, honestly. I haven't quite gotten there yet, though, so in order to not turn this into a flame war I skipped the topic. Anyway, here we are, and I'm trying to respond thoughtfully rather than just, as you say, fuck off.

To answer you point, though, some of my ideas are similar to these patents... decide for yourself if these are deeply "software patents": https://www.google.com/patents/US6263334, https://www.google.com/patents/US20030187867, and https://www.google.com/patents/US7185023, and I'd love to get feedback on how to deal with that aspect of the issue.

Comment: No, Bush was still wrong (Score 4, Informative) 376

by ZahrGnosis (#48153711) Attached to: Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

This comes up about once a year. Iraq had chemical weapons and everyone knew about it BUT this was during the Iran/Iraq war. They were largely destroyed before the second gulf war. What we're cleaning up NOW is still remnants from way back then. What Bush said was that we had to go to war due to imminent threat of actual weapons being used. That was not the case at the time -- when Bush was justifying invasion -- nor is it the case now. We're finding debris and remnants that are hazardous, sure, but no longer weaponized. And they have not been weaponized since well before Bush referenced them as "weapons".

Here's a recent reference:
http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/conservatives-continue-get-iraqi-wmd-story-wrong

And here's one from a nearly identical situation in 2011:
http://www.wired.com/2011/11/iraq-wmd-seal-target-geronimo/

And here's a fantastic timeline that CNN put together back in 2010:
http://cns.miis.edu/stories/100304_iraq_cw_legacy.htm

+ - Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP in a Job Interview?

Submitted by ZahrGnosis
ZahrGnosis (66741) writes "I'm in the midst of a rather lengthy job interview; something I haven't done for some time as I've worked as a contract employee with a much lower barrier to entry for years. Recently, I've started patenting some inventions that are applicable to my industry. One hope is that the patents look good to the prospective employer on a resume, but I don't want them to take the existing IP for granted as part of the deal. I'm worried I have the wrong attitude, however. My question is, how should I treat licensing of the patent as a topic with respect to the topic of my employment? Should I build the use of my patented ideas into my salary? Should I explicitly refuse to implement my patented IP for the company without a separate licensing fee? If I emphasize the patent during the interviews without the intent to give them the IP for free,is that an ethical lapse — a personal false advertising? At the same time, when I work for a company I feel they should get the benefit of my full expertise... am I holding back something I shouldn't by not granting a de-facto license while I work for them? I perceive a fine balance between being confrontational and helpful, while not wanting to jeopardize the job prospect nor restrict my ability to capitalize on my invention. Thoughts?"

Comment: Re:The real study (Score 1) 183

by ZahrGnosis (#47941519) Attached to: Snowden's Leaks Didn't Help Terrorists

Thank you! Snowden's information release impacted far more than the use of a few specific cryptography tools. It pointed out a vast information gathering system that people can now take pains to avoid. I sincerely doubt we can measure that avoidance, but even this attempt is a ridiculously small proxy to the overall question of whether the leak "helped" terrorists.

Comment: But let me elaborate (Score 2) 637

by ZahrGnosis (#47616053) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

I agree with the parent (@HornWumpus -- good name), but I'd like to elaborate.

First, I agree that "There have always been a subset of CS students that didn't get anywhere close to the metal. They suck.", and I agree that "C isn't good enough." No language is good enough by itself. If you haven't played with Functional, Procedural, Object-Oriented, and hardware-level (Assembler) languages by the time you've graduated, you've missed something.

You can figure it out no matter what they teach you, you just have to be inquisitive and ask good questions. You should take compiler, operating systems, and a numeric computing class which will each teach you about overflow and precision and memory allocation, in different ways, regardless of programming language used. You should have a basic understanding of how to do everything from scratch, with bare hardware, short of soldering the chip to a board (unless that's your thing, then go learn that too).

But then you should also learn that many "higher" languages make this easier... they have garbage collection built-in and you should learn why and when that's a good thing and why and when it's a bad thing. Java is good for some things, bad for others. If you go through a CS degree and all that you come out with is knowing one language, get your money back. Ask "why" early and often.

You should learn concepts and hands-on. You should learn the ideas so that, when a new language comes up next year, you can understand the literature about the pros and cons. But you should also be able to sit down with a couple of languages and pound out some simple algorithms and I/O with no references.

I liked my CS degree, but there were things missing. I had to learn network programming (TCP/IP, etc.) on my own. We didn't do embedded systems, so I didn't have much experience with small hardware and the nuances that come with them. But the advice I'd give is to avoid too many classes that are "just" programming, and focus on the fundamentals. Use as many languages as possible. Take Artificial Intelligence, Compiler design, Operating systems, data structures, numerical computing. Take a comparative languages class if one is offered. Take a database class. And take these all realizing that they're teaching you exactly the same thing -- how to solve problems using computers.

It's all ones and zeroes in the end. Once you've mastered pushing them around for one thing, you should be able to push them around for another, it just takes practice. Practice as many things as possible.

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil

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