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+ - Ask Slashdot: How to own the rights to software developed at work? 2

Submitted by ToneyTime
ToneyTime writes: I'm a young developer building custom add ins for my companies chosen SAAS platform as a full time staff member. The platform supports a developer community to share code and plug-ins with an option to sell the code.

While I don't plan on having a breakthrough app, I am interested in sharing the solutions I create with the hopefully potential of selling. All solutions are created and made by me for the business needs and aim to keep any company specific data out. I have a good relationship with management and can develop on my own personal instance of the platform, but would be doing so on company time. Going contractor is a bit premature for me at this stage.

Any advise, references or stories to learn from?

Comment: Re:Get over it (Score 3, Insightful) 190

by amxcoder (#49644273) Attached to: No Justice For Victims of Identity Theft
Until you get mugged because you are carrying hundreds of dollars of cash around. No one will reimburse that either when it's cash. It's all your loss. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against cash in the least, but there is no fool proof method. Before debit and ATM cards were all the rage, more people got mugged for the cash they carried on them. Now that cards are more prevalent, less people have cash on them to drive the "muggings" market, but CC and bank card fraud is through the roof.

Comment: Re:Is this Google's fault? (Score 1) 434

by amxcoder (#49626661) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer
The issue has several factors involved, not all in Google's control.

First off, there is the vendors... I don't know how other vendors are, but with AT&T, they take forever to roll out new versions for their phones. I assume the phone manufacturer's as well as the service provider's like AT&T and Verizon all have to customize the new versions to add in their mandatory, non-removable bloat-ware crap that they force their users to have installed on their phones. So for instance, when Google released Lollipop, then Samsung has to get a hold of it, and add in all their Samsung crap-tastic apps that can't be removed and roll it all into a custom ROM image. Then they hand off to ATT, who then adds in all their useless apps that nobody uses or wants (or don't work until you pay more $$$), and build their own custom ROM that rolls in Samsung's ROM to theirs. Then they might push it out over the air, but by then, Android has had several new minor releases in the meantime, so the version they are pushing isn't even close to the latest build version of Android anymore.

The other factor is the users themselves. And it's not always laziness on the user's part. Here is what I mean. Since the manufacturer's want to lock down the phones to the point that you can't do anything cool with them that you really want, and they only let you do what they want you to do with them, the only real way to take control of YOUR device is to ROOT it. So a lot of users root their phone, and then customize it, either installing a custom ROM image, or removing bloat, or enabling WiFi Tethering, or other feature that doesn't work out-of-the-box because it's been crippled by the service providers. But once you root the phone, it's a major PITA to update it after that. Because the service provider updates don't work on root (or will remove root if they do work), most people with rooted phones don't take the OTA updates. It doesn't help when each OTA update includes more and more modifications and locks to try to keep users from rooting their phones in the first place, not many people want to take the chance to un-root, update, and then re-root their phone, because they might not be able to root it again after the update, or will have to learn a whole new different rooting procedure than the last one they used.

I know some of you will say, well if you have root, then you can install newer ROM's yourself without waiting for OTA updates. Sometimes this is true, but other times not so much, since the service provider's and phone manufacturer's (AT&T and Samsung I'm looking at you), go to great lengths again to make sure you don't actually own the phone you are buying and so LOCK the boot-loader, and install KNOX and everything else they can think of to keep you from making things as easy as they should be when it comes to updating your phone through other channels other than them.

None of this is Google's fault, but the phone manu. and service providers. They are the ones who want vendor lock in, and customer lock-out of these devices. I sure hope that Google doesn't FORCE mandatory OS updates moving forward, since I'm always running a rooted phone, I don't want to mess with all the head-aches attached to updating and re-rooting every time they come out with a minor new build. It would be one more thing I would have to fight with on top of the other things mentioned.

Comment: Minumum Wage will push these sooner (Score 2) 46

by amxcoder (#49602959) Attached to: Robots In 2020: Lending a Helping Hand To Humans (And Each Other)
With the push for higher minimum wage for low/no skill jobs, I'm sure there will be more focus on robots that can flip burgers and serve up milk shakes. These types of robots are actually possible with todays technology, only they weren't economical, however if you have to pay McD employee's $30K a year, they will make more sense to the restaurant and fast food industry.

Comment: Re: Not sure, if this is much better (Score 1) 121

It doesn't matter if I read the fine print in the TOS of my ISP or not. If they are all going to be mandated to collect/store this stuff, then there are no options to NOT agree to the TOS without giving up internet connectivity altogether as well as cell phones. Its not like if you fond it in the tos fine print you can choose a different ISP that wont do it. Our ISP choices are already limitedas it is, so if you want internet, you'll have to agree to it period.

Comment: Re: Excellent. (Score 3, Insightful) 324

by amxcoder (#49595967) Attached to: Mozilla Begins To Move Towards HTTPS-Only Web
Actually this. I'm in the same boat, with my own domain on shared hosting. I'm not going to shell out money to a third party for a cert that really isn't needed for a website that just gives info about me and my business.

On another note, I program embedded control systems for a living, and often am incorporating automation to reach out and either pull out scrape data from web servers for different reasons (to diplay weather or energyvusage stats) or control home security monitors etc. These embedded platforms dont have the encryption frameworks for them to access most https sites. Meaning to do the simple thing like scraping info from a https page requires delving into encryption protocols, rolling your own encryption implementations and having it run on a platform that is less powerful than a typical phone. It all started when all email servers went to https and then trying to get an automation system to send a status or alert email turned into a major PITA. Now the whole web is going to be like that. I love how in the dawn of IoT, that everyone assumes that all these microprocessors are going to be running standard full fleged web frameworks and all the goodies that goes with them, including encryption, XML, JSON, Restful and other frameworks that are common on on your big 5 OSes, but not so common in the land of proprietary OSes running on embedded platforms.

BTW, I program AMX and Crestron automation systems if anyone was wondering what platforms Im specifically referring to, but there are others as well.

Comment: Re:Fins - probably not. (Score 1) 216

by amxcoder (#49574787) Attached to: US Successfully Tests Self-Steering Bullets
The summary mentioned that these are shot from a "smooth bore" rifle. Meaning no twisted landing to make the bullet spin, like a shotgun. So unknown from the info given if the bullet even does spin. The reason most bullets spin are to keep it stable in flight so it doesn't start tumbling. *IF* it used fins somehow, I'm sure that is what would keep it stable in flight instead.

Comment: Re: and... (Score 1) 299

by amxcoder (#49553517) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes
Yes, there are downsides to a generator as well, storing of fuel etc. But, I would say in an emergency situation, most of your argument goes away though, as most people would realize that some major catastrophe (hurricane, earthquake, etc.) has taken the power out, and it could be a while until it's back up, and start conserving their power to only necessary things to help live, like refrigerator and minimal cooking appliances or lights. A typical residential generator usage, would likely involve a very undersized generator that would not run the whole house, but would run just the necessities, maybe even requiring things to be unplugged for a bit while you plugged in something else that you needed. Possibly having more than one generator, so that you can start and stop ones that don't need to be used all the time to conserve fuel.

Only an idiot (or someone filthy rich) would try to run his entire house on a generator (or a backup battery for that matter) without immediately scaling back power usage to absolute bare necessities.

Comment: Re: Solar rarely enough for the whole house (Score 1) 299

by amxcoder (#49550973) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes
I think PG&E just likes putting that on your bill to make you feel like you should save more. Mine says the same thing.

However in my case it may be somewhat valid, as I run a home office with multiple PCs and such that goes with that, am home most of the day, as well as my wife and kids (who are homeschooled). So we use power almost all day long. And we are billed into the 3rd teir pricing as well. We dont have AC but all of our appliances are elec. vs. gas which doesnt help either.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 356

by amxcoder (#49528473) Attached to: 'Mobilegeddon': Google To Punish Mobile-Hostile Sites Starting Today
Yes, and often times, when you zoom in to see the content, what you are not seeing are the ADS that surround the content on top, sides and bottom. So zooming in, actually zooms the adds out of, and off your mobile screen and enlarges the content area to fill the screen. If they did this automatically for mobile sites, maybe more people would like them, but the ADS on most sites are to important to most site owners, that they would rather show the Ads and no content, rather than the content with no ads.

Comment: Re:Instead... (Score 1) 356

by amxcoder (#49528139) Attached to: 'Mobilegeddon': Google To Punish Mobile-Hostile Sites Starting Today
Yes, this is a stupid move, since when I google for information, regardless of whether I'm using a phone or my desktop/laptop, what I'm really wanting is relevant information about my search. If I'm looking for information to a question I have, I want the best information to answer that question. It shouldn't matter what the hell the site designers did to make it mobile friendly or not. If I'm looking for specific information, I don't care if the best information is located on a webpage that looks like it's been created in 1995 and belongs in geocities, I want the information that best answers my question. Don't omit the best results just because they think that by some irrelevant criteria, that Google decided, that the info I need is not worthy of showing me, and instead they are going to show me info from a less than relevant source that has 'mobile friendly' site architecture.

And like a lot of you, I can't stand most 'mobile friendly' sites. Most suck, and most are stripped down versions of their normal site that don't allow the same access to the site information/functionality. The last 3 phones I've owned (over 6 to 7 years) all are plenty capable of showing regular websites scaled down to the screen, that allow me to zoom and pan and scroll how I want it. Most of this preferential for me than giving me a mobile friendly site that doesn't have the same navigation, or content organization, or features.

Ads are mostly annoying on mobile sites as well, since they don't use a column off the side to display them (where they are easily ignored). Instead, they put full width adds in the column of content, or even worse, they make the adds popup and cover the whole frickin' screen everytime you open a new page on the site, and you have to close the add popup constantly.

Comment: Re:Probably best (Score 1) 649

by amxcoder (#49516939) Attached to: Automakers To Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars
When changing the ECU on cars (like when Tuners flash a new tune) it is not the same as changing the entire underlying operating system. In most cases, the parts being changed are the parameters (or mapping points) that the underlying program uses to determine Fuel/Timing (and Boost if applicable) under certain RPM-Load points. The calculation of these and engine operation coding is rarely if ever touched.

It's almost analogous to changing config files for a program. You're not effecting how the program operates, just the parameter data that the underlying program uses.

A good supervisor can step on your toes without messing up your shine.