Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:How much did it cost him for slashdot? (Score 1) 126

by cerberusti (#49703171) Attached to: How SpaceX and the Quest For Mars Almost Sunk Tesla Motors

There is no reason to continue to upvote this... I have been at the karma cap for a long while, and at this point nobody is going to make this less than full score without a fuckton of sock puppets.

Save your mod points. No matter how awesome Elon Musk is and how eloquent I am in my drunken postings, it is not going over +5.

My genius self would take a pay cut to work for him on the basis of the advancement of the human race... but there is just no point in continuing to vote it up.

Comment: Re:Luck plays a more important role than people kn (Score 1) 126

by cerberusti (#49702923) Attached to: How SpaceX and the Quest For Mars Almost Sunk Tesla Motors

I approve of what Elon Musk has done with his wealth.

I cannot say that for the vast majority of billionaires, and I could say the same of millionaires. My question is what do you think he should do? If you cannot come up with a better answer than he actually invested in...

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 126

by cerberusti (#49702505) Attached to: How SpaceX and the Quest For Mars Almost Sunk Tesla Motors

If you believe your position is significantly more secure than an investor you are deluding yourself.

If a company is solvent it must pay its employees, but as a company goes bankrupt it will fail to do so. An attempt to retain employees with promises will ensue, but if it should fail you will usually get in line with the rest of their creditors. In some cases you will get priority over cash only creditors, but you should realize that the company has few assets at that point, and those will be leveraged, so your recovery is likely to be very small compared to what they owe you (a serious suggestion if you find yourself in this position is to TAKE THE DEAL THEY OFFER or negotiate something else immediately.)

Large companies with a good revenue stream are usually secure (until a startup destroys their revenue, which is nearly inevitable due to cost inflation in running a mature company, but takes quite a while.) Startups are mostly run on promises of success, but usually those promises go unfulfilled. When they are it means lots of money though, which is where it balances.

I will end this with much the same thought I started it with. You are not much more secure as an employee than an investor or officer, they just pay you better and you are not aware of how close it comes with great frequency. Knowing how close it comes is worth a lot of money as it turns out, as it is extremely high stress... and sometimes you put your own money in to keep it going for the moment.

Comment: Re:How much did it cost him for slashdot? (Score 5, Insightful) 126

by cerberusti (#49698339) Attached to: How SpaceX and the Quest For Mars Almost Sunk Tesla Motors

It cost him enough money to live a life of luxury spent on founding companies intent on improving the condition of the human race instead of islands, yachts, and hookers.

Slashdot does not get much if any of that, but it regularly qualifies him for "news for nerds" and "stuff that matters".

Comment: Re:Contract (Score 1) 353

Companies do it for consultants because the costs to them are far less.

I tripled my rates if they wanted a source license (instead of $125/hr it was $375/hr), and added many hours for a clean implementation of everything if they also wanted to buy the copyright.

When faced with a bill that would be more than 10x what it could be for something a company did not see as their primary business, most decided they did not need source code or copyright after all.

Comment: Re:Contract: No! (Score 1) 353

My experience as a consultant was similar.

Occasionally I had someone who wanted to own everything because they were paying for it, but once I factored in the extra time to write a clean implementation of everything required, and my increased rate for time I would not derive any other benefit from they usually reconsidered their position and took my original proposal.

The ones I had problems with were always one of my salesmen agreeing to something extra without talking to me first. I penalized them heavily in other ways on the few occasions where that happened, but still needed to technically fulfill the contract (to the detriment of everyone involved.)

Comment: Re:Contract: No! (Score 1) 353

Wait... are you a sole proprietor trying to pay yourself with capital gains distributions?

If so, may I advise you to seek out a tax attorney in order to consider a settlement with the IRS where you go to them, and stop doing that right now before the IRS comes after you (you may get lucky, but they have 7 - 10 years to come after you, and they tend to do it towards the end.) I tried to do that for a while, and it cost me far more than I saved in taxes.

It is not legal, even with a couple of people in the business. You still need to pay the self employment tax and pay yourself as an employee.

Another piece of free advice is that CPAs are more frequently shady than not, but it is your ass on the line and not theirs.

Comment: Re:Fired! (Score 1) 353

While you are correct on the W-2 (easier to understand for most than the employer side they may not remember) you do not need the contract as an independent contractor (1099).

Not only does it default to copyright remaining with the contractor, even a line in your contract will not transfer copyright. You must specifically assign copyright in a separate contract with consideration for that contract in order for copyright to transfer. A contractor does not present a conflict of interest as you are effectively another corporation under law, and must be treated as such.

Some employers misclassify employees in order to save on costs, but should that go to court it will cause them major problems. Even if they win that opens the door for the employee to contest their filing status with the IRS and recover quite a bit of money that way (the self employment tax is not minor, there are penalties for the employer, and all other contracts the business has will suddenly be under IRS scrutiny for the same thing.) The threat of taking it to the IRS is serious to say the least.

What you say is true on a W-4, but you are incorrect on the W-9.

Comment: Re:Contract: No! (Score 1) 353

It is not even possible transfer copyright by a clause in your consulting contract.

I was willing to sell the copyright in some cases, but would charge a far greater amount if you wanted to buy the copyright from me. Even buying a license for source code would increase that bill by at least 3x.

Usually it would be cheaper to hire someone if you need the copyright. It would be a little bit strange (and terrifically expensive) to use consultants for that.

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake