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Comment Re:Time to haul the red herrings (Score 1) 183

Bill Gates did something like this too in the late 1990's. Again the reason was portfolio diversification. He then left as CEO within 2 years after that. So it was clear he was planning for his life after Microsoft at that point. I'm not sure what Schmidt's age is, but it could be something very similar.

Comment Re:Can someone explain why it's reasonable... (Score 1) 105

Copyrights and Patents are two very different things. They get clumped together under IP Law, but I know IP lawyers who focus only on Copyright (and usually trademarks) and then just patents. Often the folks who deal with patents have engineering or scientific undergraduate degrees. They are two very different beasts as patents have a term of 17 years in the US and that doesn't matter if you are a company of individual or trust/estate. It's 17 years. Problem has become business process patents. Those were a bad idea and should be stripped from the USC. Patents should only be things manufacturing processes and machines. Things like "1-click" ordering should be covered by copyright (see below)

Copyright depends on a couple factors. If you are a company that copyrights a work that used to cover a 30 year period. Individuals the copyright existed for the duration of you life +50 years. The idea being you write the Greatest Novel of your Generation. Doesn't get published until after your death, allows your direct decedents the ability to capitalize on it. And that was fair enough. Now the problem is that +50 years has turned into +70 or +90. I've really not had to deal with that in the past few years so I lost track.

I think what needs to happen is we need to have categorizations of copyright. Software copyright lasts 10 years. Books can be lifetime + 25 years. Music published and released by you, lifetime + 25 years. Music produced and published by a company: 25 years then it's public domain.

Comment Re:This is a move to stop online piracy. (Score 1) 592

I had this happen recently. I use a prepaid debit cards for online transactions. XBL was billed to a card that was out of money. Next time I went to the store I got another $50 prepaid card, changed the billing info for XBL, XBL accepted the payment, and I was back online.

Comment And cash is still king... (Score 4, Interesting) 472

I had bad experiences with credit in my early 20's. Not ashamed to admit it. The more I got to learning about how the credit system works the more I was boggled at how bad it really was and was bound and determined to get out of it by my 30's. So I spent a lot of time in my mid and late 20's with a start up that I eventually sold for a fair amount of money. It wasn't millions, but enough to pay off my debts, buy a condo that I rehabbed and then got luck to flip for a good profit, and then I bought the farm next to my Dad's.

Now I pay cash for everything. If I need a car, I try to find a good used one (although thanks to cash for clunkers there aren't a lot out there. My 2004 Chevy Impala with 130k miles could fetch way more than it's worth at the moment).

After buying the farm, I didn't have enough to buy another place so I decided to rent a loft. Walked in and they all their "credit" requirements. I asked them to figure out the amount of the lease and I'd go right to the bank and get a cashiers check for the full amount up front. Amazing how they no longer needed to run my credit.

Last year I created an LLC for my part time business of going to estate sales and then dealing in antique and vintage furniture. Went to see about credit card processing from the bank and a couple days later got a call back stating that they had a problem: there wasn't any credit records for me. I smiled, said don't worry about it and opened a square account.

Comment Re:Any practical use? (Score 1) 107

More likely if your company has an older legacy winform app they use for something, say inventory database, it may have a real world "use" in being able to run the old app on a new tablet. Not saying it would be a good idea, but it might be able to be done.

The thing is, most of these "applications" are old enough to the point that they need to be rewritten from the ground up, especially for mobile devices in mind. Last two years that's what I've primarily been doing as a day job is taking custom software and writing backend API's into the database while another coder works on an HTML5/JS front end.

People can bitch and moan all they want about HTML5/JS, but when combined with Phonegap we've had pretty good luck with quickly developing CRUD applications that work on Chrome and Mobile Devices.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 331

This. I moved back home to take care of my father as he was going through some medical stuff about two years ago and sold most of my stuff and recently moved back out into a place of my own. I spent about $80 outfitting my kitchen with pots, pans, coffee maker, toaster, stoneware, silverware, glassware and cookware. I did it mostly going to estate sales. I spent about twice that buying the basics food stuffs. Of that I think my microwave was the most expensive at $15.

Still though, being single, there are a few things that I can have that keeps well and are geared for individual consumption. But things like fresh fruits, veggies, and deli meats tend to go bad before I use half a package. Even bread will go moldy before I get through half a loaf. I do keep some things around like 1 minute cups of rice and frozen chicken, fish, or shrimp that keep longer.

Comment Re:also why other pro apps will not be in other ap (Score 2) 270

When I started selling apps on the Apple App store and later Google Marketplace I knew other small individuals and small companies who balked at the idea of Apple taking 30%. They viewed they were getting ripped off.

I asked them how much it would cost for them to set up their own website and support infrastructure along with managing things like PCI compliance costs and all the joys that come from dealing with CNP transactions. And don't forget marketing. (yes you still have to do marketing outside of the app store, but the app store does help). And I still maintain a website for my apps, but that runs off Wordpress on a $75 a year Pair lite account.

To me, paying a 30% commission for Apple to take care of all of that backend stuff is well worth it. Same with the Google Marketplace/Play store and even with the Windows Store.

Comment There will be an uneasy and unwritten alliance... (Score 1) 270

My guess that will come via Office 360 or whatever the online version of MS Office will be. They'll do their best to support iOS and Windows devices at the expense of Android just has Microsoft has with their Azure platform and mobile services. As much as Apple and Microsoft may not like each other, they are both in the position of needed each other for the time being against Google & Android.

I've gotten by the past couple years just fine with what used to be called iWork for Mac and iOS. Recently though, started with a new company and MS Office has been a requirement because we deal with too many other businesses who use it and expect you to use it as well.

Comment Re:Prototyping (Score 1) 432

I spent the better part of the last 10 years working on prototyping and getting several different start ups to the refactoring stage. Usually it's something like this: "I have an idea and $xx,xxx to build a prototype and demo to people." At that point myself and usually one or two others would take the basics, sketch out a rough idea of what was needed and get to work making the product to do what the client wants. It didn't have to be polished, but it just needed to work well enough. Didn't have to do it well or be the best way to do the task, it just needed to function. You'd be surprised at how quickly we could develop stuff on top of PostgreSQL, Perl w/CPAN, on the server side and then HTML/JavaScript on the client side. I'm primarily a systems guy who can do enough coding to make it work. Which has proven useful when troubleshooting prototypes where problems could becoming from any one of the links in the production chain. I won't say that we work on beer fueled bingers, espresso maybe, but there is a ready supply of adult beverages in the office fridge if someone should care for one.

Once the was stable enough to start getting clients and hopefully investors then I would usually work on hiring my replacements who were experienced coders, work with the business types to translate business speak into geek and get the new team on its way towards version 2.0. And looking at the code produced by professional programmers compared to what I and the others would write was night and day. But again, our job was to make something functional often as quickly as possible to meet the requirements.

Comment Re:Paper printout (Score 1) 212

I keep a working 486 with both 5.25" drive and older 3.1 floppy drives as well as an old 2x CD burner and Dos 6.22. I boot it up once a year to make sure everything still works. It hasn't happened too often, but in the past two years I've had two clients were it's saved their ass.

One was a small company that was still running their entire database off an old 386 box. Eventually it got to the point where their tape drive failed and it was time to move to a new system before they could sell their company and retire. Fortunately the company that created their original software was still around and more than happy to convert the data...IF you could get it to them on an optical disk or external hard drive.

The other time were articles of incorporation and bylaws for another company saved to a 5.25" floppy and again managed to recover and save the data.

I even have a working XT as well, or assume it still works I haven't booted it in probably 5 years.

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