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Comment Re:If he gets paid extra for overtime... (Score 1) 386

Yes, but the headline asks "should", and I answered based on the case of how things are now and as far as I'm concerned if a company doesn't at least do 'a' AND they do not pay their employee for all hours worked (none do in my experience), they have no leg to stand on and should be thrown out the door without any further comment. In other words, employee is innocent until proven guilty. In reality it won't go down that way, but often does.

My actual opinion is that my option 'a' should be illegal and unenforceable (i.e. the employer only owns what they pay me to do), and as a matter of law investors should be aware that employees are not fully invested (fwiw, we're not anyway). In every place I have ever worked, 'a' is how it is done. Of course, I have never known people to actually adhere to it, they just hide is plausibly well.

This leaves employers with the option of hiring the necessary labor and/or paying for the work they need done and having strictly defined hours during which they own that employees time. This is the best, cleanest option, and the one most in keeping with the concept of employment. It's expensive, and it may be inconvenient, in urban areas it creates significant problems, but some can be mitigated.

The other alternative is being left with a court battle to prove that employee moonlight project was created as a direct consequence of work he was paid to do and therefore not his work. This would require specifically stating what work the employee is being paid to do. Proving this is not totally straightforward in all cases. But, and this is the best part, it does leave both the employee and employer in a state where they cannot be certain of the outcome and should prepare for any possible consequences. Employers would need to decide whether it is worth pursuing, which is basically the probability of winning/settling profitably. Cracking down on open source type projects would be unprofitable, for example. Employees would have to decide if their idea really is competitive or too work-relevant, and weigh potential consequences if they intend to become super rich entrepreneurs from the effort.

I have often considered writing some open source tools to replace the highly expensive, bloated crap I get from certain EDA manufacturers. I have resisted it since it really is too close to home (although strictly speaking, my employers are not in the EDA business) and my employer also owns everything I do. However if I did so, it would be open source and would probably be destructive to these companies whose existence is largely through parasitic and harmful maintenance contracts. On the other hand, it would absolutely lower the investment barrier to entering the market I am in where burn rates are measured in the 10s to 100s of millions a year (about half of which is in tool licenses and maintenance contracts), and enable more competition and product variation. Given a) the EDA companies in question tend to be large shareholders of my employers and b) my employers never want more competition, option 'a' above enables a perfectly anti-competitive setup and is actively harmful, even if the employee has no particular interest in greed, he just wants tools that work and obey 20 year old standards, dammit. But, I have little doubt that if I did this I would be squished like a bug, even if I went out of my way to conceal it.

This is just one way corporate ownership of employees lives is objectively harmful, even if one rejects the notion that employees should not be bound to their employer by anything other than delivering what they are paid to deliver.

Comment Re:If he gets paid extra for overtime... (Score 1) 386

If you have signed something in writing to that affect. If no such contract exists, and it is found that the employee is spending significant uncompensated after-hours time working for the employer, then the courts should tell everyone involved to get lost.

I think this will drive the best possible behaviors: either
a) employers will formalize all arrangements and employees can take it or leave it (or as is usually done, conceal it well), or
b) investors can be warned that employees are not fully harnessed and are contributing their time in exchange for money, and unpaid time is not owned by them (this should be the law, as far as I'm concerned), or
c) employers hire sufficient labor and/or pay sufficient overtime to ensure that employees are being compensated for every hour the work, or there is someone to cover outside work hours, such that the employee never has an excuse to be off task on company time.

Most of the issue I think is around "b". In most cases I've been made aware of, the investors don't actually care about the side project interfering with the employer of the person in question and their investment in that employer, it's that the side project is disruptive or "destroys value" in some unrelated area where they have investments and they want to kill the competition, or the side project becomes valuable and the investor wants to believe he should own the new cheeseburger product when his investment was in a company that makes lugnuts. Personally I think the law should always side with the employee in that case, and tell the investor to go fuck himself. Unfortunately in technology it's not always that clear cut, particularly if your degree is in law.

Comment If he gets paid extra for overtime... (Score 5, Interesting) 386

Different people have different arrangements, I'm sure a lot of people here are strictly 8-5. But in my world I'm expected to be available and on call around the clock based on the specific function I perform (it's a lot of hurry up and wait). So I may be working at 11PM, but at 2PM I may be free. I do not get paid any extra for overtime. So who is to say that I'm on company time?

While the simple answer might be that I should always be on task during work hours, I strongly doubt my bosses would like me to just abdicate when a job finishes at 11PM and needs my attention but doesn't get it until the next morning, nor do they want to pay for another person to do it (even if that were remotely possible, which it isn't). So if I'm dicking around in the middle of the day, and I'm at the office just to maintain office hours, it should be assumed that I'm simply not on company time right now.

Comment Re:Opposite (Score 4, Interesting) 544

I was thinking that I won't be able to retire the way things are.

Nor I. But when I was 25 I thought I would retire at 55 (and actually all things remaining equal, my plan and habits would have enabled it). But all things do not remain equal. Unexpected, previously undesirable and sometimes unforeseeable things happen in life: wives, children, crashing economies, jobs constantly being shifted overseas, etc.

I guess this aspect of millennial thinking isn't new or scary. As with all of us, life will grind away hopes and dreams, no action is required from us.

Comment Re: How to copy? (Score 1) 169

It's not clear, but speculated that with chip and sign, it is entirely possible:

However, what has actually happened is that most fraudsters, who are as technically capable as your average script kiddie, have just found other ways of defrauding you rather than try to solve a hard technical problem. The most popular method now, and which I personally know many people have been facing, is opening a credit card in your name and using your potentially great credit score against you. This is ALSO because credit card companies are dropping the ball.

This is why we should not let idiots with MBA degrees use statistics to make decisions. "If I make this one change, I will fix 60% of the problem! I'm done!", and a month later the mole pops up another hole. So no doubt they will try to close this new hole, and the criminal element will look elsewhere, perhaps back at cracking EMV and it's known weaknesses, one of which has been identified:

(TL;DR: It's not guaranteed and work for some uses, but it's a crack in the wall)

Comment Re:That's the point... (Score 1) 148

When you're working 20 hours a day, 7 days a week, what do you do? If you can't trust the coworker to do the work, he needs to go and be replaced with someone who is going to share the workload with you. This is your job, it's the means by which you feed yourself and your family, it's not yearbook club. Deadbeats can't just hang out, they're soaking up resources that someone else may better utilize.

Comment Re:CCing is a legit intimidation technique (Score 2) 148

Or, if you are asking a peer who you do not manage and has his own tasks, to do something you ask, you CC the boss who will resolve priorities. Or, if you talked to the boss and he asked you to ask peer to do said thing, you CC the boss. Generally I expect the boss to be controlling resources and managing priorities, he really ought to be copied on a lot of mails. If that peer is doing exceptional work that he doesn't even have to do, CC'ing the boss is also the way of making sure the boss knows said person is doing really well, I also CC the boss on that sort of thing. I want good people to be incentivized to stay every bit as much as I want to help identify bad people who can be incentivized to leave.

I was nervous about people CCing the boss when I was fresh out of college, but I got over it the hard way. The consequence of NOT CC'ing the boss, in my experience, is people not delivering and the boss blaming ME, and asking why he wasn't CC'd. So now any time I am making a request that involves real work, and asking someone to stop doing what they're doing, I CC the boss.

Honestly the only person with a legitimate reason to complain about CC'ing the boss, is the boss. That has never happened.

Comment Re:Always pointing at hardware (Score 1) 169

if you're running a newer laptop and can't handle multiple spreadsheets, the problem isn't the hardware

I don't entirely disagree that a lot of problem is bloat in SW, it's out of control. However, many, many employers buy new laptops that are cheap but have lousy processors, inadequate memory, horrible video chips (i.e. Intel default) low res displays and small hard disks. That really is a HW problem.

The first thing I do is drop the engineer card, and find the process for getting a top of the line laptop (or best: desktop). So far I've never been rejected. However most employees cannot do that, and I can imagine their fustration since engineering in the corporate world is still 90% bullshit spreadsheets and word docs, 9% cleaning up management induced technical mess, and 1% actual design. I survive that 90% by having multiple spreadsheets, documents and browser tabs open at once, along with email that is always on (and using insane memory due to the 1000s of emails that come to me a week). I also use multiple displays, so that I can have many of these up at the same time, making cut'n'paste work a whole lot faster.

I do not know how the marketing dolts get by, but I always assumed someone handed them a basket and some wicker and told them quitting time is 5pm sharp.

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