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Comment Re:But but, it'sâ a Republican idea! (Score 1) 295

whether importing hundreds of thousands of African slaves to toil on Cotton and Tobacco plantations,

History clearly isn't your strong suit. Historically speaking, the Republican Party has been staunchly ANTI-slavery. The Republican Party was founded by anti-slavery activists, and the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, signed into law a little document you may have heard of that addressed the topic of slavery.

It wasn't until well into the 1900s that the Republican Party migrated more to the South and was adopted by the sorts of crowds youre likely thinking of.

Blame the modern Republicans all you want, but get your history right, especially when it comes to accusing people of being pro-slavery.

Comment Re:Fair terms ? (Score 1) 56

why one rule for you and another for others ?

Perhaps because Qualcomm (voluntarily) legally bound itself to provide licenses under FRAND terms as a condition for including their patents in the standard? Apple did no such thing.

I'm not saying Apple is in the right here. It actually sounds like they're screwing their suppliers, since their suppliers are the ones who have the licenses from Qualcomm, and it's those suppliers who are withholding royalty payments to Qualcomm on account of Apple not paying the money owed to them to cover their licensing fees. That said, Qualcomm is currently being investigated and/or sued by regulatory agencies around the globe for failing to abide by the FRAND terms they agreed to, so it seems safe to suggest that everyone's in the wrong at this point: Qualcomm for not abiding by its legal obligations, and Apple for not abiding by its contractual obligations.

Comment Re:Well, sadly, probably.... (Score 1) 379

Yeah, so I was looking at this and apparently, my thoughts/experiences (likely because I've had jobs on the west coast my whole life) apparently are not accurate across the nation.

Which I think is entirely crazy. I cannot imagine anyone in their sane mind siding with the company in a lawsuit like that, but... :P

Comment Re:Well, sadly, probably.... (Score 1) 379

Most employment agreements are such that the company owns it even if it is outside of normal hours. So inventions you come up with on your own time are not yours.

Ummm, [citation needed] here, I think.

I can't imagine how this is possibly legal, even if it was in there. Yeah, if you use *company provided assets* to develop your invention, sure. You're using their stuff to do it, so they could reasonably argue they should own it (or at least part of it). But if I use my own time, my own assets, my own learning, and it's not even related to my work (e.g., they can't claim that I'm using knowledge learned on the job or something, I could see them trying to argue that), how could they possibly claim it is theirs?

It'd be interested in seeing examples of this, as well as any related court cases where it was upheld. I seriously cannot see how it's possible. I don't know anyone in that boat, nor have I heard of anyone in that boat, nor have I ever seen a contract that tried to say that. And I've seen legal stuff that prevented some related issues, but where the company had a bit more of an argument (non-compete sort of stuff). Not saying I agree with the non-compete stuff, just that it seems like a slightly more rational argument than "anything you invent, regardless of how, where, or when, is ours")

Comment I work with a former COBOL programmer (Score 2) 371

And he's a tedious pain in the A$$. Self-righteous, gloating over the shortcomings of the current crop of apps, reveling in the agony of the kids struggling to release even the most minimal upgrade without 3 fast followers and a deferred feature request until they get enough points banked to figure out something new. He loves their failures.

And our COBOL systems do hum along.

We spent $2 Billion over 7 years on a new core processing platform, written in something 'modern'. It was hell. And it is one of 7 core processes. We are now working on using 'Big Data' to replace another core platform, and I swear they feed it quarters to keep it running - yes, we abandoned Hadoop, but Cassandra isn't much better for my app, we never get the resources we need, and as they convert even these relatively simple apps, we go through a cycle of redesign/minimal deployment/discover massive problems/rewrite/deploy minimal features/add in necessary features/discover problems with all supporting systems/implement error handling and alerts/re-budget to accommodate the real cost/start a new feature cycle... Fortunately we measure most of these events in single-digit months instead of single-digit years. Good bye Websphere, we hardly loved ya.

COBOL need not be replaced for core, transaction-bases systems, but the pressure is enormous. For financial institutions, being able to count on reconciling cash flows reliably cannot be overvalued. Some stuff just has to work. It doesn't have to be 'modern', whatever the hell that means, it just has to work.

Comment Re:COBOL isn't hard to learn (Score 5, Insightful) 371

COBOL was ubiquitous in the financial industry before SAP's predecessor was someone's dream. COBOL will take 10 years to get rid of *if* all users begin concerted efforts to do so, these transaction processing systems are too important to just 'replace' without careful planning, development, and most importantly defend against feature creep and being engineered into failure.

SAP is a baby. COBOL is grand dad. And grand dad still gets out of bed, does his work, and does it well. There is indeed a market for fresh COBOL programmers, and a decade before they need to move on to a new platform.

In a world where we are cautioned that we will have multiple careers as the job markets change and adapt, it's ludicrous to pretend that programmers can't move on to new languages, new platforms, new challenges. What is being said is "it's cheaper to hire new grads than to hire retrained experienced workers". That is sharp practice. Not nice, but profitable. And not new.

Comment Re:The correct course of action (Score 1) 201

Or does Congress only have that power when it's something you agree with?

I'm not sure which part of this you think I agree with. I certainly don't agree with what the FCC is doing here.

It sounds as if you're challenging whether Congress even has the authority to create independent agencies in the first place, which is an entirely unrelated discussion, and one for which I don't have a particularly strong opinion (I've just taken it as fact that it's something that they do, without ever really questioning it, honestly). That said, I will point out that if you take issue with Congress delegating its authority to independent agencies, then you'd need to account for the existence of NASA, the Smithsonian, the National Science Foundation, the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and even the United States Postal Service, all of which are also independent agencies. Again, I don't have a strong opinion, but there's clearly a necessity that those services be provided in some form or function, and the 538 members of Congress are clearly not up to the task of managing all of that on their own, especially once you consider that most of those agencies are far larger than Congress itself.

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