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Comment interesting... (Score 1) 68

So what's the copyright on this tool? Can I embed it in the reports I write to spot if my competitors steal them? (they're not using LibreOffice or anything, if they were smart enough for basic security, they wouldn't have to steal my stuff...)

We'll see adaptations of this everywhere in the near future. I know a dozen consulting companies immediately who are afraid that their stuff is stolen by competitors.

Comment Re: It's my house though (Score 1) 120

Interestingly, on the other hand in porn and swinger societies, black men seem to be quite popular. There's probably a mix of the exotic and forbidden at work, as well as the fact that it's generally a safe environment with other people present.

Thanks for the link. I always find it fascinating how complex and full of different aspects a topic becomes once you move beneath the surface and dissect causality.

Comment Re: It's my house though (Score 1) 120

Once you use a listing service that opens it to the public then there are all sorts of rules and laws that follow.

Why? You just state that like it's an obvious fact, but compared to "the sky is blue" it does not immediately follow.

Want to keep your rules? Don't use a listing service.

Why? That I need to follow the rules of the listing service, fine. That's part of signing the EULA when you register with it. But why do these rules have to be/contain specific rules? Why can the listing service not make up whatever rules it wants? It doesn't follow.

Rent to whomever you want, but don't advertise it to people you have no intention of renting to. That is what is illegal.

Ok, so add a filter to the listing service that allows the landlord to say "no men and no asian people" if they want, or "only single mothers of african decent" if that's their preference. What's wrong with that? If you find that nobody wants to rent to group X - go and figure out what's the reason for that and put your energy into fixing that. At the same time, there's suddenly a business opportunity for people to rent specifically to that group. The more they are discriminated against, the less competition and the more interesting it is to rent specifically to them.

Suppressing prejudices doesn't work. They don't go away just because you can't say it. Addressing them in an intelligent way is a much better approach.

Comment Re:It's my house though (Score 1) 120

Oh I love it when Ignoramus Anonymous trouts of free market nonsense.

When is the last time you saw an actual free market? You know, the one with an infinite number of buyers and sellers, perfect transparency, zero handling costs and no barriers of entry?

That's right, the whole free market thing is a purely theoretical model. It is not a real economical theory. It's the economists equivalent to the physicist saying "let's ignore friction and assume a perfect sphere in a vacuum..."

You need to adapt it to the real world or you are in for a hell of a lot surprises.

Comment Re:Observation (Score 1) 120

Because we live in a post-political-correctness world, where you are shouted down as racist, sexist, nazi or whatever if you have a not-approved-by-the-mainstream-police uncomfortable opinion. Some of those opinions actually are some or all of those things, but once people realised that it's an easy way to shut someone up, the labels expanded dramatically. You are now labeled a rape-culture sexist if you point out that "equal rights" also means men have rights. You are labeled a slave-holder racist if you point out that there are cases where discrimination goes against white people. And god forbid you say anything positive about a heterosexual white male.

Sadly, people didn't understand that the reason sexism and racism and political extremism are making a comeback tour is exactly that their proponents are being shouted down, giving them this "rebel" feeling that tends to make people stick more strongly to their opinion instead of changing theirs mind.

We should engage racists and reveal - to their and our eyes - what's behind their thoughts. Most often, it turns out it's a simple mix of stereotypes and fear, and once revealed it can be healed. We don't do it because we are also afraid - that if you seriously engage the topic, you have to face some uncomfortable facts for yourself. For example that certain demographic groups actually are more prone to violence, or more likely to commit certain crimes, or other such things. Dissecting that into the parts that are inherent to whatever the trait is and those that are self-fullfilling prophecies (if everyone thinks group A is full of criminals, they are less likely to be given good jobs, leaving many of them no other option than to become criminals). So in a way, the whole shouting match is because the non-racists are afraid to face an uncomfortable fact or two that might shake their simplified world-view.

For the record: I'm a racist. My Bengal cat is different from other cat races and I won't let anyone tell me that she's the same as any street cat.
For humans, even the term is silly as there is only one human race. We extinguished the other ones (Neanderthals and such) tens of thousands of years ago.

Comment Tricky one this is (Score 1) 120

Wow, that's going to clash.

On the one hand, yes racism is stupid and backwater countryside last-century silly.
But on the other hand, this isn't some hotel room, this is, for many people, theirs home (or holiday home, or whatever). They should be able to decide who to let in, based on whatever criteria they want, including racism, sexism and I-don't-like-people-in-suits.

We will see these kind of things happening more and more as the "gig economy" blurs the line between the private and the business world.

Comment Re:You were hired to work for THEM (Score 1) 363

It's not just free overtime.

That is often very much what being on a salary means in practice: you get X money per day/month/whatever, and X doesn't increase if you work more than your normal hours. However, it's also not unusual for salaried employees to have those normal working hours specified in their employment contracts, effectively putting a lower bound on the amount of working time expected in exchange for the salary.

Again, though, this all depends very much on where you are and how your local labour laws work. For example, the US system of at-will employment is actually closer to what most of the world would consider contract or freelance work than employment, typically involving very little commitment to continuing the relationship by either side and relatively low benefits for employees beyond their pay cheque. What is particularly unusual in that case is that in much of the US such an arrangement seems to be the norm even for entry-level and low-paid work. Elsewhere, employment tends to involve much more of a commitment from both sides for those kinds of jobs, while the lighter touch arrangements tend to be used more for skilled professional work. In that context, abusive hiring and firing is usually less of a problem, and all parties may benefit from the greater flexibility, including flexibility about compensation arrangements.

Comment Re:You can't generalize. (Score 1) 363

It does *sound* a bit sociopathic, doesn't it? But sociopathy is a pathological disregard for the rights of others. While deception is often used to violate someone's rights, but it can *also* be used to protect someone's rights.

For example if I knew an employee was embezzling money, I don't have to tell him I know. I can deceive him into thinking I'm not on to him until I gather enough proof or discover who his accomplices are. This is deceptive, but not a violation of his rights.

Comment Re:Speaking of delays... (Score 1) 106

ULA's track record with the Atlas V: 100%

Yes, let's take one vehicle in its fifth generation (not counting subrevisions), and ignore its track record with all of its earlier versions that led up to this point and all of their failures, and all of Lockheed and Boeings' other launch vehicles over time, with all of their failures. Lets also ignore that they're going to have to switch engines soon, to an engine with zero track record.

Payloads typically launch on schedule or within a few weeks. .... Some payloads have been waiting literally years due to delays.

Let's totally ignore that Atlas V launches once per two months, while SpaceX launches once per month, and that almost all of the wait time was due to investigation backlog. When it comes to hitting launch windows, SpaceX has a higher average success rate than average than Atlas V

And lets entirely fail to mention the point that ULA charges nearly double what SpaceX does per kilogram. Or that SpaceX is doing everything while rapidly evolving its rocket, to the point that they've basically even switched propellants partway through (denisification radically changes their properties). And while at the same time running an aggressive recovery and refurbishment programme and developing a heavy lift vehicle, with a small fraction as much capital.

Comment Re:What governmen brought to the table (Score 1) 106

As if liquid boosters can't fail catastrophically? Check out SpaceX's last failure. Liquids are hardly immune to catastrophic failure.

And actually more to the point, you've got it backwards. The SRB failure on Challenger was slow, more like a blowtorch. The explosion was when it compromised the external tank (which, obviously, stored liquids).

Solid propellants aren't like explosives. More to the point, you have to keep them under pressure to get the sort of burn rate that is desired for a rocket.

Comment You can't generalize. (Score 2) 363

Anyone who works on unauthorized personal projects should certainly expect to be subject to firing. But as a supervisor I would make the decision to fire based on what is best for my employer. That depends on a lot of things.

I don't believe in automatic zero tolerance responses. The question for me is whether the company better off booting this guy or disciplining him. Note this intrinsically unfair. Alice is a whiz who gets all of her work done on time and to top quality standards. Bob is a mediocre performer who is easily replaced. So Alice gets a strong talking to and Bob gets the heave-ho, which is unfair to Bob because Alice did exactly the same thing.

But there's a kind of meta-fairness to it. Stray off the straight and narrow and you subject yourself to arbitrary, self-interested reactions.

Now as to Alice, I would (a) remind her that anything she creates on company time belongs to the company (even if we're doing open source -- we get to choose whether the thing is distributed) and (b) that any revenue she derives from it rightly belongs to the company. But again there's no general rule other than maximize the interests of the company. I'll probably insist she shut down the project immediately and turn everything over to the company, but not necessarily. I might choose to turn a blind eye. Or maybe even turn a blind eye until Alice delivers on her big project, then fire her and sue her for the side project revenues if I thought we didn't need her any longer. If loyalty is a two-way street, so is betrayal.

Sure, you may rationalize working on a side project as somehow justified by the fact your employer doesn't pay you what you're really worth, but the grown-up response to that is to find a better job; if you can't, by definition in a market economy you are getting paid at least what you're worth. If you decide to proceed by duplicity, you can't expect kindness or understanding unless you can compel it.

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