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Comment Re:The way you ask it? Yes. (Score 1) 380

I can turn the question around: If you hire me to do some work in your house, would you be ok if I cleaned the next doors swimming pool during that time?

And the answer is: it depends.

If i hired you to do some DIY work on my house and i was paying you for the job, you said the job would be complete in X days / by X date, and your activities on the side didn't impede your ability to meet that deadline then sure, i wouldn't care.

If i was paying you by the hour then i would generally expect not to pay you for the hours you were doing something else, but if you billed 8 hours a day, spent 4 hours in the morning working, went to do something else for 4 hours then came back and did another 4 i'd have no problem with it... Similarly if you billed 8 hours a day but worked 6 hours some days and 10 on other days, if it averaged out to around the rate i was paying i'd have no problem.
Also if you were unable to do any work for some reason outside of your control (eg you're waiting for materials and cannot do anything until they arrive) i'd have no problem with you doing something else rather than just sitting around doing nothing.

There's a lot to be said for flexibility, providing it cuts both ways.

Comment Re:Not automatically (Score 1) 380

In the UK it's actually much harder to fire someone than in the US, due to the various employment laws, although employees need to be aware of the law and stand up for their rights.
In the US you can generally fire someone at any time for any reason... In the UK you have to have a justifiable reason, and except in cases of gross misconduct you have to have given the employee both verbal and written warnings as well as having given them a chance to improve (ie in the case of incompetence).

Comment Re:It's not called office hours for nothing (Score 1) 380

The employment agreement does not imply that you will be given increased compensation for doing more work...

On the other hand, if you are paid the same as your peers then it's reasonable to perform a similar level of work. If you are more skilled than your peers then you should either be able to complete the same amount of work to the same standard in less time than they do and have some free time, or you should be paid more if you're completing more work in the same time.

If the employee in question is performing to a similar level as his peers on a similar salary, and he's not doing anything which damages the company or his colleagues then there's no justification to fire him as he's every bit as useful to the company as his colleagues.

Comment Re:This is seriously up to for debate..? (Score 1) 380

A lot of companies expect you to do more than Y hours for no extra $X...

There has to be give and take... I'm expected to do 40 hours a week, sometimes i do 30 and sometimes i do 50, my boss is fine with this so long as the work gets done and he's happy that if work needs to be done outside of normal hours he can ask me to do it. Similarly, i'm happy that i can take a morning off or a long lunch to do my own thing sometimes. It balances out, the work gets done and the staff are happier and more flexible.

On the other hand i worked for a previous company that demanded i sit in the office even if i wasn't working, keep to strict lunchtimes, never be late arriving but often be late leaving, they frequently demanded that i work extra hours for no extra pay, often tried to contact me when i took pre-arranged holiday, or expected me to spend a lot of time travelling to other locations for work. It was all take and no give on their part, so i started working to rule (arrive on time, leave on time, ignore emails/calls out of hours etc), looking for another job and fairly quickly quit that job and moved on.

Comment Re:OMG (Score 1) 380

I've actually been in several jobs like that, the boss asks me how long i need for a particular project, i quote a time i think will be reasonable with a little margin for error and he then proceeds to give me twice as much time as i asked for...
My quotes were honest, if i said i needed a week i would actually be done within a week, and i never got any complaints that the work was not completed to a sufficient standard. What am i supposed to do with the extra time?

Comment Re:You were hired to work for THEM (Score 1) 380

But to flip that in reverse, outside of working hours is YOUR time, and yet many companies expect people to work more than their contracted hours sometimes...

If a company wants to be strict with hours, then the employee should be too... If they want to be flexible, then the employee can be flexible too but you can't have it both ways.

Comment Re: If he gets busted... (Score 1) 88

Intent is often taken into account, for instance carrying a knife isn't illegal unless you intended to use it for illegal purposes - you might be intending to use it for cooking etc.

You could argue that by bricking these insecure devices, you were attempting to prevent other more serious crimes from taking place.

Comment Re: If he gets busted... (Score 2) 88

People buy such devices because they're cheap, if the device gets bricked they won't know how or why it got bricked just that it stopped working... They will either get it replaced under warranty (if there is one), or just write it off and buy a replacement (cheap devices being unreliable is no surprise to anyone).

Comment Re:What's wrong with these people?! (Score 1) 619

The welfare system in most of europe is even better, and the UK has about the most generous in europe... It results in large numbers of people trying to get in, often through illegal means.

To someone scraping by in a third world country it sounds like a lot of money and luxury life, but the reality is that the cost of living is also much higher so things balance out somewhat.

Comment Re:A nice, simple law would help (Score 1) 316

It also depends upon the use case of the device... A modern car may be far more environmentally friendly than one from 30 years ago, but if you only use it occasionally then the resources required to produce a modern replacement would exceed the difference in usage over a considerable period of time. The same is true for many physical devices.

But for software the opposite is likely to be true - newer software is generally more resource intensive than old, and therefore will require more energy to operate assuming it can run on the same physical hardware (and if it cant, thats likely to be an artificial limitation such as lack of drivers for the newer hardware).

Comment Re:First one I purchased (Score 1) 857

Not to foil you, just to keep some spare jumpers in stock for use on other cards...
If they wanted to prevent you from reusing the equipment they would physically snap the boards in two.

We used to do the same, retrieve used computers from dumpsters... Some were just old but fully working, some were faulty but had usable components etc...

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