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

The expectation is that the salaried position is a 40 hr/wk position

That's a de-facto standard, not a contractual requirement.
Most employers are quite happy to have you work 45 hours, or 50 hours, or even 38 hours, as long as you are getting a full workload done job-dependent.

And if you happen to be at work extra above the stated minimum and do 60 hours a week instead....
Do you think they have a right to care what you do on the side for 5 or 6 of those 60 hours?

Comment Re:2-3 hours a day! (Score 1) 363

Oh please. I'd be surprised if my salaried employees didn't "steal" 2 hours a day; BSing with co-workers, checking the news, running an errand on the way back

It's NOT about amount of time. It is about productivity and availability for the job during the work day.

If you're working on something else, then you are draining cognitive resources that you are being paid to use on your employer's tasks.

BS'ing with co-workers / checking the news / running an errand consumes very little.
Working on a complex problem, writing a piece of software, will drain energy you should be using on your employer.

That is, unless of course, you've automated most of your own job, so you'd just be sitting back watching TV playing video games in your cube all day, and your employer doesn't mind --- if that's the case, then working on a side project shouldn't be a further insult.

Comment Re:People really need to educate themselves... (Score 1) 270

I had a similar experience recently, but with diabetes: three months ago blood glucose was 310-450, A1C 10.5. I've yet to do my second fasting test (playing phone tag with doctor's office) but according to my Accu-Chek Connect cloud service, I've been under 160 for two weeks and my A1C should be in the 5.5 range now.

Metformin and a paleo diet is what did it.

What a shock it will be next week when I finally get that 2nd blood test and go to see my insurance company's required diabetic support group for the first time.

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 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.

Comment Re:60Ghz (Score 1) 136

I agree it sounds impractical. So I looked at the patent -- which not being a radio engineer it's perfectly safe for me to do (n.b. -- it's always dangerous to look at what might be bullshit patents in your field because you open yourself up to increased damages for using common sense). But I was a ham radio operator when I was a kid so I do know the lingo.

There are a number of problems with broadcasting power, starting with the fact that it's inefficient to saturate ambient space with enough radiation to be usefully harvested. But that's not what they're proposing. 802.11 ad operates in the extreme microwave range -- about 5cm wavelength aka the "V" band. This band is also unregulated so you can try weird things in it. What they propose is to use an array of antennas to create a steerable beam -- like a phased array radar. This would confine the power to a specific plane so that you wouldn't have to saturate all of ambient space with power. The beam steering would be done "dynamically", which I take to mean it would figure out how to maximize signal strength with some kind of stochastic algorithm. So it might not work if you are unicycling around the room.

And because the wavelength is so short an antenna array would be relatively compact.

Even so, it doesn't sound that practical. It's bound to be limited to line of sight, for example: the V band does not penetrate walls or the human body at all, in contrast with the S band that conventional wifi operates on. I can certainly imagine applications for it, but making it practical for charging your phone is apt to be very expensive. You'd have surround yourself with V band antenna arrays.

By the way, reading this patent reminds me of why I hate reading patents. They're infuriatingly vague in order to make the claims as broad as possible, and yet are cluttered with inanely obvious details ("the radio receiver can include active and passive components") and irrelevancies (the device may include a touch screen). I think the purpose may be that someone trying to figure out whether the vague language applies to a cell phone will think, "I don't know WTF this is claiming, but look this phone *does* have a touch screen." It just shows how broken our patent system is.

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