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Why Paying For Code Doesn't Mean You Own It

zysus Work for Hire (447 comments)

I deal with this frequently with sub-contractors (and firms) doing development.

It's actually very simple.
The understanding starts out as: This is a work-for-hire. All work product is property of the company.

Which eventually leads to a contract containing:
All source-code, build scripts, documentation, keys, any other materials required to use or reproduce the deliverable item are exclusive property and proprietary information of the company.
The contractor shall not release, reuse or redistribute any component of this work in any other business. This includes any custom libraries, headers or other application work-product.
This does not apply to off-the-shelf open-source tools and libraries, however such items shall be documented and approved in advance to avoid GPL contamination.

I don't see a problem here.
I expect to pay through the nose if i want exclusive rights and ownership to someone's special library, for exactly the reasons the article dictates.
Otherwise a non-exclusive source-code license that I may do with as I please is cheaper. A binary-only license might be cheaper still.

They devs have to make a living and if it wasn't cheaper/faster to use them in the first place I'd just write it myself.

Just try explaining these legal subtleties to someone who doesn't understand software.

more than 4 years ago

Windows Drains MacBook's Battery; Who's To Blame?

zysus Re:Not specifically MacBook/Windows/BootCamp probl (396 comments)

I write driver level embedded code for a living. Everything from bootstrapping embedded linux to SoC level power management.

Power management is usually the last thing to get done (if at all)... why? Because management usually sees it as icing on the cake. Attitudes are typically just make it work and we'll ship a bigger battery to make it last. Or we'll ship an upgrade in 6 months, if the product starts to take off and we decide to fund further development.

Time to market is everything.

Power management is also really hard to get right 100% of the time. It's really hard to debug code/hardware where stuff is shutting itself off, or worse, a controller uP is shutting you off unexpectedly.

It has NOTHING to do with 'bad code' or 'shitty programmers'. It's just management grinding down on the engineers to do it: better, faster, cheaper, pick two. Usually faster and cheaper win.

more than 5 years ago

NIST Announces Round 1 Candidates For SHA-3 Competition

zysus Hashes in general (125 comments)

I hate to state the obvious, but a hash by nature is breakable. You are (typically) distilling a large number of unique bits down to a smaller number of bits.

Of course there will be more than one set of inputs that generate the same output.

Its more an issue of:
1. How hard it is to find colliding inputs.
2. What the hash is used for.

Passwords typically generate more bits, so different rules apply.

more than 6 years ago

Left 4 Dead Bug Patched Quickly, EVE Exploit Takes 4 Years

zysus Re:Culture of Complacency (157 comments)

You are missing a key point here, something that embedded developers understand. It is much easier to support software on 1 platform, where you have complete control. (Such as a console)
On a PC you have thousands of hardware and driver configurations, other conflicting pieces of software that you may or may not know about, library versions. All kinds of unknowns. It is a whole different beast.

more than 6 years ago


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