Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Walt Disney have agreements to not poach employees!

The Wall Street Journal has pointed out staple U.S. tech corporations that have agreements to not steal each other’s employees. [Article link below] What effect do you suppose this has on the wages of their employees, and even potential employees from outside these companies who will compete with fewer candidates? This practice is unethical and clearly violates the U.S. culture of free market practices.

U.S. Tech Probe Nears End

Do Tech Start-ups Create Wealth For America?

As part of the Joroto start-up experiment I recently met with some venture capitalists.  They had read our home page and understood that we wanted to concentrate on American businesses and creating American jobs.  They talked about a new invention they were funding, and while it would be built in China, it would offer other opportunities, like software developers and such, here in the U.S.  Considering the rate of manufacturing expansion compared to technology expansion I disagree with this notion. Continue reading

Suggestions for cleanup of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

This is not I.T. related but it does require technical solutions. It is also one of the most important topics in modern history, and as such it deserves our attention. Put your eggheads together and let us brainstorm a solution!

The biggest issue is addressing oil that has washed to the Gulf shores. In damaged areas in Alaska, oil still exists in large quantities just below the ground surface, and it seeps up with Continue reading

Denial Of Service, BLAH!

Thursday May 27th Joroto experienced a DOS attack. The web site and e-mail were down for the majority of the day. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our client and customers.

If you have not received a response to your e-mail, please re-send it. We did receive e-mail but it may have gotten lost in the scramble for sanity.

Thank you,

John

6 Things a non-engineer should know before founding a web startup

Please reference the following article:

6 Things a Non-Engineer Should Know Before Founding a Web Startup

I have a degree in EE. Many of my casual friends can be heard saying, “Well you are an engineer…” I am not an engineer, my full time role is administering an open systems software product. My real title includes “Analyst” (which I always thought was weak.) However I do not correct my friends because I know what they mean. People equate a degree with a profession and a mindset, which is not necessarily true.

Professional Engineer: A state licensed engineer is the only one who should be called an engineer. (A non-licensed engineer should probably be called engineer in-training.) Anywhere there is a license for a profession, calling oneself the same title without a license is misrepresentation. Continue reading

Do not use Flash? Get real. Real programmers, that is.

I read an article in Entrepreneur arguing not to use Flash on web sites. From a development standpoint this is like saying, “Don’t use a crescent wrench when working on your car.”   But what if the crescent wrench is the best tool for the job? Is prohibitive cost a reasonable reason to avoid using Flash? Continue reading

The dangers of working at a dot com

Working for a dot com can be much less glamorous than advertised. It can even be downright inhumane. The vast wealth gained by programming iPod applications, or reaching any mass audience when one is not prepared, can lead to a tortured life.

Always keep this in mind: If you are buying Joroto’s products, you will be contributing to this morbid lifestyle. You are helping to provide too much money to too few people, and usually they are programmers. Those are the last ones who will know what to do with their success. Here is an expose displaying the effects of success on Joroto:

JB

Astro_TJ Comes through with a flash!

Check out our correspondence with astronaut T. J. Creamer via Twitter:

@Astro_TJ Are you experiencing flashes due to cosmic rays? Tell us another unique space experience that we may never have heard of. 35 mins ago

“Astro_TJ @joroto Yes,I do see flashes occasionally,when I close
my eyes.Another unique story?The noctilucent clouds are both mesmerizing & beautiful.”

Wow, this IS neat: Noctilucent Clouds in Wikipedia

the server did not provide a certificate during the session e-mail error

This is written for a user of The Bat! Adjust accordingly if your e-mail client is stating that your provider is not providing a certificate.

1) Go to the SSL link at your Internet Provider. If you are using secure e-mail, this is the POP3/SMTP link in your e-mail configuration.
example: http://host271.hostmonster.com/

2) Click on the “lock” icon in the web browser, or choose SAFETY/SECURITY REPORT, or figure it out for your browser. Continue reading

Who here hates getting telephone calls?

Call Me! But Not on Skype or Any Other Videophone

In the above article Joel Stein nails how many of us have come to hate the telephone. I bring this up because Tom was just telling me how ubiquitous teleconferencing will replace travel for corporations in the future. While that may be so, most telephones are owned by individuals, and I might suggest that telephone communication among individuals could completely evaporate. Read the article and tell me what you think.

Tesla: Cool. Very Cool.

Long-Dead Inventor Nikola Tesla Is Electrifying Hip Techies

Funny I should come across the above article as Tom was just telling me about a book he just read on Tesla, about Tesla’s amazing inventions and his great understanding of how electricity works. From our discussion it sounds like Tesla had some understandings and accomplishments that have been completely lost in history.

Here is my letter to the Wall Street Journal writer of the above article. I could not let this one slip:

Daniel,

One small correction with major Continue reading

Are tax incentives for technology companies good?

Here is a great article on recent developments regarding a state trying to spur technology business growth:

Pennsylvania Tax Incentives Questioned

I am not sure if there was a time when I was a true proponent of tax incentives for business growth. There are too many problems with such policies and as the article states, the results can be minimal, even negligible. Number one, if tax incentives become a competition among different states, where does the race end? One state offers a two year tax abatement, so the next state offers five, then next twenty years, and so on. In the end the citizens get hosed Continue reading

Software Patent Malaise

We should all be paying attention to events involving software patent processes in countries around the world. The processes of issuing patents and hopefully, forthcoming corrections, highly influence technology development and implementation.

Software patent vote delayed

February 13, 2010 update

Here is an interesting blog entry, the title speaks for itself:

Debunking the ‘Patent Troll’ Myth

Sunday night Shark Tank Victims should be worried about the next attack.

The Television Show “Shark Tank” has a team of millionaires offering venture capital to inventors and entrepreneurs alike.    The millionaires include Barbara Corcoran, Kevin Harrington, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary.  The contestants are inventors, some who have very cool products, but who are mostly ignorant about venture capital.

The name “Shark Tank” is apropos in that the cast offers “puny” amounts of money to the entrepreneurs in exchange for a large percentage of the entrepreneur’s business.  The idea that the millionaires convey is that the entrepreneurs will become millionaires themselves if they take one of the highly aggressive deals offered to them.  Of course the investors are bound to make a great deal of money also, or they would otherwise not offer funding.

The entrepreneurs asking for money need to seriously consider the next funding step in their businesses.  Take for example Marian Cruz, inventor of the Turbo Baster. Continue reading

Add a custom symbol to a field in Excel

I came across this method when attempting to add a percent (%) sign to my data without Excel multiplying all of the numbers by one hundred, as it does when formatting as a percent. I could find no way to just append a symbol to my data, except, for some reason only Bill Gates knows, there is a feature to add a custom currency sign to Excel. So these instructions add a custom dollar sign to the sheet, as though you are entering currency numbers from a country that does not use the dollar sign. However, the symbol can be any symbol you choose. Again, I will add a percent sign, because that was my mission for my customer.

I am working in Excel 2000. Hey, why upgrade? Any feedback on the options in later versions of Excel is certainly welcome.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Right click the field(s)

2) Select FORMAT CELLS

3) Select CUSTOM.

4) In the TYPE field, type this: ##.#[$%]

* Use your symbol of choice in place of the percent sign.

The pound signs represent the numbers in your data, so adjust the number of them before or after the decimal as necessary. The period is a decimal, of course. The bracketed expression is telling Excel that “In this country, we use a percent sign rather than a dollar sign.”

Now you can enter data, or paste number values (PASTE/SPECIAL/VALUES) from another sheet into these newly formatted cells, and
this:                          3.19
will appear like this:  3.19%

See you at the LinkedIn Patio Party!

If you have not decided yet, I encourage you to go ahead and make the big effort. Come introduce yourself to me, as I will be at the Shaker Heights Country Club LinkedIn event Tuesday night! Good luck finding me of course as there are well over six hundred people registered. WOW (™Microsoft). I am waiting for a cancellation or a notice of overcrowding to dash my hopes. The guest list has continued to increase, although I thought it would tail off at about five hundred.  (That is why I never win the lottery nor predict recessions accurately.)

This will be fun.

Today Tom continually iterated how much he hates people and there is no way he is going. Therefore, if you are interested in talking high-level tech talk with our lead developer, I must apologize. That is okay by me though. At least Tom will not embarrass us by showing up at this posh event wearing the same green polo he has worn to work for the past three months.  Instead, we should send him to CES the next round. That is, if he can bear to sit next to a human being on the plane ride.

July 22, 2009 Update

The event was very cool.  Seven hundred-something did I hear?  More accomplished people in one area than I have ever seen.  Real tough to do this sort of thing at the end of the workday, but well worth it.

Where is our CTO? And who really cares?

Yesterday I received an e-mail from a partner asking where our third partner and lead developer is. Like the rush of Niagara Falls, thoughts of South Carolina governor Mark Sanford taking off for Argentina and telling no one went though my head. Then there was Steve Jobs: He nearly died, and no one holding Apple stock, most of the value of which is Steve himself, knew anything about his condition.

Rest assured, Tom is not duplicating the efforts of either of the above shady characters. He is taking a rare break from developing device drivers all day, and developing web apps all night, to spend some time with his family.

I do not miss the twenty-something e-mails a day that each details some new, advanced system or method that gets Tom all excited, but which I could care less about. For one week I have been able to spend most of my time communicating with magazine editors, developers, and users in the tech blogs, continually trying to figure out what we can do for them. People are awesome. Life was never better.

Alas I fear the honeymoon is over, and I will be chastised for my marketing prowess and lack of high level tech insight any minute now…

JB

The miserable life of a programmer

Why not begin the new blog with some fun!  (I anticipate Tom quickly taking over and never allowing me here again, unless I can make up some highly technical explanation for something-something.  Well, it was nice meeting you anyway.)

Here was our promotional video for our game Trisaic for the iPod.

VIDEO

We were hoping for responses such as “Awe, that’s funny.”  Along with some positive comments like that, we immediately began receiving comments like this:

“LOL, I thought it was funny. Sad thing is, there is probably some truth to it. My nephew had a friend who was a XXXX developer for XXXXX and told me stories of some of the things they would do to meet dead lines.”

Okay, so we are now as worried about you all as we are about our developers.

What comes to your mind as you view this?

JB