[Beowulf] How Can Microsoft's HPC Server Succeed?

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Sat Apr 5 08:59:56 PDT 2008

On Fri, 4 Apr 2008, Jim Lux wrote:

> And, having an NDA with someone who has something to lose doesn't mean that 
> they won't do a risk benefit analysis and decide that the outside selling 
> price or intrinsic value is greater than the risk of losing the lawsuit. 
> Happens all the time in the entertainment industry, where lawsuits are just 
> another negotiating tactic.  If you ever see me in person, buy me a beer and 
> ask me about Reel EFX v. Universal.
> It's not just IP here that's the issue (personal records and customer 
> information usually isn't referred to as IP)

Agreed on both fronts.  Identity theft, simple violation of privacy
(reading people's email etc) -- lots of bad things a person can do and
is more likely to do when they have nothing to lose and no professional
mentoring to teach them ethics and so on along with the skills (and
identify and quietly eliminate those without the ethical base required
as they reveal themselves).

And with "real" IP -- where I'm in the process right now of cofounding my
second company to which I'm contributing little else -- it is less about
NDA than "if I tell you I have to kill you."  There is that lovely koan
from the Tao of Programming (see my website) about the thief at the
trade show, all too apropos.

> e.g. toy clusters for learning in schools, etc.

And small research clusters in universities, or even small clusters for
startups for kids that are on the high side of things and who you trust
by virtue of being related to them or some such.  But I reiterate --
they invariably need mentorship OR they cost more than $10/hour, period.
$10/hour is a rate you pay a trainee, not a rate you pay somebody who's
been trained, even badly trained.  Computing is a profession, not a wage
slave job, for any but the most menial of tasks, and the menials require
professional oversight.

> ditch diggers make more than $10/hr, although, generally, one doesn't have to 
> pay benefits, etc.  Ditch diggers who use power tools (backhoes and the like) 
> make a LOT more than $10/hr

> $10/hr is more like entry level customer service clerk wages in a call 
> center. "would you like fries with that" is in that category.  And the 
> employers have to spend money on training folks with things like "no, you 
> cannot wear THAT to work".


Not realistic at $10/hour for pretty much anything except having an
excuse to pay your son to change tapes while he learns (maybe) how to do
something more.


Robert G. Brown                            Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
Duke University Physics Dept, Box 90305
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Web: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb
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