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prime89: hetaces: mysterious-pigeon: THIS. I wish I could be as eloquent as this person....

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prime89:

hetaces:

mysterious-pigeon:

THIS. I wish I could be as eloquent as this person. Because this is how you make a difference.

for everyone in the notes asking: this was @raindovemodel​ (who is no longer active on tumblr, they’re active on instagram where this was posted but i wont link it because tumblr would hide this in the notes)

Rain (any pronouns) is a genderfluid model & posts a lot about how their ability to “pass” as either a man or a woman influences them, and shows off the absurdity of double standards such as mens vs womens olympic uniforms and societal treatment based on perceived gender

They’re also incredibly patient with transphobes and other bigots, and much more so than most of us can manage and I think it’s amazing that they put up with what people say & do

That was a hella amazing de-escalation. I could only dream of being so patient.

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notadoctor
23 hours ago
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Oakland, CA
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Dear anonymous internet user asking for help..

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Dear anonymous internet user, dear corporate employee hiding behind a <a href="http://gmail.com" rel="nofollow">gmail.com</a> address, dear “GitHub account with a single issue”,

Thank you for your interest in my free software, my project or the documentation I wrote for you. I am happy to hear you want to ask a question, have a problem, or perhaps even inform me of a new requirement you have.

But with some small exceptions (do read on), I’m afraid I will not be able to help you.

You see, our community and I have done a lot of work to get these projects to where they are today. But your first step in asking for help was deciding that I should not know who you are or where you intend to use my stuff.

This way we got off to a really bad start.

Some of you go so far as to create a custom email address for contacting me (‘powerdns-2019@gmail.com’), others even have the gall to send email from addresses like <a href="mailto:asdfasdasd17@outlook.com">asdfasdasd17@outlook.com</a>. A recent trend is the ‘single issue GitHub account’.

Of particular note are employees from large corporations using my open source software, but not wanting anyone to know that. I get email from random gmail accounts asking questions you’d only ask if you operate a fleet of satellites in space.

So why do I care?

First, I just consider it rude. You come at me hiding who you are but still expect me to do free work for you. Try doing that in real life. What were you thinking? Not introducing yourself AND using a fake identity?

Second, I have found that this anonymity also means respondents feel free to simply walk away with no damage to their reputation. You report a complicated bug, I spend some time investigating, ask about details, and I get no response. Some weeks later a very similar question comes in from a fresh email address, likely the same person, still not wanting to do the work to get help.

Third, my software and other products can be used for good or evil. If I don’t know who you are, am I enabling you to build the new Turkish censorship infrastructure, or helping you implement the Роскомнадзор block list more efficiently? These are two examples that actually happened by the way.

What’s next, send a copy of photo ID?

Of course not. But I do care that the people asking for help have not obviously gone out of their way to hide who they are. I am fine for example with Github issues coming from accounts that are clearly working with many open source projects, even if I don’t know who they are. But I can see they work well in getting issues solved.

Similarly, many internet users are pseudonymous - we may not know exactly who they are, but they have developed a reputation by being part of the community. I love to work with them.

As a case in point consider @SwiftOnSecurity. We don’t know who they are, but their contribution is such that “Swift” is able to get a CEO phoned out of bed at 2AM in the morning with a single tweet. Be like Tay.

“Our corporate policy does not allow us to disclose our use of open source software”

While I have sympathy for the pain this will cause you individually, my open source policy does not allow me to offer free help to corporations who do not even have the decency to admit that they use my software.

I understand it is not easy for (large) corporations to support open source software, with procurement not understanding why you are paying for free software. I really get that.

But one of the few things you CAN do as a corporation is lend a project credibility by admitting that you use it. If your organization decides to even withhold that minimum contribution, please understand I can’t help you.

As an aside, keeping your identity secret can make open source projects overlook the weight of your problem, as happened to Cloudflare in 2014 when they complained anonymously about PowerDNS, and we therefore did not have the context to appreciate the scale of their issue.

“But I found a bug in your software”

While I am grateful for your report, I have no moral obligation to fix your every bug. Life is short, many things need to be done. If you truly want to upset an open source developer, tell them what they “should” be doing - safely behind your anonymous email address or single use GitHub account.

“You write free software so you must provide free support”

I don’t even.

What if I privately tell you who we are, but you keep it secret?

To a certain extent that helps, but not when providing support for open source software.

We wrote words on this earlier for PowerDNS. In short, it does not scale to provide free software support to the whole world but not have a record of that. As noted in Open Source Support: out in the open:

By providing support in the open, other people can learn, search engines pick up our answers, the community can pitch in with solutions or suggestions. Doing free support this way provides a true public benefit.
If you have a domain that does not resolve, we need the actual name of that domain. Not ‘example.com’. If we cannot query your nameservers because you won’t tell us their IP address, we can’t help you.

What about people that really need anonymity

These exist, and I help them. I have extended family living in oppressive regimes. And you know, I can tell if the need for secrecy derives from worries about personal safety. But the vast majority of anonymous users have no such worries - not sharing who they are is mere convenience for them, allowing them to forego the risk of looking stupid under their real name, while making my life harder.

Summarising

If you contact me for help while taking efforts to stay anonymous, and your anonymous identity has no visible track record, please know that in general there is little I can do for you.

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notadoctor
4 days ago
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Oakland, CA
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Full Page Reload

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notadoctor
24 days ago
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Wtf is up, MIT?!
Oakland, CA
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By carmicha in "They also resolved not to accept proposals of perpetual-motion machines" on MeFi

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Regarding physics cranks, my father attracted them in droves and they wouldn't go away; if he ignored them or told them they were nuts they would assume he hadn't received their careful "proofs," didn't understand them or, worst of all, intended to claim credit for their ideas. Any of these misapprehensions would generate increasingly aggressive inquiries. So (this was pre-internet days) Dad would write each crank a note saying that the work was outside of his field but that he would be delighted to put them in touch with someone better equipped to appreciate it. Then he would forward the crank's work on to the previous crank: lather rinse repeat. Occasionally he received thank you notes from cranks who were now happily collaborating.
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notadoctor
44 days ago
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Oakland, CA
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Disaster Recovery Faking, Take Two

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An anonymous (for reasons that will be obvious pretty soon) commenter left a gem on my Disaster Recovery Test Faking blog post that is way too valuable to be left hidden and unannotated.

Here’s what he did:

Once I was tasked to do a DR test before handing over the solution to the customer. To simulate the loss of a data center I suggested to physically shutdown all core switches in the active data center.

Read more ...
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notadoctor
51 days ago
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Oakland, CA
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1 public comment
JayM
52 days ago
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Pixie dust is addictive...
Atlanta, GA

Senators propose near-total ban on worker noncompete agreements

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Pizza on display at a restaurant.

Enlarge / "We heard from people working at pizza parlors" being asked to sign noncompete agreements, a Massachusetts state legislator told Ars last year. (credit: Valentyn Semenov / EyeEm / Getty)

A bipartisan pair of senators has introduced legislation to drastically limit the use of noncompete agreements across the US economy.

"Noncompete agreements stifle wage growth, career advancement, innovation, and business creation," argued Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) in a Thursday press release. He said that the legislation, co-sponsored with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), would "empower our workers and entrepreneurs so they can freely apply their talents where their skills are in greatest demand."

Noncompete agreements ban workers from performing similar work at competing firms for a limited period—often one or two years. These agreements have become widely used in recent decades—and not just for employees with sensitive business intelligence or client relationships.

"We heard from people working at pizza parlors, yogurt shops, hairdressers, and people making sandwiches," Massachusetts state Rep. Lori Ehrlich told us in an interview last year.

Ehrlich was the author of 2018 Massachusetts legislation limiting the enforcement of noncompete agreements. Several other states—including Oregon, Illinois, and Maryland—have passed bills on the subject.

These state reforms focused on reining in the worst abuses of noncompete agreements. Some prohibit the use of noncompete clauses with low-wage workers. Others require employers to give employees notice of the requirement at the time they make a job offer.

The Young and Murphy bill goes much further, completely banning noncompete agreements outside of a few narrow circumstances—like someone selling their own business.

California suggests a near-total ban could work well

If debates in Massachusetts and elsewhere are any indication, we can expect business interests to lobby hard against such a sweeping proposal. Some business groups argue that noncompete agreements give companies incentives to invest in worker training—without having to worry that workers will take their new skills to another employer.

But supporters of broader reforms have a powerful counterexample: California. For decades, the Golden State has had the nation's strictest laws against noncompetes, effectively banning the practice. Despite that—or maybe because of it—the state has become a powerful center for high-tech innovation.

In an influential 1994 book, political scientist AnnaLee Saxenian argued that a key factor in Silicon Valley's economic success over the previous decades was the fact that employees could hop from job to job, taking their valuable skills with them. That freewheeling culture helped good ideas developed at one company to quickly spread elsewhere, ultimately benefitting the entire regional economy.

The lack of noncompetes is a boon to entrepreneurship in California. Many Silicon Valley technology companies were started by engineers who had great ideas but couldn't get their big-company employers to take them seriously. California law ensures that workers in this situation have the option to quit and pursue their idea independently.

At least one leading presidential candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), is interested in this issue. Last year, Warren co-sponsored a noncompete reform bill with Murphy and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). So expect this issue to get attention in the next few years if Warren captures the Democratic nomination and the presidency.

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notadoctor
51 days ago
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