Old 13th March 2007, 21:09   #1
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Microsoft: Pirate Software? Pirate ours!

http://arstechnica.com/journals/micr...oose-microsoft
-------------------------------------------------------------
Microsoft executive: Pirating software? Choose Microsoft!

By Matt Mondok | Published: March 12, 2007 - 07:22PM CT

Microsoft doesn't want you to pirate their software, but if you must choose between illegally installing Windows or a competitor's operating system, Microsoft would prefer that you choose them. While the company obviously won't endorse the illegal use of software, it does believe that piracy can result in profit.

At the Morgan Stanley Technology conference last week in San Francisco, Microsoft business group president Jeff Raikes commented on the benefits of software counterfeiting. "If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else," he said. "We understand that in the long run the fundamental asset is the installed base of people who are using our products. What you hope to do over time is convert them to licensing the software."

While Raikes' words do not appear to echo the sentiments of his company at first, what he said actually fits right into Microsoft's agenda. Over the last two years, the company has been heading a global effort to crack down on piracy, specifically the piracy of Microsoft products. In a memo on product activation, the company even states, "Software piracy is an enormous drain on the global economy, according to the 2000 BSA Software Piracy Report." Though many have argued that the BSA report was wildly inaccurate, Microsoft still uses whatever weapons it can find to convert pirates into customers. Just as the "Get the Facts" campaign is intended to sway users from Linux, Microsoft's antipiracy offensive aims to sway users away from Windows—counterfeit Windows that is.

According to Raikes' numbers, 20 to 25 percent of all software that is used in the United States is pirated. To Microsoft, those people are all potential customers, and in many ways the company's antipiracy campaign is equivalent to a large marketing push. The FUD, eye-catching images, and cheesy slogans (e.g. Get Genuine) all fit into the scheme. Once a person is converted into a user of Genuine Microsoft software, I highly doubt he will ever stray back to the dark side, but that's just a hunch.

Do you know anyone who has gone from pirating software to purchasing it in the last three years? Do they still use illegal software as well? If they were using an illegal operating system, did they change brands when they went legal (e.g. Microsoft to Apple)?
---------------------------------------------

Ha! That is a new one.
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Old 13th March 2007, 22:01   #2
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I've suspected this and it makes a lot of sense. More Windows users --> more software developed for Windows --> more (legit) users staying on Windows for that exclusive software. If a person uses a pirated copy of Windows, he might be more comfortable with it, and thus the place he works for will be more inclined to stay with Windows. Microsoft shows Dell and company figures about who uses Windows, they are less inclined to start offering preinstalled Linux.

I just pulled those examples out of my ass and I'm not too awake, so they could be flawed. I think that Microsoft is looking more into the future/at the bigger picture, and not as much at individuals finally buying a legit copy of Windows.

Also, it's difficult to find a laptop that is not tied to Microsoft in some way. When a person who has pirated Windows on his desktop buys a laptop for whatever reason, it's another copy of Windows sold.

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Old 13th March 2007, 22:46   #3
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I'm still waiting for some way to be able to pay a part of the price.
If I'd pay just a part of the price now, they'll send lawyers after me to collect the rest.

With most of the things I pirate, I find the price just too high, but it's not that I don't want to pay at all.

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Old 13th March 2007, 23:13   #4
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This is just someone stating the completely obvious. If someone is going to pirate software, they're going to pirate software. If they're going to do it anyway, increasing your install base rather than that of your competitor is a no-brainer.

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Old 14th March 2007, 00:32   #5
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Microsoft have been pretty smart with the implementation of WPA/WGA. They know that a percentage of users are going to pirate it one way or another, and while it doesnt make piracy impossibly difficult, so those that are prepared to go to the troble of finding cracks/workarounds can get away with it, it does make casual piracy somewhat inconvenient.
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Old 14th March 2007, 01:01   #6
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I think any software company knows that piracy has it's benefits. It is sort of an underground marketing tactic that you just control and convert users from.
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Old 14th March 2007, 04:05   #7
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Fucking hilarious!

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Old 29th March 2007, 18:36   #8
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i mostly use open source programs like firefox, open office and so on. but i think its too exoensive to buy vista ultimate for 500$
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Old 30th March 2007, 21:49   #9
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Software companies need to get a grip on reality.

OSes should be free.

Programs should max out at about $100. Yep. Adobe is fucked.

The software companies force people to pirate the junk by charging the prices that they charge.

What??? They gotta pay employees. Ok. That programmer does not need to make 100k a year. Hell some doctors don't even pull in that. A doctor is saving a life. A programmer bang out 8 lines of code a day and gets just as much if not more?

Lets re-evaluate the system here.
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Old 30th March 2007, 22:00   #10
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It's supply and demand, there are some products people are willing to pay the premium on. There are plenty of $100 and sub-$100 graphics programs out there, yet people still pay for Photoshop. Linux is free, people still pay for Windows. Programs should cost what people are willing to pay, there shouldn't be any "maximum."

And if you think programmers make $100k a year, you live in a fantasy world.

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Old 31st March 2007, 08:54   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sawg
And if you think programmers make $100k a year, you live in a fantasy world.
Speaking as a software engineer in the market for a job, I'm feeling this one

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Old 31st March 2007, 10:16   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by fc*uk
...programmer does not need to make 100k a year. Hell some doctors don't even pull in that. A doctor is saving a life. A programmer bang out 8 lines of code a day and gets just as much if not more?
You must be 12, are you kidding me with this? What programmer do you know makes 6 figures? Hi, I'm the 21st century, get your head out of the 90's.
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Old 31st March 2007, 11:12   #13
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Furthermore, people get paid what their skills and the demand thereof make them worth. A programmer that earned $100k, especially for a specialist company like Microsoft who know what they're looking for, would be getting paid that sum for a reason.

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Old 31st March 2007, 20:01   #14
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When thinking about how much programmers get paid, keep in mind this simple rule:

The difference in productivity between a good programmer and a bad programmer is a factor or 10.

I'm self employed, but some of the best programmers i know do get paid over $100k.

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Old 31st March 2007, 20:50   #15
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Anyway. that is not really may point. Good to see everyone got hung up on it though.

Society today has become bloated because salaries have gotten out of hand. This drives up the cost of product.

Yeah, I get the fact that people provide a valuable service, and they need to get paid for that service. Maybe I picked a bad example. Actually, I did. But it does work.

How about this one: Hi. I swing a bat around and hit a ball. I run around in a diamond if I hat the ball. They pay me several million to do this because I am so good.

Yeah. Justify that salary.

And, no. Sorry. I am not 12. I do not live in the 90's. I am right here with you in the 21st century. Oh by the way. Did I say EVERY programmer? No. Not every programmer makes 100k; I both know and understand that. However, some do, as I believe has been pointed out....

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Old 31st March 2007, 23:16   #16
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Yea but I think your example was what I would call a bad programmer. Which you believed made $100K and only wrote 8 lines a day. That's a crazy statement and it sounds like you are bitter. If someone is making 6 figures it's because they are more then just programmers. They are designers, business professionals and have a good understanding of the product they write for. Regardless of what you think a piece of software is worth, people are willing to pay the prices that the market has set. As I said before, there is a realistic understanding in the software business that piracy is a part of our business and shows that you write a worthy product. It also is a fair statement that we can turn those users into legit users. In the company I work for we do it all the time. So setting maximums and making things free is not the best answer IMO.
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Old 1st April 2007, 03:07   #17
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Wow, piracy means a "worthy product"?

I always thought that it was because of too high a price for what it delivered.
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Old 1st April 2007, 10:09   #18
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it wouldn't be pirated if no one wanted to use it.
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Old 1st April 2007, 11:59   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by will
I'm self employed, but some of the best programmers i know do get paid over $100k.
Funnily enough, most of the good programmers I know get paid lower than they could, because working on fulfilling roles often entails taking a pay cut. Most programmers working for megabucks tend to be working for banks and the like.

But yeah, there are good programmers working for that sort of money, and I've no doubt they're worth it.

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Old 1st April 2007, 15:29   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jay
Which you believed made $100K and only wrote 8 lines a day.
I thought I read something years and years ago that claimed the typical MS programmer banged out about 8 lines of code a day. From your reply something tells me that is not quite true... I did not mean any offense by that comment; like I said, I thought that was pretty much "fact".

I do understand where you are coming from. But there also comes a point in time where the system/model becomes too bloated/driven by the programmer's greed because (s)he really is that damn good. When this happens, clearly cost goes up (both to pay the programmers and for the end user buying the software). I understand that a great product deserves more money over the lesser ones (ie photoshop versus corel paint). However, there comes a time when that system breaks and/or is driven by greed.

MS and Adobe (just as an example) have been on the wrong end of this poll for a while now:

1. Why does MS, after all this time, suddenly feel the need to charge $500 for a version of their OS?

2. Why does Office cost what it costs ($500-$800 I believe, excluding the student edition, which most of us can't get)?

In the MS example, there have been absolutely no new major innovations in these softwares in about years now. Office 2k3 (latest version I have used)looks no different to me than office 2000 in terms of program features. And Office 2000 was not that major of an improvement over Office 97.

As for Windows, has there really been any significant changes that the end user is going to notice (that is not a gui) since windows 95? Hell, 98 was an upgrade to 95 because there were so many problems; Me never got off the ground; 2000 was a rock solid stable version of 98; XP took stability of 2000 and added a new gui; Vista takes XP and adds a new gui because of neat things we can do with DX10. And somehow during this timeline was go from $100 for an upgrade to $400???

Adobe is pretty much the same too. I have not notices a new feature is PS since about 6. Why does this program still cost $800. Nothing is changing really.

In the industry that I work in, we do not go back and make cosmetic changes to our drugs unless mandated by the FDA. Once we hit a formulation that passes clinicals we leave it the hell alone. Even if a better competitive product comes along, we still don't touch it; we look for new drugs. Why? Because, it costs too much money and the consumer is not going to pay an additional inflated cost due to the fact that we spent millions trying to speed up cell delivery of drug X. If the FDA says we botched a drug and forces a change post clinical approval, the company internally eats the cost --- we don't make the customer pay more for it because we messed up.

Software does not seem so different. Numerous changes have been made to the OS to make it more secure, et. al. These are not new features. These are fixes for when MS messed up. Why do I need to pay for that?

Also remember that Apple completely rewrote their OS and only charged somewhere between $100-$150 for it. Linux is free, unless you buy support. There is no precedent for MS's $500 OS ....
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Old 1st April 2007, 17:48   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by fc*uk
1. Why does MS, after all this time, suddenly feel the need to charge $500 for a version of their OS?
Because after their business analysts checked the market, that's what they believed people would pay. There's nothing sinister about this whatsoever.

Quote:
Originally posted by fc*uk
2. Why does Office cost what it costs ($500-$800 I believe, excluding the student edition, which most of us can't get)?
Because they believe that's the price that will get them the largest profit. It'd probably be cheaper if there was a decent competitor, but there you go; companies always charge the price that they think will get them the biggest profit. That's the long, the short, and the whole of this. They are pretty much required by law to do so.

Quote:
Originally posted by fc*uk
As for Windows, has there really been any significant changes that the end user is going to notice (that is not a gui) since windows 95? Hell, 98 was an upgrade to 95 because there were so many problems; Me never got off the ground; 2000 was a rock solid stable version of 98; XP took stability of 2000 and added a new gui; Vista takes XP and adds a new gui because of neat things we can do with DX10. And somehow during this timeline was go from $100 for an upgrade to $400???
The new GUI is written in DirectX 9. DX10 wasn't ready when it was written.

Quote:
Originally posted by fc*uk
Adobe is pretty much the same too. I have not notices a new feature is PS since about 6. Why does this program still cost $800. Nothing is changing really.
It costs that much because they still need to make money, and it's still the best tool. Getting 1 professional to pay $800 is easier than getting 20 semi-professionals to pay $40. This is an easy equation for them to work out. They charge the price that will get the most profit.

The price that people are willing to pay for a product is what that product is worth, in monetary terms.

Quote:
Originally posted by fc*uk
In the industry that I work in, we do not go back and make cosmetic changes to our drugs unless mandated by the FDA. Once we hit a formulation that passes clinicals we leave it the hell alone. Even if a better competitive product comes along, we still don't touch it; we look for new drugs. Why? Because, it costs too much money and the consumer is not going to pay an additional inflated cost due to the fact that we spent millions trying to speed up cell delivery of drug X. If the FDA says we botched a drug and forces a change post clinical approval, the company internally eats the cost --- we don't make the customer pay more for it because we messed up.
The drugs industry is notorious for making (effectively) cosmetic changes to drugs when the patents run out, or simply offering a newer medicine which is actually no better than the previous one, for the same reason. They still need to keep making money. But quite frankly, it's chalk and cheese. Computers aren't drugs.

Quote:
Originally posted by fc*uk
Software does not seem so different. Numerous changes have been made to the OS to make it more secure, et. al. These are not new features. These are fixes for when MS messed up. Why do I need to pay for that?
Hahahaha, no. Running as a non-admin user by default? Yes, MS screwed up with XP, for backwards-compatibility reasons. However, many of the new security features in Vista are brand spanking new. Hell, some of them aren't available in any other operating system.

Quote:
Originally posted by fc*uk
Also remember that Apple completely rewrote their OS and only charged somewhere between $100-$150 for it.
They sell stuff with their hardware, they needed early adopters (so could afford to make a loss), and a hundred other differences.
Quote:
Originally posted by fc*uk
There is no precedent for MS's $500 OS ....
I think you have a fundamental lack of understanding about how economics works. Which I don't blame you for, it's quite understandable. The prices seem arbitrary, but they're really, really not. They reflect the price that Microsoft believe they can charge for the operating system.

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Old 1st April 2007, 18:02   #22
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If people have resorted to stealing these products, then I believe the logical conclusion is that the market simply is not willing to bear this cost.

Hence, the business model is seriously fubar.

edit:

sure, its easier to sell PS to one professional at $800 than 40 people at $20. However, if PS would drop the price to something more reasonable, say $100, they would then pick up more professionals as well as a massive home user base because people across the board can afford those prices.

Same with the OS. Many countries around the world choose Linux because they can not bear the cost of a MS product....

edit2: Furthermore, if you base your business model off the idea that it is easier to sell one copy of software x for $800 than to sell it to 40 people at $20, the you have no right to ever make a single comment about people pirating your software. After all, you set it up that way, right?
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Old 1st April 2007, 18:49   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by fc*uk
If people have resorted to stealing these products, then I believe the logical conclusion is that the market simply is not willing to bear this cost.

Hence, the business model is seriously fubar.

edit:

sure, its easier to sell PS to one professional at $800 than 40 people at $20. However, if PS would drop the price to something more reasonable, say $100, they would then pick up more professionals as well as a massive home user base because people across the board can afford those prices.
Really, though? Lots of people pirate Photoshop, but it doesn't really harm Adobe. They make their profits by targeting the professionals who need to be above-board and charging a lot of money. If they thought they could make more money charging $100 and targeting a wider audience, they would do that. There's plenty of cheaper graphics apps which do the subset of PS functionality that most users would use (Paint Shop Pro is about $100; it'll do everything most average people would do in Photoshop); people still pay the premium for the premium product.

I wouldn't second-guess Adobe's business analysts on this one; Microsoft maybe, because an OS has more complex market requirements.

Quote:
Originally posted by fc*uk
Same with the OS. Many countries around the world choose Linux because they can not bear the cost of a MS product....
Good on them. They should. I use Linux because I don't want to pay for Windows too. I do know tons of businesses (from my professional life) for whom a Windows licence is effectively irrelevant in cost terms for the benefits they see in buying it. If Microsoft are charging a price that will get their biggest return, then they're playing the game just right.

Quote:
Originally posted by fc*uk
edit2: Furthermore, if you base your business model off the idea that it is easier to sell one copy of software x for $800 than to sell it to 40 people at $20, the you have no right to ever make a single comment about people pirating your software. After all, you set it up that way, right?
And this is exactly why Microsoft say that they'd rather people pirated their software than someone else's. They make maximum profits, and pirates ensure that they have a huge install-base and maintain ubiquity. Also their anti-piracy efforts are just about annoying enough that many people will eventually buy a licence anyway, while those who pirate the software persistently are probably the kind of people who would never have paid for it in the first place.

They still have the right to complain and put as many anti-piracy things in as they like. You're using their software without paying and without permission. "It's too expensive" is no excuse whatsoever. As you've pointed out, free alternatives like Linux are available. If it's too expensive, get something you can afford; most people can quite happily afford $0.

They set it up so that it's too expensive for you to use without pirating it; that's no excuse to pirate it. Don't use it. Lots of things are out of my personal price range, it doesn't give me the right to just take them and plead that they were "too expensive", particularly when there's a perfectly-good alternative available for no money.

The point, though, is that pirating Windows effectively helps Microsoft. If you really want to hurt them, don't use Windows.

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Old 1st April 2007, 19:46   #24
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Originally posted by zootm
The point, though, is that pirating Windows effectively helps Microsoft. If you really want to hurt them, don't use Windows.
Too right. We use the piracy market as well as our legit market to determine our true capabilities. "What people can afford?" is rarely the right question to ask. What question you ask is "What price can we afford to set our product at for maximum profits?" If we widen our market we widen our costs and run the risk of growing faster then we can afford. If we narrow our market on price then we stifle growth. It's a fine line determining what to charge and not done without thought. I don't think there is a price other then free you can set a product out and eliminate piracy. There is always going to be those who feel entitled to something that they can't or don't want to afford. Also I do not agree that there has been no feature enhancements to those products. There clearly has been several features added to those products, they are just not big enough features for you to justify the purchase, but clearly others disagree.
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Old 1st April 2007, 19:54   #25
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Well put Jay, that's basically what I was getting at.

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Old 1st April 2007, 20:52   #26
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If that is how it really works and that is really what goes on behind the scenes, then that system is more messed up than the healthcare system (in america) ....
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Old 1st April 2007, 21:10   #27
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Originally posted by fc*uk
If that is how it really works and that is really what goes on behind the scenes, then that system is more messed up than the healthcare system (in america) ....
The Healthcare system is effectively the same system. This is just how economics works. It might seem strange and arbitrary but it's what we've got.

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Old 2nd April 2007, 05:56   #28
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only in Soviet Russia do you fuck economics.


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Old 3rd April 2007, 15:18   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by will
When thinking about how much programmers get paid, keep in mind this simple rule:

The difference in productivity between a good programmer and a bad programmer is a factor or 10.
And the difference between a bad programmer and a great programmer is closer to 100X; and the difference only gets bigger when you talk about teams of bad programmers vs. teams of great programmers.

Seriously. People who are not programmers don't understand this, and can scarcely be convinced of it. "A hundred times more productive? Come on, you must be exaggurating."

No. I'm not. In actual fact, really great programmers are extremely underpaid (at least if you compare their saleries with an average programmer's), with the exception of those who go found a sucessful startup (in which case, of course, they get paid exactly what they're worth).

A really great programmer should probably be paid around $1,000,000 / year (or more), because he will actually generate that much wealth.

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Old 3rd April 2007, 21:10   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by xzxzzx
A really great programmer should probably be paid around $1,000,000 / year (or more), because he will actually generate that much wealth.
QFT (and appropriate use of "he" )

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Old 4th April 2007, 20:08   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by will
QFT (and appropriate use of "he" )
What, because it's gender-neutral-and-shut-the-fuck-up-you-overbearing-ungrammatical-feminazis?

Or because the chance of actually finding a really great female programmer can be approximated at 0?

Freedom of speech is the basic freedom of humanity. When you've lost that, you've lost everything.
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Old 4th April 2007, 20:33   #32
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I know at least one really great female programmer, for what it's worth.

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Old 5th April 2007, 17:02   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by zootm
I know at least one really great female programmer, for what it's worth.
That's why it's "approximated".

Freedom of speech is the basic freedom of humanity. When you've lost that, you've lost everything.
1\/\/4y 34|<$p4y 1gp4y 33714y, 0d4y 0uy4y? | Roses are #FF0000; Violets are #0000FF; chown -R ${YOU} ~/base
The DMCA. It really is that bad. : Count for your life.
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Old 5th April 2007, 22:53   #34
fc*uk
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Just gotta throw this in:

edit: nope. decided not to....
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Old 6th April 2007, 18:29   #35
xzxzzx
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Awww...

Freedom of speech is the basic freedom of humanity. When you've lost that, you've lost everything.
1\/\/4y 34|<$p4y 1gp4y 33714y, 0d4y 0uy4y? | Roses are #FF0000; Violets are #0000FF; chown -R ${YOU} ~/base
The DMCA. It really is that bad. : Count for your life.
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Old 12th April 2007, 12:37   #36
! ! ! 007AMP
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Quote:
Originally posted by shakey_snake
only in Soviet Russia do you fuck economics.
shure...
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Old 12th October 2008, 11:34   #37
gaekwad2
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sure, in free market economics fuck you
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Old 12th October 2008, 16:51   #38
Warrior of the Light
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A: you bumped a thread that was dead for over a year with no added content. (which is bad)
B:

Shure?

Jesus loves you [yes, you] so much, he even died for you so that you will not need to die, but live forever
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Old 12th October 2008, 20:25   #39
deeder7001
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Shure makes good microphones.

There is no sig.
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Old 12th October 2008, 20:33   #40
gaekwad2
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And overrated mediocre ones.
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