• 2 year non-compete agreement reasonable?

    I work as a salaried employee with a 1 year non-compete agreement in my employment contract. The same company would like to pay me to do some contract work (computer programming) on the side at an hourly rate. They asked me to sign a separate contract with a 2 year non-compete. This seems pretty long to me. My field is rather specialized so... show more
    I work as a salaried employee with a 1 year non-compete agreement in my employment contract. The same company would like to pay me to do some contract work (computer programming) on the side at an hourly rate. They asked me to sign a separate contract with a 2 year non-compete. This seems pretty long to me. My field is rather specialized so if I got laid off or fired, I'd basically be unemployable in my specialty for the duration of the agreement. (And my research shows that my state tends to uphold non-competes as long as they are "reasonable", although many other states do not enforce them). Is there an "industry standard duration" for this kind of thing? Other than speaking with a lawyer, which I am doing, what can I do to protect myself? Thanks,
    1 answer · Law & Legal · 8 years ago
  • Owner is letting a valuable small business go to waste... anything can be done?

    I know someone who works for a small tech company that has developed a very valuable technology. The company has a patent and at least a 2 year lead on any possible competition, with a huge potential market. I'd say its worth $10-15 million if it were to be bought by a large company or competitor and exploited to its full potential. They only... show more
    I know someone who works for a small tech company that has developed a very valuable technology. The company has a patent and at least a 2 year lead on any possible competition, with a huge potential market. I'd say its worth $10-15 million if it were to be bought by a large company or competitor and exploited to its full potential. They only have a few employees and maybe $1 mil annual gross profit and almost no liquid assets. The problem is that the owner is old, set in his ways and not very tech savvy. He is letting the technology go to waste by poor marketing, an outdated business model, rudely dismissing away any potential allies or partners, etc. His ambition seems to be to suck the company dry of what little value it currently holds without any ambition to capitalize on its huge potential. The young employees are full of energy and highly skilled in a very specialized field, and they are convinced that they could do much better given the chance, but even if they pool all their resources, they don't have the capital needed to buy the owner out. What, if anything, can be done?
    2 answers · Small Business · 9 years ago
  • Best e-mail server options for a small business?

    I work at a small company and we're trying to find a better solution for e-mail. Currently we use Outlook retrieving mail by POP3 from a hosting service, however their servers are becoming increasingly unreliable. Also, we want all email to be backed up on a local central server instead of having mailboxes on each PC or depending on a remote... show more
    I work at a small company and we're trying to find a better solution for e-mail. Currently we use Outlook retrieving mail by POP3 from a hosting service, however their servers are becoming increasingly unreliable. Also, we want all email to be backed up on a local central server instead of having mailboxes on each PC or depending on a remote server for our critical data. I suggested using some service that works by IMAP, but my boss is weary of relying on unreliable ISPs. The main problem with our system now is that all email retrieved by POP3 has to be stored locally on each PC, which leaves us vulnerable in case of a PC crash or data loss (and also makes accessing our mail from home or by mobile device cumbersome). We've tried storing the Outlook mailboxes on a local network file server, but this has proven to be extremely problematic as well, since any lag or glitch on the local network makes Outlook throw a fit. 1) Our internet connection is not reliable enough for us to host the e-mail servers locally 2) We've had bad experiences with a number of ISPs in the past, so whoever we go with needs to be extremely reliable and also have proven remote backup solutions, and ideally we want some kind of local backup 3) We send and receive a lot of large file attachments so the service needs to have a large disk quota and fast transfer rates at reasonable cost Is there any kind of solution like a local IMAP caching server or something like that, which mostly relies on the ISP but allows us to still read already-downloaded mail when the internet connection is down? Any other suggestions? Will give best answer! Thanks!
    2 answers · Computer Networking · 10 years ago
  • Expensive HMO from employer vs. cheap individual plan?

    While I was between jobs, I signed up for a BCBS Carefirst Personal Comp plan with a $1000 deductible. Since me & my wife are 30 and we have 1 daughter, the family plan costs about $350/month. My new employer only offers one insurance plan, Bluechoice HMO which would cost me about $800/month AFTER the employer contribution. If I don't sign up... show more
    While I was between jobs, I signed up for a BCBS Carefirst Personal Comp plan with a $1000 deductible. Since me & my wife are 30 and we have 1 daughter, the family plan costs about $350/month. My new employer only offers one insurance plan, Bluechoice HMO which would cost me about $800/month AFTER the employer contribution. If I don't sign up within 30 days, then I have to wait until next year to enroll. My family is relatively healthy and we aren't on any prescriptions or treatments currently, however, things like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes do run in my family. I'm having trouble deciding whether or not the company plan is worth $500 a month more, which is like 1/6th of my salary. Even with the high deductible of the personal comp plan (which maxes out at $2000 for the family), it seems like I am better off with the individual plan which saves me $6000/year. I've also heard many bad things about HMOs which makes me reluctant to go with them. I realize the HMO covers more things like preventative care and has lower copays and better prescription benefits, but it still seems like it is not worth the cost. Any inputs or suggestions? Thanks!
    4 answers · Insurance · 10 years ago
  • OK to buy round-trip airfare for one-way travel?

    My family will be moving from Japan to the US sometime next year. I see that off-peak round-trip tickets are running about $1000 but one-way tickets are going for $2500+, for the same economy seats, same options and everything. I will know my date at least two months in advance and I don't need refundable tickets, but still I can't find... show more
    My family will be moving from Japan to the US sometime next year. I see that off-peak round-trip tickets are running about $1000 but one-way tickets are going for $2500+, for the same economy seats, same options and everything. I will know my date at least two months in advance and I don't need refundable tickets, but still I can't find any one-way tickets that are even close to round-trip price, let alone cheaper. What would happen if we bought round-trip tickets but then, after arriving in the US, cancelled the return flight? Would we get in trouble or have to pay any fees? Thanks!
    7 answers · Air Travel · 1 decade ago
  • My ear didn't "unpop" on the airplane and is getting worse?

    When my plane was landing in Honolulu, my ears "popped" as usual, however it was unusually painful (many passengers complained of the same thing). Eventually my left ear unpopped and feels normal, but my right ear still hasn't unpopped about 9 days later. I have a feeling of pressure in my ear, occasional sounds of liquid sloshing,... show more
    When my plane was landing in Honolulu, my ears "popped" as usual, however it was unusually painful (many passengers complained of the same thing). Eventually my left ear unpopped and feels normal, but my right ear still hasn't unpopped about 9 days later. I have a feeling of pressure in my ear, occasional sounds of liquid sloshing, mild throbbing pain, and everything sounds like I'm underwater, but no fever. I went to a clinic in my hotel, but the doctor said my eardrum looked fine and the fluid should clear up in a few days. He prescribed Sudafed and Flownase to help clear up any congestion in my sinuses. I have been using them as directed for the past several days but my ear hasn't gotten any better. Normally I would go to a doctor, but I am in Japan now and all of the regular doctors are closed for New Years until 1/4, and the emergency room said they would not admit me unless I was in unbearable pain or broke a fever. Any suggestions? Thanks!
    7 answers · Injuries · 1 decade ago
  • Oahu to Big Island (volcano tour) and back in 1 day?

    Is it unreasonable to take an early-morning (8am or so) flight from Oahu to Big Island (Hilo), rent a car at the airport, drive to the volcano crater area and spend a few hours there, then be back to the airport in time for a late evening (8pm or so) flight back to Oahu? I'm going with my family of 5 (including 1 toddler) and am trying to get a... show more
    Is it unreasonable to take an early-morning (8am or so) flight from Oahu to Big Island (Hilo), rent a car at the airport, drive to the volcano crater area and spend a few hours there, then be back to the airport in time for a late evening (8pm or so) flight back to Oahu? I'm going with my family of 5 (including 1 toddler) and am trying to get a volcano/lava view in my trip without breaking the bank. We already have 2 hotel rooms reserved in Honolulu for every night of our trip, so I don't want to pay for another 2 hotel rooms on Big Island. Is this crazy, or doable? Thanks!
    7 answers · Honolulu · 1 decade ago
  • Diamond Head Crater - Can I be on the peak past sunset/closing time?

    My family and I will be visiting Oahu from December 23-29, 2007. My personal goal is to capture beautiful sunrise & sunset pictures. I would love to get sunset pics from the peak of Diamond Head Crater. According to my research, sunset time is about 6:00pm (+/- a few minutes). But the Diamond Head Crater Park officially closes at 6:00pm. My question... show more
    My family and I will be visiting Oahu from December 23-29, 2007. My personal goal is to capture beautiful sunrise & sunset pictures. I would love to get sunset pics from the peak of Diamond Head Crater. According to my research, sunset time is about 6:00pm (+/- a few minutes). But the Diamond Head Crater Park officially closes at 6:00pm. My question is, what exactly do they mean by closes at 6:00pm? Do they kick people off the peak early and shut the exit gates, meaning you have to be out by 6:00pm? If so, what time do they start making people leave the peak? Or is the closing time the last ENTRY time? Or what? Should I try for a sunrise hike instead? Thanks! P.S. Is the park closed on Christmas Day? I didn't see any information about this in my search, but just wanted to be sure.
    4 answers · Honolulu · 1 decade ago