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Comment Typical short-sighted MBA thinking (Score 1) 330

From a big-picture perspective, this is an incredibly boneheaded move. Microsoft has put a great deal of emphasis on "the cloud" in recent years, making it a major part of their business strategy, yet they are now sending a clear signal that their cloud offerings can't be trusted.

For that reason, I doubt that Nadella made this decision personally. This looks like the kind of thing that was probably done at the middle-management level. We know that Microsoft's internal corporate structure is highly siloed, with divisions often refusing to cooperate and even trying to sabotage one another. Probably the grand poobah of cloud services was upset that his quarterly bonus wasn't as high as he wanted, so he ordered his underlings to find any possible way to cut costs and boost profits, and this is what they came up with. I wouldn't be all that surprised to see Nadella have to walk this back in a couple days due to the backlash.

Comment Re:some interesting possibilities... (Score 0) 210

A movie about Drizzt Do'Urden (D&D Forgotten Realms) with a decent director, direct involvement by the writer R.A. Salvatore, and some decent actors (Game of Thrones cast?) could make it not suck.

That would probably be the best shot, but the Forgotten Realms violate modern Intersectionalist dogma, so it won't happen. (Good light-skinned elves and bad dark-skinned elves? The SJWs would throw a fit. Never mind that Drizz't doesn't fit that stereotype, they'll just say that is tokenism. Same reason that C.S. Lewis's The Horse and his Boy will never be made into a film.)

Comment Fundamentally flawed (Score 4, Insightful) 188

If you're going to take into account the whole supply chain for electric cars, you have to do the same thing for gasoline cars. This study doesn't do that. It calculates the CO2 cost of electricity generation for electric cars, but assumes that gasoline just magically shows up at the pump and doesn't incur any environmental costs in getting there. The CO2 emissions resulting from extraction, refining, etc. are completely ignored.

Comment Re:Congress Should Decide (Score 1) 88

Congress should make a decision about which laws should apply: I think probably some laws about employees and some laws about independent contractors should apply.

The laws are already quite clear on this subject. Misclassifying employees as contractors is nothing new or "innovative". The only reason we're hearing about this is that the Uber founders were arrogant enough to believe that the law didn't apply to them because they were running their gypsy taxi service with new technology. But the law doesn't care about that.

Comment Re:Car analogy... (Score 1) 88

This is exactly how the service departments work at automobile dealerships, down to the requirement that the mechanic provide a certain class of tools, codes of conduct towards customers, wear a dealership logo'ed coverall, collects time and attendance data (contractors are paid by hours worked in the contract, so this has to be collected), attendance data (reserving a bay is expensive, and you want contractors who are eager to be present; you also have to collect this information to know how much liability insurance to carry), maintains umbrella insurance for the worker based on worker liability for faulty repairs, or injury while on the dealer premises), and issues checks (they aren't actually paychecks unless the worker is on a payroll; they're just checks). All work products remain the property of the contracting agency (in this case, the auto dealership).

Under IRS regulations, mechanics working under these conditions are clearly employees and not contractors.

Comment Re:Well, she was an interim. (Score 1) 467

She didn't though, the clampdown was about using Reddit to organize harassment, not the viewpoints of the people concerned.

That was the official line. But in fact, every subsequent attempt to create an anti-fat subreddit was immediately banned, even if they were created by completely different people and hadn't ever committed any harassing behavior. There was viewpoint discrimination going on whether the management admitted it or not.

Comment Re:Well, she was an interim. (Score 1) 467

That's not really relevant. Your right to free and offensive speech does not impose on anyone else, person or corporation, an obligation to provide you with a platform for said speech.

It isn't about who has a legal obligation to do what. It's about the fact that Reddit was founded as, and run as, a platform specifically dedicated to free speech. If someone comes in and tries to change the culture so that the site can more easily be sold to a big conglomerate, it's not surprising that the site's long-term users are going to push back.

It's the same reason why people get upset about universities curtailing freedom of expression even when they are privately run and not part of the state government. Academic freedom is a major part of what a university is supposed to be. In the same way, free speech (restricted only by the handful of exceptions required by U.S. law) is part of what Reddit is supposed to be about.

Comment Re:Well, she was an interim. (Score 1) 467

Actually, it's not at all brazen. The facts of the case painted the firm as pretty sexist.

What facts? Most of the claims in that article are unfounded allegations. We only have Ellen Pao's word that they happened, and I don't believe that is worth much. Neither, apparently, did the men and women on the jury.

Comment Re:HUH (Score 1) 341

All kidding aside, 40 years from now we'll still be driving our own cars because programmers won't be able to help a car decide if it is allowed to avoid a collision that will kill a driver by swerving onto a sidewalk and killing two pedestrians.

Self-driving cars won't even attempt to make decisions like that. If faced with a no-win situation, they'll default to trying to stop as quickly and safely as possible. If that still results in a crash, the car's black box should contain enough sensor data to prove that the crash was either a freak of nature (mechanical failure, etc.) or someone else's fault.

Comment Re:Finaly. (Score 1) 225

Without Flash, what's the preferred way to deploy vector animations of the sort seen on Homestar Runner, Weebl's Stuff, Newgrounds, Dagobah, and Albino Blacksheep, without bloating them by a factor of 10 by rendering them to WebM?

Animated SVG for the simpler stuff, HTML5 canvas with JavaScript for more complicated animations.

Comment Re: The only way MS gets more apps in their store (Score 1) 192

The problem though is going to be corporate customers. The ones with thousands of desktop systems that do pay. Big corps tend to be conservative about IT upgrades, and by giving Windows away MS would be sacrificing that revenue stream. They're probably reluctant to do that.

Of course, they could just drop the price of the Home Edition (or whatever they're calling it today) to zero and charge for the Pro one. But then they need to make the home edition good enough to be useful, but not so good that business would be happy using it. That's not compromise that's worked well for them in the past.

Actually, it's quite straightforward: the Pro edition can join domains, while the Home edition can't. This by itself will work quite well as a differentiator. Big businesses aren't going to give up Active Directory and Group Policy to save a few bucks on license fees, while home uisers (and some small businesses) won't give a damn.

Comment Awesome (Score 2) 525

This is very good news. ASP.NET is a great web development platform, far superior to the atrocious hack that is PHP. The only reason so far why PHP has predominated is licensing costs: until now, you needed a Windows Server to do ASP.NET properly (or else resort to unsupported hacks like Mono), whereas PHP is free. Now that the playing field is about to become more level, hopefully it will be the beginning of the end for PHP.

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