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Comment: Re:What is Yahoo doing? (Score 1) 105

by nine-times (#46789343) Attached to: Investors Value Yahoo's Core Business At Less Than $0

I think Hotmail is now Outlook.com, which is... I hesitate to say it's good, but it's not really bad. It integrates with Skype, Onedrive, and Office Online. It looks nice. It works fine. It has social media integration, and it performs the task of routing and storing email. If you have an account, you can use it to sync your settings in Windows 8 to other Win8 computers.

I'd use it sooner than Yahoo Mail, but I don't use it. I think I mostly don't use it because I don't trust Microsoft.

Comment: Re:It could happen (Score 1) 156

by nine-times (#46789119) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

All the state economic development agencies engage in this kind of poaching. The only problem is that the South is better at it because they don't fund schools and local governments to the same extent.

Of course, it's worth noting that low tax rates aren't the only consideration. If you have crappy schools and a low standard of living, then you might have a harder time drawing good employees. If you have crappy infrastructure, then you might have a harder time conducting your business. If your business requires an affluent population and other businesses to deal with, then a sparse population with little economic development doesn't make for a good location. Cuts to the local government are often not a good thing for businesses, even if it means lower taxes for the businesses. There are reasons why lots of businesses still locate themselves in big cities with high taxes and lots of regulation.

Comment: What is Yahoo doing? (Score 2) 105

by nine-times (#46787443) Attached to: Investors Value Yahoo's Core Business At Less Than $0
I don't know about the companies in China and Japan, and I don't know about stocks, but the general idea that Yahoo isn't actually worth much is unsurprising. Do people still use Yahoo.com or Yahoo mail? Yahoo IM? I understand that, like AOL, Yahoo owns other sites that are doing well, but what's Yahoo's strategy? How are they making money in the face of Google and Gmail?

Comment: Re:Switching from Mercedes to Tesla after $12K bil (Score 1) 304

by hey! (#46786709) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

First you bought an SUV which only an idiot would buy

My late father-in-law designed inertial guidance systems. He worked on the Apollo program and the Trident missile. And he bought a Mercedes SUV, so it's clear it isn't an SUV that only an idiot would buy. He needed a vehicle that could pull a small boat trailer but had reached an age where he wanted a vehicle that was a little easier on the tuckus than a pickup truck. As such it wasn't a bad choice for him, especially as he had the dough to pay the eye-popping maintenance costs.

I prefer small cars myself, but I've driven a few SUVs and the Mercedes wasn't a bad choice for someone who wanted a truck that drives more or less like a car and doesn't care about the cost.

Comment: Re:I wonder how much damage... (Score 1) 267

by JWSmythe (#46784403) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

I've gone through this at a few places now. Besides resistance from the users ("we only know how to use Outlook!"), is migrating from Outlook to another solution ranges somewhere between unlikely to impossible. For someone like me, I only have 3 or 4 appointments scheduled, and the other few hundred are meetings I was invited to. :)

You can have the best plan, with the best business reasons, but when a senior executive tells the CEO that he can't switch, you'll frequently find that it will veto the migration.

Here's a real-world example. I was Director of IT for the company. The CEO told me specifically to get rid of Exchange, because the upgrade costs were too high. We were literally a couple weeks from switching. The Director of Sales went to the CEO and demanded that we keep Exchange, or he would walk.

Funny thing about the sales department. He didn't manage to sell anything, and he couldn't retain the customers. The accounting staff ended up doing all the customer retention. That guy cost us more money than he made. IT, on the other hand, brought costs down, and improved the customer experience.

The only thing that sales brought to us were headaches, and very pretty forward looking reports, that pretty much consisted of a graph showing our sales history, and a line going up at a 45 degree angle showing our future revenue. Every few months, he had to update the graph, so it showed our revenue losses, and had a new starting point for his upward line. I don't think he had a grasp of the concept of forecasting.

Comment: The stand-alone world processor is long dead. (Score 3, Interesting) 267

by westlake (#46779749) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

I wonder how many government offices -- the U.S. Federal government has long been Microsoft's biggest customer -- couldn't get along just fine with an open source word processor, even considering all the proprietary-format documents they're stuck with for now.

Microsoft positions MS Office as part of an integrated solution for clerical work that scales to an enterprise of any size.

Microsoft Office 365 for Health Organizations

Microsoft has entered into a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with Texas, a pact that carries much more weight these days after the HIPAA omnibus rule was released in January.

Implementing Office 365 for such a large network should serve as a sign that the state is comfortable enough with cloud computing that 100,000 employees, including the state Health and Human Services System, will be using the services.

What will Texas Office 365 deal mean for healthcare security? [Feb 2013]

Comment: Re:A few observations and suggestions (Score 3, Informative) 267

by JWSmythe (#46779575) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

Microsoft is probably counting every OEM that ships with the trial version of Office, and all the bundled licenses, even if they aren't used.

Most companies buy too many licenses, so they can be sure they have enough. So if we buy 50, and use 30, but only 10 use it on any sort of regular basis, MS will still count it as 50.

Comment: Re:I wonder how much damage... (Score 4, Interesting) 267

by JWSmythe (#46779547) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

For most users that I've known who were willing to try OpenOffice, Calc worked fine for them.

The problem is Outlook and Exchange. The users see the mail client, calendering, and the like, as essential. The word processor and spreadsheet are secondary to that. Once some exec starts talking to sales about getting just Outlook, they are sold on the wonders of getting the whole MSOffice suite.

There are enough users who refuse to even try OpenOffice for the word processor. "I can't because...". I've tricked some users into switching, by just giving them shortcuts on their desktop with the MS names instead of the OO names, and changing the default save types to the MS counterpart. When they ask about why it looks different, I just tell them "oh, this is the newer version.", and they're fine.

Comment: Re:perception (Score 1) 316

Actually, the total tax burden for the working and middle classes in the USA is not that different from much of Europe. If you deduct the amount that the US citizen pays for health insurance from the amount that the EU citizen pays in taxes (while receiving socialised medical coverage), it's often quite a lot more. Part of the reason that the US has what appears from the outside to be an irrational distrust of government is that they get such poor value for money from their taxes. This leads to a nasty feedback loop (population expects the government to be incompetent, so it's hard to get competent people to want to work for the government, so the government becomes more incompetent, so the population expects...).

Comment: Nope, it's the homeless (Score 4, Interesting) 316

There's one guy who is constantly begging on the New Jersey Transit trains in Penn Station NYC, he claims he just needs a few bucks for a ticket to get home (common scam actually, this guy is just more regular than most). Of course he's full of shit, as another guy on my car proved by offering him a ticket to where he wanted to go, and when he refused it, lit into him about how he was a pathetic loser who was making his race look bad.

Then there's the "Why Lie, I Need a Beer" guy also in Penn Station NYC. Though I think he's actually not homeless at all but a cop of some sort, he seems a bit too healthy.

And the bunches who fake some sort of deformity. They seem to have shifts worked out; maybe there's an organization who controls it. Anyway, they get in their contorted positions and hold out a cup or a sign or whatever. Then when their shift is up, they straighten up, pick up their stuff, and go.

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.

Working...