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Comment: Lack of social ability at Microsoft (Score 1) 31

A huge problem at Microsoft seems to me to be that people there, or maybe just the leaders, seem socially unsophisticated. In fact, neither of the articles quoted below explains the underlying reason that Microsoft is buying Revolution Analytics. That needs to be explained. (All quotes retrieved Sunday, January 25, 2015, around 07:00 PST.)

In The Official Microsoft Blog there is a lot of corporate-speak, of the kind used by people with no actual interest in a subject who nevertheless want to be considered knowledgeable:
"find ... value"
"data-driven decisions"
"reduce the ... skills gap"
"enterprise-class platform"
"analytic solutions"
"advanced analytics within ... platforms on-premises"
"we are at the threshold"

From another article linked from that article, Revolution Analytics joins Microsoft, by "David Smith, Chief Community Officer":

"Microsoft might seem like a strange bedfellow for an open-source company..."

It was not a good idea to use the word "bedfellow". That word is more appropriate for a novel. The primary meaning of "bedfellow" is "a person who shares a bed with another".

'CEO Satya Nadella proclaimed "Microsoft loves Linux" '

On the surface, that makes no sense. Below the surface, is Microsoft trying to say, "We want Microsoft to be popular"?

"We're excited the work..."

That should have been "We're excited [that] the work...".

I'm not the only person who feels uncomfortable with those statements. One of the comments to that story is this one:

"What a joke. You're really working hard to try and convince readers that this is a good match, going on and on about how supportive Microsoft is of open-source. You were probably sweating while trying to come up with excuses as to why this is good, knowing that you were typing bullshit. I would suggest growing a pair of balls and just being honest, but I'm sure you've never had to do that in your career. -- Posted by: Anonymous | January 23, 2015 at 11:22"

David Smith replied to that comment: "Anonymous, I've never been anything but frank on this blog and this is no exception. I'm truly excited for the future, and I'm sure I speak for the rest of the team as well. -- Posted by: David Smith | January 23, 2015 at 11:25"

Sometimes the lack of social ability at Microsoft is shocking. The cover of the January 16, 2013 issue of BusinessWeek magazine has a large photo of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer with the headline calling him "Monkey Boy". See the BusinessWeek cover in this article: Steve Ballmer Is No Longer A Monkey Boy, Says Bloomberg BusinessWeek. The BusinessWeek cover says "No More" and "Mr.", but that doesn't take much away from the fact that the magazine called him Monkey Boy -- on its cover.

In many years of following such things I have never seen such disrespect of a CEO. Of course, whoever wrote the cover headline was merely repeating a common phrase applied to Steve Ballmer by people in the computer industry.

Worst CEO: Quote from an article in Forbes Magazine about Steve Ballmer: "Without a doubt, Mr. Ballmer is the worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company today."

Another quote: "The reach of his bad leadership has extended far beyond Microsoft when it comes to destroying shareholder value -- and jobs." (May 12, 2012)

+ - New Study Questions Low-Salt Diet Benefits

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes "From the i-wish-they-would-make-up-their-minds dept.

A new study adds more fuel to the debate over restricting sodium levels for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and reducing mortality. "We didn't find any benefit," lead investigator Dr Andreas Kalogeropoulos (Emory University, Atlanta, GA) said of lowering sodium levels to less than 1500 mg per day, "but having said that, we did not find any harm either."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends a maximum daily sodium intake of 2300 mg for the general population and 1500 mg for individuals 51 years of age and older. The American Heart Association (AHA), also support reducing dietary sodium levels but are even more aggressive in their targets, recommending all individuals aim for, at most, 1500 mg of sodium daily.

This isn't the first study to question those recommendations. In 2013, these aggressive targets were challenged when the Institute of Medicine (IOM) conducted a comprehensive review of the literature and concluded there was simply no evidence to recommend lowering sodium to levels in federal dietary guidelines. The IOM even stated the evidence wasn't strong enough to recommend lowering daily sodium intake to the 1500- to 2300-mg/day range.

The AHA responds , other experts weigh in."

Comment: Re:Social Networking is a mess (Score 1) 77

by JaredOfEuropa (#48897985) Attached to: Twitter Moves To Curb Instagram Links

But as soon as Google offered a good search with minimal advertising the market spoke very loudly about that kind of thing.

Google wasn't the first search engine with a minimalist site design; Altavista started that, and I think you're right about it being an important driver for their success. This was in the days of dial-up, and the difference between loading the Yahoo page and the Altavista one was quite a few seconds.

The model for today's social networks appear to be to deliberately start with low-friction, low-bullshit, come-in-we're-open policies (sometimes after a beta-for-the-leet-only period), become popular, then cash in and pile on the restrictions, rules, ads and dataraping. Not that I begrudge the founders of a good startup their fortunes, and I'm not a big fan of the word "sell-out" and the sentiment that it carries, but in some of these cases that word does apply. When you sell your initial users on being all open and huggy, with the intent of adding massive monetization schemes later (or selling your business to someone who will), then you ought to feel a little bit sleazy about it.

Comment: Re:its a tough subject (Score 1) 629

by sjames (#48896897) Attached to: Should Disney Require Its Employees To Be Vaccinated?

I agree that a societal solution is needed.

If employers can discriminate for not getting the vax, it is constructively mandatory. I agree that un-vaccinated students should stay home during an outbreak. Likewise employees. That is a matter of a clear and present danger.

Considering that a vaccine reaction can leave a person with lifelong disability and high ongoing bills for care, few can afford the risk alone. We already have a compensation program coupled with a liability shield for the manufacturers since otherwise nobody would manufacture the vaccine. We just need to make it actually support those very few who need it, not just barely keep them out of poverty.

+ - Is Pascal an Underrated Programming Language? 6

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In the recent Slashdot discussion on the D programming language, I was surprised to see criticisms of Pascal that were based on old information and outdated implementations. While I’m sure that, for example, Brian Kernighan’s criticisms of Pascal were valid in 1981, things have moved on since then. Current Object Pascal largely addresses Kernighan’s critique and also includes language features such as anonymous methods, reflection and attributes, class helpers, generics and more (see also Marco Cantu’s recent Object Pascal presentation). Cross-platform development is fairly straightforward with Pascal. Delphi targets Windows, OS X, iOS and Android. Free Pascal targets many operating systems and architectures and Lazarus provides a Delphi-like IDE for Free Pascal. So what do you think? Is Pascal underrated?"

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (7) Well, it's an excellent idea, but it would make the compilers too hard to write.