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+ - Layoffs coming at Microsoft?->

Submitted by whoever57
whoever57 (658626) writes "Shaun Nichols at The Register interpets Satya Nadella's open letter as "prepare for layoffs". The letter suggests radical changes are coming to Microsoft and, combined with duplication of functions because of the Nokia handset business acquisition, he thinks that layoffs are highly likely. Wes Miller, research vice-president at Directions on Microsoft, says that Microsoft is shifting from the Windows-everywhere approach, towards supporting productivity applications on different platforms. More details will be forthcoming from Microsoft on July 22."
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Comment: Re:Buffet vs. A La Carte (Score 1) 349

by bondsbw (#47428837) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

Isn't economics weird?

Not nearly as weird as what you said. Since when is sales tax generally applied as a dollar amount? Why would we be paying a flat $10 per item? That makes no sense at all. That would mean a 10 cent piece of gum would cost 100x more, while a car might cost 0.05% more.

Practically all general sales tax is a percentage. A tax like this would be applied as a percentage, say 300% (and I remind you, this is completely unreasonable). That means that a $3 ice cream would cost $12 with tax, and a $6 ice cream would cost $24 with tax. So no, the better item wouldn't suddenly do better in the market. (Quite the contrary, the market would be racing for the bottom trying to sell crappy $0.25 ice cream so it would be $1 with tax, hoping to increase demand to the point that sales would again be profitable.)

a certain class of product (Veblen Goods [wikipedia.org]) is actually more desirable based if sold at a higher price.

Ice cream, being nondurable, is not a good candidate as a Veblen good. The same applies for most foods.

Comment: Re:There's at least one clear takeaway from this.. (Score 1, Interesting) 81

by whoever57 (#47428035) Attached to: Microsoft Settles With No-IP After Malware Takedown

It wasn't a load problem. The setup was just wrong (recursive resolvers used as authoritative servers didn't answer non-recursive queries correctly). It wouldn't have worked if Microsoft had given it all the CPU power and network capacity in the world. Garbage in, garbage out.

The takeaway is either:

1. No business should use Azure because Azure doesn't scale. OR:
2. No business should rely on Microsoft services, because Microsoft does not have the necessary competence.

This is only the latest in a line of screwups by Microsoft in their service offerings.

Comment: Discrete? Yes. Creative? Not so much. (Score 1) 431

Now admittedly, I'm a bit bitter about a problem that's not really Creative's fault. I bought an Audigy 2 ZS for my laptop using PC Card...and then the next wave of laptops only came with an Expresscard slot. So, I ponied up again for an X-Fi card that fit the Expresscard slot...and then laptops stopped coming with those. Now I fully admit that Creative isn't to blame for that, but it is sad just the same. However, I digress.

I use my onboard audio for nearly all of my listening needs. My internal speakers are utter crap (I think one is blown, actually), and thus, even if Creative added all the super-duper offboard processing in the world, it wouldn't sound any better than what those speakers can pump. Adding a nice set of Sennheiser or Denon headphones, I can start to hear some of the MP3 sizzle in the 128kbps MP3s, and a handful of 192's, depending on the song and the encoder and settings used. Even playing video games, the difference between 'Good Enough' and 'X-Fi Good' never comes into play, because it's the nuts-and-bolts of the big picture that will make or break it in either direction - if the sound effects and musical score is good, the miniscule difference an audio chipset will make has nothing to do with it. If they're crap, a ZxR processor isn't going to change anything.

That being said, I still use offboard audio hardware on a regular basis. I use my Rane SL3 to DJ with Serato. Even if it wasn't a de facto hardware dongle to unlock the Serato software, there's no motherboard chipset that supports 2ms latency from end-to-end of the audio path. In other words, my SL3 can reliably take an audio signal from my turntable, translate it into speed and directional data, and send MP3 audio back out, in 2ms. Creative doesn't make hardware like that. The story is pretty similar for my Audio6 (which I use for Traktor) and my Connectiv (which I used to use for Torq and Deckadance, though it required closer to 5ms latency to be stable). I have a MobilePre USB that I use occasionally for XLR and 1/4" recording. These are niche products for niche purposes, but the fact that your local Guitar Center sells a range of these kinds of interfaces demonstrates that there's indeed a market for discrete audio hardware. Creative just doesn't make it.

Comment: Re:The numbers never did add up (Score 3, Informative) 81

by whoever57 (#47426121) Attached to: Microsoft Settles With No-IP After Malware Takedown
So I actually RTFA, and I see that it is 5 million subdomain names. That is a few hundred subdomains implicated as used by botnets against 5 million. It doesn't support a conclusion that No-IP was somehow in league with the botnet operators or that support for botnets was a significant part of No-IP's business.

Comment: The numbers never did add up (Score 2) 81

by whoever57 (#47426063) Attached to: Microsoft Settles With No-IP After Malware Takedown
Microsoft portrayed No-IP as primarily a business making money from botnet operators, but Microsoft only listed a few hundred subdomain names that were implicated. Compared to what I imagine is hundreds of thousands, or millions (or tens of millions) of subdomain names that No-IP must support to have a viable business, it's a tiny fraction.

Comment: Absurd (Score 2) 273

by mark-t (#47421547) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

The machine's designers must not be able to explain how their original code led to this new program

That is a flatly ludicrous requirement, far in excess of what we would ever even consider applying to determine if even a human being is intelligent or not. Hell, if you were to apply that standard to human beings, ironically, many extremely intelligent people would fail that metric, because in hindsight, you can very often identify precisely how a particular thought or idea came out of a person.

Comment: If you intellectually understand *how* memories... (Score 1) 83

by mark-t (#47420929) Attached to: A Brain Implant For Synthetic Memory
... are formed, then could you algorithmically synthesize that process with your own mind to help you remember things? Seems like this could present a foolproof way to bypass a lie detector if possible, since you could synthesize the memory of the event that you want to lie about, and form it in your brain as if it were a real memory so that you no longer can appear to be lying about it.

There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly. -- Publius Terentius Afer (Terence)

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