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Comment: Re:Lack of social ability at Microsoft (Score 1) 104

One thing of note is that this particular acquisition is not DevDiv, it's Azure ML. But Azure ML is, in some ways, even more F/OSS friendly - at least I don't know anyone else in MS running Linux servers in production for user-facing services, and it's where a lot of ex-MSR guys (like, from those labs that were closed) ended up. It's also where all the Python stuff now is.

Then again, after Satya's takeover, there was a strong push from top down to stop treating open source in general and Linux in particular as pariah, in all divisions. In no uncertain language, like "we've been acting stupid about this for a while now and let competitors eat our lunch; time to catch up while we still can". The recent slew of announcements, from .NET Core officially supported on Linux, to most open MS projects migrating to GitHub, is the outcome.

FWIW, I didn't think I'd ever hear a Microsoft lawyer utter the words "GPL is actually kinda cool" while explaining to developers the company's new open source policy in his official capacity. Yet, here we are.

Long and hard? Yes. But this kind of thing makes it worth it (and also shows that, perhaps, it's not quite all that long if you go fast enough).

Comment: Re:Why oh Why (Score 1) 104

There's one other aspect to it that is obvious when you see who the people on MS side talking about this are. It is, effectively, an acquisition by the Azure ML division - the sole purpose of which is to get the "big data" people to come to Azure and pay for burning CPU cycles.

Comment: Re:Well that suprised me ... (Score 1) 508

I always found it quite amusing that it's much easier to immigrate to US as a relative (and I don't mean someone really close like a spouse or a child, but e.g. parents?) than it is as a skilled worker. Of all the countries that I've looked into, US is the only one like that. All others (of interest to me) had shorter immigration tracks through work than through family.

Comment: Re:Yeah! (Score 1) 508

Hi, another libertarian-turned-liberal through life experience here. Well, not liberal, in truth, I prefer the term "left libertarian" as well - but hardly anyone in US knows what it is, and many people think it's like hot snow.

And the philosophy you describe is pretty much exactly what I came to espouse, as well. Freedom and minimum intervention as a foundation, but I've come to recognize that the degree of intervention that's necessary for a functioning society in practice is way more than most traditionalist libertarians consider their limit.

Also 100% in agreement on GOP needing to go libertarian if we are to see any true inter-party competition moving the society in the right direction. And I think this will happen sooner rather than later. They can try to cheat the demographic shifts for a while (with gerrymandering, voter ID laws and such), but those still give only a brief respite, and the clock is ticking. They'll have to go libertarian or yield the system to Democrats in its entirety. In fact, barring any tectonic changes in GOP platform, 2004 shall remain the last year this country had a Republican president for a long, long time.

And you can already see signs of the coming fracturing in the party. Sure, GOP "libertarians" are still insanely conservative, but the difference between a guy like Bush or Romney, and Rubio or Paul, is quite impressive. A few more electoral cycles and they will grudgingly accept that their "small government" platform contradicts their messaging on social issues - if only pragmatically, just to get more votes.

Or maybe we'll actually make electoral reform happen first, and then there will be more parties. I can't really call any specific one my own, but of all the small parties out there, the Modern Whigs approach and platform appeals to me most.

Comment: Re:You see that too? (Score 1) 508

You can, if the benefits aren't instant, but rather kick in gradually as you work and pay taxes (possibly the faster, the more taxes you pay - hell, why not even let people dial their own rate above the certain required minimum).

In fact, it would probably make all the social programs solvent again, at least so long as the rest of the world still has people left in it (who have enough money for a ticket, but you could hand out loans for that, too). ~

GREAT MOMENTS IN HISTORY (#7): April 2, 1751 Issac Newton becomes discouraged when he falls up a flight of stairs.