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Businesses

Microsoft Needs a Catch-Up Artist 406

The New York Times says that what Microsoft needs now isn't just a CEO, but a catch-up artist, to regain the footing that it had a few years ago as the biggest name in software. There's a lot of catching up, too: An anonymous reader reminds us that a year ago, Vanity Fair gave a scathing review of Steve Ballmer's performance:"Once upon a time, Microsoft dominated the tech industry; indeed, it was the wealthiest corporation in the world. But since 2000, as Apple, Google, and Facebook whizzed by, it has fallen flat in every arena it entered: e-books, music, search, social networking, etc., etc. Talking to former and current Microsoft executives, Kurt Eichenwald finds the fingers pointing at C.E.O. Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates's successor, as the man who led them astray."

Comment Let's clarify this a bit: (Score 2) 384

well, technically a "white" man can be on of many various shades of pink and/or tan/olive** in skin color, and a "black" man's skin can range from a very pale beige to nearly jet-black. An Asian man's skin isn't really yellow at all (unless something like jaundice is involved).

"African American" could just as easily describe a pale blue-eyed dude from South Africa as it could a dude with jet-black skin from Rwanda or a more Arabic-looking gent from Egypt. QED: The term is ignorant at best. "Caucasian" is a holdover from days when scientists thought that pale folks all stemmed from folks who lived in the Caucasus region of the world, as you half-stated. IMHO, the only term that even halfway seems to fit would be "Native American", but as a group, they all emigrated from Asia about 100k years ago, and as time goes by even that particular distinction will fuzz and fade.

It would just be easier to call 'em all "people" and be done with it, no? I figure in about 500 years (assuming civilization holds up that long), skin color will be too blended and mixed to even hope to tell any differences by mere sight.

FYI: I'm currently typing this missive while on business in Atlanta, Georgia; I've seen nearly every shade of skin color in the past 24 hours. I've seen folks getting along in social situations just fine, the participants individually bearing radically differing skin colors. I grew up under similar circumstances, and I can tell you that Obama is very inept, very ideological, very selfish, and a very lousy president; not one of the worst, but pretty close to it.

** BTW, maybe we can just call 'em pink?

Comment Re:The sigs in question, for the record (Score 1) 12

Without some reasonable sample of the universe of correlative and causative relationships, I don't think we can even go so far as to say that half the time A causes B and half the time B causes A--maybe we're more likely to observe relationships that go one way than the other? In my disease example, we started observing symptoms long before we discovered pathogens, for example, and some symptoms were identified earlier than others (I'm willing to bet we knew what diarrhea was long before we knew about fevers). It would be interesting to study the history of this, in various fields, although it still might not be enough for reasonable inference.

the bastards make me use Access now, I'm glad I'm retiring

Indeed. There is simply no good use case for Access, IMO.

BTW, both journals were excellent.

Thank you!

Comment Re:The sigs in question, for the record (Score 1) 12

Correlation implies 25% likelihood of causation.

50% chance before discovering temporal data. 25% chance a causes b, 25% chance b causes a. But if you have correlation, causation is unknown without further data.

Most of my bosses have been statisticians holding PhDs in the field (I manage the databases, NOMAD is my favorite language but the bastards make me use Access now, I'm glad I'm retiring) and I learned a lot from them.

BTW, both journals were excellent.

United States

Wildfire Threatens Water and Power To San Francisco 159

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Retuers reports that firefighters are battling to gain control of a fast-moving wildfire raging on the edge of Yosemite National Park that is threatening power and water supplies to San Francisco, about 200 miles to the west. 'We are making progress but unfortunately the steep terrain definitely has posed a major challenge,' says Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. 'Today we're continuing to see warm weather that could allow this fire to continue to grow very rapidly as it has over the last several days.' California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency, warning that the fire had damaged the electrical infrastructure serving the city, and forced the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to shut down power lines. The blaze in the western Sierra Nevada Mountains is now the fastest-moving of 50 large wildfires raging across the drought-parched U.S. West that have strained resources and prompted fire managers to open talks with Pentagon commanders and Canadian officials about possible reinforcements. Firefighters have been hampered by a lack of moisture from the sky and on the ground. 'The wind today is going to be better for firefighting, but we are still dealing with bone dry grass and brush,' says Tina Rose, spokeswoman for the multi-agency incident command. 'This fire is very dynamic.'"

Comment Re: Proud? (Score 1) 1233

I'm not sure "innocent" is the right adjective

Look, fascist, these are people who have already been cleared for release by both the Bush and Obama administrations. You know, people willing to trump up petty bullshit into lengthy sentences in Federal Pound Me In the Ass penitentiaries, when they aren't torturing or killing people with bombs. And they've cleared these people for release because they have no reason to hold them.

But other countries? Most wouldn't tell you that the prisoners exist.

"Most" countries aren't assassinating people on the other side of the planet from their own country, or have the largest number of prisoners, both per capita and in raw numbers.

Comment Re:SPOILERS (Score 1) 1233

Without that evidence you are racist yourself for typing it. Sorry, but fuck racists, you included.

Really, just for typing it? Well in that case:

"terr'ist sand-cracker"?

We're even, RACIST! Fuck you. Let's move on.

It's not hard to innocently get evidence of explosives on you. If they run this test regularly, this would have been far from their first false/innocent positive. And if you RTFA'd, you'd see that an FBI agent admitted that he was singled out because of his "background." Unless you think he just made that up to make the news.

Comment Re: Proud? (Score 1) 1233

Many of them actually.

Then you'll have no problems rattling off 10 of them, much less 38.

Many of them have stateless persons in custody that they don't know what to do with.

We know what states these people are from, because we kidnapped them. So, again, how many countries keep dozens of innocent people in prison when the government in question has cleared them for release years ago.

Don't be naive; most big nations have almost certainly committed political and military assassinations of citizens and others. The fact that they do it covertly doesn't make it any better.

Then you'll almost certainly have no problem rattling off a bunch of examples. When was the last time Canada assassinated one of their citizens? How about New Zealand? Poland?

Submission + - Raging Wildfire Threatens Water and Power to San Francisco

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Retuers reports that firefighters are battling to gain control of a fast-moving wildfire raging on the edge of Yosemite National Park that is threatening power and water supplies to San Francisco about 200 miles to the west. "We are making progress but unfortunately the steep terrain definitely has posed a major challenge," says Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. "Today we're continuing to see warm weather that could allow this fire to continue to grow very rapidly as it has over the last several days." California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency, warning that the fire had damaged the electrical infrastructure serving the city, and forced the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to shut down power lines. The blaze in the western Sierra Nevada Mountains is now the fastest-moving of 50 large wildfires raging across the drought-parched U.S. West that have strained resources and prompted fire managers to open talks with Pentagon commanders and Canadian officials about possible reinforcements. Firefighters have been hampered by a lack of moisture from the sky and on the ground. "The wind today is going to be better for firefighting, but we are still dealing with bone dry grass and brush," says Tina Rose, spokeswoman for the multi-agency incident command. "This fire is very dynamic."
The Almighty Buck

Van Gogh Prints In 3D: Almost the Real Thing For $34,000 104

dryriver writes "The Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam has developed high-quality 3D reproductions of some of its finest paintings, with what it describes as the most advanced copying technique ever seen. Axel Rüger, the museum's director, said: "It really is the next generation of reproductions because they go into the third dimension. If you're a layman, they are pretty indistinguishable [from the originals]. Of course, if you're a connoisseur and you look more closely, you can see the difference. Each reproduction is priced £22,000 – somewhat more than the cost of a postcard or poster. But the museum is hoping to increase access to pictures which, if they were sold, would go for tens of millions of pounds to Russian oligarchs or American billionaires. The replicas, called Relievos, are being created by the museum in partnership with Fujifilm, with which it has had an exclusive deal for three years. Such is the complexity of the technology, known as Reliefography, that it has taken more than seven years to develop and only three a day can be made. It combines a 3D scan of the painting with a high-resolution print. The "super-accurate" reproduction even extends to the frame and the back of the painting. Every Relievo is numbered and approved by a museum curator. There is a limited edition of 260 copies per painting."
Privacy

Teens Actually Care About Online Privacy 93

CowboyRobot writes "According to a new report by Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, more than half of American teenagers have steered clear of a mobile app due to worries about privacy. Some 56 percent of younger teens (ages 12 to 14) who use mobile apps avoid some apps after learning they had to share personal information to use it, while 49 percent of older teens (14 to 17) have. Also, teens who had at some point sought outside advice about privacy management were considerably more likely than those who had not sought advice to say that they had disabled location tracking features."

Comment Re:See my journal too (Score 1) 12

Nice journal post! Good, lively discussion, too.

That or C. Defensive driving habits cause you to both wear your seat belt and drive in such a way as to minimize crash damage.

True enough. I guess I was kind of assuming the kind of crash where someone blindsides you and it doesn't matter how well (or poorly) you're driving. To be sure, the best way to survive a crash is not to be in one in the first place, and if you can't do that, react in a way that causes the actual collision to take place at the lowest possible speed.

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